Pumpkin and Pecan Cupcakes With Brown Butter Icing

While at work yesterday, someone suddenly got a craving for Sprinkles cupcakes and made the mistake of bringing it up to everyone. That’s when I knew what I’d be up to today…cupcakes! I remembered that I had just picked up a can of pumpkin, which I had intended to use in a pumpkin shake (I’ll probably be posting about that very soon), which would make for great cupcakes. I had also recently made a trip to Costco, where I nabbed a rather large bag of pecan halves, so I’ve got everything I need to make a delicious cupcake. Plus, there’s a little bonus if you want something extra in the form of white chocolate chips.

Before I get into the recipe I would like to cover one educational thing because I was asked this over the weekend by the cupcake hungry coworker, but on Saturday. The topic is pumpkin, she asked me what the difference was between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling is already spiced and is almost ready to go for a pie, whereas pumpkin puree is nothing but pumpkin. The labels are a little tricky because they may both say 100% pumpkin, but if in doubt look at the ingredients and you’ll see for pumpkin puree there is just one, I’ll let you guess at what that lone ingredient may be. With pumpkin pie filling you’ll see a longer list of ingredients. Now you know.

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Now on to the thing you care about a recipe for delicious pumpkin cupcakes with pecans and/or white chocolate chips with brown butter icing. The two recipes were adapted/lifted from Brown Eyed Baker (the cupcakes) and Martha Stewart (the icing). Here’s what you need:

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pecans

Makes approximately 32 cupcakes

  • 4 cups of cake flour sifted
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups of canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups of pecan pieces
  • 1 cup of white chocolate chips or regular chocolate chips (optional)

**Note that in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer everything goes nearly to the top of the beater blade. Not sure if mine is 4.5 quarts or 5 quarts, but be wary if using something smaller if something smaller exists.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in muffin tins.

2. Sift your flour and add baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

3. Cream together brown sugar and butter until fluffy.

4. Add eggs, one at a time and beat thoroughly into mixture. IMG_0273

5. Add flour in three parts, alternating with 1/2 of buttermilk. Mix well.

6. Add pumpkin. Mix well. IMG_0274

7. Add pecans and/or chocolate/white chocolate chips. Mix.

What I did was make half of my batter with only pecans and with the remaining batter I added the chocolate chips, both chocolate and white chocolate.

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8. Fill liners about 3/4 to the top. I used my Oxo Medium sized cookie scoop; two scoops was perfect and made for some very uniform cupcakes.

9. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 350 degrees, rotating two tins midway through baking.

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Get up close and personal with this pumpkin and pecan cupcake.

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Want to top it with something a little different? How about this very simple brown butter icing?:

Brown Butter Icing

  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk

1. Grab a small saucepan and toss in your butter. Heat on medium high heat until you get a nutty brown color. The whole process takes about ten minutes or so. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.

2. Add sugar, vanilla and one tablespoon of milk, stir until smooth. If your icing is too think add in remainder of milk a little bit at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency. Allow five minutes to cool

I think mine was a little too runny, but I spooned it over my cupcakes anyway. Or at least over a good portion of them. The recipe may not cover all 32 of your cupcakes, but there’s always a few people who prefer them un-iced, de-iced, without icing.

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I picked this recipe mainly because of the sheer amount of cupcakes it yielded. Many of the other recipes would only net me a dozen cupcakes, which wasn’t going to cut it for me. I’ve got to share these with friends and family. For the record, they were well received. I hope you dig these. Let me know if you do. I like the comments, they’re so few and far between.

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Okay, normally I write something about what I learned, but I don’t really have much to share this time. They’re cupcakes and they came out well, with the exception of the brown butter icing, which wasn’t bad, just a little runnier than I hoped. I probably could have fixed it with more powdered sugar, but there’s enough sugar in these bad boys, right? Do we really need more? I says no. Anyway, let me know what you think of these and how you might improve on them or make them differently. Until next time.

–B.

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One thought on “Pumpkin and Pecan Cupcakes With Brown Butter Icing

  1. Pingback: Pumpkin Banana Smoothie | Steal The Baking

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