Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

I have lots of mini pumpkins around my kitchen during the Halloween and Thanksgiving baking seasons. I always get a variety of sizes and, while I bake the larger sugar pumpkins, I generally use them as centerpieces and they show up as props in the background of lots of …

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Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

I have lots of mini pumpkins around my kitchen during the Halloween and Thanksgiving baking seasons. I always get a variety of sizes and, while I bake the larger sugar pumpkins, I generally use them as centerpieces and they show up as props in the background of lots of my seasonal pictures. These delicious Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes make a fantastic centerpiece, but they make an even better dessert because they are completely edible!

The cupcakes start out as chocolate cupcakes and turning them into pumpkins is surprisingly easy, though I should let you know in advance that you’re probably going to end up with some frosting on your fingers as you work. Decorating is slightly messy whenever you’re working on a round cake, but it is well worth a few sticky fingers!

In addition to the base chocolate cupcakes, you’re going to need a relatively big batch of buttercream frosting. The frosting not only covers the cake to give it a pumpkin shape, but a small portion of it is dyed green to pipe a vine (for a bit of color) on top of the finished pumpkins. When frosting cakes like these, it is better to have extra frosting than not enough. You can always make more if you run out, but I err on the side of caution and simply bake more cupcakes to use up leftovers.

The fun of these Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes is all in how they are put together. The lids are cut off the cupcakes and the stumps are sandwiched together with a bit of buttercream. The two-tier cakes are then shaped, with the help of a pairing knife, into a more rounded pumpkin shape by cutting off the sharp top and bottom edges. A crumb coat is applied and the cupcakes are chilled. The crumb coat will hold all the chocolate cake crumbs in place when you apply the final coat of frosting. Don’t skip the crumb coat because it makes decorating easier!

Once you apply the final coat of icing, drag the tip of a knife through the frosting to create vertical lines, giving the pumpkins a more realistic finished look. Chill again, then finish the icing by coating it with orange sanding sugar. This not only gives the pumpkins a slightly sparkly loo, but it makes them much easier to handle. Chocolate stumps are added to the top of the cakes, along with swirling green vines.

Don’t throw out your cake scraps when working on these cakes! They are used to make edible “dirt” to surround the cakes when it is time to serve them, finishing the pumpkin patch look. These pumpkins are made with chocolate cake batter, but you can actually use almost any cupcake recipe to make them. That said, chocolate cake or spice cake will give you the best look for your “dirt” crumbs.

If you do want to dress up your mini pumpkins for a spookier look, you have a couple of options. First, you could color a bit of buttercream with black icing and pipe on a jack o’ lantern face. Alternatively, you could poke mini chocolate chips into the pumpkin for an even easier face design. Finally, you could simply add on some candy eyes to give the pumpkins a little personality.

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes
1/4 cup butter
2 oz dark chocolate (chocolate chips are fine), chopped
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup hot coffee (or hot water)

Frosting

1 cup butter, room temperature
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3-4 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
orange and green food coloring
1/2 cup orange sanding sugar
6 small chunks of chocolate (for the stems)
candy eyes (optional)

Make The Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt together butter and dark chocolate until smooth. Allow mixture to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter mixture, cocoa powder, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and buttermilk until smooth and well-combined. Add in flour, baking soda and salt and whisk to incorporate. Pour in hot coffee and whisk until batter is smooth. Divide evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until the cupcakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting

In a large bowl, beat butter until soft. Add in about half of the confectioners’ sugar, along with the milk and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in additional confectioners’ sugar until frosting is thick and smooth. Set aside a small portion of the frosting to be dyed green for the vines. Use orange food coloring (approx 1/4 – 1/2 tsp gel coloring or 1/2 – 3/4 tsp liquid food coloring) to dye the rest of the icing bright orange.

Assembly

Cut the tops off of two cupcakes and remove the wrappers. Place cupcake lids in a bowl for scraps.
Add a bit of frosting to the cut top of one cupcake and invert the second onto it, making an oblong cupcake. Using a paring knife, trim the top and bottom edges to round them off. Place trimmings into the scrap bowl. Repeat with remaining cupcakes to make 6 round cakes.
Carefully frost the round cakes with orange icing to make a crumb coat. Chill for 15 minutes.
Frost the cupcakes more generously to cover the crumb coat. If necessary, stick a skewer into the cupcake to hold it still while you frost. Use the tip of a knife to make ridges in the frosting and give it a more pumpkin-like shape. Chill for 20 minutes.
Coat pumpkins with sanding sugar, gently pressing it into the frosting and smoothing out any imperfections with your fingertips (chilling the cake should make them easy to handle).
Place a small piece of chocolate in the top of each cake to act as the stem, then pipe a swirl of green vine near the top for color. Add on candy eyes, if desired.

Take all the cake scraps and crumble them into small pieces. Make a pile of cake crumbs on a serving plate (or a small pile on each serving dish, if plating individually) and place the pumpkins on top of the “dirt” crumbs to serve.

Makes 6.

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Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes
There are plenty of chocolate cupcake recipes out there to choose from, but this indulgent recipe might just be my favorite. These Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes have a deep, dark chocolate flavor and are topped with a decadent dark chocolate ganache, delivering a double hit of chocolate in every bite. They are also …

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Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes
There are plenty of chocolate cupcake recipes out there to choose from, but this indulgent recipe might just be my favorite. These Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes have a deep, dark chocolate flavor and are topped with a decadent dark chocolate ganache, delivering a double hit of chocolate in every bite. They are also filled with a vanilla bean cream cheese filling, adding just the right amount of contrast to all that chocolate.

The cupcake recipe is a classic dark chocolate cupcake, made with plenty of unsweetened cocoa powder to give it a deep and bittersweet flavor. If you’re a regular baker of chocolate cupcakes, you’ll also notice that there are equal amounts of cocoa powder and flour in this recipe. This creates a light and tender cake, rather than a dense and brownie-like one. This lighter texture is important because it lets the cake stand up to the rich filling and topping without the whole dessert seeming to heavy.

The cheesecake filling is easy to make, with just butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Vanilla bean paste is going to give your cheesecake filling a beautiful finished look, however extract can be substituted and will still provide a nice vanilla flavor. The filling isn’t overly sweet, so you should be able to taste the tang of cream cheese in every bite.

Chocolate ganache is the topping for these cupcakes. It is easy to make and produces a topping that is velvety smooth and rich. You can use chopped chocolate if you have a large block at home, but dark or semisweet chocolate chips will work just as well. Once the ganache is made, you’ll need to allow it to cool before you can pipe it onto your cupcakes. Give it a stir occasionally to check the consistency, but it should take somewhere from 30 – 45 minutes to thicken up enough to pipe.

Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes
Cupcakes

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Chocolate Ganache<e/m>
12-oz dark or semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream

Cheesecake Filling
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
pinch salt

Make the cupcakesPreheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream. Stir in the remaining flour until mixture is uniform. Divide evenly into prepared paper liners.
Bake for 19-22 minutes, or until cupcakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the ganacheIn a large bowl, combine chocolate chips and vanilla extract. In a small pot or microwave-safe measuring cup, bring heavy cream to a boil, then pour over chocolate. Allow mixture to sit for 1 minute, then slowly stir using a spatula until a smooth ganache forms. Set aside to cool for at least 30-45 minutes, until thickened enough to pipe.

Make the cheesecake filling. In a medium bowl, beat together butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Blend in confectioners’ sugar and salt until uniform. Set aside.

Assemble: Using the cone method, insert a paring knife into the top of each cupcake and remove a cone of cake to create a cavity to fill. Cut off the base of the cone and save the “lid”. Fill cupcakes with cheesecake filling and replace the “lid” of the cupcake.
Transfer cooled ganache to a piping bag and pipe a generous swirl of ganache on top of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles and serve.

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Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

From the archives Like anyone else with a pulse, I have major love-hate for the Pumpkin Spicing of everything. (And the Red Velveting of everything but I’ll whine about that in Febraury.) Some of it’s good. Some of it’s just eh. But I will not be apologizing for throwing another Pumpkin Spice [Whatever] recipe onto […]

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

From the archives
Like anyone else with a pulse, I have major love-hate for the Pumpkin Spicing of everything. (And the Red Velveting of everything but I’ll whine about that in Febraury.)

Some of it’s good. Some of it’s just eh. But I will not be apologizing for throwing another Pumpkin Spice [Whatever] recipe onto the internet because this one is awesome and deserves to be photographed and eaten for lunch and the leftovers taken to Jason’s office where they left the cake plate so clean, it left me wondering just who in my husband’s office stood there and scraped the glaze right off of it.

To that guy – or gal, I do not judge – I say thank you. And you’re welcome.

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

So let’s talk about cake. Bundt cakes. Bundt cakes that are pumpkin buttered. And pumpkin spiced.

I took a 16 oz jar of Barton Creek Crossing Pumpkin Spread (locals, you can find it at HEB – unlocals, substitute your favorite pumpkin butter or make it yourself), the trusty 1234 cake method, and a bundt pan and made lunch.

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

Half of the pumpkin butter is put into the cake batter while the other half is baked into the middle of the cake. The cake gets a flavorful and aromatic dose of spices from your favorite pumpkin compliments – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and black pepper. It’s almost a gingerbread-pumpkin spice hybrid.

The cake is topped with a maple-powdered sugar glaze that I would have rather not used but did anyway because I had no plans to eat the whole thing myself (

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

A tender, pumpkin-spiced bundt cake, with a ribbon of pumpkin butter baked into the middle.

Ingredients

  • For the cake:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks butter), softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 16 oz (~2 cups) pumpkin butter, divided (purchased or make it yourself)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • A couple of pinches of fine-ground black pepper (probably close to 1/8 tsp)
  • Baking spray
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  5. Alternate adding the dry ingredients in three batches with 1 cup of the pumpkin butter in two batches.
  6. Spray a bundt pan with baking spray and spoon half the batter into the pan.
  7. Use the large spoon to make a slight well in the batter and add then spoon the ramining pumpkin butter into the well.
  8. Cover with the remaining cake batter.
  9. Bake for ~45 minutes (a knife inserted into the cake should come out with moist crumbs attached (and maybe a little pumpkin butter) and then let cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
  10. Turn out onto a cake plate and cool completely before glazing.
  11. To make the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, maple syrup, maple extract, and vanilla, with 1 Tbsp of water. Add water by the 1 teaspoon until the glaze is smooth but thick.
  12. Spoon over the cake, using as much (or as little) as you want.
  13. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

Notes

Yields: ~12 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes