Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting - made October 22, 2011 from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
I love this cookbook. Half of it is very "Martha", as in filled with fancy things to do with cupcakes that no normal, decorating-impaired person like myself, can actually do. And some are decorated so fancy that most people would probably rather admire them than eat them. But the recipes are usually very reliably good and there are some simple, straightforward ones sprinkled in with the fancy. I usually stick to those.
I didn't start liking pumpkin until recently and although I still don't like pumpkin pie (it's a texture thing), I do enjoy other pumpkin baked goods, namely anything cakey. Or cupcakey. Plus I've already established I love the flavor of browned butter. Add a cinnamon cream cheese frosting and this shrieks "it's fall" to me. The original recipe calls for glazing it with a brown butter icing but I was in the mood for something more "frosting" than "icing" so I went with my own version of a cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
These came out slightly more dense than a typical cupcake, probably because not a lot of air gets beaten into the batter. The browned butter flavor wasn't very pronounced and would probably have been brought out more with the brown butter icing. The pumpkin flavor tended to dominate. But overall, I liked this cupcake. It was moist and tasted like a good little pumpkin cake. More importantly, it wasn't overly spiced like some pumpkin baked goods tend to be. For the cinnamon cream cheese frosting, I used 4 tablespoons of butter, 8 tablespoons of cream cheese, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and enough powdered sugar to make it the consistency I wanted. I never measure but it was probably in the neighborhood of 2 1/2 to 3 cups.
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup fresh sage leaves, cut into chiffonade (optional - I left it out)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Brush standard muffin tins with butter; dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the sage, if desired, and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown. Skim foam from the top, and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to stop the cooking, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, both sugars, eggs, and brown-butter mixture. Add flour mixture, and whisk until just combined.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups; filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
4. To finish, dip top of each cupcake in icing, then turn over quickly and let set. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are glazed; keep at room temperature until ready to serve.