Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

As my secretary burst into my shared office demanding, "Did one of you guys make the cupcakes?" I knew my cover had been blown.  Obviously everyone reading this blog knows how much I love cooking and baking, but as you can imagine, I don't exactly hand out this url to my coworkers.  I will chat about my love for food and maybe even cooking, but not too much.  I certainly don't tell people on a Tuesday night that I'm going to go home to bake some pumpkin cupcakes.

Maybe I'm overly paranoid or something from my days at a New York law firm, but bringing in baked goods was certainly something no partner would do and not really something an associate would do either.  Sure, in my office in California we do get homemade baked goods left on the counter sometimes, but so far they have all been from an associate's wife.

So on a couple of occasions when I've baked something with too many extras for even John to bring to work, I will secretly sneak my baked goods into the kitchen, place them on a paper plate, and then dash back to my desk with my Snapware.  Apparently that trick isn't going to work anymore, as the whole office found out I was the provider of the pumpkin cupcakes.

After my secretary burst in to find out if me or my officemate made the cupcakes, she gushed about how great they were and demanded I make them every day until Halloween.  I laughed and said I would do my best.  Then somehow everyone else that had a cupcake found out I was the secret mid-week baker and kept coming by to thank me as well.  That was nice of course, but I am still crossing my fingers that my boss didn't catch wind of my baking.  I don't want him thinking "Is that why she ducked out of work at 5:30 yesterday?"

I have absolutely no problem being the baker wife providing cupcakes for John to bring to work.  I've been doing that for awhile now, and everyone there is fully versed in my baking repertoire.  John emailed me the "early reports" on how the cupcakes were being received at his job as of 9:48 AM.  They were:

1.  "Do you contribute anything to your marriage, or is it all just your wife?"
2.  "See, this is a good reason to go to law school.  If you hadn't gone to law school, you never would have met your wife, and I wouldn't be eating this delicious cupcake right now."
3.  "Tell your wife she is awesome."

Yes folks, these cupcakes are that good.  I promise they will bring rave reviews from your family and any coworkers you choose to share your baking habits with.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


Makes 18 cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with muffin cups.  Using a stand mixer, beat softened butter with the brown and granulated sugars until fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, scraping down the sides in between eggs.  Mix 1/2 cup buttermilk with 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures to the butter and egg mixture. Make sure to start and end with the flour mixture.  Beat in 1 1/4 cups pumpkin until smooth.  Scoop the batter into the muffin liners until each is three-quarters full.  Rap the pans on the counter to pop any air bubbles.  Bake until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean, 20-25 minutes.  Cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Icing:

1 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat softened cream cheese, softened butter, and confectioners' sugar together until fluffy.  This will take several minutes.  Taste to see if more sugar is needed . Ice cupcakes only when they are complete cool.


  1. I brought homemade baked goods in to work all the time. Maybe that's why I was laid off....

    Those cupcakes look delicious!

  2. they seem to be like pumpkin squares, which are AMAZING. do u find that to be true? they look delish.


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