Is there anything better than a pumpkin pie on the Thanksgiving dessert table? Maybe not but these Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes sure do give pie a run for it’s money! Did you read that right? Yep, I said – Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes! With cream cheese frosting? Yes, please!
Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes Recipe
1 3/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]Pie Crust Cutouts:
Half a rolled pie crust (store-bought or homemade)
2 tablespoons milk, for brushing
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]Filling/Topping:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 cups heavy cream[/ezcol_1third_end]
Special equipment: your favorite small holiday cookie cutter, a pastry bag fitted with a round pastry tip
For the cupcakes: Position an oven rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, and coat the liners and the top of the tin with cooking spray.
Whisk the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, butter, eggs, milk and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture, and gently fold until just incorporated (it’s OK if there are some lumps).
Bake until the tops spring back when pressed, 24 to 28 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through. Let the muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. (The cupcakes can be made up to 2 days before and refrigerated in an airtight container.)
For the pie crust cutouts: While the muffins are cooling, cut out 12 shapes from the pie crust, and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush each with milk, and sprinkle generously with granulated sugar. Bake until deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Let cool completely.
For the filling/topping: Beat the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar together in a medium bowl until smooth. Add 1 cup of the cream, and beat until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1 cup cream, and beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pastry bag.
To fill and top the cupcakes: Use a teaspoon or a melon baller to take a small scoop out of the top center of each cupcake (save these cupcake pieces). Squeeze some of the filling/topping into each hole, and top with one of the cupcake pieces. Pipe a swirl of the filling/topping on top of each cupcake. (The cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 2 hours at this point if you prefer them chilled.) Gently push a pie crust cutout into the frosting of each cupcake, and serve.
Low Carb Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes?
Okay, okay. I know what you’re thinking! You’ve seen my Instagram posts for the last year and a half and you know I’ve cut the carbs and lost almost 160 pounds in that time. Am I going to “cheat” on Thanksgiving? Nope, no way, no how! I will delightfully bake up regular desserts like these fantastic Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes for my family, but I also want a special treat consistent with my way of eating. The following is solely my advice based on my low carb baking experience, and is not from Food Network – so if it fails miserably, I’m super sorry (it really shouldn’t though!). So, if you’re going low carb or looking to at least cut back, swap the sugar for your favorite sweetener. I’m not debating the pros and cons of sweeteners here, but Splenda or Swerve are both great options for the cupcakes and I’d use powdered Swerve for the frosting. Those choices are yours.
Now, what about the flour in the recipe? This will change the consistency slightly but hey, it’s not a perfect world and you want cupcakes without sugar and flour, right?! Right. So, we make do – and usually it’s as close to the original as possible, and almost always tastes fantastic. So, in the recipe above, you’ll want to completely omit the pie crust cutouts. Not as pretty maybe, but it will save you some carbs and a lot of extra steps coming up with a good pie crust replacement (side note – if you have one, please let me know!). You’ll use all of the same ingredients otherwise, except for the cake flour. Here’s where you will make your next swap – instead of 1 3/4 cups cake flour, you can substitute 1 3/4 cups of almond flour which will make your cupckes a little dense, or head over to Splendid Low-Carbing With Jennifer and grab her recipe for Gluten Free Bake Mix and once you have it mixed up, sub it in for the flour.
Okay, back to Food Network’s yummy sweet Thanksgiving cupcake goodness:
Sweet Potato Marshmallow Cupcakes
Can’t get enough of the Thanksgiving Cupcakes? I know, silly question! Head on over to Food Network to get the recipe for the Sweet Potato Marshmallow Cupcakes pictured below. You won’t regret it!
Holiday Baking Championship (FOOD NETWORK)
- Premiering Sunday, November 15th at 9pm – “Stuffing Is the Best Part” – THANKSGIVING EPISODE!
The eight remaining bakers begin by making their best holiday whoopie pies that evoke a randomly-assigned theme of turkey, pumpkin, Pilgrims or fall foliage. Then, they must create stuffed holiday cakes that reveal a surprise center when sliced open.
- Premiering Sunday, November 22nd at 9pm – “Thanksgiving’s Just Around the Corner” – THANKSGIVING EPISODE!
The seven remaining bakers get creative with Thanksgiving-inspired desserts, and in the first round, their sweets feature canned cranberry sauce. Then, in the main heat, the bakers must invent a dessert highlighting their assigned harvest ingredient: sweet potato, pumpkin, apple, pear, pomegranate, carrot or lemon.