Fall is rapidly approaching in this part of the world, and the smell of fresh fruits like Pumpkin, Zucchini, Persimmons, and Squash has started to float in the air. As red and orange hues dot the trees while the greens fade, cooking takes a new direction in the kitchen. its time to turn on the ovens and bake with apples, pumpkins and persimmons to welcome Autumn. And what better way to begin than by baking a simple but healthy Pumpkin Bread!
For those who don’t know it yet, Pumpkin has tonnes of health benefits. It has a good amount of healthy anti-oxidants, as well as cancer-preventing properties. Pumpkin seeds are considered one of nature’s almost perfect foods. So this recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes, courtesy of Dhivya via Chef in Food, is a perfect way to get a healthy start to your day. The plethora of spices you’ll find in the recipe gels well with the pumpkin puree and if i were you, I would throw in some chopped pecans or walnuts in as well. Packed with nutrition, these cupcakes are great by themselves. But to serve them at parties, decorate them with some orange-flavored Cream Cheese Frosting and you have a seasonal winner at the dinner table!
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 18 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pans
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
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Store-bought cream cheese frosting (about 3 cups)
1 tsp fresh orange zest
1 tbsp orange juice (undiluted)
Preheat Oven 350F (175 C). In a bowl, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper in another bowl. Add the egg whites to the butter and sugar mixture and stir to combine.
Now alternate adding the flour and buttermilk mixtures, stirring in between and finishing with the pumpkin puree. Stir it all together until smooth.
Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners, then Scoop the batter among the cupcake liners filling them about 3/4 full. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles.
Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely, before proceeding with the frosting.
For the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, combine orange zest and orange juice with the store-bought cream cheese frosting. Whip it all together until nice and fluffy, about 30 seconds or so. Use a star nozzle on a piping bag and fill the cupcakes with the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.
These cupcakes are really delicious as the Orange frosting pairs well with the pumpkin, giving them a fresh fruity flavor with a dense but moist texture. Without the frosting, you can store the cupcakes for a week when refrigerated. For a low-calorie version, skip the frosting and enjoy your cakes with a dollop of butter or your favorite jam on the top.