Meals 24 + pumpkin cupcakes

Tonight marked the finale of cupcake week: I baked pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting from scratch (kudos to Martha Stewart for the recipes, and Marshall for helping me stir the batter and frosting), with handmade cupcake liners.

Marshall eats pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting

Marshall, just before frosting the cupcake. The photos taken after this point
were too inappropriate to post

Scroll down to see the cupcakes in all their frosted, pumpkiny glory, and the recipe. But as always, you’ll have to scroll through my meals first.

breakfast with English muffin, Smart Balance, Activia yogurt, and grapes

Breakfast: Whole wheat English muffin, Smart Balance buttery spread,
mixed berry Activia yogurt, green grapes

Cocina Latina in CL3 at Google Purple potato wedge, chicken and apple sausage patty, tuna melt on English muffin, roasted zucchini and bell peppers with tomato, Spanish spinach empanada, cilantro rice

Lunch: Purple potato wedge, chicken and apple sausage patty, tuna melt on English muffin, roasted zucchini and bell peppers with tomato, Spanish spinach empanada, cilantro rice from Cocina Latina

dinner with chickpeas, cucumbers, jicama, artisan macaroni and cheese, mixed greens, Italian marinated flank steak

Dinner: Chickpeas, cucumbers, jicama, artisan macaroni and cheese,
mixed greens, Italian marinated flank steak

Martha Stewart's pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Dessert: Martha Stewart’s pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

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Pumpkin Cupcakes

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla, and stir to combine.

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Over the past week, I’ve discovered how important it is to store and frost cupcakes with the right timing. Some points:

1) Wait until the cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting or storing – about 1-2 hours.
2) Don’t wait any more than 2 hours before storing because the cupcakes will dry out. If not being consumed right away, store them in an airtight container as soon as they’re cool.
3) Frosting before cooling causes the frosting to melt off.
4) Storing before cooling induces condensation and soggy cupcakes.
5) For best results, cool for 1-2 hours -> store -> frost right before serving (to avoid crusty frosting)