What says fall better than pumpkin? I'll admit, I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin, but this cupcake isn't too much pumpkin and the maple buttercream goes perfectly. I love pecans so what better to top it with, than one cooked in sugar?
(adapted from the joyofbaking.com)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup solid packed, canned pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray each cup with a non stick vegetable spray.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ground spices, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then with the mixer on low add the pumpkin puree and flour mixture in three additions. Begin and end with the flour mixer. (I wasn't paying attention so I added the pumpkin then the flour mixture and they turned out fine).
Fill the muffin cups evenly with the batter using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. I used a 4 tablespoon scoop. Bake in the oven and bake for about 20 - 22 minutes or until firm to the touch. I checked them at 18 and they needed at least 21 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean they are ready. Cool on a wire rack.
One recipe Epicurious vanilla buttercream
I used 3 sticks of butter (instead of 4) and 1 tsp vanilla and added 1 - 2 oz of Grade B Maple Syrup. This is to your taste.
1 large egg white
1 T water
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
Heat oven to 350 F.
Butter a rimmed baking sheet.
Beat egg white and water until frothy, add brown sugar and beat until dissolved. Mix in the pecans. Spread the pecan mixture on baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 20 - 25 minutes. Watch these closely, if your oven is running hotter reduce the temperature. These will burn. Stir a few times while baking to ensure even browning and no burning.
Once the pecans are done and crisp, cool completely. Eat for a snack or top these cupcakes with them.