Dessert: Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes

The signal that summer is over is different for everyone. Some hold onto summer as long as they can. For others fall has arrived when Starbucks brings back certain drinks. But for me, fall has arrived when I use my first can of pumpkin. Usually, the pumpkin is used to make a loaf of pumpkin bread, but this year, I decided to change it up a bit. Add that to the fact that I’m loving the idea of surprise cupcakes and you have cream cheese filled pumpkin cupcakes. Nothing says fall more than these.

Pumpkin Bread (adapted from my good friend Donnia Howell)

Ingredients (This recipe makes 12 large cupcakes and a bundt cake or 2 full size loaves)

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves (no, they are not in the picture, so stop looking)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of canola oil
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • If making cupcakes, put liners in pan. If making pumpkin bread, grease and flour your loaf pan.*
  • Combine all of the dry ingredients (from flour through cinnamon) making sure to sift everything as it goes into the bowl.
  • Wisk all the dry ingredients together.
  • Now, I normally try to use as few bowls as I can, but this batter can get very heavy, so in a separate bowl, combine all of your wet ingredients (eggs, oil, and pumpkin).
  •  Next, about a cup at a time, mixing well in between each addition, add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until completely combined.
  • If making regular cupcakes or pumpkin bread, fill pans and bake until the toothpick comes out clean. It usually takes about 35 minutes for cupcakes, 40 minutes for the bundt cake, and 50-60 minutes for loaves, but you should adjust accordingly and keep your eye on your treats.
  • If making layered cupcakes, put the pumpkin batter to the side and mix up the cream cheese frosting (see below).
  • Next, fill the cupcake liner 1/4 of the way with pumpkin batter. Here, I used a 1/8 measuring cup to control the amount of batter.
  • Next, fill the liner 1/4 of the way with cream cheese. Here, I put the cream cheese in a gallon sized freezer bag with a small corner cut off, once again, for control.
  • Finally, fill the liner 1/4 of the way with pumpkin batter. Unlike most cupcakes, these did not expand too much. As you can see, I had some liners that were almost completely full (as opposed to only 3/4 of the way full) and although they expanded, they did not overflow.

  • Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

*Tip: When baking darker baked goods, like this pumpkin bread, flour your pan with cocoa powder rather than white flour.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients (This provided enough cream cheese frosting to make 12 filled cupcakes, if you want to frost the cupcakes as well, double the recipe.)

  • 1 block of 1/3 fat (neufchatel) cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 egg whites (6 Tablespoons if using liquid egg whites)
  • 3 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth.

After the cupcakes were done and cooled, I put a dollop of cream cheese frosting on the cupcake, smoothed it with a spoon, and topped it with some pumpkin pie spice. The topped cupcake was good, but the topping was not necessary because the cupcakes are delicious on their own.

And because I know you want to see, here is a shot to show all of the deliciousness inside.

Final Verdict: Delicious (and it’s now fall)

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