Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes and November’s Carroll Cafe Menu

Carroll Cafe will be this Friday, November 8th.  There will be a fantastic line-up of treats once again!  The menu includes:

Fresh Apple Bundt Cake
King Arthur Brownies
Cranberry Upside Down Pumpkin Cake
Monster Cookies (gluten-free)
Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Hope to see you there!

And just in time for the next Carroll Cafe, here’s the last recipe from last month’s concert.

These cupcakes are pretty fantastic.  They’re definitely decadent and have the best of both worlds:  dense, custard-y pumpkin pie flavor, and sweet, rich yet slightly tangy, cream cheese frosting.  There’s just the perfect hint of cinnamon.  You can’t go wrong with these, they’re the perfect fall treat, and would also be a huge hit at any Thanksgiving if you’re looking for something a little different than pie.

Pumpkin Pie CupcakesPumpkin Pie Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (A Seat at the Table)

Makes 12 cupcakes

Adapted from Pioneer Woman

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter, frozen and grated
  • 2 heaping cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Grease 1 muffin tin and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.  Cut in (or grate frozen) butter into dry ingredients until fully incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture and fold gently until just incorporated.

Scoop into muffin tins, filling almost to the top (they don’t rise very much).  Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool 15 minutes before removing from the pan.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 pkgs (16oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the butter.  Add powdered sugar and cinnamon, then add in the vanilla extract.

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Black and White Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes are delicious.  The chocolate cake is super moist and so tender.  It has a rich, dark chocolate flavor that really shines.  It’s almost brownie-like.  Topped with a rich white chocolate frosting these are decadent and sure to be a new classic.  I’m not usually a fan of white chocolate, but the combination of white chocolate and cream cheese works wonderfully.  Make sure you use white chocolate bars as chips are coated with something to keep them in their chip shape and won’t melt as smoothly.  The cake batter is very runny, don’t be surprised when you’re mostly pouring it into the cupcake liners, but it just means it’s going to be the most amazingly moist cake you’ve ever had.

Black and White CupcakesBlack and White Chocolate Cupcakes (A Seat at the Table)

Makes about 20 cupcakes

Adapted from Orangette and Just a Pinch

  • 2 oz good quality semisweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300°F.  Line your muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.

Finely chop chocolate and combine with hot coffee, let stand for a few minutes, then whisk together until chocolate has fully dissolved.

In a large bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, beat eggs on high until slightly thickened and lemon-colored.  Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla and melted-chocolate mixture, beating until well mixed.  Slowly add dry ingredients, beating on low until just combined.  Carefully pour batter into prepared muffin tins.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow cakes to cool completely in the tins on wire racks.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 pkgs (12 oz) cream cheese frosting, room temperature
  • 9 oz white chocolate squares (not chips!), chopped and melted
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Pour in cooled chocolate and beat well. Add butter, then milk and sugar, beating after each addition.  Taste and adjust sugar as needed.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes are so pretty.  These cupcakes are vibrant and fluffy and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting.  These colorful cupcakes are great for Valentine’s day, but they’re also pretty enough to glam up any other day too.

While I am still struggling to learn how to pipe frosting properly, if you don’t have piping bags or all those fancy things (which really are just too complicated for me), I recommend using a handy ziploc bag and just snipping the corner and piping your frosting on with that.  Easy, no mess to clean up, and in my attempts at piping it turns out just as nice…

On the other hand, if you have any tips for learning how to pipe frosting, I’m all ears!

Red Velvet CupcakesRed Velvet Cupcakes

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes 20 cupcakes or 2 9-inch cakes

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 Tbsp (2oz) red food coloring
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease muffin tins or cake pans well with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, mix cocoa, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste.  Add to the batter and mix thoroughly.

Slowly add half of the buttermilk, then half of the flour and salt, mixing well on low (or by hand) after each addition, then repeat with remaining buttermilk and flour.

Add baking soda and white vinegar and beat until well combined.

Spoon batter into prepared baking tins.  Reduce heat and bake at 325° for 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then place one a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

My Favorite Cream Cheese FrostingRed Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

makes enough to frost 20 cupcakes

  • 2 pkgs (16oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the butter.  Add powdered sugar and then add in the vanilla extract.

Carrot Cake

This is a great recipe.  It comes from another woman from my church (don’t church ladies just have the best recipes?).  I got a marriage proposal out of this recipe…you know, if he wasn’t twice my age and already engaged… If that doesn’t say enough about how good this recipe is, I don’t know what will.  It’s moist without those horrible surprise raisins.  It’s delicately spiced paired with my favorite cream cheese frosting.

Kate’s Carrot Cake

Makes a 9″ layer cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 cups grated carrots (about 1 lb)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease two 9″ cake pans or three 8″ cake pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until lemon colored and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Beat in oil and sugar.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, soda, salt and cinnamon.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined.  Fold in the nuts and carrots.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until cake pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Cool in pan before removing.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add butter and beat until well mixed.  Slowly beat in the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.

Pumpkin Bars

Hello September!  It now feels officially appropriate to eat pumpkin and apple flavored things.  To kick things off I made another Grandma specialty, Pumpkin Bars.  These bars are a delicious way to bring in the fall.  They’re a big crowd pleaser, so you’ll be glad to have a whole sheet pan!  If you really like cream cheese frosting you’ll want to double the frosting recipe, this makes just a thin layer over the sheet cake.

Pumpkin Bars

Serves about 30-40

  • 1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Grease a large sheet pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, sugar, and oil; mix well.  Sift together the dry ingredients and mix into the wet ingredients.  Spread batter evenly in sheet pan.  Bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely and then frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 (8oz) pkg 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and well blended.  Add vanilla, cinnamon and half of the sugar, blend well.  taste and add more sugar as desired.  Spread over cooled cake.

Blackberry Lime Cupcakes

If you happened to be at Seekers church on Sunday you got to try the Peaches and Cream Cupcakes, and these Blackberry Lime Cupcakes.

These cupcakes are the same as the Key Lime and Blueberry Swirl Cupcakes I made a few months ago.  Just swap out the blueberries for blackberries.

The frosting was slightly different to emphasize the blackberries more than the lime.  It turned out to be such a pretty color!

Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes enough to frost 60 mini cupcakes, or 24 regular cupcakes

  • 6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 12 oz. (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup blackberry syrup
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups confectioners sugar

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.  Combine the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Peaches and Cream Cupcakes

Here’s some celebratory (cup)cakes.  While there is lots to celebrate in life, right now I’m celebrating my fixed computer!  I had to send my poor laptop into the Mac doctors to be fixed.  Fortunately there’s a flat rate to send it to the warehouse for repairs and it came back with a new screen (which I knew was broken), and a new battery (which I didn’t know was leaking/swollen?!), so now it feels like a new machine!  It had been getting really hot on the bottom and the battery seemed to run out rather quickly, but I had just thought it was all the hot weather + being used for long periods of time.  But apparently I was underestimating my mac and it was in need of a new battery instead.

Other things to celebrate:  the safe arrival of a church member’s family from Uganda, seasonal fresh fruit, the Olympics, slightly cooler weather, this is my 101st post, etc.  So pick a reason and make some celebratory cake, because there is always a reason to be thankful and eat cake!

These cupcakes were a bit of a challenge to get the right peach flavor, but it turns out that they just need a day to meld and fully develop their fruity flavor.  You’ll need freeze dried peaches for this which can be found at Target (the Archer Farms brand).  Freeze dried peaches impart a lot of peach flavor without watering down the batter or frosting with a lot of fresh peach juice.  You’ll need two 1.75oz packages, one for the cupcakes and one for the frosting.

Peaches and Cream Cupcakes

Makes about 60 mini-cupcakes, or 24 regular size.

Adapted from Week Of Menus

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1.75 oz (49 grams) freeze dried peaches, pulverized in a mini-food processor
  • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger (optional)
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 large peach, pureed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line muffin tins with liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and ginger.  Set aside.

In a measuring cup, mix together the buttermilk, pureed peach, and vanilla extract.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Beat in the now powdered freeze dried peaches.

Mix the flour into the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk mixture.  Make sure to end with the flour and be careful not to overmix (I recommend switching to a spatula for the last combination).

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes for mini-cupcakes, or 21-24 minutes for regular-cupcakes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow cupcakes to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan, then place on a cooling rack until completely cooled and ready to frost.

Peaches and Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes enough to frost 60 mini-cupcakes or 24 regular cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 12 oz (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, room temperature (I used 1/3 less fat)
  • 1.75 oz freeze dried peaches, pulverized in a mini-food processor
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 large peach, finely minced or pureed
  • 2 1/2 -3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp powdered ginger

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until well blended and fluffy.  Add remaining ingredients and blend well.  Taste as you go and adjust the amount of sugar to your desired sweetness.