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I love the pumpkin spice season – the delicious spicy, sweet flavour that seems to infuse everything – but it only lasts a short time. This year I decided to maximize the season and make these little beauties.

The cake is extremely moist and flavourful and the cream cheese icing makes these taste so decadent without being overly sweet. It’s a perfect balance.

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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Makes 20-24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
15 ounces canned pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 large eggs

For the icing:

12 ounces cream cheese
7 ½ tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract**
5 cups icing sugar

Cinnamon sugar to garnish

**I used an extract with vanilla beans in it. I wanted the bean flecks to show through in the icing and add additional depth of flavour.


Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the pumpkin, both sugars and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixture on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.

Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full. Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely.

To make the icing, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. I used a round icing tip to pipe the icing on the cupcake and then a palette knife to smooth the tops.

Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

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Source: Slightly adapted from Annies Eats (from Williams Sonoma, frosting adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride)

Enjoy!

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