It's True. These cupcakes actually taste like a slice of pumpkin pie. They also make a relatively healthy dessert for the fall holidays. They’re low in fat and packed with nutritious, fiber-rich pumpkin. My version of the recipe is also dairy free, and I'm happy to share the details. But first...
Because we're celebrating our love of cats this week on the blog, I'm dedicating this post to my hero cat Punkin. His rescue story is one my husband and I will never forget...
Brave Little Kitten
One stormy October night, three kittens huddled together in a flimsy cardboard box. Their mother had been gone far too long and they were hungry, cold, and scared.
The oldest of the three brothers, a little pumpkin-colored tabby, took it upon himself to leave their hiding place, where their mother had stashed them. He squeezed through the edge of a fence and onto our porch.
When we heard Punkin's desperate mewing for his missing mother and saw his bedraggled little form shivering on our back yard patio, we hurried outside. But Punkin didn't know us, and he disappeared through the fence, racing back to his brothers.
Happily, Punkin and his two brothers (Nougat and Spunky) were saved, and when their mother finally returned, we were able to reunite her with her kittens.
|Punkin (as a brave little kitten)|
and his mother, Chicklet.
|Punkin and his mom today, enjoying some|
time together on our small sun porch.
No surprise, Punkin still acts like the "big brother" cat, looking out for his mom and littermates as well as our other New York rescue cats, who are now part of his colony.
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A few months ago, Nancy e-mailed me a Pinterest photo of Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes making the rounds on the Net. (I'm not sure of the original source, but it's been duplicated many times.) Nancy sighed, wishing she could bake and eat them, but the recipe used evaporated milk, and Nancy is allergic to dairy (specifically casein). Most recipes for this style of cupcake use either evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk.
Inspired by Nancy's predicament, I experimented with the recipe she sent me, coming up with a diary-free version. I think I nailed it. Marc flipped for these (and so did I). Frankly, it was hard to stop eating them!
This recipe will give you a cupcake with good structure, so it will look pretty when served on a dessert tray. Yet when you bite into it, you'll be tasting pumpkin-and-brown-sugar goodness with a texture that will make you think you're eating a slice of pumpkin pie.
If you're not allergic to dairy, try topping it with my Pumpkin Spiced Whipped Cream. If you are, then you must try Nancy's favorite dairy-free topping--Whipped Coconut Milk. Either way, Marc and I certainly hope you will eat with pumpkin spice joy!
|Click here for the recipe.|
To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.
Makes 11 Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup dark (or light) brown sugar, packed*
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond milk (or another nut milk)*
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
(*Notes: Almond milk will keep this recipe dairy free. It also brings nice flavor to the cupcakes. If you don't wish to create a diary-free recipe, simply substitute cow's milk in an equal amount. On the brown sugar, I prefer dark brown for the complexity of flavor. If you'd like a lighter-colored cupcake, then use light brown sugar.)
To fill the cupcake pans, you will be pouring the batter, which is why I suggest transferring the batter to a container with a spout. (I like to use a large, glass measuring cup.)
Step 2 - Bake: Line 11 of the cups in your pan(s) with good-quality paper liners and coat the papers very generously with non-stick spray. You must do this to keep the baked cupcakes from sticking to the papers (or you can use silicone molds).
Divide the batter evenly among 11 cups in your pans. Batter should nearly fill each cup. One cup will not be used. Fill that cup halfway with water to prevent scorching in the oven.
Bake at 350° F for about 30 minutes. Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes are done when the batter is set. The baked top will feel slightly spongy yet firm (not liquid) when lightly touched.
Step 3 - Chill: Remove the pan from the oven, allow it to cool, and then chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or two. If you’re in a hurry, let the pan cool down enough to be handled (about 10 to 15 minutes) and pop it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. At that point, they should be chilled enough to serve topped with my Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream (if you're able to eat dairy) or (for a dairy-free option) Whipped Coconut Cream. See both recipe below...
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recipe PDF, click here.
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post, click here.
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recipe in a keeper
Cleo's Pumpkin Spiced Whipped Cream
*Sugar note: You can substitute powdered sugar for the granulated white sugar; simply increase the amount to 4 tablespoons.
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this recipe in PDF form, and...