Please excuse me for being a bit late to the party, but I truly do hope you’ve got room for just one more pumpkin recipe in your repertoire this season. Though I have heard of the phenomenon they call “pumpkin overload,” I simply refuse to believe that it’s possible. These cupcakes are the PERFECT addition to your Thanksgiving table (not to mention your everyday life). They are a marriage of two traditional desserts: the ever present pumpkin pie, and the traditional vanilla cupcake. Of course. these are just fine on their own, but they become simply divine when put together.
Let’s not forget about perhaps my favorite part, though: the frosting. Sweet and sticky, spiked with pure vanilla extract, and just a hint of salt to balance it all out, this salted date caramel frosting will quickly become a staple. Don’t worry: the recipe makes extra (that is, if you aren’t taking a spoonful for yourself after frosting each cupcake). Chopped pecans round these cupcakes out with the perfect bit of nutty crunch.
While I did develop the recipe, I cannot take full credit for these Pumpkin Pie Filled Cupcakes. I work with a wonderful bunch of people who are always open to being my recipe testers, and frequently, I ask for requests and suggestions. It’s hard to run out of inspiration when you have 15 people with food on their minds to direct you. So really, you have Brian to thank for these cupcakes. He did all the thinking, I just did the physical labor.
- Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- Vanilla Spice Cupcakes
- 1 and 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry or all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoons salt.
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or other neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Date Caramel
- 1 cup packed pitted dates, soaked in hot water for at least an hour
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- date soaking water, as needed
- 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients for pumpkin pie filling and process until homogenous. Set aside while you prepare the cupcake batter.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, coconut oil, ground flaxseed, and vanilla extract. Pour into dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until no large lumps remind. Do not overmix.
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons of batter into each cup, making sure the bottom is completely covered. Then, spoon about a tablespoon of pumpkin pie filling into the center of each, followed by another 2 tablespoons of batter.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool in tins for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While cupcakes are cooling, make the caramel frosting.
- Drain the dates, reserving the soaking water.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine dates, coconut oil, vanilla, and sea salt, and process, adding water a tablespoons at a time, until homogenous. The frosting should be thick, like a soft, spreadable caramel.
- Once cupcakes are completely cool, spread about 2 teaspoons of frosting onto each. There will be extra frosting. Sprinkle the cupcakes with chopped pecans, if desired.
What are your favorite food marriages? Will any of them be making appearances on your Thanksgiving table?
Oh, one last thing. Remember when I said I hoped you’d have room for one more pumpkin recipe this season. Well, I really strongly urge you to make room. Cut something off the menu if necessary. Or just add this one last thing. It will be worth it, Plus, who’s ever complained about too much dessert?!