Baking

Pumpkin Cupcakes

I LOVE pumpkin. Pumpkin anything. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin smoothies, you name it. So when I saw this recipe for pumpkin cupcakes I knew I had to make it for Thanksgiving. This recipe comes from the book Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans.

Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes
12 cupcakes

1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
3 large eggs
¼ cup (about 1 ½ oz) crystallized ginger cut into 1/8 to ¼ inch pieces

First I gather all my ingredients. Why do I do this? Because I want to make sure I really do have everything I need before I begin. It would be terrible to be in the middle of the recipe and realize you only have one egg left when you thought you had three because your husband decided to make an omelet yesterday after you left for work.


I could not find crystallized ginger so I decided to leave it out. The rest of the ingredients are common and I usually have them all on hand.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. I also spray my liners with non-stick spray.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger into a medium bowl and set aside. I use a sieve-strainer type thing to sift. You can also use an actual sifter (pictured below next to my bowl) but personally I hate those things so I never use it.


Next beat the melted butter, sugar and pumpkin together in a large bowl on low-medium speed until smooth. Mix in the eggs and crystallized ginger (if you were able to find it at the store).


On low speed, mix in the flour mixture until it is incorporated. The batter will be thick. In my opinion if you are not using a stand mixer I would mix the flour in by hand. You do not want to over mix the batter and I think it’s easy to do so with a hand held mixer. Over-mixing the batter will develop the gluten in the flour too much, causing the batter to become stringy and tough. This does not result in a tasty cupcake.


Fill each muffin cup with a generous ¼ cup batter. You do not have to measure this out exactly. I use a two spoon method when dipping out batter for muffins or cupcakes. Get out two of your larger spoons. Use one to scoop batter out of the bowl and make like you are going to dump it into the muffin cup. Use the other spoon to scrap the batter off the first spoon and into the muffin cup. Repeat. Just distribute the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.


Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. That is what the recipe says. I ALWAYS set my timer for 2-5 minutes less than the lowest time called for in the recipe so I can check on my cupcakes or whatever I’m baking and monitor the last few minutes. Usually my baked good is done early. I’m super paranoid about burning stuff and this keeps that from happening.


Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan. Then pop them out of the pan and onto a wire rack or paper towel and allow them to cool completely before frosting.

The best frosting for pumpkin cupcakes is cream cheese frosting! That will be a separate post this week and let me tell you – it was unbelievable.

So is it worth it? Um YES! These cupcakes turned out so good. They received rave reviews from my family on Thanksgiving. And they are made totally from scratch! I have not had a ton of luck making cupcakes completely from scratch so I was really pumped when these turned out so good. I usually use a mix and add a couple special ingredients.

If you are a fan of cupcakes, this cookbook has a ton of really great-looking recipes in it. I can’t wait to try more of them!

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3 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cupcakes

  1. Hello! I'm looking forward to making your pumpkin cupcakes…with cream cheese frosting, of course! Your blog is the same color as mine and I'm really excited to be finding so many "foodies" in the blogging world! Have you seen Julie & Julia yet? It's a must see…I've been three times! I can't seem to log in right now, but you can find me at blogspot…just look for "Life in 360 degrees."March

  2. I’m so excited to try this recipe! You mentioned not being able to find crystallized ginger. Try your local health food store!

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