I don’t go full tilt on holiday themed food. Though I do love Halloween and have made spooky treats like jello eyeballs I feel there is enough sugar laced through the month that when I want to bake something it has to have some panache. I love a good spice cake at this time of year and this one incorporates pumpkin making it all the better.
In our neighborhood we have some civilized neighbors who honor the ‘Trick or Drink’ protocol for adults chaperoning candy-seeking ghouls. Actually no ‘trick’ is required, you merely show up on their doorstep and they are armed with Dixie cups of ‘the cure for what ails ya’. Usually something liqueur-y that lightens your step afterward, often trudging through snow drifts. In honor of this evolved custom I glazed part of these cupcakes with a Bourbon Orange Glaze for adults and Cream Cheese frosting for teetotalers and tots. Both are yummy.
I see Halloween as a rustic holiday leaving me no trepidation about not being a neat-nick ‘froster’. I’ve dabbled in the occasional attempts at perfection but it’s simply not me. I did try to go fancy on the cream cheese frosting but certainly I’m not expecting a call from Top Chef: Just Desserts to harvest my undiscovered talents on TV. Another reason to love a good glaze; drip it on when wet, and when it dries do it again. I personally like the drips down the sides; a ‘real people’ cupcake.
Occasionally I’ve endeavored a project that qualifies as ‘full frontal Martha’. The backdrop for these cupcake photos is a doll house I purchased from eBay years ago and converted into a haunted house for a Halloween decoration. Taunt me if you will.
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PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
- 3 ½ cups All purpose flour regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend
- 2 ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon mace
- 14 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1 2/3 cups pumpkin puree
Bourbon Orange Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 2 tablespoons quality pulp free orange juice
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
- Grease and flour cupcake tins or place cupcake liners in pan(s). Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, (xanthan gum if making gluten free), salt, spices. Stir to mix fully.
- With an electric mixer beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add brown sugars and granulated sugar; beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Scrape sides when needed. Add eggs one at a time and beat to incorporate before adding another egg.
- Add 1/4 of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat on low speed to incorporate. Add 1/3 cup of the milk, beat to incorporate. Repeat twice more, ending with the flour. Do not over beat.
- Add the pumpkin puree and beat until incorporated.
- Spoon batter into cupcake tins; fill 2/3’s full. Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
- When done, remove from oven, let cool in pan 15 minutes and remove to baking rack to complete cooling. NOTE: If using glaze it works best on warm cupcakes (see below for more details).
Bourbon Orange Glaze
- In a mixing bowl hand whisk all ingredients together to combine.To glaze cupcakes: To best glaze do so when cupcakes are still warm (not hot out of the oven). Using a spoon, spread the glaze across the top of the cupcake. Allow it to harden. Glaze a second time if you like!
the Junkie book says
lovely lil post again! you seem to be in rich spirit nowadays…God bless.
Bourbon orange glaze?! WOW that sounds amazing!
These look truly delicious and I love your Trick or Drink neighborhood. I need that tradition in mine.
Susan Lindquist says
Wow! I love a spice cake, but add the pumpkin and it goes right over the top … but wait! Bourbon orange glaze? Such and adult Halloween treat!
I love these… I saw them on your facebook page! I'm all about the civilized Trick or Treating. Heck, I don't like to go to a movie theater anymore unless they serve me a glass of wine there too. Love your crafty side too with haunted house!!
david jacoby says
“Full frontal Martha” – classic! “Trick or Drink” – I want!!
In Katrina's Kitchen says
Okay Trick or Drink- hilarious! And those cupcakes look mouth-watering. Oh and I love your Martha-ized “doll house!” ♥- K
I love the “trick or drink” concept – lol.. Those cupcakes look delicious. I see you've adapted the recipe Williams Sonoma – I've never made one of their recipes that I didn't like. These are on my to do list! Love your spook house too!
These are fabulous! Before I developed an allergy to cinnamon, I used to make a HUGE pot of mulled cider for the parents/adults out on Halloween. Now a large group of us go out for dinner since our neighborhood is older. It's funny how traditions mean so much!
The spice cupcakes look AMAZING! I bet your neighborhood is SO much fun on the 31st.
Toni-I love the yummy cupcakes, and both, the frosting, and the glaze…I have no trouble choosing, I will just take both. The Halloween doll house is adorable, and unique!
I use the little drops of color, from McCormick, just barely used a couple drops, and only use it around holiday time.
Haven't checked about the “safety” issue of it, since McCormick has be around for such a long time…hopefully I'm not causing any health harm using 2 or 3 drops of it!
Your photos are superb…as always:DDD