This week marks many things –
Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Leopold’s gotch-ya day, and my 27th birthday.
These recipes came out of a conversation I was having a few weeks back at my in-laws dinner table. My father-in-law (it’s almost official, right?) whipped out some pumpkin bread he had recently picked up at Wegman’s thinking “why not?” We all agreed the bread was good, but just not the same as “Beth’s Pumpkin stuff”. What was this pumpkin bread-muffin-cupcake and why had I not heard of it? More likely I had heard of them, possibly eaten them, and just forgot about them and their reputation. I made my mother-in-law promise to send me the recipe and later that night it arrived in my inbox.
There aren’t many recipes that I don’t make modifications to. I kept the cake recipe the same, even leaving in the pecans. There are two camps in the “nut” baked good battle; some like the textural contrast of the nuts and some find it offensive and disharmonious. I added the pecans because: 1) I love pecans and 2) I had them in the apartment. My mother-in-law leaves them out and they taste just as good.
In this case, I took my mother-in-law’s recommendation and switched the original recipe’s frosting out for her tried-and-true and award-winning cream cheese frosting. I added in a few tablespoons of pumpkin puree leftover from the cake into the frosting and topped these with some cranberry orange relish, which I had already added a few tablespoons of to the batter.
You might think topping a cupcake with relish is crazy, but pumpkin and cranberry are both flavors that can go savory or sweet. This relish is more like a coulis and the tartness and brightness of the topping really do a great job to keep this treat from getting too heavy. You can even argue that this has fruit and vegetables in it–with cream cheese, it’s great for breakfast! Plus you know there’s going to be leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving.
Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes with Cranberry Orange Relish Recipe
By November 28, 2013Published:
- Yield: 18 cupcakes (18 Servings)
- Prep: 20 mins
- Cook: 23 mins
- Ready In: 53 mins
The cake recipe is adapted from Glorious Treats
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup pecans chopped, optional
- 2 tablespoons cranberry-orange relish optional
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
- cranberry-orange relish for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 ℉. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
- In another large bowl whisk pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir until completely combined. Optional: Stir in chopped pecans.
- Scoop batter into cupcake pan, lined with paper liners. Fill cups about 3/4 full.
- Place in oven and immediately change temperature to 350 ℉. Bake for 22-24 minutes.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then transfer cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely.
- For the frosting: Combine cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat until light and creamy.
- Frost cupcakes and top with cranberry-orange relish.