clinging to fall and testing Martha

So, did I mention that I was one of the winners of Martha’s 2009 Cutest Cupcake Contest? I did? Oh right, here. Well, I’ll boast again. I was one of the winners of Martha’s 2009 Cutest Cupcake Contest, uh huh. And I won her cupcake book and have been wanting to try out a recipe.

Now, I’m mostly a baking purist because I grew up in a purist baking household. I would not could not ever dare to use anything but butter when baking. Or real sugar. And I would not could not ever dare to use a cookie mix or a brownie mix. But, alas, I heartily use cake mixes. I risk this hypocrisy because cakes and cupcakes from scratch are often dry and simply not as good as the cake mix (though I would not could not ever use canned frosting). So I had my skepticism about pulling a random recipe from the cupcake book. Foolish me. These brown butter pumpkin cupcakes from Martha are moist, soft, just the right amount of sweet and absolutely scrumptious.

pumpkin brown-butter cupcakes
{adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes}
3/4 cup butter (plus more for tins)
1 2/3 cups all-purposes flour (plus more for tins)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (I use Libby’s)
1 cup packed brown sugar (I use dark brown, Martha uses light)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter and flour muffin tins (I made a dozen minis and 6 large). Melt butter over medium-low heat in saucepan, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown. Skim foam from top and pour butter into a bowl to stop the cooking, let cool. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices. In another bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugars, eggs and brown-butter mixture. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Fill tins 3/4 full and bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. When cool, dip tops in brown-butter icing.

brown-butter icing

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/2 cup unsalted butter, swirling pan occasionally, until nut-brown in color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into bowl (leave sediment behind). Add 2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla extract and 2 tblsp. milk to the butter and stir until smooth. Add more milk if necessary.

for the fondant pumpkin cupcake toppers CLICK HERE to see my previous post

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  1. Chloe says

    I find the moistness of cakes and muffins to be proportional to the amount of eggs and other 'moist' ingredients like cream cheese, oil, brown sugar, melted chocolate and fruit. So I now always look for recipes which either have these already in them, or are adaptable to include them.

  2. Kelly says

    OK…so if you make your own frosting, will you share your recipes? I don't have a taste at all for homemade buttercream frosting and have yet to find a good homemade vanilla frosting!

  3. Chic Cookies says

    Thanks everyone! Kelly, I just use the recipe that's on the box of Domino's powdered sugar (the box, not the bag). If I recall, it's one stick of slightly softened butter, the box of powdered sugar, a tsp. of vanilla, and a few tablespoons (depending on how thick you want the frosting) and blend. That's it, super easy. I'll add a few drops of coloring sometimes. For chocolate, I think I just add cocoa powder, but I need to look at my notes…

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