Hello there – my name is Britta and I am a pumpkin-aholic! This is my favorite time of year. There is no shortage of pumpkin spice everything around every corner. While pumpkin spice coffee is unarguably the most common of the craze, punky sweets are a close second! Pumpkin breads, muffins and cakes fill our grocery stores and ovens; and there is nothing more aromatic than the sweet smell of Fall in our very own kitchens. But here at WDW Cupcakes, we are all about, you guessed it – cupcakes!
Follow along with me as I guide you through my fun and deliciously simple recipe for Pumpkin Spice Vanilla Cupcakes!
For the cake:
One box of vanilla cake mix
⅓ cup of oil (I used canola)
One cup water
Three large eggs
I can of 100% pumpkin
One teaspoon vanilla extract
One tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
For the frosting:
One container of cream cheese frosting
Orange food coloring (I used the neon gel kind, the neon ones are so cool!)
One piping bag (or Ziploc bag)
One large star tip
Combine all ingredients, adding the pumpkin last. Blend all the ingredients together by hand or with an electric mixer (I prefer the latter!).
After the ingredients are combined, spoon the batter into paper cupcake holders in your cupcake or muffin tin. The batter will be VERY thick due to the pumpkin; no worries!
Bake in the oven for twelve to fifteen minutes on 325
Note: When checking if cupcakes are done, know that the pumpkin makes the cake really moist and gooey (re: delicious!). Some of the pumpkin puree itself may come out on the toothpick or fork, but this will settle after cooling.
While it requires patience and self control, allow the cupcakes to cool on the counter top before icing.
Speaking of icing, once you have mixed the orange food coloring with the frosting (as liberally as you’d like, the more orange the better!) put your pastry bag inside a cup (if you are only using the external bag, snip the end and place your piping tip inside the bag before filling) and fill with a spoon or spatula. This will prevent getting sticky frosting all over the outside of the bag! Once the bag is filled, push the icing as far down to the tip as possible, seal off the end of the bag with a rubber band (or hair tie from your wrist, if you’re super innovative like yours truly haha)
Now for the fun part – piping a mountain of frosting onto our delicious fall treat! While you can absolutely use a Ziploc bag and a piping tip, I used a pastry bag along with this no slip grip reusable bag that houses the disposable bag. I can’t sing its praises enough- it truly is a life saver when it comes to cake decorating!
Once you’ve built this cozy little frosting nook, take your inaugural cupcake and center the piping bag pointing straight down and hovering just slightly over the center of the cake. For me, creating this foundation of icing in the center helps establish the result for the rest of the piping! It may seem simple, but pretty and swirly can turn into goopy and blobby really quickly. I have found it most beneficial to hold the bag, not directly pressing onto the cake, but just above, allowing it to fall as you apply minimal pressure to the top of the bag. Manipulate the bag, not the icing itself. Pipe all the way around the cupcake until you reach the foundation icing in the center. Sprinkle a smidge of cinnamon (or hey, go crazy, whatever floats your boat!) Didn’t get it right the first time? No worries! You can always take your ‘reject’ cakes to school or the office. But who am I kidding? You’ll even want the less aesthetically pleasing ones all to yourself!
Nothing says Fall like pumpkin, and these cupcakes are easy enough for amateur bakers yet doctored up enough for skilled home cooks and professionals alike. While these Autumn spiced treats are perfect for a Fall soiree (that’s where I’m taking mine!) or even for your upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, there’s no rule that says you can’t whip up a batch of Vanilla Pumpkin Spice cupcakes one weekend for just you and yours!