Nothing says Christmas like pumpkins and booze, right?
I originally set out to make pumpkin eggnog cupcakes but when I discovered that I'd used all my nutmeg making James Beard's Amazing Persimmon Bread as shared by David Lebovitz, I had to make a last minute substitution. Out went the Cuban rum and along came the Kentucky bourbon. (Also in case you're wondering, the persimmon bread recipe is absolutely delicious... and boozy as well).
Most recipes for pumpkin muffins/cupcakes use canned pumpkin which made it difficult for me to choose one since I had no canned pumpkin and only a little bit of leftover, pureed, roasted pie pumpkin. So rather than try to adjust a recipe to fit my thinner-than-canned puree, I thought I'd just make one up as I went along and I so pleased with the final results that I had to record this recipe for posterity.
The mini cupcakes were delicately pumpkin flavoured and just ever so spicy, with a crispy and meringue-y top. Seemed a shame to cover that perfect muffin/cake top with buttercream, but the addition of bourbon and a sprinkle of salt, made it less of a loss.
Not a cream fan? They also tasted awesome with just a few chocolate chips sprinkled on top just before baking. Actually, I think hubby dearest preferred the chocolate chip version because he loves good muffin/cake tops.
Here's the recipe if you wanna try these on your holiday dessert platter or in your tummy.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (*from a roasted pie pumpkin)
1-1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp freshly ground cloves
healthy pinch coarse salt
Bourbon buttercream, recipe below
Salt for garnish (Maldon, Himalayan, etc. I used Hawaiian black salt in the pictures above)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin tins or line with paper cups.
- Beat sugar and oil together until it thickens slightly and the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Add eggs, one at a time. Beating well after each addition.
- Mix in pumpkin puree.
- In a separate bowl, mix together all the remaining, dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin and egg mixture and mix gently until combined.
- Spoon into prepared tins and bake for 16 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Wait 10 minutes, remove from tins and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Decorate with your prepared buttercream and give them a sprinkle of salt before chomping away.
Bourbon buttercream Yield: enough to cover 2 dozen mini cupcakes handily or all 3 dozen more sparingly
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup (+1/2 cup) icing sugar
1-3 tsp bourbon
- Cream together butter and 1 cup icing sugar until fluffy and lightened in colour.
- Add bourbon to taste.
- Add up to 1/2 cup more icing sugar as needed if you're an alcoholic like me and the amount of bourbon you added made the icing too watery.