Made in a mini cupcake version, they're the perfect bite-size treat... whether you have one or three!
The cardinal rule of baking things for other people is that you must taste them first... always. Even if that means you have to have it for dinner... always. I tell you what, it's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
makes 24 cupcakes
1 18.5-ounce box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients called for in the package directions)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
24 pieces candy corn
Heat over to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the cake mix as directed but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.
I used Duncan Hines yellow cake mix and followed the directions on the box for the lower fat version, but added the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice as directed above. I also added a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter.
I set out to make mini cupcakes and baked them for 18 minutes. I had a bit of leftover batter so made regular size cupcakes as well and ended up baking them for a minute or so longer. It'll likely vary per your oven, but use the toothpick and you'll have success every time!
For the cream cheese frosting, I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese with the 2 cups of powdered sugar. I added 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the frosting, too, and about the same of nutmeg. I think I'll add a little more next time... it adds to the autumn spicy-ness of the cupcake.
I didn't add the candy corn on top this time, but I did last year as a Halloween treat and they were really cute!