Blending a seasonal superstar with a dessert favorite into a hand-size piece of heaven, this chocolate pumpkin cupcake recipe produces deep, rich and decadent flavors. Made from scratch with fresh pumpkin, creamy mascarpone and heavy whipped cream, these little cakes are plenty moist without using too much oil.
If you’re planning a party, dinner or other event, you can make everything ahead of time and frost the cupcakes – in fact the frosting needs at least 1 ½ hours to chill. You can also beat your whipped cream early, just wait to dab the final dollop until immediately before serving. Makes 22 cupcakes.
Homemade Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe
1 small pie pumpkin (around 1 pound)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon + ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
16 ounces heavy cream
1. First: roast your pumpkin. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, wash your pumpkin and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds with a large metal spoon, and put the pumpkin halves faces down in a large baking dish. Cover your pumpkin halves with 1/4” water and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender and easily pierced with a fork. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh, mash lightly with fork to make pumpkin puree and set aside.
Note: No time to roast? Canned pumpkin also works well in this recipe.
2. Now it’s time to bake! Prep your cupcake pans with your choice of muffin cups and/or spray oil. Grab a medium-size bowl and set your mixer on medium speed. Blend the granulated sugar, eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, ¾ cup pumpkin, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla until nice and smooth.
3. In another bowl, combine your other dry ingredients with a whisk: flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Slowly add to the wet mixture, beating everything together until smooth and scraping the sides of the bowl with a spoon.
4. Fill each of your muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely.
5. In the meantime, whip up your frosting. Blend the mascarpone cheese, ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, ½ teaspoon vanilla, two tablespoons of pumpkin and a pinch of salt until smooth. Now slowly add the powdered sugar, and beat well until fully blended. Set in the refrigerator and chill until firm, at least one hour.
6. While the frosting chills, beat the whipped cream topping. Just pour the heavy cream into a mixing bowl, and blend on medium-high until thick. You may want to add a little sugar at this point; just be sure to whip it in until the cream is smooth and fully blended.
7. Finally, assemble your chocolate pumpkin cupcakes. Frost each cake with a layer of mascarpone icing, and then top it off with a whimsical poof of whipped cream. You might want to go all out with a garnish depending on the occasion, such as shaved chocolate curls, chocolate pastilles, a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin-shaped candies or tiny toys for Halloween.
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