Saturday, November 3, 2012

Autumn Spice Cupcakes

This is one of my all-time favorite cupcake recipes that I've ever made. I discovered it two years ago in Country Living, when hosting a "Friends-Giving" for Thanksgiving a while back. I made it a cake that night, but then started using it as a cupcake recipe and I've never turned back. Since it's the beginning of November, and lots of people are planning their Thanksgiving menus (me included), I thought this was the perfect way to start off the month! 

These are the perfect dessert for Fall. Whether it's Halloween, Thanksgiving or you just need a little pick me up when the weather gets cold, dreary and rainy (I'm learning that happens a lot in my new city, Portland, OR...but don't worry PDX, I still <3 you very very much!) 

They have everything a yummy spice cake should have, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves...they even have a little hint of chocolate in them (because really, who doesn't LOVE chocolate?). The original recipe called for a Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, which I'm sure would be delicious, but it seemed a bit much and I thought it might overpower the cake, so the first time around I did just a basic cream cheese frosting. I've altered that as well and stuck with a basic buttercream frosting. It really makes the flavor of the cake stand out and I like it that much more. 

So if you're looking for your next Fall dessert to bring to a party, or just need a little pick me up, I suggest you go make these. They're delicious, if I do say so myself!

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup shortening
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line Cupcake pans with liners. 

Beat butter, shortening, and sugars together until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and light. Stir the buttermilk and vanilla together. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and spices together in a large bowl. Alternately stir the flour mixture and buttermilk, in thirds, into the beaten butter. Blend well with each addition.

Pour batter into the cupcake pans and bake 18-20 minutes until center tests clean. Let cool completely before frosting. 

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