Monday, November 21, 2011
Egg-Free and Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
I have a confession to make: I don't like pumpkin pie. If I had to choose between pumpkin pie or apple pie, I'd choose apple pie. I'm sorry but there's just something about pumpkin pie that I never quite liked. Maybe it's the mushy texture of the filling that I find unappealing. I know the pumpkin isn't to blame. I've tried other desserts that have pumpkin in them and I actually liked them. So the question I pose is this: Can I create a pumpkin dessert that my family and I can enjoy for Thanksgiving? The answer is yes.
What I noticed about the pumpkin desserts that I did like is that they were cakes, not pies, and they had some sort of cream cheese filling or frosting in them. Many years ago, I made Paula Deen's pumpkin gooey butter cake for Thanksgiving. It was so incredibly easy to make and it was a hit with everyone. Basically, you combine yellow cake mix, melted butter and an egg to make the crust and then you mix pumpkin puree, cream cheese, powdered sugar, eggs and some spices to make the filling. It was a little too sweet for me though, so I reduced the amount of powdered sugar and it tasted much better.
Another recipe I've tried and love is Libby's classic pumpkin roll. It may look intimidating at first but this jelly roll is actually easy to make and takes 15 minutes to bake. The only adjustment I made to this recipe is I doubled the amount of cinnamon because I felt it needed a bit more of that spice. What I love love love about this recipe is the cream cheese filling. It's very light and not too sweet which works so well with pumpkin roll.
With these two classic desserts as inspiration, I created my own egg-free and dairy-free dessert. These pumpkin spice cupcakes are so moist and so delicious, they're the perfect finale to any Thanksgiving feast. They're filled with warm aromatic spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. It smells and tastes like the holidays just biting into one of these cupcakes. I actually made mini cupcakes this weekend when I met up with some friends and they were just the right size to eat with our coffee and tea. They were also the perfect size for the kids.
I have two options for the frosting because my youngest has a dairy allergy. The first one is an adaptation of the cream cheese filling I love from Libby's pumpkin roll and the second one is my go-to vanilla frosting for any of my allergy-free/vegan cupcakes. You can sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top to make them look a bit more festive.
I hope you'll try these pumpkin spice cupcakes and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Egg-Free and Dairy-Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Makes 2 dozen cupcakes or 4 dozen mini cupcakes
Allergy Note: contains wheat ingredients*
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
cream cheese frosting:*
1 (8 oz. bar) cream cheese
1/2 cup (a stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
*allergen-free vanilla frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup Spectrum vegetable shortening (found in healthfood stores)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp. rice milk
ground cinnamon for topping
to make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners on two cupcake pans or two mini cupcakes pans.
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, brown sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla extract. Mix in dry ingredients till combined. Pour into prepared cupcake pans about 2/3 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (12-15 minutes for mini cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting.
to make the frosting:
cream cheese frosting:
In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese and butter till smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat till fluffy.
Using a whisk attachment, beat together the powdered sugar and vegetable shortening till light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and rice milk.
to decorate the cupcakes:
Pipe a swirl of frosting on top of the cupcake and sprinkle with a little cinnamon.
Please note: I am not a paid endorser nor did I accept any freebies of the brands or products mentioned in this post. I just love them and wanted to share them with you :-)