Something happens to us when October rolls around. Things are seemingly normal, you go about your day like you did all summer, but something’s missing, something just doesn’t feel right. There’s a yearning inside you that wasn’t there in September, it feels familiar, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. But then the smell wafts up from to-go coffees and take-out bags, you get to work and see the recipe pins on your Pinterest and suddenly it hits you—it’s pumpkin season.
Around this time of year, everything is pumpkin flavored and pumpkin scented. There are so many easy and tasty recipes you can make at home to satisfy that craving. One of the best is the pumpkin cupcake. While you can certainly make these tasty treats entirely from scratch, doctoring a box mix does the trick with minimal time and effort. Most recipes call for an 18.25-ounce box of cake mix, but favorites such as Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines have been reducing their sizes. The following recipe has been adapted to fit the new cake mix sizes.
Easy & Lite Pumpkin Cupcakes
16.5-ounce box of moist yellow cake mix
15-ounce can of 100 percent pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup of water
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
8 ounces of reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin/s with cupcake liners. Pour the cake mix into a large mixing bowl and add 2 teaspoons of the pumpkin pie spice. Measure out 2 ounces of the pumpkin and set aside. Put the remaining 13 ounces of pumpkin into the dry ingredients and start mixing, adding the water slowly to combine. You can use an electric mixer to make this go quicker. Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters of the way full with cake batter, the cake will rise as it bakes so you don’t want it to be too full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out the cupcakes clean. You may need to do this in batches depending on how many muffin tins you have. (This recipe will make approximately 20 cupcakes.) Put the batter in the fridge while the first batch is baking if this is the case.
While the cupcakes are baking, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and remaining pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine the ingredients completely. Cover and refrigerate until it’s time to frost.
When the cupcakes are finished baking set them aside to cool before frosting them. You can frost with a knife, small spatula, pastry bag or a plastic food storage bag with the corner cut off.
Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator and enjoy!