Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

I called my mom yesterday just to ask her if she could bring me at least 5 cans of pumpkin puree when she comes to visit in a few weeks (it’s like, 75% cheaper when she buys it Aldi than if I buy it at my Market!). Yep – it is that time of year! Time for pumpkin flavored everything!!! I’ve already combed Pinterest and picked out so many delicious recipes for this fall. I can’t wait!

My first treat for this year were these Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes! Normally, I’m really not big on cupcakes. They’re just not really my thing. But every once in a while, I get the urge to make an amazing, delicious, unique cupcake. The last time I made cupcakes was two St. Patrick’s Days ago when I made Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting. Cupcakes finally filled my kitchen again, and they were equally amazing.
These are the perfect balance of pumpkin and spice, with just the right amount of coffee kick. The original recipe for these cupcakes called for whipped cream as frosting. I opted for cinnamon cream cheese frosting. I obviously made a great decision.

Happy Fall!!!

*   *   *

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
*The recipe below will make 24 cupcakes. I chose to the half this recipe.

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoon espresso powder (I used Starbucks VIA)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoons grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoons salt
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
½ cup coffee or espresso, for brushing

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Stir together and set aside.
Blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.
Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full.
Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans.
While the cupcakes are still warm, brush them two or three times with the coffee or espresso, allowing the first coat to soak in before repeating. Let cool completely.
Now for the frosting! Blend softened cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add in vanilla and cinnamon, blending everything well.
Gradually add confectioner’s sugar a cup at a time, blending mixture after each addition.
Frost cupcakes when they have completely cooled. If you’re not serving these soon after frosting them, refrigerate until ready to serve (because of the cream cheese in the frosting).
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