Out here in the country, we live too far apart to make door-to-door trick or treating feasible for the local kids. So this weekend a dozen or so houses held our annual Treat Street event, where homeowners in the area pick one street to set up candy tables so that the kids and parents can go candy hunting safely.
Last year we had a pretty big turnout and I ended up running out of candy before the evening was halfway over. I swore I wouldn't let it happen to me again, and so this year I picked up a bulk bag of candy corn on the cheap from ACandyStore.com.Well, lo and behold, the weather was awful cold and as a result only two dozen or so trick or treaters showed up. And so now I'm left with a huge bag of candy corn and nobody to feed it to.
I plan on donating the lion's share of it to charity, because Lord knows our family doesn't need any more sugar in the house. But before I do I decided to use some of it in a batch of pumpkin spice cupcakes I whip up every fall. I wasn't sure how the candy corn "highlights" would taste with the cream cheese frosting, but the cupcakes actually turned out really well. My family and friends loved them (except for my daughter Hailey who hates candy corn anyway). So if you're looking for a super-easy seasonal dessert to share and, like me, happen to have some spare halloween candy and pumpkin guts lying around, I highly recommend giving this recipe a try.
What You'll Need:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with cupcake cups.
Combine the flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl using a whisk or hand-cranked mixer. If you don’t own one of these devices, then buy one. A spoon won’t get the job done and an electric mixer is overkill (and messy).
In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, the sugars, the oil and the eggs. Pour this over the dry mix while stirring. Keep stirring until you’ve got something resembling the consistency of cake batter.
Pour that batter into the muffin tray. Put that muffin tray into the oven for about 15 minutes or until the cupcakes pass the toothpick test. Then get ready to make the icing.
The Cream Cheese Frosting
What You’ll Need:
First, you’ll need to get the butter to room temperature. Some people choose to wait it out, I prefer to stick it in the microwave on low for about 15 seconds.
Add the warm (but not melted!) butter to a clean mixing bowl along with your cream cheese. Grab an electric mixer (or get that whisk ready if you hate yourself) and mix for about five minutes or until everything is creamy and smooth.
Add in the vanilla extract and, if you’re feeling crazy, some crushed bits of candy corn and a dash of the spices you used in the batter. Slowly pour in the sugar while mixing on low until smooth. Keep adding sugar until the frosting is thick enough to form peaks. If your frosting is too thick, add a dash of skim milk to thin it out.
Wait until the cupcakes are all out of the oven and cool to frost them. Apply frosting with a butter knife or rubber spatula. Decorate with candy corn and sprinkles. Enjoy tremendously.