smashing pumpkins. [mini pumpkin muffins w. maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting]

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Pumpkin has always been one of my all-time favorite flavors. I look forward to the fall season primarily so I can bake and cook just about everything pumpkin—from muffins to soup to pasta. I absolutely love baking these light, moist and delectable bite-sized pumpkin muffins/cupcakes.

I typically ice the muffins with plain cream cheese frosting, however, I wanted to try something different. I decided to add a few spices to the frosting and ended up with a maple cinnamon (with a touch of pumpkin pie spice) cream cheese frosting. The rich and sweet taste of the maple in the frosting was the perfect addition to the muffins—it did not overpower the pumpkin, but its flavor was immediately recognized upon the first bite.

These mini muffins are ideal for an on-the-go breakfast with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or for dessert while snuggling up on the couch by the fireplace.

Pumpkin muffin recipe:

1 2/3 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 eggs, whisked

1 cup plain pumpkin

1 stick butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour, sugar, pumpkin spice, baking soda, powder and salt in medium bowl. In a separate medium bowl, mix whisked eggs, pumpkin and melted butter. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet and blend with hand mixer.

Place liners in mini muffin tins. Fill liners to the top with batter. Bake for about 9 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting recipe:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp. butter, melted

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. maple flavor/extract

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Few dashes of pumpkin pie spice

3 cups confectioner’s sugar, plus more to reach desired consistency

Blend all ingredients together.

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