Frosted pumpkin cupcakes get spiked with fluffy sweetened cream cheese.
Prep: 45 mins
Bake: 25 mins
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 large eggs, plus 5 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- Simmering water
- 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces and chilled
- Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees . Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking liners. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar for 3 minutes. Beat in 1 egg white and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
- In a bowl, whisk the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, granulated sugar, oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture.
- Layer each muffin cup with some of the pumpkin batter, then the cream cheese mixture, then more of the batter. Bake until springy to the touch, 25 minutes. Let cool.
- Using the electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, remaining 4 egg whites and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Fill a medium saucepan with enough simmering water to reach a depth of 1 inch; place the mixing bowl on top. Whisk the mixture until it registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
- Transfer the bowl back to the mixer and beat at high speed until fluffy; lower the speed and beat to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat at high speed for 5 minutes. Beat in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
- Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag; pipe large rosettes on top of the cupcakes.
- Using a small pastry scoop, fill the baking liners to the top with some of the pumpkin batter, then the cream cheese mixture, then more batter.
- Let the cupcakes cool before frosting (the tops will crack during baking).
- Add cold butter a piece at a time to make a fluffy frosting.
- Use a pastry bag with a star tip to pipe the frosting decoratively.
- No pastry bag? Fill a resealable plastic bag with the frosting, snip off a corner and pipe away!