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Pumpkin & Spice Cupcakes


 
Photo and recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour
Ingredients

 
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter
1 package Pumpkin Spice Muffin Mix
4 large eggs
1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) mini-diced crystallized ginger
3/4 cup (4 ounces) cinnamon chips
3/4 cup (2 3/4 ounces) diced pecans or walnuts (optional)
3/4 cup (6 ounces) water
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter or vegetable shortening
2 drops orange oil
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 cups (12 ounces) glazing sugar or confectioners’ sugar, sifted
 

Directions

Cake: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place cupcake papers into 24 muffin cups; lightly spray the insides of the papers.
 
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the butter until soft and fluffy. Add about half the pumpkin muffin mix, and beat until well-blended. Beat in the eggs, and stir in the crystallized ginger, cinnamon chips and nuts. Add the water 1/4 cup at a time alternately with the remaining mix, beating until well-blended after each addition.
 
Spoon the batter into the cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a rack for 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the baking pan. Return them to the rack to cool completely before icing them. Add decorations, if desired.
 
Icing: Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the orange oil and zest, beating well. Finally, add the sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until fluffy. Spread on the cupcakes, and then sprinkle with chopped nuts and ginger, or sugar decorations