Monday, January 10, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

AKA Cupcake Challenge, Part 2.5!
These were a surprise hit! I randomly made a batch of these around Thanksgiving since I had a half a can of pumpkin I needed to use up, and all the other ingredients were just standard kitchen staples. They were so delicious, we decided to add them to our holiday dessert menu!

The original recipe called for cinnamon icing. While it was very good that way, we thought the cupcake needed a little dressing up if it was going to be featured at the party. So we decided on the Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting, and tried it multiple ways: plain, with 1 tsp ground cinnamon, or plain topped with the cinnamon icing that came with the original recipe .

All versions worked pretty well, but for the party, we ended up going with the cinnamon-infused cream cheese frosting since it carried the flavor but didn’t add the extra step of making 2 toppings.

1 cup canned pumpkin
⅓ cup oil
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
½ cup chocolate chips

Cinnamon Icing (recipe below)
or Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting + 1 tsp cinnamon
or plain Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting topped w/Cinnamon Icing

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for mini-cupcakes). Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, soy milk, and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir together with a fork; don’t use a handheld mixer, as it will make the batter gummy. Once well combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Fill liners two-thirds full. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let fully cool before icing.

To Assembe:
- If only using icing, take a small plastic sandwich bag and cut out a tiny hold in one edge or fit a pastry bag with a small-holed decorating tip. Fill the bag with icing and pipe it out Jackson Pollack-style onto the cupcakes. You may also opt to pipe it in zig-zags, lines, or swirls. Let the icing set at room temperature or refrigerated.
- If using Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, simply frost once cupcakes have cooled.
- If using Cream Cheese Frosting + Icing, first frost cupcakes, then drizzle with icing as indicated above.

Cinnamon Icing
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp margarine, melted
1 tbsp soy milk
½ tsp vanilla extract

Place sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the margarine, soy milk, and vanilla, and stir with a fork until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use. The mixture should look opaque and honey brown. If it’s glistening a lot or looks too liquid, add a little extra confectioners’ sugar.

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