Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes, Less Guilt

Not that there should be any guilt at all when consuming delicious pumpkin cupcakes smothered with cream cheese frosting.  However, I don’t know about you, but I do feel a little better when I know the dessert I’m enjoying isn’t loaded with excess sugar and fat.

But that’s just me.


Also apparently I’ve been living under a rock because I had no idea there was STILL an issue finding pumpkin!  Couldn’t they have figured that one out last year?! 

Anyways, luckily I found some cans of the organic stuff at my local market, and now contemplating going back to stock up…they didn’t have much.


Ok back to the cupcakes…

I needed to make something to bring to my friends apartment to watch the Pats game.  I tend to gravitate towards dessert, and this time consulted some of my “healthier” cookbooks for ideas.

I came across an old favorite from Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave…her Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

My first thought was to just straight up switch the carrots for pumpkin (I was kind of feeling to lazy to shred carrots).  Then there were some more tweaks here and there.


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Ellie Krieger

Makes 16-18 cupcakes
Note: The frosting makes more than you need, but I wanted to use the whole box of cream cheese.  You could cut it down to 6oz of cream cheese and 1 cup confectioners sugar.

  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup natural applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin
  • 8 ounces 1/3 fat cream cheese (recommended: Neufchatel)
  • 2 T butter, softened
  • 1 – 1.5 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
    1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
    2. Combine dry ingredients (flour through spices) into a medium bowl, whisk together to combine and set aside.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla.
    4. Mix in pumpkin.
    5. Add dry ingredients to wet, and mix together until combined.
    6. Line muffin tins, and fill about 2/3 to 3/4 to the top.
    7. Bake 20-24 min until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
    8. Cool!


    1. With an electric mixer beat together cream cheese, butter, and 1 cup of confectioners sugar.
    2. Add up to 1/2 cup more sugar until desired consistency is reached.  I like my frosting on the thicker side so it holds its shape when piped. 



    Once cool, frost!



    Why is cream cheese frosting SO good???  The best part is the little bowl of extra frosting in the fridge right now :)



    These were devoured pretty quickly by my friends :)


    Mmm pumpkin season has just begun :)


    1. So odd to hear about issues finding pumpkin!! Weve had it available year round this year! Ive made that carrot cupcakes recipe before and loved it! Bet its fabulous with your tweaks

    2. I'm like you - I love trimming down indulgent recipes with apple sauce and greek yogurt. I think I might have to try these this weekend!

    3. I've been known to eat obscene amounts of cream cheese frosting. Love it on pumpkin

    4. I was wandering about these cupcakes in your last post! I thought you were going to glaze over the topic, but I am very happy to see this recipe! I've never tried pumpkin + cream cheese.

    5. Cupcake + less guilt = must try! Having more frosting is always a good thing in my book, allows you to pile it on!

    6. I freaking love pumpkin season. Sounds delicious...I love the mixture of cream cheese and pumpkin. They just complement each other so well.

      Amy @ A Little Nosh

    7. I can appreciate a healthier version of baked goods like this, but I don't mind the excess fat and sugar... also known as the excess goodness!

      And yeah, cannot believe there's a pumpkin shortage again. Luckily, I still have some cans from last year when I stocked up when it finally hit the shelves.

    8. i tend to be with you, especially when i'm doing the baking! these look great, and i can't wait to open my first can of pumpkin :)

    9. Look delicious! I have been itching to bake recently, and I will definitely be trying these. And it's always great to find another Boston blogger!

      xo lamb loves