Pear Spice Cupcakes with Honey Mascarpone Frosting

FallFall is the best time of year.  It’s finally cool and no longer humid, boot wearing weather!  Plus it’s leaf peeping time!  Looking at the beautiful colors of the fall is one of the few times that I love the weather in New England.  

Pear

Going apple picking is one of my favorite fall activities.  If you spend any time on Pinterest you know that apples and pumpkins get all the credit in the fall recipe arena.  The apple and pumpkin definitely dominate most of the recipes you see at this time of the year.  But everyone forgets that fall is also pear season!  I love pear picking just as much as apple picking.  Plus pear recipes at this time of year seem so much more unique than an apple or pumpkin recipe.

For Cupcakes

[Inspired by Annie Eats]

Makes 16 cupcakesPear spice

  • 3 medium pears peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 and 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 Tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash of ginger
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 2 Tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. salt
  • 1 Tsp. vanilla bean paste (found on Amazon)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir in the pears, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook mixture until the pears are fork tender, about 7-8 minutes.  Set pear mixture aside.
  3.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light in color.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and mix to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
  6. Add in half of the flour mixture into the sugar, butter, and egg mixture and mix to combine.  Add in half of the milk.  Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and milk until all ingredients are combined.
  7. Fold in cooked pears until well combined in the batter.
  8. Divide batter among the cupcake pans and cook the cupcakes for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For FrostingPear spice

  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp. milk (as necessary)
  1. Cream together butter and mascarpone cheese until combined.  Add in honey.
  2. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time until well combined.
  3. If the mixture is too thick, add in a little bit of milk at a time until you get your desired consistency.
  4. Frost cupcakes.

These cupcakes taste like a bite of fall!  The pears make it so these cupcakes almost can’t dry out.  I had one when they were fresh and one from the freezer a week later and they tasted just as good as the first day.  The honey mascarpone frosting is pretty sweet but the actual cupcake isn’t super sugary so it balances out when you eat them together.  I brought these cupcakes into work and someone told me the cupcakes reminded her of her childhood.  She couldn’t quite pin point why but I’m going to assume that is a good thing!

Pumpkin Bourbon Cupcakes with Vanilla Bourbon Frosting

I’m a little late here trying to play catch up with my cupcakes but this is just in time for Thanksgiving!  My work has this awesome thing called Pumpkinfest where everyone brings in some kind of pumpkin food.  It can be sweet or savory and lots of people get to try all of the pumpkin deliciousness.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to show off my cupcake skills but I knew it couldn’t just be a regular pumpkin cupcake.  So I decided to take a standard pumpkin cupcake recipe and give it a little zing!  There’s just enough bourbon in these mini cupcakes to give it that something extra.

The unfortunate thing was that I completely forgot the cupcakes at home that morning so I didn’t get to take part in Pumpkinfest.  So sad!  I did bring them in the next day though for all to enjoy.

[Inspired by Martha Stewart]

Makes about 75 mini cupcakes

For Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 2 Tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 Tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 Tsp. allspice
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 sticks butter (melted and cooled)
  • 4 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1- 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 nip  bourbon of your choice (I used Red Stag honey bourbon)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar , granulated sugar , butter, eggs, and bourbon
  4. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth.
  5. Fold in pumpkin puree
  6. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway.  It’s easiest to do this with the mini cupcakes if fill up a ziplock bag with the batter, cut off a corner, and use it to fill the cupcakes
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes until the tops spring back when touched and a toothpick comes out clean

For Frosting

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 5 egg whites
  • 4 sticks of butter at room temperature
  • Bourbon to taste (I used about 3 Tbsp. of Red Stag cinnamon spice bourbon)
  1. Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
  2. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don’t worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla and bourbon, and beat just until combined.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes.

My pictures are a little blurry because I was trying to be all artsy putting the little cupcakes on a pumpkin.  But these little cupcakes were a hit.  They had just enough bourbon taste to give it a little something extra and the frosting was different than the typical cream cheese frosting that’s usually on a pumpkin cupcake.  And the best part about them is that since they’re mini, it gives you an excuse to eat at least 4 cupcakes to make up for the fact that they’re so small!

Xoxo,

~CurlyCupcake

Apples Part Two

**This post is dedicated to a Miss Nip Glit who told me to get my butt posting**

The weather is changing and fall is coming upon us, so that means fall flavored cupcakes!  I debated over pumpkin, apple, and wait for it…sweet potato and decided to go with the the pumpkin cupcakes.  Super excited to do pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting, I headed to the store to pick up a few ingredients.  Well, there was no pumpkin anywhere to be found!  So sad!  After some research I found out that there’s another pumpkin shortage this year (last year the crop got flooded out) because so many pumpkins were destroyed by Irene.  First that biotch ruined my Sunday dinner when we lost electricity and now she’s messing up my cupcakes!

On to plan B…apple cupcakes!  Last year it was the caramel apple cupcakes and this year I went with apple pie a la mode.  When I was looking for the canned pumpkin, I saw some apple pie filling and decided to just go with it.  A spiced apple cake with apple pie filling and vanilla bean frosting?  Yes please!

I looked at tons of recipes to try to put this one together but there wasn’t a great spiced cake recipe to go off of so I pretty much had to work on the fly while I was making them and just make up the recipe.  It worked surprisingly well and I’d use it again for the base of another spiced cupcake.

I have to admit that I didn’t actually try the finished product but I did try the cake part and it was light, moist, and delicious.  And considering they were topped with my favorite frosting, how bad could they be??  

 Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 can apple pie filling (divided in half and chopped into small pieces)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 12 liners.
  2. Beat butter until smooth and add sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy and mix in vanilla extract.
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time.  In a separate bowl, whisk together all remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Add in half of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixing until incorporated, then add in half of the water.
  5. Mix in remaining flour mixture and then water until just incorporated.
  6. Fold in half of the apple pie filling to the batter and fill 12 cupcake liners evenly.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Once the cupcakes cooled, I cut out the centers and filled them with the remaining apple pie filling.  They were frosted with my favorite swiss meringue buttercream.  Even though I didn’t try the final cupcake put together, I’m going to go out a limb and say they were pretty good because well that’s what they tell me and I like to believe it.  Plus, the actual cake part that I did try was pretty damn good, so I can only imagine that the whole thing together was good.  Plus, my Boy Cupcake stole three from the party I brought them to, so they had to be pretty good I guess.
xoxo,
~CurlyCupcake