Pumpkin-Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

I can’t make any claim to this recipe because I’ve seen variations on it all over the internet. I just put some elements together. Coming right after Thanksgiving and during Advent, the pumpkin spice is a seasonable flavor. Plus, I was inspired by Kelly’s dilemma of “too much pumpkin”.

1 box spice cake mix (Duncan Hines was fastable)
1 15 oz can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
(Option: add chopped nuts and/or oatmeal)

1 can white frosting (Pillsbury white was fastable)
Maple flavoring

Mix the cake mix and the pumpkin. When you start mixing you’ll be thinking you’re making bread dough. Relax. Resist the temptation to add water or any other liquid. As you stir (and I mixed it with a fork), the consistency will change so that it’s closer to a cross between cake batter and cookie dough. Spoon the batter into cupcake liners filling them about 3/4 full because they will rise a little bit during baking. Try to smooth out the top a little bit because the peaks won’t “melt” as they cook.  Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. You can check with a toothpick to see if they’re done in the center. You can also use the “spring back” test, prodding it in the center. [Note: I also made some mini-cupcakes without liners (I sprayed with Pam) and they cooked completely in 20 minutes.]

Mix maple flavoring with the frosting. How much depends on the type of flavoring you’re using, but I’ll just tell you I had to add about 3 times more than I was thinking I would need. Mix it in and keep tasting until the flavor gets where you want it to be. Frost the cupcakes when they’re cool. You can put some chopped nuts on top if you like.

These “cupcakes” could also be considered muffins, especially if you add nuts and oatmeal and don’t frost them. Dusting them with sifted powdered sugar would be another pretty idea.

[Note: this also works with chocolate cake mix – I made it this evening and included oatmeal. Just a note, when you include oatmeal, the cooking time increases by about 5 minutes.]

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