Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes

From porch decor to dinnertime, nothing says, “October” like pumpkin. These cupcakes are true showstoppers and are perfect for your fall holidays and festivities. While you may need to pick up a few ingredients you don’t have on hand, they are certainly worth some extra effort. When browning the butter, do so in a stainless steel pan, if possible. Dark-colored pans can mask the light brown color, causing the butter to overcook.

For the cake:
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk

For the Topping:
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
2/3 cup pecans
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger

For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter
8 oz cream cheese, at room temp.
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350° and line two muffin tins with paper liners. Spray the tops of the pans with non-stick spray.

Cake:

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden brown, about 4 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and let cool, but not set.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves. In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin puree with the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and buttermilk until very well blended. Gently stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Whisk in the browned butter until completely incorporated. Portion batter into pans and bake for about 15 minutes or until set in the center. Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then fully on a cooling rack.

Topping:
Melt the butter in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and toast until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the pumpkin seeds, brown sugar, and salt and stir 1-2 minutes, until nuts are glazed. Remove from heat and stir in the crystallized ginger. Transfer to a shallow dish and let cool completely.

Frosting:
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook swirling the pan occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden brown, about 4 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and let stand until the solids settle at the bottom of the bowl, about 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the bowl to the freezer and chill about 5 minutes. Carefully scrape or pour the butter from the bowl, leaving the browned solids at the bottom. Discard solids.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar on medium until light and the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar and continue beating 1-2 minutes.

Assembly:
Frost cupcakes, one at a time, with a generous amount of frosting and invert them to dunk the tops in the topping mix. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

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