Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Frosting and our Organic Box

Our cat Nuri is also smitten with fall, her first ever =)

So I seem to be completely smitten with fall! I don’t what it is.. Maybe it’s the crisp country air or the abundance of leaves blowing around our yard that rustle underfoot. Maybe it’s that distinct smell that only lasts until the first snowfall or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve never really taken the time to notice these things before.. but whatever it is fall seems so magical this year!

Even though it was just Thanksgiving not long ago and we had just finished up the last of our homemade pumpkin pie I decided more pumpkin was in order! And I put in an order for another sweet cooking pumpkin from our Organic Box:

A perfect cooking pumpkin, not too big, not too small.

Which is what led to these pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin cream cheese icing! I adapted the recipe from The Baker Chick’s Triple Pumpkin Cupcakes to use my fresh pumpkin and voila:

Pumpkin Cupcakes

So I’m not the best cake decorator.. But these little guys are delicious and I can’t wait for my boyfriend to get home so he can try them, and hopefully eat all of them before I can.. Best tip for cooking with a fresh pumpkin is to bake the pumpkin first!! Don’t even try peeling, chopping, scrapping anything before you cook that baby in the oven at 375 F for at least an hour. The stem will become wiggly and that’s when you know it’s fully cooked. I had to add some extra flour to compensate for not using the thick canned pumpkin but I think they still turned out great!
Along with sharing this great pumpkin recipe I’d also like to encourage everyone to see if their local community has a program such as The Organic Box that I mentioned earlier! Signing up for our weekly delivery of organic produce has made such a difference in my grocery shopping habits and taken so much stress out of trying to choose the best products from the grocery store. They do all the research for me, coordinate with local farmers, and ensure that anything not locally grown is certified organic and fair-trade. They also let me choose what I want in my box each week so I can plan our meals ahead of time and keep me trying new fruits and veggies that I would not normally try from the grocery store (kuri squash, sunchoke and rapini to name a few).

And if I’m feeling really lazy and not wanting to go to the grocery store at all they also carry milk, eggs, cheese, bread, sauces, spices, grains for cooking and cereals for breakfast and even a whole section dedicated to chocolate.. It’s kind of unreal the amount of stuff they have. Some weeks you may not be able to get everything you ordered due to the nature of organic farming but they always either substitute you something else or give you credit back on your account. It’s a pretty great deal. Plus all the sauces, mixes, and extras are made locally so you’re supporting other local businesses as well! I feel like I sound like a paid supporter/advertiser for the organic box.. I swear I’m not! It’s just really that great!

Our Organic Box

We get one singles box delivered every wednesday and it’s more than enough veggies and fruit for the week!

In the summer we like to go to the Farmers Market for fresh produce as well but that shuts down in the fall. I also like that the organic box I buy allows for transitional products as well. That is, produce from farms that are transitioning to organic methods. Did you know it takes 3 years using organic methods for full certification? It’s to ensure that all the pesticides and residues are removed from the soil but I like the idea of supporting these farmers during the transition period.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Frosting

**makes 28-30 cupcakes***

  • 2 cups all-purpose enriched flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • One med size cooking pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup milk

Pumpkin Frosting:

  • 1/2 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Cook pumpkin for at least an hour or until soft. Let cool for 1/2 hour. Gently peel off skin (a spoon works great for this!) and then slice in half and scoop out the seeds. Save seeds to roast later for a delicious snack.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
  3. In a large bowl beat the pumpkin flesh (save 1/4 C for icing), brown sugar and eggs at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Beat in the oil and milk. Slowly add the flour and spice mixture, adding more flour if needed until you get the right cupcake batter consistency.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan- filling each tin 2/3 of the way. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool on a rack for a few minutes and then pop them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting:

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Add the 1/4 C cooked pumpkin and mix until well mixed.
  3. Add the powdered sugar gradually until fluffy. Mix in spices. (add more powdered sugar if needed for thickness.) Spread or pipe onto cupcakes.

**recipe adapted from TheBakerChick

~EcoCouple

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