Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes

Wow that title was a mouthful!  There’s nothing I love more about Thanksgiving then the flavors and scents that you get.  Like pumpkin, sweet maple, and a spicy cinnamon.  Really, I never bake any of those flavors again in the year, except during fall and Thanksgiving!  If you’re trying to find something to bring to that (second) Thanksgiving dinner party, look no further.  These cupcakes are TO DIE FOR.

I know they’re a bit different from the classic apple pie.  But trust me, the flavors and taste will totally compensate.  This literally tastes like pumpkin pie in cake form.

These cupcakes are perfectly moist, and fluffy, and they’re screaming with pumpkin flavor.  I played with the flavors and added atop a creamy, white chocolate buttercream that complements the cake perfectly.  I know the baking world has no shortage of pumpkin recipes, but you’ll want to try this one.  I have a problem with many pumpkin and carrot cakes, and that’s their slightly muffin-y texture.   Trust me on this guys, these are truly PUMPKIN cupcakes.  Another thing that’s special about these is Brown Butter.  I think I’ve found a new obsession.  Now brown butter, is brown butter!  Literally, it’s butter melted to a golden brown perfection.  Brown butter gives an incredible, nutty flavor to the spices and pumpkin in this cupcake.  And, the final thing that’s truly wonderful about these is you don’t need any sort of magical mixer.  Nope!  Just a large bowl, whisk, and spoon and you’re ready to go.

Ingredients

Bakes 12 cupcakes

¾ cup unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsps. cinnamon
1 tbs. of pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. of salt
1 cup of granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
Directions
1.  The first thing you should always do before you start baking is preheating your oven.  You never want to wait for your oven to preheat.  Your oven can wait for your cake, but you can never wait for it.  The reason being, is that when you mix your wet and dry ingredients together, the leavening agents begin to act.  Thus, if you leave your cake out for long, it might not rise as it should in the oven.  So, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Next, prepare your cupcake tin with liners.
2.  Now it’s time to start browning your butter.  Please please please PLEASE do this step first.   The butter will be put in last, and it needs to cool.  Just like explained in the previous step, you should not let wet cake batter wait on the counter.  Add your butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Cook, stirring the pan occasionally until the butter turns a beautiful golden brown.  DSCN1141 DSCN1143When the butter begins to brown, it will start to bubble up violently.
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Remove your saucepan from the heat and pour the browned butter into a separate container for it to cool. (Did I mention browned butter smells so caramel-y and wonderful?)
DSCN11523.  In a medium bowl, whisk your flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.  Set aside.
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4. In a large bowl, whisk your pumpkin pie puree with your eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and sour cream until well blended.
DSCN1147 DSCN1148 DSCN11495.  Then, add your flour mixture to your wet ingredients.  Whisk until just combined.  Overmixing will result in a dry and chewy cake.  You want to preserve the delicate and fluffy texture that this cupcake recipe yields!  The cupcake batter will not look smooth at the end of this, so don’t be tempted to whisk it any further!
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6.  Pour in your cooled brown butter until your pumpkin cake batter.  Again, whisk this until just combined. DSCN1156 DSCN1157
7.  Scoop out your pumpkin cupcake batter into your prepared cupcake tin.  I really like using an ice cream scoop for this, because it gives me a nice, even, amount of batter every time.  Also, the convenience of a scoop totally prevails over using a spoon. DSCN1158DSCN1166
8.  Bake your cupcakes at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
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You will love these cupcakes for their moist interior, sweet & spicy taste, and the aroma of pumpkin and brown butter that seems to linger in the house for another hour or so. This is truly a pumpkin cupcake with a amazing, nutty back notes of brown butter.   You can top these cupcakes with a wonderful cream cheese frosting, or a toasted marshmallow frosting.  (Tutorial coming soon!)
I know that this tutorial is posted kind of late and I apologize!  I didn’t make these cupcakes until Thanksgiving day.  But, it’s technically still fall, and you can make these as a treat anytime.
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