You must know this is my favorite cupcake to date. It's not too sweet and it's full of flavor. I wish I could say it's my recipe but it isn't...these delicious cupcakes are the creation of the talented Romina Rasmussen, owner of Salt Lake's Les Madeleines Bakery. LM is one of my favorite eateries in town and with one bite into these cupcakes, you'll know why.
After making 3 batches in the past few days, I can honestly say the star ingredient is the cardamom. It works well on it's own, but it's especially good here mixed with fresh ground nutmeg (you can find whole nutmeg at Cost Plus World Market). A killer combo to be sure. My last words of advice? Give them away as soon as possible...they are incredibly addicting and before you know it, you'll have consumed 4 without even skipping a beat. Trust me.
Romina's Pumpkin Cupcakes
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 can (15 oz.) solid-packed pumpkin (about 1 3/4 cups if you're making your own puree)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick of butter, cubed and cold
8 oz. cream cheese*
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon spice mix (see below)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
**you'll only need to use 1/4 teaspoon of this mix for the frosting so keep the remaining mix as a reserve for something else yummy or for the next time you make this recipe.
Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Line three 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake wrappers.
To make the cupcakes, in a bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and salt (if using raisins and walnuts, add them now too).
In another, larger bowl whisk together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. Add the flour mixture in three additions, stirring with a large wooden spoon until just combined.
Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full. Bake until the cupcakes for 20 minutes. Transfer the tins to a wire rack and let cool for ten minutes; then remove the cupcakes from the tins and let cool completely.
To make the frosting, cream the butter until fluffy, but still cold. Add the cream cheese in small chunks. When completely combined (no lumps of either butter or cream cheese), add the powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla and then 1/4 teaspoon of the spice mix before blending one last time.
* make sure you use Philadelphia Original; I've found that anything else compromises the texture and flavor.