Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spice Cake Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Fall is here! Although, in Massachusetts you wouldn't know it with temperatures reaching in to the sixties over the past few days, mid-November has never felt so good.

Although the thermometer is putting my mind in Labor-Day mode, the calendar is telling me it's time to buckle down and embrace some fall flavors.

Spice cake embodies the season's flavors at their best.  Hearty, sensual, comforting ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar come together and put your taste buds in a daze. The cinnamon cream cheese frosting will intensify your daze to the point of a utopian, autumnal coma.

Spice Cake Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cakes:
1/2 C. butter
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. butter
3 3/4 C. confectionery sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using an electric  mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add in eggs one at a time & mix well. Add vanilla. Mix all dry ingredients (flour, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda & salt) in a separate bowl.  Slowly add half the dry ingredients to the batter. Mix well. Add in sour cream. Mix well. Add in the rest of the dry mix to the batter. Mix well.

Line two cupcake trays (standard size) with paper liners). Fill each cup only about 1/2 way. This batter grows a lot when baking! Bake for 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Beat cream cheese & butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add confectionery sugar a 1/2 cup at a time until mixed well. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Beat until frosting is fluffy. Frost cakes with a piping bag or offset spatula

For an extra touch - make decorative "leaves" by rolling out soft caramel candies and cutting them out with a small leaf cookie cutter. Use the blade of a knife to add details to the leaves.

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