Pumpkin Spice Muffins

It’s pumpkin spice season! Fall is my personal favourite season. It helps that my birthday is in Fall. It’s winding into Winter, but we have had a mild November and I am pretty thankful for it. These muffins help me to remember that there are good things in abundance even when the weather is freezing cold.

These muffins are really easy and taste great. If you want something a little less sweet, you can skip the cinnamon sugar garnish at the end, but I like it as it adds a little more texture. I got the recipe here, and it was great: simple, straightforward, and high reward.

I used two bowls and ten minutes to get these muffins going, and they are incredible. I’m going to stop writing, because you need to go make these!

Ingredients

Yield: 12 muffins

For the muffins:

1½ c. flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. vegetable oil
½ c. white sugar
½ c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. pumpkin puree

For the garnish:

¼ c. white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ c. butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tray with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, white and brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin puree.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and combine until no lumps remain. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 17-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the thickest muffins comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon and prepare the butter.

Remove muffins from the oven, let cool for five minutes. Dip the muffin tops in the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Biscotti

Yay! Back to biscotti! As the weather starts to turn cold, that means hot drinks are coming back into regular rotation! (I mean, I’m a tea-at-all-times-of-the-year kind of girl, but that’s another conversation!)

With hot drinks come biscotti! Those beautiful, double-baked crispy cookies that you dunk into your hot chocolate and then eat. So good!

The great thing about biscotti is that it bakes up as a loaf, takes about five minutes to cut, and then bakes again. A lot of the prep time with biscotti is baking.

I found this recipe here, and the original used melted chocolate chips and chopped pumpkin seeds as a garnish. Honestly, I didn’t think that the biscotti needed it, so I didn’t include it.

Either way, take an hour, bake these, and thank me later!

Ingredients

Yield: 18-24 biscotti, depending on cut size

4 tbsp. (¼ c.) butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¾ tsp. cinnamon
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 egg
½ c. pumpkin puree
2 c. flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder and salt until combined.

Add in the egg and pumpkin puree, then beat until smooth. Add in the flour, and beat on low speed until just combined.

Roll dough out onto the parchment paper, and pat into a long, flat log.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and spray lightly with water. Wait five minutes for dough to cool, then slice on the diagonal into pieces.

Turn oven down to 325°F.

Place biscotti, cut side down, onto baking rack, and bake for 12 minutes. Flip biscotti, and bake on other side for 12 minutes.

Turn off oven, open oven door, and let biscotti cool in the oven. Once completely cool, remove from oven.

Serve with tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

Pumpkin Bread with Maple Cinnamon Butter

This is Part Three of my unofficial Recipes Including Pumpkin series! Again, I’m on a pumpkin kick. To be fair, I didn’t make the last two posts, and this post, and the NEXT post over the course of a month. I had a really ingenious pumpkin craving, and over the course of two weekends, I made all of these Pumpkin recipes. I mean, why not welcome Fall in any way we can?

I love a good pumpkin loaf. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it. It’s also pretty simple to make, and that’s always a win in my books! It hit the super-soft-and-moist-but-still-tastes-like-Fall-and-I-can-eat-it-for-breakfast-for-a-snack-or-for-dessert target right on the head!

I’m not going to bore you with loads of talking for this one. Just go make it, and your senses will thank you!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 loaf

For the bread:

1½ c. flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ c. vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/3 c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
2 eggs
½ of a 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. water
1 tbsp. maple syrup

For the butter:

4 tbsp. (¼ c.) butter, softened
1 tbsp. maple syrup
¼-½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease and flour a loaf pan (or use Miracle Cake Release).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream together the oil and sugars. Add in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, mixing after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the pumpkin, water, and maple syrup. Mix again.

Add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool completely in the pan before removing.

To make the butter, whisk all butter ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve with slices of the bread.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Well, everyone, brace yourselves. I’m on a pumpkin kick. Last year, I barely did any baking with pumpkin, so I’m going to try and make up for it this year. It started with my birthday cake, and pumpkin buttercream. I mean, the cake tasted like Fall. I was pretty happy.

I had some leftover pumpkin from that buttercream, and I went wild! I began dreaming of all things pumpkin. I realized that I don’t have a pumpkin loaf recipe (as in JUST a pumpkin loaf – the one I have on here already is pumpkin chocolate chip), so I wanted a pumpkin loaf recipe. Spoiler alert! That one’s coming next week.

I also love cookies. They are just the perfect snack or dessert. Single-serve, and having a few doesn’t feel like the biggest crime. Enter these soft pumpkin cookies.

I knew I wanted to make them as soon as I saw the picture. They look amazing! They were also a snap to make, so it’s a win in the preparation department as well.

So, because I love Fall, and pumpkin is both overrated and underrated (figure that one out! Hah!), here are some pumpkin cookies: the inadvertent Part Two in a Recipes Including Pumpkin unofficial series on the blog!

Ingredients:

Yield: Approx. 3 dozen cookies

2½ c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg OR use 1½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon and nutmeg
1½ c. sugar
½ c. butter, softened
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. icing sugar

In a medium sized-bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla, stirring to combine after each addition, until smooth.

Add in the dry ingredients in increments, combining after each addition.

Place the dough in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

When ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 375° F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, silicone baking sheets, or spray with non-stick spray.

Scoop cookie dough into 1-inch balls, and roll in icing sugar. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets, and bake for 11-13 minutes, until cookies start to crack on top.

Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Spice Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese and Pumpkin Buttercream

Happy Birthday to me!

If I want a birthday cake, I usually have to make it myself. I mean, I’m not too fussed about that, because then I make what I want. Last time I made myself a birthday cake, I think it was this Peanut Butter and Jelly cake, and I can’t even remember when that was!

I liked that Peanut Butter and Jelly cake, but I really wanted something that I have had my eye on for a while. Cue this delicious monster. I love spice cake. Cream cheese makes cakes and icing so much better. And, as I was born in September, I’m a pumpkin lover. (Don’t worry. I’m not that “basic” or “extra”. I hate the Pumpkin Spice Latte, as I HATE coffee.)

Either way, it seemed like the perfect cake for me to ring in another year. I love Paul to death, but he is a chef. He tells me every year, he can’t bake. And guys, I’ve seen it. I can vouch for that. He is man of few successful baking recipes. It’s one of the reasons we go so well together.

So, this cake. It’s a delicious, warm, fragrant spice cake. In the middle of those beautiful, fluffy layers is a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Finally, the whole thing is slathered in a buttercream bursting with pumpkin and spices. Amazing!

I wanted to go all out for my birthday cake, and trust me, this does not disappoint!

I had a pretty good day. Here’s a picture of some of my birthday shenanigans.

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9-inch cake

For the cake:

2 c. brown sugar
½ c. butter, at room temperature
½ c. vegetable oil (I used canola)
5 eggs, separated by yolks and whites
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk

For the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:

1 c. butter, at room temperature
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
5-6 c. icing sugar (as needed)
2 tsp. cinnamon

For the pumpkin buttercream:

½ c. butter, at room temperature
½ c. shortening
½ c. pumpkin puree
1-2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (per your own preference)
5-6 c. icing sugar (as needed)
1-2 tbsp. milk or cream

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush 2 9-inch cake pans with Miracle Cake Release (1:1:1 ratio of flour, oil, and shortening), or parchment paper, and fasten Bake Even strips (if you have them) around pans. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the brown sugar and butter until will combined. Slowly add in the oil and vanilla, and mix again.

Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into the batter.

Pour the batter into the two prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the centers of the cakes look set and don’t jiggle. Be careful, as these cakes can fall easily.

Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting, add the butter to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, then add the cream cheese and and vanilla and beat again until well combined and fluffy.

Add in the icing sugar, a cup at a time, until your desired consistency is reached. (I only used about 4 cups of sugar.) Add the cinnamon, and beat again until evenly distributed throughout. Transfer to a smaller bowl and refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.

To make the pumpkin buttercream, in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream together the butter and shortening.

Add the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice, and whip until combined. Add in the icing sugar, a cup at a time, until your desired consistency is reached. If it is too thick your preference, add in the milk or cream until you reach your desired consistency. If it is too thin, add more sugar.

To assemble the cake, cut cooled cakes in half with a serrated knife or cake leveler. Place 1 half of a cake on your cake stand or platter. Spread about ½ cup of the cream cheese frosting across the cake, leaving a small gap around the edges. Repeat with the rest of the cake layers, and most of the cream cheese frosting, but do not put any frosting on the top cake layer.

Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm up.

Once the cake is firmer, cover the top and sides of the cake with the pumpkin buttercream. It might be a pretty thick layer, but that’s okay. Spread the buttercream evenly with an offset spatula, and put in the fridge to set.

If you have any remaining cream cheese frosting, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe the frosting around the top of the cake, and around the bottom if you want.

Slice, and serve.