Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

I know what you’re thinking.

Believe me, I do.

“Of course she posted another Oreo recipe, they just came out with a new flavor.”

Pretty spot on, huh?

I’d like to think I’m unpredictable, but I’m beginning to realize, I’m not. Not even close. And, you know what, that’s really not a bad thing. At least you know what you’re getting from me. Right? It’s not like I’m giving you the same recipe though. I’ve done lemon bars, cookies, and cupcakes. All with Oreos. Now, that’s variety. Some may even go as far as saying I’m unpredictable with my Oreo baking. Ah ha, unpredictability.

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

Yeah, I don’t know why all of a sudden it’s important for me to be unpredictable. Maybe I’ve gone crazy? Or, maybe, just maybe, I’m slightly tired, under caffeinated, and really like typing the word unpredictable for some reason. Seriously, it has so many letters.

But, enough of my nonsense.

Lets talk about the other main ingredient in this recipe. Drumroll please.

The pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

Guys, this is my first pumpkin recipe of the year. Aren’t you proud that I waited until the end of October to share it with you? For those of you that are new to Hint of Nutmegg, let me briefly share the story of the pumpkin craze of 2013.

I went a little overboard on the pumpkin. How overboard? Let’s just say I posted 5 pumpkin recipes in a row. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it totally was. I over-killed the pumpkin. And, even I, the biggest pumpkin fan in the world, was tired of it. It was pretty bad.

Don’t worry though. There won’t be a pumpkin craze of 2014. I’ll be better. But, I hope you know, by being better, I don’t mean this will be my only pumpkin post. I’m planning on at least two more. I think that’s reasonable. Don’t you?

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

So, lets talk about these Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting.

In three words, to die for.

The cupcakes are super moist and have a subtle pumpkin taste, thanks to the Pumpkin Spice Oreo crumbles that are baked into the cupcake. Each cupcake is then topped with a creamy, pumpkin packed frosting that is out of this world. I repeat, out of this world. I’ll admit I was eating it out of the bowl. It’s the perfect balance between cream cheese and pumpkin spice, and really brings this cupcake to a whole new level of pumpkin yumminess. For a topper, I crumbled some of the Oreos on top of the cupcake to add a little crunch—keep in mind, when putting the cupcakes in the refrigerator though, the Oreo crumbles on top will get soggy.

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes With Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
16 Pumpkin Spice Latte Oreos, roughly chopped

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 oz.) block of cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I used the Organic Pumpkin Puree from Trader Joe’s)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions:
Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Whisk in the sugar–the mixture will be very thick…use those muscles!
Add the egg whites, whisking until incorporated, and then add the sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Whisk until mixture is smooth and uniform in texture.
Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined and no lumps remain.
Using a spatula, gently fold in the chopped Oreo pieces.
Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners–about 3 tablespoons per each tin–and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
While the cupcakes are cooling, start making the pumpkin cream cheese frosting. Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and spices on medium speed until creamy and combined.
Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and then mix in the flour.
Frost the cupcakes as desired and top with crumbled up Pumpkin Spice Oreos.

*Cupcake batter adapted from this recipe, which was adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

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Caramel Toffee ‘Pot of Gold’ Cupcakes

Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold CupcakesSee what I did there?

It’s your lucky day. Call it the luck of the Irish, if you will. I’m giving you, and myself, a pot of gold.

POTS. OF. GOLD.

We’re practically rich at this point. Think of all the things we can buy. Unlimited amounts of Ben & Jerry’s. An Endless supply of Oreos. And, peanut butter. Oh, and obviously milk. Hopefully you don’t mind double dipping. Ohhh. Even better. A bigger kitchen. That way I can invite you over to bake with me. You can be my official taste taster. You in?

FINE. I see you shaking your head. You never let me have any fun.

I made us edible pots of gold.

We can’t spend them. BUT. We can eat them. All of them. And, you know what, that doesn’t sound too bad to me.

Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold CupcakesI came up with the idea for these pot of gold cupcakes in a dream. And no, I’m not kidding. Normal people daydream about vacations or winning the lottery or having that magical storybook romance. Not me. I daydream mainly about food. Not eating it so much, but making it. When I stare off into space I’m building recipes, imagining  different flavor combinations, and debating if those combinations would taste better as a cake, cookie, pie, or so on. Foodie dreams. That’s what I have. Don’t judge. It does happen to some people. I can’t be the only one. Right?

I wanted to make a cupcake that was St. Patrick’s themed, but I didn’t want it to be green or involve four-leaf clovers…there are way too many adorably indulgent desserts already with those two things. So, I started thinking. What else screams March 17th?

Bailey’s Irish Cream. Tad bit predictable. Jameson Irish Whiskey. I don’t even like whiskey. Leprechauns. Would be hard to make into a dessert. Hmm. What’s related to a leprechauns? Gold. I could make gold cookies. Wait. Pots of gold. BINGO. I found a winner—keep in mind that’s basically a direct quote of my inner monologue. Your welcome for sharing my craziness.

Once I had the idea of making pots of gold, the recipe just sort of fell into place. Hellllllllo caramel toffee cupcakes topped with a fluffy caramel marshmallow frosting, coated with caramel, and sprinkled generously with toffee pieces.

Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold CupcakesLet’s break this down more slowly.

Caramel toffee cupcakes. They are ridiculously moist, soft, and caramely. Toffee pieces are scattered throughout the cupcake, making the caramel flavoring even richer. Each cupcake is then topped with Caramel Marshmallow Frosting. This frosting tastes like a combination of cool whip and marshmallows subtly infused with hints of caramel. Yes, that is a thing. And yes, it’s to die for. Once topped with the fluffy frosting, the cupcake is dipped in a caramel bath (can we make that a thing?) and then sprinkled generously with toffee pieces aka pieces of gold. Together, as whole, this cupcake is heavenly.

Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold CupcakesOne thing though…if you notice, I have some chocolate pieces on top of each cupcake too. That’s because I mistakenly grabbed a bag of milk chocolate toffee pieces and not just plain toffee pieces. I noticed this as I was melting my caramel, which meant I was going to be making pots of gold filled with sparkly, and dull, gold pieces. Don’t make my mistake if you want pure pots of gold. Or, do make my mistake. The hints of chocolate are a nice surprise for the taste buds amidst all that caramel and toffee.
Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold Cupcakes

Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold Cupcakes
Yields: about 13 cupcakes

Ingredients:
Caramel Toffee Cupcakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup golden brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup milk (don’t use skim or 1%)
½ cup toffee bits

Caramel Marshmallow Frosting
1 ½ cup sugar
3 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon caramel extract (add more depending on your taste)

Caramel Coating & Gold Pieces
11 oz bag of vanilla caramel squares for melting (I had about 6 leftover squares)
2/3 cup toffee bits

Directions:
Caramel Toffee Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars together at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 ½ minutes.
Mix in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, until incorporated.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides as needed.
Slowly stir in the milk, until just combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the toffee bits.
Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full, dividing the batter evenly between the cupcakes. Bake for about 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack for cooling. Let cool completely before frosting, at least an hour.

Caramel Marshmallow Frosting
Before you start making the frosting, clear a space in your freezer to put the frosted cupcakes.
Set a pan of water over medium heat and bring to just barely a simmer.
In a heatproof bowl, beat together sugar, egg whites, water, and cream of tartar, using a handheld electric mixer on high until foamy.
Set bowl over pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and beat mixture on high until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 15-20 minutes (yes, it’s an arm workout); candy thermometer should read 160 degrees.
Remove from heat and beat in vanilla and caramel, about two minutes or until frosting is of a thick enough consistency.
Using an ice cream scooper, scoop a ball of frosting on the top of each cupcake in the middle.
Let cupcakes sit in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until frosting has set enough that you can flip the cupcakes upside down without the frosting falling off.

Caramel Coating & Gold Pieces
While the frosting is setting melt caramel squares as directed on the package in a tall cup or deep bowl. Let melted caramel cool to room temperature—you want it to be cooled, but of drizzling consistency.
Holding a frosted cupcake upside down, dip the cupcake into the melted caramel—allow excess caramel to drip off.
Let caramel coated cupcake sit for a minute or so and then sprinkle with toffee bits—I found that if I sprinkled the cupcakes right away, some of the toffee pieces made the caramel drip off.
Place cupcakes in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until the caramel coating has slightly hardened.

*cupcake recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

This cupcake wanted to take a picture with these gold coins. In a mason jar. With a gold bow. Such a cupcake diva.

Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold Cupcakes

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes

Pumpkin Ice Cream CupcakesI spent the last week in Seattle.

And, I’m fairly certain I fell in love.

I want to live there someday. It’s absolutely beautiful.

I’d never been to Seattle before, but it had always been a place I wanted to visit. Partly because I Love (yes, with a capital L) the rain. I’m a huge fan of cloudy days, cold weather, and jumping around in rain puddles (with rain boots on, of course). The other part, which you may have already guessed, is that Seattle is the birthplace of Starbucks. And, we all know, how much I love my coffee.

I spent most of my time walking the streets in downtown Seattle. Window shopping with my mom. Drinking excessive amounts of coffee. Site seeing with my family. Jumping around in the fall leaves (don’t judge me…we don’t quite get all, or really any, of the fall changes in California. In fact, it’s still in the eighties where I live.). Watching the Seahawks’ fans proudly wear bright green and blue. And, eating more than my fair share of desserts.

There was one bakery, in particular, that I would gladly live in. It’s called Cupcake Royale, and it may just be the cutest little bakery I’ve ever seen. They have coffee, homemade ice cream, and adorably decorated cupcakes. Can you see why I want to live there?

They had Pumpkin Cardamom ice cream, which I obviously had to try, and I can’t even begin to explain how good it was. It had chunks of soft pumpkin bread swirled with a cardamom cream cheese ice cream that was literally like eating pumpkin pie in ice cream form. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. That ice cream was the inspiration for these Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes. And can I just say, these little bad boys taste pretty darn good.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes

These Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes require a little bit more time and work than your normal cupcake, but trust me when I say, it’s soooo worth it. The cupcake portion, itself, is a graham cracker cupcake that is ridiculously moist and maintains that spicy graham cracker flavor that we all love. On top of the cupcake, is a thick layer of pumpkin ice cream, which is then covered in a cream cheese glaze. Finally, the cupcake is sprinkled generously with toasted pumpkin spice graham cracker crumbs. These cupcakes are a little messier than most (blame the delicious pumpkin ice cream), but I don’t think you’ll mind the sticky fingers after your first bite!

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is
Yields: About 22 cupcakes

Ingredients:
Graham Cracker Cupcakes
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ cups (about 13 graham cracker sheets) of graham cracker crumbs (I used honey graham crackers and a food processor to make my crumbs)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Ice Cream Layer
1 quart pumpkin cream (I used Trader’s Joe Pumpkin Ice Cream)

Cream Cheese Glaze
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
7 tablespoons powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Toasted Pumpkin Spice Graham Cracker Crumbs
5 sheets of graham crackers, crumbled
1-1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice

NOTE: I had extra crumb topping at the end, so maybe try using 3 sheets of graham crackers instead of 5 and add pumpkin spice based off of taste.

Directions:
Graham Cracker Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tin with liners. Set aside.
Cream butter in stand mixer until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is incorporated.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the graham cracker crumbs.
Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake tin. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely or put them in the freezer to speed up the process.

Ice Cream Layer
If you removed the cupcakes from the cupcake pan for cooling, return cupcakes to the pan once completely cooled.
Carefully and quickly spread a spoonful of pumpkin ice cream on top of the cupcakes—make sure to cover the whole cupcake and leave a little mound on the top of the cupcake so they aren’t flat.
If the ice cream becomes too soft to work with, return cupcakes and ice cream to the freezer until you can work again.
Freeze cupcakes for about 1-2 hours or until ice cream layer is frozen enough (I let mine sit over night).

Toasted Pumpkin Spice Graham Cracker Crumbs
Before making your cream cheese glaze, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and set aside.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and pumpkin spice. Mix until well-combined.
Pour crumbs onto foiled cookie sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown—watch the crumbs carefully because they can quickly become burnt.

Cream Cheese Glaze
Once the ice cream layer has been set and the crumbs have been toasted make your glaze.
In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.
Add milk and vanilla. Mix until combined.

Assembly
Remove cupcakes from freezer and pour a heaping spoonful of cream cheese glaze over each cupcake—make sure to cover the whole thing.
Once the cupcakes have been glazed, sprinkle the toasted crumbs over the cupcake.
Place cupcakes back in the freezer for another 30 minutes, and then finalllllly you can eat them :)

 

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes