Halloween Griffin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting
Yes! It's that time of the year and I find myself frantically running around getting art supplies in craft stores, decorating our household with all kinds of spooky evil creatures and in general, overwhelming my family with my Halloween-infused energy.
Last night, I was craving some cupcakes. But I absolutely detest store-bought frosting. It's too sweet for me - no way Jose! So I read a few recipes on the Internet, threw in some imagination, sprinkled some love on top - and voila - Halloween Griffin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting are at your service. (Oh, Griffin is this sultan-like dudio that my sons created. They loved him so much, I figured I'd call the cupcakes after him).
Are you ready to whip up some goodness? Here we go!
1. 1/4 15 oz can of Libby's Pumpkin Puree (or any pumpkin puree for that matter).
2. 1/4 stick of salted butter (at room temperature).
3. 1/2 8 oz pack of 1/3 fat cream cheese (at room temperature).
4. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.
5. 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg.
6. 2 cups of powdered sugar.
7. Sprinkles for decoration.
No matter how many times I experimented, I could not make better cupcakes than what a box of Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix can offer. The trick is to follow the directions for the egg-white recipe. It makes for really fluffy and light cupcakes! The only problem is trying to keep your hands off them once they are ready :).
Follow the egg-white recipe directions on the box. One box makes two dozen cupcakes.
Note: even though Pillsbury recommends baking the cupcakes for 19-23 minutes at 350 F, I found that mine were ready (and delicious) only after 15 minutes in the oven. But I guess the toothpick method is always the safest one!
While the babies are in the oven, mix cream cheese and butter with a mixer (high speed, for about a minute), add pumpkin puree, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix again (high speed, one more minute), then gradually add the sugar and mix again (I was adding sugar in cup-sized portions). By the way, I love little handheld mixers like this and would never exchange my red beauty for big and expensive industrial monsters.
Once the cupcakes completely cooled off, apply the frosting. I typically just spoon the frosting in a Ziploc bag, close the bag tightly, cut a small corner off and squeeze it on with circular movements. Top with multicolored sprinkles and enjoy!
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