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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Pumpkin or Dark Rum Cream Cheese Frosting


The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing, and fall is in full swing. If I had to pick one food item that reminds me of fall, it would be pumpkin. And right now pumpkin is everywhere, even in our beer and coffee. I had a craving for pumpkin cupcakes and started thinking about the best pumpkin cake I ever had. Then I realized that I had only had and made a pumpkin cake once in my life -- it was Warren Brown’s pumpkin pound cake recipe, and it was superb.  
Warren used to own several bakeries (called CakeLove) in the DC metro area.  I was sorry to hear that the last CakeLove closed in December 2015, however, Warren is still making cakes -  actually he’s now selling cake in a jar. And according to his website, you can buy CakeLove in a jar at Whole Foods.  The next time I'm there, I'll have to remember to look for it. His pumpkin pound cake recipe is seriously to die for and the recipe works perfectly as cupcakes.   The cupcakes are very moist and have loads of pumpkin flavor. They contain the perfect amount of spice, and I absolutely love the hint of rum in both the cake and frosting.


Adapted from Cake Love, by Warren Brown

Makes 36 to 38 cupcakes




  •     3 cups extra-fine granulated sugar
  •     1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  •     2 eggs
  •     4 egg yolks
  •     2-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  •     1 tablespoon baking powder
  •     1-1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
  •     1/2 teaspoon table salt
  •     1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  •     1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz.)
  •     5 tablespoons heavy cream
  •     1 tablespoon honey
  •     1 tablespoon dark rum, optional
  •     1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  •     1 recipe for Pumpkin or Dark Rum Cream Cheese Frosting



Step 1: Preheat oven to 350˚ F with rack in center.  

Step 2: Cream the sugar and butter together in a stand mixer (with paddle attachment) on low for 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add eggs and yolks one at a time, letting each incorporate before adding the next.

Step 4: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ground cloves, salt and allspice.

Step 5: Combine pumpkin, cream, honey, rum and vanilla extract.  

Step 6: With mixer still on low, alternately add dry and wet ingredients to butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry.  Scrape the sides of the bowl to the bottom, then mix on medium speed for 20 seconds.

Step 7: Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step 8: Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Step 9:  Frost cupcakes with pumpkin or dark rum cream cheese frosting and dust with cinnamon.



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