Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling and a Brown Sugar Icing (whew!)

Congratulations to you all if you managed to get through the name of my cupcakes in one breath.  It’s a mouthful, I know (just like my cupcakes), but I unfortunately had no other way to describe my entry into the 2010 Capital Cupcake Camp.


As you have all seen from my previous blog post, the cupcakes at the competition were absolutely amazing.  At the end of this post I’ll do a blog round-up of all the posts I’ve seen from the event, so you can get a better idea of the cupcake calibre!

Anyways, my cupcakes:

Rather than going out downtown like all normal university students would on a Saturday night, I stayed in with my roommate Britt and made brown sugar icing from sunset until deep into the night.  The icing was the most difficult thing I have ever encountered, due to the fact that university students are rarely in possession of stand-up mixers.

But lets go back to the beginning of this icing tale, shall we?

As soon as she found out I was entering a cupcake competition, Brittany exclaimed eagerly that I had to include this brown sugar icing that she had made in the summer.  While describing it, I’m quite sure she said the words “orgasm” and “heaven” all in one sentence.  I knew it must be good.

The icing recipe turned out to be an adaptation from the one used on the blogAnnie’s Eats.  Everything was going well up until we had to actually beat the liquid-like syrup into some sort of frosting.  There was cream of tartar AND eggs in said liquid, so you it would beat, right?  Wrong.  Britt and I stood in our kitchen for one whole hour, taking turns holding our $15 hand mixer.  I think we can blame the lack of standup mixer for the almost-failure.

To fix this little disaster, we ended up adding about 1 1/2 cups (approx) of icing sugar to Annie’s original recipe, finally creating that state-of-heaven which Britt had described earlier.  Once I tasted it, there were no regrets.  It was like a butterscotch dream!

After this ordeal was complete, we spent the rest of the night “piping” frosting onto the cupcakes with a squirt bottle I bought for $5.  Britt can 100 per cent attest to the fact that I am the most miserably messy icing attempter that has ever walked this earth.  It worked though, and into the fridge the cupcakes went (they somehow fit after rearrangement of food for six girls) in preparation for the morning’s events.

The rest of the cupcake was easy peasy.  I used my mom’s pumpkin muffin recipe and just beat some cream cheese with sugar and eggs until I had a smooth consistency.  Cutting the middle out of the cupcakes, I added a dollop of cream cheese to them, re-hatted them with the cut out cupcake and, as you already have read, iced my heart out!

The result: delicious.  I am proud to say that my cupcakes were some of the first to disappear out of more than 100 bakers.  I got to try some amazing cupcakes as well, including a spicy “Chili Chocolate” cupcake by Kelly and an amazingly decorated and equally tasty “Death by Chocolate” cupcake by Jenny at Geek Sweets.

Overall the afternoon was an amazing success.  More than $6,000 was raised for Women Alive and the Youth Services Bureau in Ottawa.  EVERYONE should go to this event next year.  No excuse!

Other blog posts about Capital Cupcake Camp (I know there must be more, sorry if you’re not here!):
Heartful Mouthful: A sweet success: cupcake camp 2.0
Vanilla Bean Baker: Back from camp
The Twisted Chef: No more cupcakes
Apt 613: No crumb left behind, Cupcake Camp 2.0 wrap-up
Blurasis: Capital Cupcake Camp 2010
The Village Cake Lady: Capital Cupcake Camp
The WildWorks Station: The return of the ever yummy cupcakes in the capital

Gorgeous Flickr photos (again, sorry!  I know I missed so many of you!):

Recipe: Pumpkin cupcakes with a cream cheese filling and a brown sugar icing

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Mix together:
-2 1/2 cups sugar
– 1 cup vegetable oil
– 4 eggs
– 2 cups pumpkin, or 14 oz. canned pumpkin

Add dry ingredients:
–  3 1/2 cups flour
– 2 tsp. baking soda
-1 tsp. cinnamon
– 1 tsp. nutmeg

Carefully stir in 2/3 cups of milk.  Blend until just mixed.  You can make cupcakes, muffins or loaves.  Recipe will make about 3-4 doz. muffins or about 2-3 loaves.

Cream cheese filling
– 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
– 1 cup icing sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla

On medium speed, beat cream cheese with icing sugar until smooth.  Add in vanilla and mix until combined.  To fill cupcakes, use a small knife to cut out the centre of the cupcake (my cupcake holes were about an inch in diametre).  Fill hole with a blob of cream cheese filling and put the cut piece of the cupcake back on top.

Brown sugar icing (via Annie’s Eats)

NOTE: This is the original recipe from Annie’s blog.  In her recipe, she calls for you to use a stand mixer.  Since we don’t have a stand mixer (just a crummy $15 one from Zellers) in my student kitchen, I had to add an extra 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar to give my icing the right consistency.  You might have to play around a bit with this one!

– 2 cups tightly packed brown sugar
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 8 – 1 oz. pieces
– ¼ tsp. cream of tartar

To make the icing, heat the brown sugar, heavy cream, 2 – 1 oz. pieces of butter, and cream of tartar in a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, while bringing the mixture to a boil.  Allow the mixture to continue boiling while stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.  Transfer the bubbling hot mixture to a stainless steel bowl and allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding.  Place the cooled mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, adding the 6 remaining pieces of butter one at a time, until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Increase the speed to high and beat for an additional 2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for an additional 1 minute until light and fluffy.


7 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling and a Brown Sugar Icing (whew!)

  1. congrats on such a wonderful entry! great cupcakes -as a judge I was more than happy to taste them! … maybe you can ask for a stand-mixer as a graduation gift :0)

  2. I am going to attempt to make these but you did not say at what heat you cooked the cupcakes and for how long?? :) I am going to try 350 for 20-25 minutes, hopefully it works out!
    THanks for the recipe!! I am looking forward to tasting them!

  3. Looked all over the net for these cupcakes. You would be surprised at the number of Box mix pumpkin cupcakes there are. These are better then the box mix I used. Thanks for the great recipe.

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