Nom, Nom, Nom Pumpkin Muffins/Cupcake Learnings

Serves me right for trying to cut corners! You may remember, my theme for Harper’s 1st Birthday Party was “FALL” – so PUMPKINS were a key visual throughout the party…including Pumpkin shaped dog-friendly cookies. When I was pulling together the menu for the party, I thought it would be the perfect occasion to make a pumpkin-flavored-dessert – and why not an easy one?!

Months ago I pinned these Weight Watchers friendly pumpkin muffins/cupcakes: http://toostinkincute.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-morning-treats.html and boy was this recipe a learning experience for this new baker! I am almost embarrassed to blog about this, BUT it’s why I blog – to air my dirty laundry so readers can learn from my mistakes and successes! This is definitely one of those examples in which you will learn from my mistake. Here it goes:

  • NEW BAKERS – READ FURTHER AND TAKE NOTE!
  • SEASONED BAKERS – STOP HERE…OR KEEP READING AND TRY NOT TO POINT AND LAUGH, OK!?!

This Pumpkin Muffin recipe only calls for two ingredients – TWO:

  • Cake mix and
  • A can of pumpkin

…and it is good for Weight Watchers. Of COURSE I was going to try it! I bought the two ingredients, plus a Cream Cheese frosting (as suggested in the recipe). On the eve of Harper’s party, I turned the oven to the suggested heat and started pouring things into my Kitchenaid…and this is the point in which I stopped doing things correctly.

The originator of this recipe even warns you that the batter will be thick, but what I didn’t realize, is that one could beat it to be smooth and thick and not chunky and thick. Note to new bakers – if your batter is chunky before you put it in the oven, it will not even out while baking – it will bake as it is:

image

Look at my chunky cupcakes post bake!

And chunky cupcake cake…

image

Does NOT an appetizing-looking-cupcake make!

If our guests were not Elizabeth, her husband, Mack and my brother, I would have NEVER put these out. BUT since they all encourage my Pinterest-Woman-Tests, I served them. NOW, if you like Pumpkin,* these are pretty tasty! I would like to try them with the powdered sugar next time though because they are pretty filling. But, Mack liked the cupcakes so much that he took them home with him. To my HORROR, he put them out on the counter this past Saturday at his 30th birthday party and proceeded to give me “credit” for them. If a look could kill…well, you get the point.

BAKING LEARNINGS:

  1. When batter is chunky, switch the mixer to smooth out chunks because…
  2. Chunky batter = bumpy cake
  3. Pumpkin ANYTHING is filling – a simple topping OR no topping works just fine
  4. DO NOT SEND MACK HOME WITH ANYTHING THAT IS MEANT FOR HIS EYES ONLY!

HAPPY NOMING DEAR READERS!
-Karen

* If you do not like pumpkin, don’t eat these…there are only two ingredients and one is PUMPKIN! The cake does not cover the taste that much. Mr. Darcy is not a fan of pumpkin so he is not a fan of these.

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3 thoughts on “Nom, Nom, Nom Pumpkin Muffins/Cupcake Learnings

  1. Aleah says:

    OK so, I make these all the time and I have some tips. First, the chunkiness/ugly finished product is unique to this recipe…I think because of the lack of a leavening agent. So, however you put it in the pan is how it turns out!

    My solution to this is to make cookies instead of muffins. I drop a spoonful of batter onto a cookie sheet and then kind of smooth it into a round shape with a knife, trying hard to make the tops as smooth as I can. I find it’s much easier to do this on a cookie sheet than in a muffin tin. After baking you can frost the cookies and as long as you’ve smoothed them out before baking, the frosting goes on pretty smoothly as well. The cookies are very cakey…almost like muffin-tops (not to bring up an image most girls want to avoid..ha!). They are very good without frosting, too!

    OK novel over 🙂

    • OH MY GAWD, I LOVE the cookie idea…and I’m still laughing about your muffin-top comment. However, it is a good point. Those muffin tops in the freezer section are EXPENSIVE so this is a nice affordable DIY option. BTW, thanks for making me feel better about the ugly finish ;-). I am also a huge fan of Spice Cake so I am TOTALLY trying this again with the Spice Cake AND brownie mix – I can’t believe you threw out Brownie Mix…now I am going to be baking “because I have to”…and then I am going to “have” to eat them! ;-). THANK YOU for the helpful feedback! Love ya sexy, Karen PS. Any readers reading this, I don’t call everyone “sexy.” Just old college roommates who embrace my love for all things sweet. I will be sure to share my attempt at a re-do!

  2. Aleah says:

    Oh forgot one thing! Don’t know what kind of cake mix you used but I HIGHLY recommend using a Spice Cake mix…I am not a huge pumpkin fan but I do like spice cake, and I find that the pumpkin kind of blends into the spice cake flavor.

    Also, I heard you can do this with brownie mix (can of pumpkin and brownie mix) and that it makes the brownies super moist…never tried it but it’s on the to-do list!

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