Life is uncertain. Eat cupcakes first.--Anonymous
Company's coming and we're getting take out...so let's also do a semi-homemade dessert....
This was a delicious recipe and having a cake mix shortened the preparation time by at least half--the original cupcake recipe is from Real Simple magazine, but after reading the reviews, I made a few changes: 1) I added more pumpking pie spice. 2) I ended up using white vanilla cake mix. 3) I replaced half the pumpkin with applesauce because I didn't have enough leftover pumpkin.
Result: these cupcakes are very moist and fluffy. Even with 1 1/2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice, still turn out relatively mild in flavor.
PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (w optional COCONUT TOPPING)
Makes ~20-24 cupcakes
1 18.5-ounce box yellow or white cake mix (I used a white vanilla cake mix)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (this ends up being about 1 3/4 cups-so I did half pumpkin, half applesauce)
2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
~2 cups shredded coconut, toasted or not (sweetened)-optional
Heat oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the cake mix as directed by adding the second and third ingredients. Then make the following change to the package directions: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions. (so eliminate the water called for on the back of the box)
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a bit of shredded coconut (if desired).
Tip: The cupcakes can be baked and stored at room temperature, covered, up to 2 days in advance. Frost them up to 12 hours before serving.
Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.-Anonymous