Pumpkin Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

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I had plans for the can of pumpkin in my pantry. Add a little whole wheat flour, maybe even some wheat germ, and we’d have muffins for breakfast.

Across the kitchen (OK, just an arms-length away), a lonely container of mascarpone was hanging out in my fridge. I’d bought it to mix in with the vegetarian Bolognese sauce, but then nixed that idea in favor of fresh mozzarella because I thought it would appeal to J. more.

Two random ingredients. And then I stumbled across this: Spiced Pumpkin Mascarpone Cupcakes. I couldn’t resist.

I followed the cupcake recipe to the letter, except that I used 1 cup of all-purpose flour and the rest white whole wheat because that’s all I had on hand. And, after creaming the butter and sugar I just dumped all the other ingredients in and went to town with my hand mixer. I have to say the cupcakes are one of my greatest successes in terms of the texture of the cake — really light and tender, but dense enough that you feel like you’re biting into something substantial. And the spices are perfect — very prominent but expected and delicious at the same time.

My frosting didn’t turn out well, however. To be fair, it was one of the first times I’ve ever made frosting from scratch and I wasn’t thinking the process through. It seemed greasy and a little lumpy, and not very spreadable at all. In retrospect I realize it’s because I was thinking of the confectioner’s sugar just from a sweetening standpoint. I stopped adding it at around 2 cups or because that was sweet enough for me! But the sugar is really acting as a base for the fat and without the additional 2-3 cups that the recipe recommends, it’s like trying to spread butter on your cupcake. Thankfully I did save my original batch — tomorrow I’ll bring it to room temperature and try beating in the rest of the sugar. Then I can try frosting the cupcakes again. Who wants one?

Update: I added the rest of the confectioner’s sugar that the original recipe called for, whipped it up with a hand mixer and a couple of tablespoons of half & half. It was delicious! I’m glad I was able to save the original batch.

7 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

  1. Yum, yum – they were DELICIOUS! I thought the frosting was great – adding the additional sugar worked like a charm. I will definitely be making them. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. I am glad you liked the texture of the cupcake. I now use it as a base for many different ones. For the frosting, make sure them ascarpone is well softened or it will lump up and won’t incorporate witht the other ingredients.

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