Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Having been assigned to bring a dessert to a luncheon today, I quickly started to explore cookbooks for something pumpkin, since it is officially Pumpkin Month here in Pumpkinville. As I leafed through The Cake Doctor, I came across a Pumpkin spice cake, which I used for the cupcake base (making a few adjustments) and then just added a little cream cheese surprise for the middle, topping it off with cream cheese frosting. The result received many compliments.

Preheat oven to 350.
1 Duncan Hines Yellow or Spice cake mix*See below
1 package (3.4 oz) french vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup pumpkin, canned puree of pumpkin, not pumpkin mix
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teas cinnamon
1/2 teas ground ginger
*because I didn’t have a spice cake mix, I used a yellow one and added an additional 1 teas of pumpkin pie seasoning to the mix, if you use spice cake mix, I would leave this out.

Cream cheese filling
1 8 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teas vanilla

Frosting
1 (1 lb) box of powdered sugar (equals about 3 1/2 cups)
8 oz (1 stick) softened butter
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (add a little at a time, as it might not need all of this, but might need a little more, depending on how thick you like the frosting.

Cake:
Mix all ingredients together in large mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes on medium. Set aside

Cream cheese filling:
Beat softened cream cheese and powdered sugar together and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and mix well. Beat until no more lumps appear.

Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan. Add enough batter to liner to cover bottom. Drop about a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture into middle of the batter. Cover this mixture with more of the pumpkin batter until cupcake holder is about a little more than 1/2 full. Bake in preheated 350 oven until cupcakes test done. About 20 minutes, depending on your oven. I always take mine out when the tops look a little shiny but still feel done to the touch. Let cool and continue using batter and filling until all is used. (You will probably have some of the filling left over, but just keep covered in fridge for another use or you can actually add it to your frosting ingredients, as it is just cream cheese and powdered sugar.)

Frosting

Beat all ingredients until smooth and then frost cooled cupcakes. Keep covered in fridge. Remove from refrigerator about an hour before serving time.

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