Was there ever a cupcake to better beckon fall? My amazing mom is here today with these cozy treats, first made by my sister, replicated and documented by Mom, soon to be replicated by yours truly when I buy my first ever pear :) Feast your eyes!
From Mom… September marks the beginning of the year, as far as I am concerned. Summer holidays end, the school year starts, and I turn another year older. How old, you ask? I am old enough to get a discount at the drugstore, but not at the fabric store. Let’s just say that if this is my midlife, I am going to live to a very old age indeed.
This year’s birthday marked the first time ever when it was not possible to get together for a birthday dinner with any of my girls. I don’t consider myself someone who makes a big deal of my own birthday, but it still felt strange. While I talked with each of my daughters at some point on, or around, my birthday, the days in which the closest Sunday works to get together sadly just doesn’t work anymore.
But all was not lost. My youngest daughter, Emily, made me cupcakes :). Amazing cupcakes! Cupcakes that I had to have the recipe for, then come home and make myself. These cupcakes take advantage of the delicious pears available fresh off the tree at this time of year. The cake itself is relatively low in sugar and fat, full of spices and molasses, so, in case you miss the indulgence in the cake, they’re generously topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. (This sounds like a perfect multi-purpose cupcake to me…I’m going to make a double batch and leave one un-iced and call them muffins! – Anna)
The un-iced cupcakes freeze well, so stock up your freezer for those wonderful Fall dinners when you need a special dessert. Just make sure you thaw them out before you ice them or your frosting may get sweated out of place :)
- 2-3 Bartlett pears, peeled and shredded
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp ginger
- ½ tsp allspice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup fancy molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup hot milk (not boiling, just microwaved or heated in a pan)
- CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 250 g (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups icing sugar / confectioner's sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2-3 Tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350° and line muffin/cupcake pans with liners to make 16 cupcakes.
- Grate the pears, then place them in some cheesecloth or fine sieve and give them a squeeze to remove some of the excess juice. Measure out about 1 cup (give or take ¼ cup) of shredded pears and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Scrape down the sides and bottom to ensure even mixing, add the molasses and egg, and mix again until fairly smooth. Stir in the pears.
- Add the flour mixture and stir just until combined, do not overmix. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again and add the hot milk. Mix on low until combined and then turn the speed up to medium and beat for one minute.
- Fill prepared liners half full and bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. (They can be frozen un-iced at this point for future use.)
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- When cupcakes are completely cool, make the frosting.
- Cream the butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes on medium speed. Add the cinnamon and half of the icing sugar and mix until combined. Add the remaining icing sugar, vanilla, and 2 Tbsp of milk. Mix well, adding the last Tbsp of milk if necessary to get the right consistency - it should be soft, but able to hold a stiff shape when piped. Beat on high for another 2-3 minutes until light and creamy.
- Place in a pastry bag fitted with a piping tip and pipe onto cupcakes.
- Store, covered, in the refrigerator. For best flavour, let stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving.
Adapted from mysweetsanity.com