You guys, I am in full-fall-frazzle mode. Which just means I don’t have my shit together for Halloween (or the rest of the holiday season for that matter) but I do have these cupcakes dialed in so we are making progress. Thank goodness these are EASY to bake and decorate. The ganache on top takes these cupcakes from regular to fancy with that glossy, shiny lid but it couldn’t be easier to pull off. It’s literally a melt, stir, pour situation but makes for the most elegant cupcake frosting.
For the cake, I wanted a fluffy pumpkin cupcake that stood firmly in the cake category and not in the bread category, with a soft and tender crumb and the lightness you’d expect from a cupcake. To achieve the texture I wanted these don’t have a ton of pumpkin puree in them to retain that lightness and soft texture. I’ve spiced them lightly so the pumpkin flavor still comes through without having to add more puree to the batter.
Half Full: You only want to fill the cupcake liners half full with batter. This way they will bake up with room at the top to fill with ganache.
Spice up your life: I only spiced these with ginger because I love it paired with chocolate and wanted to make sure the pumpkin was still a star. You can add whatever spices you like and up the quantities if that’s your thing.
- Cupcake Batter:
- 1½ cups (192g) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cups (113g) soft unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup (113g) pumpkin puree
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 6 ounces (170g) semisweet chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate bar)
- 6 ounces heavy cream
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and ground ginger together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a mixing bowl and hand mixer) beat the butter and brown sugar together until lighter in color and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the egg, beat to combine. Beat in the pumpkin puree to combine and scrape down the bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl and mix on medium-low until just combined. Add the milk and vanilla and mix to combine, followed by the remaining flour. Divide the batter between the cupcake liners, filling only about halfway so there is room for ganache at the top, and bake for about 22 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.
- Once the cupcakes are cooled, make the ganache. Heat the heavy cream in a 2 cup measuring glass in the microwave until hot but not boiling, about 30-45 seconds (or heat in a pan on the stove until bubbles appear around the edges of the pan and the cream is steaming). Add the chocolate chips and cover the top of the glass with a plate or lid to retain the heat. Let the cream and chocolate sit together for about 3 minutes and stir until smooth. If there are still solid bits of chocolate, heat in 15 seconds increments in the microwave stirring between each until smooth (overheating the ganache could cause it to break). Spoon a heaping tablespoon of ganache over each cupcake, tapping the cupcakes gently on the bottom to level out the ganache (or use the back of a spoon). Let the ganache set at room temperature for about an hour, or refrigerate for 20 minutes, before serving.
- Optionally, melt some white or blonde chocolate and place in a piping bag. Snip the end and drizzle over the set cupcakes. Decorate with chocolate pearls or sprinkles.