Such beautiful weather here in Southern California, even for October! In that pumpkin zone, after making that penne pasta w/ pumpkin alfredo sauce. I spoil my kids with yummy treats, treats they just can’t have anywhere due to their sensitivities to gluten and dairy, which as they know is okay because Mommy can certainly stuff their faces with treats! And boy was this a treat, of course I had to sneak one right away. You know me.
These cupcakes have such a nice spice to the cake without overpowering the pumpkin, as many recipes can do. And did I mention the meringue, which is an adapted version of Chef Thomas Keller’s meringue? OMG crazy delicious, without the corn syrup or margarine, unlike most frostings. I can seriously eat all the frosting in the pastry bag. You just have to try this recipe and tell me what YOU think. Have a feeling you are going to love this seasonal treat…enjoy!
Makes 12 cupcakes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
1/2 cup tapioca flour (I use all Bob’s Red Mill flours)
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 tablespoons flax seed meal (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs, *ROOM TEMPERATURE (see note)
1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
8 ounces fresh **pumpkin puree (see note), or canned pumpkin puree, not pie filling
1/4 cup sunflower or vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple or pear sauce
Note: If you don’t have your eggs at room temperature, put them into a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes, or until the eggs feel room temperature. Change water if it gets too cold.
Note: For how-to on instructions on roasting fresh pumpkin, see my Pumpkin Penne Pasta w/ Alfredo Sauce recipe.
Will need a candy thermometer
1 1/4 cups PLUS 2 tablespoons PLUS 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon water
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon gluten free pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons GF, DF Graham Cracker Crumbs, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, sift flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves.
In another medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, and brown sugar for 1 minute using a handheld mixer.
Then add pumpkin, mix for another minute. I doubled the recipe (why you are seeing more eggs, etc than noted). A dozen of these cupcakes is not enough in our house!
Add the flour mixture, whisk until just combined, about 30 seconds.
Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, fill nearly to the top (7/8 full).
Bake for 22-26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely before frosting.
For the meringue frosting:
Combine 1 1/4 cups sugar and the water in a small saucepan, heat over medium heat with a candy thermometer attached to the inside of the saucepan, and stir to dissolve. When the mixture reaches 220 degrees F it is ready for the stand mixer.
Meanwhile, in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on medium speed until it begins to look very foamy, then gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons PLUS 1 teaspoon sugar. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft white peaks are formed.
At this point check to see if your sugar has cooled. If the temperature cooled, turn heat back on to high until it comes back up to 220 degrees F.
When it is at a soft peak stage resembling marshmallow fluff, slowly add the hot sugar along the edge of the mixer avoiding the whisk.
Note: If the hot sugar touches the whisk it will deflate your meringue!
Continue to whisk on high until the bowl has cooled, about 6-8 minutes.
Refrigerate for 5 minutes before transferring to a piping bag with a plain tip attached.
Pipe frosting on cooled cupcakes along the edges then center by pumping frosting out as you keep the tip in the center gently lifting it up to get a multi-layer look.
Lightly sprinkle with gf graham cracker crumbs. Serve chilled, or room temperature.
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