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Have you ever roasted a pumpkin over an open fire?
Neither have I. But I have made these pumpkin s’mores cupcakes for you, and that’s probably way better anyway.
What you see here was my third (!) attempt at these cupcakes. First, I used some of these homemade pumpkin marshmallows and pressed them into the batter. Did you know that marshmallows (or maybe just homemade ones?) float in chocolate cupcake batter? And did you know that when marshmallows float in cupcake batter, they spread all over the cupcake pan and burn, and you think optimistically that maybe it will still taste good, like gooey burned marshmallows, but then when you spend 15 minutes scraping burned marshmallow cupcakes off of your favorite baking pan, you think “hmmm… better not.”
So the second time, I ditched the marshmallows and instead combined some marshmallow fluff and pumpkin together. I cored the cupcakes and tried unsuccessfully to drip the mixture into the cupcakes. Did you know that marshmallow fluff on it’s own just sinks into the surrounding cupcake, turning the texture into that of an under cooked cupcake? After the fifteenth time I had to explain to my human taste testers that no, it wasn’t under done, my marshmallow fluff just disappeared into the cupcake, I thought “hmmm… better not.”
But here’s the winning combination: marshmallow fluff, pumpkin, cream cheese, and powdered sugar! Twice as rich and twice as sugary, but it doesn’t float! It doesn’t sink! It’s the magical miracle s’mores filling!
This is the perfect dessert for this time of year, because it’s got everything you could want in a cupcake. Chocolate? Check. Marshmallows? Check. Pumpkin? Check. Crazy delicious buttercream that is smooth AND crunchy at the same time? Giant red check with a smiley face next to it.
adapted from Hershey’s Kitchens
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with baking cups.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in eggs, milk, and vegetable oil until combined. Carefully stir in boiling water, mixing until combined and batter has thinned.
3. Fill baking cups 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
adapted from Your Cup of Cake
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
1. Combine all ingredients together. Core cupcakes, reserving the cored centers. Spoon the filling into the holes until full. Press cupcake center back in on top of the filling. Don’t worry if it sticks out, we’ll cover it with frosting later.
Pumpkin Graham Cracker Buttercream
adapted from Your Cup of Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup graham crackers crumbs
1 tbsp pumpkin puree
1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar. Add pumpkin pie spice. Stir in graham cracker crumbs and pumpkin puree. If the buttercream is too dry for your taste, add a tablespoon or two of milk.