Pumpkin Cupcakes with Candy Corn Buttercream from Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes are the perfect way to celebrate the first day of fall. Jocelyn is an award winning cookbook author and blogger. I love her approach to sweets and you will too.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Candy Corn Buttercream
Yield: 16-18 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
Pinch of salt
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
McCormick Sunflower food coloring (see note)
McCormick Berry food coloring (see note)

For the Cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and add 16-18 cupcake liners to two 12 muffin pans.
2. In a mixer bowl, add eggs and both granulated and brown sugar and beat for 3 minutes on high speed.
3. Next pour in oil, hot water, and pumpkin and mix until incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
4. Turn your mixer to the slowest speed and carefully add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix until just combined.
5. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop cake batter into each cupcake liner filling only two-thirds of the way.
6. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out barely clean.
7. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes then remove the cupcakes from the pans and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the buttercream:
1. With a mixer, blend butter and salt at medium low speed.
2. Next turn the mixer down to low and slowly add powdered sugar in small portions until all is added then turn the speed to medium high to combine.
3. Add heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix until nice and fluffy.
4. Evenly separate the buttercream into three different bowls leaving one bowl plain.
5. Color one bowl using the sunflower color; set aside.
6. Color another bowl pumpkin by using both the berry and sunflower colors.
7. To pipe cupcakes, start by piping one wide ring on top of cupcakes using round tip with the sunflower color then follow up on top of ring with pumpkin color with round tip and finish piping one dollop of plain color with star tip on top and serve.
Recipe note: The food colors are from the McCormick Color From Nature line.


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