Saturday, October 15, 2011

MSCC: Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes

Fall is not only full of gorgeous colors, but such a wonderful mix of seasonal fruit, vegetables and spices. I love having fresh apples and pumpkins on hand to bake with.

Just the other week I made pumpkin puree and am just getting into recipes to use it.

This month I am joining in with Martha Stewart Cupcake Club (MSCC) and they are baking their way through Martha Stewart's Cupcakes cookbook.  Each month a new cupcake is chosen, and this month's selection is from Monica at My Cupcake Journey. She picked the Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes with Brown Butter Icing.
Oh, my! These caught my eye when I first flipped through the book. I have had a lot of "Ho-hum" pumpkin cupcakes in the past, but this recipe looked different. 

Packed with pumpkin complementing spices, a bit of sage in the browned butter and a browned butter depth of flavor in both the cupcake and in the frosting, makes this little cupcake something special. The flavors are deep and comforting. My husband and I were both big fans of this one.

I was a rebel with the recipe though, the book called for a very delicate "naked" cupcake without a liner. Though it was a nice look, I really hate washing muffin tins. I enjoy a more grab-n-go approach to a cupcake dessert. Well, at least this time.

As for the rest, I stuck with the original recipe and was not disappointed.

I just love smelling the combination of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg in the kitchen. To me that is the heart and soul of Fall. Fall is spicy, warm and inviting.  These little cupcakes lived up to all those expectations and then some.

If you bake these I highly suggest finding yourself a little kitchen helper. Mine did a fabulous job and kept all the batter inside the bowl.

Don't forget about the brown butter. It is such a star in this treat.

If sage in a sweet treat has you skeptical, never fear. As the butter browns the sage becomes crispy and wonderful. It permeates the butter with a lovely flavor that complements the pumpkin and other spices so well.

My only issue is cleaning up after making brown butter. I really hate the mess left in the pan. I do have a quick tip to help make clean up easier and will post it at the end of this post.

I loved this recipe! Since it was my first with the club, I expect more great things to come. The cupcake was both moist and rich. The brown butter brought a decadence to the cupcake, but at the same time it wasn't overly sweet. I think it is a grown up flavor to appreciate, but sweet enough that even children would want a bite.

Stop by the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club  to see the other bakers' posts. Next month the group will be making a Ginger and Molasses Cupcakes (p. 52 - 53) selected by Rebecca at Beurrista.

As for my little cleaning tip? Well, browning butter left my post looking a little like this:

Soaking it right away can help, but to really get it clean, put a little baking soda in the bottom. Add just enough water to make a paste and then add in a little of your own elbow grease with a sponge.

Simple enough and you will have a sparkling pot back in no time. I hope the tip helps.
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