Want to hear something funny about Thanksgiving? I’m not allowed to make dessert. Me, the award-winning baker, cannot make nor suggest anything else other than pumpkin pie. Dad always makes the pie. He gets so excited too. The week before, he’ll “test” his recipe (the one he’s been using for the past how many years now) by making two pies. Then the night before Thanksgiving, he will make another two pies – one to eat Wednesday night and one to eat for Thanksgiving. I always ask why he just doesn’t make one pie. “But that’s what the recipe says.” “Cut it in half.” “Nah, we’ll eat both pies.”
Disappointed, I made Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes. Except I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot make real pie crust nor pipe it onto cupcakes. Rest assured they taste just like pumpkin pie minus the crust.
I went with pumpkin cupcakes and whipped cream to mimic pie. I thought about filling them with pumpkin mousse, but then I came across this picture one day. Cupcakes that look exactly like pie! I didn’t want to cut a hole in them for presentation purposes. The cupcakes are very moist, so no filling was needed anyway.
My piping was definitely challenged. First, the color. I had brown food coloring, so I kept
adding a few drops. And a few drops. And a few more drops. Man it took a lot of drops to get the shade that I got. Although it isn’t the perfect shade of pie crust, I think it got the point across. Next was the actual piping. I experimented with so many tips, I lost track. I finally settled on the basket weave tip (which is weird because it only pipes one way, so you have to physically turn the cupcake as you pipe). I piped, realized how horrible they looked, scraped off the frosting, and kept trying.
As I said earlier, these Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes taste just like pie crust. I was a little
shocked actually. Using whipped cream rather than buttercream really helped. And even though I’m not allowed to serve these for Thanksgiving, maybe you can convince your family to have these instead of pie.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with 8 cupcake liners*. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, and egg until smooth. Whisk in the pumpkin and 1 Tbsp cream. Whisk in flour mixture until smooth.
- Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners.Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- When the cupcakes are completely cooled, make the whipped cream: In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream until it starts to thicken. Gradually add in powdered sugar and vanilla then continue beating until stiff peaks form (when you remove the beater(s) straight up, the peaks will stay in place without falling over). Take a little bit of whipped cream and pipe a white star into the middle of each cupcake**.
- With the remaining cream, stir in the food coloring, adding only a few drops at a time until the desired shade of brown is reached. Pipe a pie crust onto each cupcake.
*I know 8 is a weird number for cupcakes. After I scaled down the recipe, I ended up getting more than 6. **If you do not want to pipe them into mini pies, stop at this point and pipe as desired.
Adapted from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson