The most wonderful time of the yeeeear (I’ll be repeating that through January, so bear with me)! I’m gonna be honest, October is my favorite month but my second favorite time of the year. Christmas is my #1, but Halloween is a close second. And right now I’m all about fall!
I told you all about my mom’s cancer diagnosis in this post, and treatment has been moving right along since then. She had a bilateral mastectomy in August and recovered extremely well. Chemo came shortly after, starting on September 22. She gets a cytoxan/taxotere cocktail every third Tuesday and so far she’s done well. She’s had a few hiccups – we’ve had two ER visits and an extra visit to oncology because she keeps developing persistent low grade fevers, but generally speaking she’s handled treatment well. She hasn’t felt nauseous much, she did lose her hair and picked out a rockin’ wig, and mostly has just felt very tired and a bit weaker than normal. What does all of this have to do with fall? Well, the upside of being at the hospital at least once a week means I finally have someone to bake for! My family and Joe don’t eat sweets and since it’s a little outrageous to make myself 24 cupcakes when the baking bug bites, I hardly bake anymore. Except now I have all these wonderful nurses I can make lots of sweets for!
Last week I made pink velvet cupcakes and pink ribbon sugar cookies in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Recipe here, they came out great!
This week I promised them pumpkin spice cupcakes. I’ve been using this recipe by Martha Stewart for years and it’s my all time favorite except for the carrot cake ones I make for Easter. Okay, they’re tied for first – maybe because that recipe uses a lot of the same spices as this one.
I finished the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and cute Wilton pumpkin toppers I found at Target. This recipe made 20 regular size cupcakes plus 24 mini bite-size cupcakes (enough for two trays, one for the oncology nurses and one for the girls in mom’s surgeon’s office). Let me know if you make them or if you have a go-to pumpkin recipe that you love!!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp coarse salt (I use kosher salt)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 ground allspice
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
- Preheat oven to 350° and prepare baking pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and eggs. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add pumpkin and whisk together.
- Fill cupcake liners a little more than halfway, and bake 20-25 minutes. Cupcakes are done when tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for five minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely.
- In the interest of full disclosure: I only used 1/2 tsp ground ginger for this recipe and used dark brown sugar in place of light brown sugar, and the cupcakes came out as great as usual. Slightly more moist, which I like!
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3.5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until blended. Slowly add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Start with 3 cups of sugar and taste as you go, adding more as needed. This way your frosting won’t come out too sweet.