So I’d say that fall is sorta here. The weather has been teasing us here in Northern California. Felt like fall for a lot of the summer, without the lovely fall scented air, or colorful leaves. It was kind of a bummer. My tomatoes did not want to cooperate due to the cool summer, and I think I rarely broke out a sweat for most of August.

Bring October…yeah, October. For some reason, whoever makes the weather decisions around here decided that October was in fact summer. Someone screwed it up.

It got hot. I mean like Nor Cal summer hot. Tank top and t-shirt weather. It was nice, but it bashed all of my plans of making warm cozy soups and autumn recipes. I had to hold out on my pumpkin hankerings, because really, who thinks about pumpkins when it’s 90 degrees out?

Not me.

Now fall has decided to step in again. Yesterday was cool and rainy and absolutely wonderful.

Out came the pumpkin. And the pomegranate. Oh, chocolate chips too…

This is the first pumpkin treat I made yesterday (I went on a bit of a cooking spree)…

Please, if you’re counting calories, bake, don’t eat these. I am not responsible for your shock when you realize how much badness one of these contains.

But they are soooo good. The melding of pumpkin and chocolate, pomegranate and brown sugar cream cheese frosting, is well, effin’ delicious.

Makes 24 cupcakes

From flamingobear

PRINT RECIPE

Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) vanilla sugar (can substitute granulated sugar)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups (1 15-ounce can) 100% pure pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 1/3 cups (14 1/6 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • few grates of fresh nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat together the oil and sugars. Beat in the eggs, pumpkin, water, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and stir to blend. Then gently stir in the chocolate chips.

Bake for 20-21 minutes or until muffin tops spring back and tester comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the oven, and cool them on a wire rack. When they’re completely cool, wrap them well in plastic wrap, and store them overnight before serving to allow the pumpkin flavor to fully develop.

Nutrition info per cupcake or muffin (with NO frosting): Calories 235, Fat 13.2, Fiber 0.8

Variations:

For bread: Spoon the batter into two lightly greased 9 × 5-inch loaf pans. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.

For mini-muffins: Divide the recipe by 1/4 to get 24 mini muffins. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

For pumpkin muffins: Omit chocolate chips and add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1 cup (6 ounces) plumped raisins.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

From Joy the Baker

(for 24 cupcakes)

PRINT RECIPE

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4-6 cups powdered sugar (depending on desired consistency)
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk (depending on desired consistency)

Cream the cream cheese in an electric mixer for 1 minute.  Scrape down the bowl and add the butter, beating for 1-2 minutes, or until incorporated.  (Be sure that the two are at room temperature.  Cold cream cheese or butter can make your frosting lumpy.)  Add the brown sugar, pinch of salt and vanilla extract, and beat until incorporated.  Turn off mixer and add 2 cups of powdered sugar.  Turn the mixer on a low speed so the sugar doesn’t fly out of the bowl.  Slowly add more sugar alternately with the milk until you reach your desired consistency.  I like my cupcake frosting to be slightly more thick than cake frosting, so it can hold its shape on the cupcake.

Once iced, I sprinkled each cupcake with pomegranate seeds. Adds a lovely ‘pop’ and a slight tartness. So good.

Nutrition info: (you really don’t want to know this one…or scrape the icing off if you’re trying to watch your intake heh heh): Calories 239, Fat 14.9, Fiber 0