For this month's cupcake, I decided to do something that celebrates the colors and images of fall.  I found a photo online at this website (not sure why it's in russian), and realized that I had seen the fence cutout at Michaels.  They are cupcake wraps made by Wilton.  Also, in the same department, I discovered prefabricated pumpkin toppers and fall leaf sprinkles by Wilton.  Now, you can make your own gumpaste pumpkins, but I wasn't up for the effort.  
Inspiration Photo
Any flavor of cupcake would work, but I also wanted to highlight the flavors of fall and decided on a pumpkin cupcake with maple cream cheese frosting.  The recipe can be found on this website and is an adaptation of a recipe found on Martha Stewart's website.  Detailed instructions for handmade pumpkin toppers are on the site as well.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I added this to the recipe)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sift together dry ingredients into medium bowl
3. In a mixer, whisk together eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil.  Add the dry ingredients slowly and mix until combined.
4. Pour into cupcake pan lined with paper liners.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
1 lb. (16 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature - tip: don't use fat free cream cheese
1/2 lb (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tbsp real maple syrup (I added an extra tablespoon for flavor)
1 lb confectioner's sugar

1. Cream the cream cheese, butter, and maple syrup in a mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  Slowly add the icing sugar and beat until smooth
2. Color icing with desired colors.  I used Avocado Green, Yellow, Electric Green, and Brown to get the duller green color.
3. Put icing in a piping bag and ice cupcakes in desired look.  I didn't use a tip because I was being lazy.


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