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The Gourmet Kitchen Recipe: Pumpkin-Spiced Cupcakes with Orange Curd

Gourmet-Kitchen_Pumpkin-Spiced-Cupcakes_400Have you ever tried a curd-filled cupcake? It’s pretty awesome. If you’re not as smitten with homemade curd as I am, you can omit the filling from this recipe to simplify things. But I really recommend it.

I’ve opted for a basic frosting instead of my normal Italian meringue buttercream since the recipe has three components. You don’t have to make everything at once; the curd and cupcakes can be made up to seventy-two hours in advance. For best results, I recommend preparing the buttercream frosting on the same day you plan on piping the cupcakes. This recipe is perfect for fall and winter celebrations. From The Gourmet Kitchen.

Prep Time: 55 minutes • Cook Time: 40 minutes • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes • Yield: 24 cupcakes

FOR THE CUPCAKES:
7 ounces (1¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
1 ounce (6 tablespoons) cornstarch
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
Grated zest from 1 orange (reserve 1 teaspoon for buttercream)
1 cup half-and-half, or ½ cup whole milk plus
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup pumpkin puree
6 ounces (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1¾ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
Approximately 1 cup homemade orange curd

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:
10 ounces (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of kosher salt

1. Line two large muffin tins with cupcake liners (optional: to ensure the cupcakes don’t stick to the liners, lightly coat the insides with baking spray). Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the oven racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and orange zest (use your fingers to break apart any clumps of zest).

3. In a small bowl, combine the half-and-half, vanilla, and pumpkin puree.

4. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, while periodically scraping down the sides of the bowl. Allow each egg to incorporate completely before adding the next.

5. On medium-low speed, alternate between adding the dry and wet ingredients for approximately 60 seconds. Scrape down the bowl one more time, all the way to the bottom, to make sure no patches of flour remain.

6. Evenly distribute the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake for 21 to 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.

7. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely and then remove from the pan. Use a paring knife to core each cupcake. Before frosting the cupcakes, use a pastry bag (or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off ) to fill each cupcake with curd.

8. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter at medium-high speed for 30 seconds.

9. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix on medium-low speed for approximately 45 seconds. Scrape down the sides and then mix on medium speed until the ingredients are completely combined.

10. Scrape down the bowl and add the vanilla, orange juice, orange zest, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix on medium speed to incorporate the ingredients and then turn the mixer to medium-high speed and mix for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice during this process.

11. Place the buttercream in a pastry bag with a decorative tip of your choice. Pipe the buttercream evenly onto each cupcake and serve.

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