Okay, I know what you’re thinking: No one needs another pumpkin spice anything recipe. I would have agreed with you! And then…last week I asked a friend what type of birthday cake she wanted for her birthday. She said pumpkin spice. I thought she was kidding. She wasn’t. So I headed into the kitchen to make a batch of pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese icing.
Although I have a recipe for pumpkin bread that I love, I can’t resist futzing with old recipes. Since my friend doesn’t have a big sweet tooth, I reduced the amount of sugar and added a splash more orange juice. Then I boosted the ginger. It added a nice hot kick without turning it into a gingerbread.
The cupcakes were a hit, and lots of people asked for the recipe. My lesson? Apparently there aren’t enough pumpkin recipes in the world.
Gluten-Free Spicy Pumpkin Muffins
For the Cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups white rice flour (10 ounces; 283 grams)
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (12 1/4 ounces; 347 grams)
- 1/2 cup cornstarch (2 ounces; 56 grams)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil (5 1/4 ounces; 148 grams)
- 4 large eggs (about 7 ounces; 200 grams, out of shell)
- 1/2 cup orange juice (4 ounces; 113 grams)
For the Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened (4 tablespoons; 2 ounces; 56 grams)
- 2 cups powdered sugar (8 ounces; 226 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cupcakes: Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 muffin pans (24 cupcakes total) with paper liners.
Whisk together white rice flour, granulated sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, ginger, and xanthan gum in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, eggs, and orange juice. Add pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Fill prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake until cupcakes are golden brown and spring back to the touch, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with any remaining batter.
For the Cream Cheese Icing: Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or handheld electric beaters, beat together cream cheese and butter until softened and creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip until light and smooth. Spread on cooled cupcakes (if you ice warm cupcakes, the icing will melt.) Store cupcakes, covered, on the counter for up to three days.