Yep, it’s another pumpkin recipe! But it’s pumpkin season and these amazing Pumpkin Upside Down Muffins are just too good not to share! As if I would ever hold out on you…. Not a chance! Another bonus of these moist, but tender-crumbed, perfectly pumpkin-spiced, pecan-caramel bedecked muffins is that they are lightly and more healthfully sweetened with unrefined sugar. Making them that much more awesome!
I usually try to sweeten all of the desserts I bring you with either maple syrup or maple sugar, and I will continue to incorporate them into my recipes, but I’ve been experimenting with using Sucanat, as well. If you aren’t familiar with it, Sucanat is natural, unprocessed cane sugar. As much as I love maple syrup, there are some recipes that it doesn’t work well in, and maple sugar, while very versatile, isn’t super easy to source, so I thought it would be nice to bring you an alternative. I’ll also be trying some recipes with coconut sugar because it’s unrefined too and has a mild flavour profile that will work well with a lot of different recipes.
I hope you’ll check in to see the new treats and try the recipes I come up with as I continue on this amazing dessert blogging adventure.
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or brown sugar)
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup Sucanat (finely ground*) or brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups pumpkin purée
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Bring butter and maple syrup to a low simmer over medium-high heat. Stir caramel until it turns a medium golden brown. Remove from heat and whisk in whipping cream and pinch of salt. Divide chopped pecans into the bottom of the individual tins of a greased 12-cup muffin tin. Top each with about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon caramel sauce. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin, Sucanat, eggs, oil, and vanilla until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and all of the spices. Gently fold flour mixture into liquid mixture, stirring until just combined.
- Divide muffin batter evenly between muffin cups, spooning batter over nuts and caramel. Bake muffins at 425ºF for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 375ºF and continue baking 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a couple of crumbs showing.
- Cool muffins in pan for about 10 minutes. Run a knife around muffins, inverting onto a cooling rack.
And just like that, it’s Autumn! Here in the northern Rockies, it’s like someone just flipped a switch and said, “OK, change of seasons”! I do love the beautiful fall colours and the crispness in the air, and the irresistible aroma of apples, pumpkin, and wonderful fall spices in my kitchen. These Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies are a crispy-exterior-chewy-in-the-middle kind of cookie with a perfect blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves-a delicious way to begin your fall baking. I topped these cookies with a store-bought caramel sauce (yep, I totally cheated, and yes, it has regular white sugar in it! Gasp!), then sprinkled the caramel with a pinch of medium-grain salt, but you can absolutely leave it off if you prefer a less-sweet cookie, and they’ll still be sooo yummy. I hope you’ll try these little gems and fill your home with the warm and homey scents of the season.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup maple sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup caramel sauce (I used King’s Cupboard brand)
- Medium grain salt for sprinkling (Fleur de Sel is good)
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with maple sugar. Add pumpkin and mix until completely combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing until thoroughly combined.
- Scoop out a generous tablespoon of dough and lightly roll into a ball. Place dough balls onto a parchment paper or silicone sheet-lined cookie sheet, about 2” apart.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes. Remove from oven and, using a pancake spatula, flatten each cookie slightly (so the caramel sauce doesn’t slide off). Cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the drizzle, spoon caramel sauce into a microwaveable container and microwave for 15-25 seconds on high power. Pour sauce into a plastic squeeze bottle and squeeze a little onto the top of each cookie, spreading almost to the edge or just spoon about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of caramel sauce on top of each cookie. When caramel has cooled completely, sprinkle with salt.
Dough will be stiff, but sticky.
Thanksgiving is nearly upon us! How did that even happen?! Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like once we get past September, the year picks up some serious momentum! If you’ve been feeling a sense of urgency about what to prepare for the dessert end of things on the Turkey Day table, I think I have a solution for you with this Pumpkin Creme Brulee.
Like all creme brulees, this one is creamy-smooth with that to-die-for crackly sugar topping that creme brulee fans love, but it’s the maple pumpkin deliciousness that brings this one to a new level of yum! What’s so great about this dessert is that it really is pretty simple to prepare and you can make it ahead of time so it’s one less thing to deal with and take up precious oven time on the big day. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
- 8 egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 vanilla bean, split
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup maple sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- In a large bowl, mix egg yolks with a hand mixer until frothy.
- Heat about 6 cups of water to boiling. (This will be poured into the pan that will hold the creme-filled ramekins).
- Add cream to a medium pan and scrape vanilla bean seeds into the cream. Stir in maple syrup and 1/4 c. maple sugar, and turn on heat to med-high. Stir constantly, bring cream to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Very slowly whisk some (a few tablespoons at a time) of the hot cream into the egg (until the mixture is lukewarm), then whisk in the remainder of the cream.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the 2 tablespoons maple sugar) and whisk until combined. Place ramekins into a large pan (a 13 x 19 cake pan should be fine) and pour mixture into your ramekins. Carefully fill the pan half full with hot water. This will maintain a good moisture level inside the oven while the custard is baking.
- Bake until the custards set, 55-60 min. Test the custards for doneness by shaking them lightly; if they don’t jiggle in the middle, they’re done. Place them in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill.
- To brûler your custards, sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon maple sugar on the tops of each chilled custard and using a cooking torch, carefully and slowly heat the sugar until it hardens. You can also put them under a broiler but watch them very carefully so they don’t burn, turning often.
- Pop them back into the fridge to chill for an hour or so longer.
NOTE: The maple sugar that you sprinkle on top of the custards will burn more easily than regular granulated sugar, so if you’d rather not take the extra time it requires to more slowly brulee the maple sugar, then go ahead and use superfine white sugar in the same quantity.
Cuteness aside, these Mini Pumpkin Cakes with Maple Cream Cheese Filling are the bomb! The maple cream cheese filling is the perfect complement to these pumpkin cakes. I was having a hard time not eating it straight out of the bowl by the spoonful! Pumpkin desserts are a given at this time of the year and I tend to go to my old standbys, pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread, but felt it was time to change it up a bit and boy! am I glad I did! You won’t be sorry if you give these Mini Pumpkin Cakes with Maple Cream Cheese Filling a try for your holiday gatherings – I promise they’ll be a big hit!
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup maple sugar
- 2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 ounces cream cheese softened
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
- 2/3 cup powdered maple sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon milk
- 3/4 cup powdered maple sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk
- 1 teaspoon maple extract
- Spray 15x10x1-inch jelly-roll pan with Baker’s Joy or similar and line with parchment paper, then spray paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl beat eggs and maple sugar with a mixer on medium high speed for 3 minutes. Add pumpkin and mix until blended.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture on low speed just until combined.
- Pour cake batter into prepared jelly roll pan, smoothing with a spatula until it’s level.
- Bake for 11-14 minutes. Test for doneness with a cake tester or toothpick. Cake is done when the toothpick comes out without crumbs on it.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack. Carefully peel away the parchment paper. Cool completely.
- Using a small 2-inch diameter cookie cutter (I used a pumpkin shape, but use whatever you like), cut out as many shapes as you can. Place half of the mini cakes on a serving plate.
- Beat cream cheese, powdered maple sugar and softened butter on low speed until smooth.
- Add milk and beat on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Spread 1-2 tablespoons cream cheese mixture over each mini cake on your serving plate, then top with remaining cakes.
- In a small bowl whisk powdered sugar, milk, and extract together until smooth. *Pipe icing on the top of the cakes.
- Refrigerate for an hour before serving.
As always, you can substitute granulated and confectioners sugar for the maple sugars in this recipe, but if you substitute confectioners sugar in the filling, mix in an additional teaspoon of maple extract.