These cute little cupcakes were for a December birthday lunch at work. I really over-committed myself this week. We attended Ben’s office party on Tuesday night, I volunteered to make a dessert for the birthday lunch, I’m bringing Swedish meatballs and a very time consuming little cookie to a Christmas party tonight, and I’m hosting a cookie swap tomorrow that I have yet to bake cookies for. Yikes! Needless to say, I did not want to make something complicated or too terribly time-consuming. So, I made spice cupcakes…from a box!
I wasn’t lazy enough to use canned frosting, so I made a basic cream cheese frosting and added a few tablespoons of maple syrup. It was a bit of a stretch for me as a recipe follower, but it turned out to be a nice frosting for the spice cupcakes.
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick butter
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
Cream together butter and cream cheese.
Mix in powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until it is a bit thicker than your desired consistency.
Vegetables are so versatile. They can be enjoyed raw, roasted, steamed, fried, sautéed, boiled, and surely a few ways I’ve neglected to mention. One of my favorite things about vegetables is that they can be enjoyed as a savory side dish, an entrée or in a sweet baked good. The butternut squash in this cake adds moisture and texture, and a very subtle flavor of squash that is a nice complement to the tart buttermilk and sweet vanilla and spices.
I used a traditional bundt pan, which I greased and sugared. This is my new favorite way to prep a pan for baked goods. I used this method on a pan of blondies yesterday that came out beautifully. The two batches I tried before stuck like crazy, but this sugaring thing seems to be pretty foolproof.
The batter was smooth and smelled wonderful even before it was baked. I used 3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice in the batter because I was out of ginger. I think it worked well and still provided the fall spice flavor.
This is an easy recipe that can be prepared ahead of time since it needs to cool before applying the glaze.