Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Pumpkin muffins are pretty typical this time of year but I had pumpkin puree sitting around in my fridge for a few days, with no plan for it. So when I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, I decided I had to make it. It. Was. Amazing.

I usually shy away from banana or pumpkin recipes that contain butter because I feel like the bananas or pumpkin should be enough for the moistness/softness, and the butter just makes it more unhealthy than I'd prefer. This one uses oil and is about 230 calories per muffin.

I used my fancy Callebaut chocolate for this and it did not disappoint. Using chopped chocolate is just so much better than chocolate chips! You can chop them coarsely and the chocolate ends up dotted throughout the batter with big and little chunks. It's worth it if you appreciate chocolate in general.

If I made these again, I would definitely add in some nuts for a little texture. I also added in some cardamom in the pumpkin spice because cardamom is my favorite.

The second time I attempted this recipe, I tried to reduce the sugar and the oil by a bit and it surprisingly tasted more like a store-bought muffin mix. I was disappointed but then I added a cream cheese frosting on top and it was all fixed. These were inhaled quickly by everyone around us and I had to exercise a lot of self-control not to hoard these all myself. 
Cupcakes aren't typically made from muffins--they are softer more cake-like while muffins are meant to be dense, but I promise this works really, really well.

To make muffins, follow this recipe here, and to make cupcakes with the best cream cheese frosting ever, try mine!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Adapted from here
Makes 24

1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 cups chocolate (preferably chopped chocolate)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two cupcake pans with liners.
Blend the eggs with the sugar and oil with a whisk until the eggs are mixed in.
Add in all the other ingredients, except the chocolate and use the whisk to combine.
Stir in the chocolate last with a spatula.
Use an ice cream scoop or a small ladle to evenly distribute the batter in each cupcake hole.
Bake for about 18 minutes until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the of the cakes comes out clean.
Let cool on the counter.

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or scrapings of a vanilla bean
1-2 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt

Beat all the ingredients together and adjust the consistency by adding more milk to make it smoother and softer or more sugar to make it stiffer. 

Use a piping bag with a pastry tip to decorate.
Store in the fridge and eat within 3 days of frosting.
The cakes can be stored in an airtight container and frozen away for up to a month or two.


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