A huge thanks goes out to Nichole, who really did get me back into the swing of things with this blog. Not only have I been posting more often, but I have really been spending more time in the kitchen preparing fun Fall foods. This weekend I tried to incorporate pumpkin into almost everything I did!

To continue last week’s Pumpkin Bread kick, I made pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin pancakes, drank Southern Tier Pumking beer and Dunkin’ Donuts 99cent pumpkin lattes, and even bought a few pumpkins for carving next weekend!

First, the pumpkin cupcakes. I was going to a surprise party for a friend and didn’t want to show up empty handed. I remembered a recipe that I had seen in the October issue of Real Simple magazine. It’s super duper easy and the cupcakes turned out awesome!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 18.5-ounce box yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients called for in the package directions)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
24 pieces candy corn

Heat oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the cake mix as directed but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

This morning I was still feeling pumpkin-y so I decided pumpkin pancakes were completely necessary. I still had some pancake mix left over from Alton Brown’s Instant Pancake Mix, so I started searching for a pumpkin pancake recipe. I found one on a blog called We Are Not Martha. I tried to combine the two recipes, which ended up a little short of disastrous. Stu was a great sport and ate the pancakes- which had a great flavor, but were unbearable heavy and thick. Next time, I advise just sticking to one recipe, and not combining the two. But here is what I did:

Disastrous Pumpkin Pancakes

2 cups “instant” pancake mix
2 cups milk/buttermilk (used regular milk. also, messed up here.)
2 eggs
8 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon into the instant pancake mix.

In another large bowl, mix the milk, eggs, and pumpkin puree. (Here is where I went wrong, using only 1 cup of milk as opposed to 2, because I thought the canned pumpkin would add more moisture to the mix. I also did not separate the eggs, like Alton Brown’s recipe calls for.)

Combine dry ingredients with wet ones, and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. (I mixed until combined but it was thick and gloppy, not smooth like pancake batter. I had to add another cup of milk, therefore totally and completely overmixing, making my pancakes thick, heavy, and flat, and not light and fluffy.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

The taste was definitely yummy but it was just not worth it to finish all of them. It did make for a nice little Fall Sunday morning breakfast spread. Hmprh.

More pumpkin and fall recipes to follow in the next few days!