It doesn't seem that the pumpkin spice trend is going to let up anytime soon. Or ever. I adore pumpkin spice. That said, I'm definitely Team Baked Goods when it comes down to it. I don't need pumpkin potato chips or anything. *shudders at the thought* These Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes, though...they're right up my alley.
These Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes are tender and spiced with a hint of espresso! To top them off, stabilized whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice! Now you can get your PSL fix in cupcake form!
For The Best Pumpkin Cupcakes
You know that I'm always striving for the best flavors possible in all my bakes! Getting pumpkin flavor is no problem, and the spices are a cinch. For the "latte" part of the PSL flavor profile, I turned to espresso powder.
Espresso powder is an awesome way to add espresso flavor without adding liquid. I've found it difficult to find at my local grocery store. I use King Arthur Baking's brand (link here), as it's very fine and made specifically for use in baked goods. You can try to substitute with an instant espresso, but make sure that you grind it down as smoothly as possible for uniform flavor throughout your cupcakes!
Whipped Cream vs. Buttercream
I nearly made a vanilla bean buttercream to top these cupcakes. While I'm sure it would have been delicious , I really wanted to keep my ode to a PSL a little more in line with the actual beverage. As such, I topped these beauties with stabilized whipped cream. It's just homemade whipped cream that is "stabilized" with a drizzle of a gelatin mixture while you're whipping it. This step ensures that your whipped cream doesn't break down like whipped cream usually does. You can't taste the gelatin and there's no gelatinous feel to the final product!
It's no secret that I'm in love with vanilla bean paste, so of course I added it to the whipped cream! I love the flavor and the lovely black flecks! If you're looking to purchase vanilla bean paste and can't find it in your local grocery store (I never can), you can find it online here. Alternatively, you can substitute with an equal measure vanilla extract if you like.
(If you'd prefer to top these babies with buttercream, I suggest making a *half batch* of my vanilla buttercream.)
If you're in search of another pumpkin spice latte dessert, you can check out my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies! They're cut-out cookies that you can doll up with royal icing or buttercream to keep the PSL vibes going!
Now you can have your PSL and eat it, too! In closing, I leave you with a confession: I've never had an *actual* PSL! *hides and braces for your reaction* I know, I'm like a rare relic... 😀
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Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a standard muffin pan or line with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, espresso powder [see note], baking soda, baking powder, and spices). Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Whisk to combine. Add eggs one at a time, whisking to incorporate the first before adding the second.
- Add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing with a spatula until just combined. Divide the batter between the cups of the prepared pan (each cup will be about ⅔ full).
- Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For Whipped Cream:
- Pour water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top and allow to bloom for about 10 minutes. You want to ensure that none of the gelatin is dry.
- Once the gelatin is bloomed, place in the microwave for about 10 seconds, or until the gelatin mixture is melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean paste (see note). Using the whisk attachment, whip on medium speed until you reach soft peaks.
- With the mixer running on low speed, drizzle in the gelatin mixture. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and continue whipping to stiff peaks.
- Transfer the stabilized whipped cream to a pastry bag to pipe on top of the cupcakes, or dollop the whipped cream on top with a spoon. Sprinkle with spices, if desired (I just topped mine with cinnamon).Enjoy!