These little treats are bursting with so much autumn flavored goodness, it’s hard to believe they’re good for you!
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.
- Combine brown sugar, oil, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat with mixer until well combined. Add eggs, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin, raisins, and walnuts mixing well. Fold in the flour mixture. Spoon into paper lined or oil sprayed muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.
Frosting for Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes:
The frosting is optional. These little cakes are so moist and delicious, you really don’t need it (but it does transform them into a luscious dessert).
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 (8-ounce) Neufchatel cheese*
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Combine vanilla, and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Beat with mixer until combined. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.
- Spread a small amount on each cupcake. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.
Note: To turn this recipe into a cake, pour the batter into a 13 x 9 inch pan (sprayed with cooking spray) and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. If you prefer less sugar, decrease the brown sugar to 1/2 cup and try adding a 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple and/or 1 cup of shredded carrots to the batter. Both are sweet, delicious (and nutritious) options.
Nutrition Note: *Neufchatel cheese is similar to cream cheese but it is naturally lower in saturated fat and does not contain any added ingredients.
Beta-carotene, found pumpkin and other red, orange and yellow vegetables, is a provitamin which means our body can convert it to vitamin A. Beta-carotene is considered an antioxidant and it helps maintain healthy skin and eyes. Individuals who consume the necessary levels of beta-carotene can lower their risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, macular degeneration, and other age-related diseases.The National Institutes of Health recommends a daily dietary intake of beta-carotene at 3,000 IU for men and 2,310 IU for women. One of these pumpkin muffins contains over 2700 IU of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene should be consumed through food sources. Vitamin supplements of beta-carotene are not recommended.