The Month of the Pumpkin Challenge: Week 3

The mighty pumpkin was truly the star of the show this week (with a little help from Jamie, of course *wink, wink*)! I am genuinely overwhelmed by all of the wonderful feedback I got from my pumpkin homage! I had no idea it would make such a splash, but I am absolutely thrilled to have made so many of you giggle with mirth at the absurdity of a naked man carved onto a pumpkin :) All of your kind words and compliments made my day, thanks so much!!

Foodwise, week three was a mixed bag. We made Pumpkin Chili, which was a big disappointment since it didn’t taste like pumpkin at all, but we also made Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting, which are officially my new favorite fall dessert. Oh. my. gosh. If you like the flavor of maple, please take my word for it and GO MAKE THESE CUPCAKES RIGHT NOW!! Absolutely amazing. Trust me, they will be a new holiday staple.

Week three dessert: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting (recipe by Ina Garten)


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temp
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 coarsely chopped Heath bars (sprinkled on top of cupcakes)

Maple Frosting:

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, at room temp
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
  • ¼ teaspoon Natural Maple Extract/Flavor
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 10 muffin tins with paper liners. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined. Divide the batter among tins and bake 20 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

To make frosting: Cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. With mixer on low, slowly add confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

Did I mention how SCRUMPTIOUS these cupcakes are?  :)

Week three entrée: Pumpkin Chili

Ummm, yeah, I’m not going to post the recipe since it wasn’t even good as a regular chili :(

Week three fall seasonal beer (s): 

  • Starr Hill “Festie” Oktoberfest
  • Dundee Oktoberfest
  • Saranac Pumpkin Ale

5 comments on “The Month of the Pumpkin Challenge: Week 3

  1. Bridget says:

    okay, the cupcakes were SOOOOOOOOOO yummy!! moist and delicious! i’m definitely making these this weekend! :P

  2. Bridget says:

    Made the cupcakes yesterday. So freaking good!

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