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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Candied Pumpkin Seeds

This recipe demonstrates the versatility of our Bundt cake mix—the batter is baked in muffin pans, then the cupcakes are topped with cream cheese frosting and candied pumpkin seeds. These sweet treats will be a hit with kids and grown-ups alike.

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 packet pumpkin spice Bundt cake mix (included with mix)
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) (6 oz./185 g) unsalted butter, melted and
      cooled
  • 1 packet pumpkin puree (included with mix)
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) milk

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 12 oz. (375 g) cream cheese
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) (6 oz./185 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 2/3 cups (10 1/2 oz./330 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the candied pumpkin seeds:

  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) pumpkin seeds, toasted

Directions:

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

To make the cupcakes, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

Put 1/2 cup (95g) of the cake mix in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater. Add the eggs and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute. Add the melted butter, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes. Add the remaining cake mix, the pumpkin puree and milk, reduce the speed to low and beat until just combined, about 1 minute.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to the rack and let cool completely.

To make the cream cheese frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and beat for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup (4 oz./125g) at a time and beat until smooth and no lumps of sugar are visible. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.

To make the candied pumpkin seeds, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small saucepan or sauté pan over medium-low heat, combine the granulated sugar and water. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar is amber in color, gently swirling the pan as needed to promote even browning after the sugar has melted, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, cinnamon and salt. Quickly stir in the pumpkin seeds, coating them evenly. Pour onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and spread in a thin layer. Let cool to room temperature, then gently break the seeds apart.

Frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with the candied pumpkin seeds. Makes 18 cupcakes.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen