Pumpkins are everywhere — it’s that time of year. Such a versatile fruit (yes, it is a fruit), for breakfast or dessert, and ginger pairs so well with pumpkin here. I LOVE to make this recipe to have on hand, whether I am super busy or just want to take a breath and pull something from the freezer, because it’s a triple duty delight!. Last night I mixed up one recipe, and turned it into:6 muffins for breakfast 2 mini loaves, for gifts 24 mini cupcakes, for dessert Or, you can turn it into two full sized loaves.
The topping is optional. I made two kinds, one streusel, and topped the breads and muffins, and a second topping much like a cream cheese frosting — with a twist. Check it out!
Start with these, and it will be a great day!
for the streusel topping (optional, for loaves or muffins): 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, I like dark 1 tablespoon all purpose flour 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon salt for the bread/muffins/cupcakes: 2 cups all purpose flour 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt ½ cup vegetable oil 4 large eggs ¼ cup buttermilk 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg 1 cup sugar 1 cup packed brown sugar, I like dark 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree 1/4 cup crystalized ginger, finely chopped, plus a little more for garnish 1 recipe cream cheese spread/frosting, (optional, as spread for muffins or to top cupcakes) recipe follows
Make the streusel topping: In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients with a fork, pressing to break up butter and turn into small crumbly bits. Set aside.
Make the bread/muffin/cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 inch loaf pans, or 6 mini loaf pans, or line 24 cupcake tins, or line 72 mini cupcake tins. Or: 2 mini loaves, 6 cupcakes, & 24 mini cupcakes.
Sift together the flour, akin powered, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In large measuring cup, mix together the oil, eggs and buttermilk; set aside.
In mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until smooth and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until the mixture looks like frosting, about 2 minutes or so. Add the pumpkin puree and beat until smooth.
With the mixer at low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the liquid mixture: 3 flour additions, 2 liquid additions, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and fold in the crystalized ginger.
Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling loaf pans or cupcake tins about 2/3 full. For muffins or bread, sprinkle streusel topping over. For cupcakes, leave NAKED! Bake in preheated oven as follows:mini cupcakes: 10-12 minutes regular muffins or cupcakes: 18-20 minutes mini loaves: 36-39 minutes regular loaves: 45-50 minutes
Allow to cool completely before frosting or storing. Freeze in an airtight container.
cream cheese spread/frosting2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened 4 stick butter, softened 1 cup brown sugar*, I like dark (or 1/2 cup if using for spread) 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or ginger liqueur 3 cups confectioner’s sugar * (or 1 cup if using for spread) 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
In mixer bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar, beat in. Add extract or liqueur, beat until sugar is dissolved. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar, and beat until it is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Season with salt and lemon juice.
*I made the spread first, with the reduced sugar quantities, reserved half of the mixture to use as spread. Scoop this half into a pretty bowl for serving; cover and chill.
Then I beat into the remaining half 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 cup confectioner’s sugar to make frosting. Scoop into a pastry bag and pipe on tops of cupcakes. Garnish with a bit of ginger, or a sprinkle of ground ginger, and a sprinkle of pretty sea salt. I used red Hawaiian sea salt.
And to get the timeline for Thanksgiving, click here.