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Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream-Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream-Cheese Frosting
Eve Turow for NPR

I first baked these cakes for a winter brunch, and they were quite a hit.  I did not let anyone know that they were secretly low-fat. These cupcakes are great for fall brunches or as a treat to go along with coffee. Best of all, pumpkin is a power food, rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber and manganese. Also, the cake (not frosting) can easily be made vegan by substituting almond milk for the buttermilk.  The cream cheese frosting recipe is adapted from Eater’s Choice Low-Fat Cookbook by Ron Goor (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 1999).

Makes 18 cupcakes

For Cake

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 cup white all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon honey

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

For Frosting

4 ounces fat-free cream cheese

3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt and spices in one bowl. Combine pumpkin, applesauce, syrup, honey and buttermilk in another bowl, mixing until combined. Slowly add liquids to dry ingredients, folding until combined. Spray cupcake pan or add holders and fill 3/4 full with batter. Place in oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Place cakes onto a rack and cool.

For frosting, use a food processer, mixer or blender to mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Scrape sides and bottom and process again. There should not be any lumps. Spread on top of cupcakes.

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