Happy [pumpkin-spice-cupcake] birthday to you!

As a 4th grader, I was not very high up on the list of popular kids at our local elementary school. I’m not sure why – my permed hair, braces and wire-rimmed glasses should have won the rest of the 4th graders over – but alas, I would have been left to sit alone with my Furby had it not been for this wonderful girl named Lauren.

Lauren and I met that year and we have been best friends ever since. Our one fight did stem from a discrepancy over a Furby dictionary (now those horrid little animatronic creatures are back, but we won’t let them get between us!), but we resolved the problem quickly and have maintained our friendship through thick and thin. She took my phone calls when we were miles apart and I went through my first heartbreak, I helped her talk through life decisions about school, work and family and most recently she stood beside me as my maid of honor as I married my other best friend, TK.

So what is one to do when one’s best friend  – who is now the Starbucks goddess of north Georgia – has a birthday? Well, one bakes pumpkin spice cupcakes, of course!

Pumpkin Spice cupcakes with cream cheese cinnamon icing. Appropriately decorated for my BFF Lauren.

Yes, they were delicious. I found the original recipe here and kind of had to wing it when I didn’t have everything I needed. TK went to a local Starbucks and explained my birthday-suprise plans and they graciously donated (way too many) sleeves and straws for the project! We had to cut the sleeves in half and staple them to fit around the cupcakes, but it was well worth it. I mean, who knows if I would have grown out of my perm-headed awkwardness had it not been for Lauren!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes (makes about 3 dozen)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (I combined equal parts cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger instead of buying $5 worth of pumpkin pie spice for this recipe)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and beat well.
  3. Combine the flour, spices, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl.
  4. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture in small increments, alternating with the buttermilk and beating well after each addition.
  5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with mixture and back for 20-25 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing.

Cream cheese cinnamon icing.

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together.
  2. Add vanilla cinnamon, and powdered sugar (one cup at a time so it mixes well). Beat until smooth
  3. Frost cupcakes after they have cooled.
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