Amber of Bluebonnets & Brownies is back for her Fall coffee-inspired recipe! And I only need four words to introduce her latest recipe: Fair Trade Pumpkin Spice!
This is the recipe I've been waiting all year to write. Recently, a promotional email from Green Mountain Coffee® went out. The subject line? "Pumpkin Spice is Here!". The text of the message? "Some people wait all year for this."
Yeah. I fully admit it. I'm pretty sure I inspired that marketing genius. Because I do. I wait all year. Or, actually, I try not to wait all year. I try to buy as many Pumpkin Spice K-Cup® portion packs as I can get my grubby little hands on, and then I hoard them, rationing myself to 2 (okay, 3) cups a day, praying that they'll last through to August.
It never works out. I just can't get enough of the Fair Trade Pumpkin Spice coffee.
Two years ago, my husband added fuel to the fire, buying me a Keurig Milk Frother for our anniversary. In November.
Autumn + Pumpkin Spice + Milk Frother = one jittery recipe writer full of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, my friends. I don't regret a single cup.
I knew we had to go sweet for this recipe. Our last recipe was savory, Island Coconut Chicken Curry, if you remember. But there's really only one direction you want to go when it comes to pumpkin and spice and everything nice - and that's straight down Sugar Lane.
The first recipe I ever had featured on Green Mountain Café was a chocolate mayonnaise cake. A recipe near and dear to my heart because it was my grandfather's. It relies heavily on strong coffee for its signature flavor, and so I wondered, how would a Spice Cake with a coffee and mayonnaise base be?
If the email I received from my husband's coworker this morning is anything to go by, not only does this cake work, the combination of the coffee-base and Pumpkin Spice coffee infused buttercream are, and I quote, "like manna from the Gods". (He often foists the extras of my creations off on his co-workers - it's actually made him quite popular!)
I hope that you enjoy Pumpkin Spice coffee, and Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes, as much as I have. They both embody everything I have come to love about the Fall: cozy comfort, inviting warmth, and enticing aromas.
Happy Autumn, everyone!
Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon All Spice
1 cup Mayonnaise - no substitutes!
1 cup (8 oz) Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Pumpkin Spice Coffee, cooled
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and all spice. Stir completely with a wire whisk - this will allow the ingredients to distribute evenly and also aerate.
In a smaller bowl, combine mayonnaise, coffee, and vanilla extract. Whisk as well, until ingredients are well mixed.
Stir wet ingredients into dry, mixing completely to make batter.
Line 12 count muffin tins with paper liners, or spray with cooking spray. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop batter into each muffin well. You should end up with exactly 18 cupcakes if you use the 1/4 cup measure.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake removes cleanly. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Pumpkin Spice Coffee Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened to room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cold Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Pumpkin Spice Coffee
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
In a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, cream butter until it is light and fluffy - 4-10 minutes at least. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add coffee one tablespoon at a time, mixing again after each addition, and then vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.
My kitchen was very warm, so my icing seemed a bit too soft at this point. I refrigerated it to stiffen it up, and then re-mixed it when I was ready to frost my cupcakes. If after refrigeration the frosting seems too stiff, add 1 tablespoon of half and half and mix well again with your mixer. Alternate between tablespoons of half and half and Pumpkin Spice Coffee until frosting reaches your desired consistency.
Cupcakes and frosting will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.