A wonderful vanilla cream cheese icing tops these. I always use a clear vanilla in my icings so that the icings stays very white. Pure vanilla or regular vanilla extract discolors white icings and makes them a funny off white color. I purchase Wilton clear vanilla at Micheals Craft store for about $5.00 a bottle. Another thing about vanilla extract in general: I used to be a strictly "PURE" vanilla extract snob until I read an article in Cooks Illustrated that when pure vanilla was tested in recipes, taste testers could not distinquish pure vanilla over imitation vanilla extract in the recipes. I started purchasing imitation vanilla by the gallon at Sam's Club for 1/8 of the price of the pure. I do not go lightly with the vanilla in recipes! I usually always pour more in than called for - especially now that it costs so much less for me.
This cupcake is an example of what my father & husband prefer over the photos below. Just a very light touch of icing on top. I prefer a huge blob of icing!
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 jars (4 oz each) of applesauce & apricots baby food
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
chopped walnuts or pecans are optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line cupcakes tray with paper liners (maybe 15 cupcakes? just remember 3/4 full of batter)
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice & nutmeg. Set aside. (I sifted these together).
Beat eggs, butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla & honey in a large bowl on medium speed until well combined. Add the baby food, pumpkin & beat until smooth. Slowly add the flour mixture. Mix slowly until just well combined.
Divide batter between prepared muffin cups - filling them 3/4 full. Bake at 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from oven to a wire rack and let them cool completely.
You can enjoy these cupcakes without icing or with a delicious cream cheese or buttercream icing.