Well, after a couple weeks off from blogging to work on my Statement of Purpose for graduate school, I am finally back! One thing I did manage to do in between drafts of my paper is bake a cake. Nothing calms my soul like baking some sweets. Luckily I know myself well enough to not leave the cake at the house. So, I’ve shared most of it with friends, and it helps that Daniel wants to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, without further adieu….here’s an amazing recipe you should try! (Thanks to Courtney for posting it on her blog!)

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese
(I made mine as a cake, but you get the idea, also I used a different cream cheese frosting but I’ll list both below)

1 box (18.25 oz) devil’s food cake mix
1 cup pumpkin pie filling
3/4 cup buttermilk (in place of the water called for on the box)
1/3 cup canola oil
4 large eggs (in place of the number called for on the box)

Ingredients for awesomeness

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Follow the box instructions, putting all the ingredients in a large bowl (pumpkin, cake mix) and using the buttermilk in place of the water specified (the box will call for more water than the amount of buttermilk that you are using), using the amount of canola oil that is called for (usually 1/3 cup), and adding the eggs.

Beat with an electric mixer (or in your stand mixer if you prefer) until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until think, 2 minutes longer.

Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the baking pans, place on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Frost with pumpkin cheesecake frosting (recipe follows).

Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting

1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2-3 tablespoons pumpkin pie filling
4-6 cups confectioners or powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons half & half

In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and cream cheese together until fluffy; add the pumpkin pie filling and beat until fully incorporated.

Slowly add confectioners or powdered sugar into the bowl, 1/2 cup at a time and beating after each addition. Continue adding the sugar until you have a thick frosting of your preferred consistency. Stir in the coffee granules until incorporated.

If the frosting becomes too thick, add a tablespoon or more of half & half to thin out.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting (My own version)

2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy.

Pumpkin joy!

I seriously recommend you try this recipe! It really is tasty and super easy!