All the spice and sweetness of pumpkin pie is wrapped up in these cupcakes. A tangy Buttermilk Icing gives them a grown-up touch, but they’d also be great with Cream Cheese Frosting if you’ve got a real sweet tooth.
What to buy: Make sure to pick up puréed pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.
Game plan: These cupcakes are best the day they are made.
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange the rack in the middle. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners. Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Whisk together pumpkin and milk in a separate bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, beating and then scraping the bowl down after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with pumpkin-milk mixture, mixing on low speed, and scraping the bowl down between additions. When all ingredients have been added, mix batter 30 seconds on medium-high speed until uniformly combined.
Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter and bake until a tester inserted in cupcake centers comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before removing from the pans. Let cool completely on a rack, decorate with icing, and serve.