Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

I needed a quick treat I could whip up for a Wednesday night small group. Our food theme (because we're fun like that!) was "meats and sweets" and I was obviously going the sweet direction. I remembered this easy breezy recipe (I overheard it in the teachers' lounge and let's face it, it's not to hard to keep the ingredients straight) and decided to try it out.

And just for the record, I do not love to cook (I tolerate it because I must nourish my body somehow and my neighbors' feed me if I feed them). I especially do not like to cook new recipes. Ah, the fear of the unknown! But I was so pleased by how these little cuties turned out that I made another batch almost immediately.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

Assemble the troops.
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes (or muffins, if that makes you feel better)

1 box of spice cake mix
1 can of pumpkin

(see, I told you it would be easy to remember)

Combine cake mix and pumpkin.
Stir. Hard. The batter will get super thick. You could probably add up to a half cup of water just to make it easier, but I use this as my exercise for the day. Besides, you'll be wanting to burn off the calories later. Bake according to box directions.

So thick the spoon sticks straight up in the batter.
I poured my batter into a mini cupcake pan, making 24 mouthfuls of deliciousness, with some batter left over. Regular sized would work too. Just note that the batter is way thick - these babies aren't going to spread and settle down in the pan. However you get them in there is pretty much how they will come out, crazy peaks and lumps and all.

Out of the oven.
And speaking of the calories I just mentioned, these cupcakes as is are not bad for you at all. You have omitted the heavy hitters of eggs and oil, so you can eat these pretty guilt-free. That is, until you add the homemade cream cheese frosting.

Bad, bad frosting ingredients.

Cream Cheese Frosting (worth it, trust me - remember all the calories you saved on those healthy cupcakes?)

1 stick of butter (I know, I know, but still so good!)
4 oz cream cheese (half a package)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together the room-temperature (or briefly microwaved for lazy-dazies like me) butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, a bit at a time, beat until nice and fluffy. Frost those babies. Dare yourself to eat just one.

With an artistic bit of cinnamon sprinkling.

Tempting close-up of these bad boys!

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