Food & Drink Magazine

Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes

By Monetm1218 @monetmoutrie
Picture Halley Hoffman turns 9 years old!
My niece, an unquestionable expression of childhood beauty and joy, is celebrating her birthday today. Nine years ago, a blonde hair baby brought sweetness and laughter into our homes. She blossoms more each year...and each time I see her, I'm overwhelmed with love.
More than anything, I wish I could step into my stand-up shower and transport myself to Colorado--where the air is crisp and talk abounds of birthday celebrations with heroines and karaoke machines.
But alas, I'm stuck in Austin, where the air is at least "cooling" but my sweet niece is nowhere in sight.
What is Aunt Monet to do? Picture
Halley and I both share a fondness for pumpkin bread. This, no doubt, was instilled by her mother and my older sister, Susanne. After ordering cups of coffee or chai tea, Susanne always asked for a piece of pumpkin bread to help mellow out the acidity of those famous, 3-dollar drinks. We'd sit in a crowded coffee shop, laughing as we sipped and broke off bite-size pieces of bread. When Halley was old enough to walk and talk, she joined us in our caffeine/sugar ritual.
Like any sane person, Halley and I became undying fans of the moist and sweet pumpkin bread, slightly spiced with cinnamon and cardamon. We've even recreated a few of these loaves at home...because Halley, like her aunt, is an avid baker.
So when I thought about a cupcake to bake in honor of her birthday, I knew pumpkin needed to be a star player. And what makes almost everything better? Chocolate, my friends.
I imagined a moist cupcake, swirled with pumpkin and chocolate, topped with a light cinnamon glaze.
After an hour or so in the kitchen, I pulled out an oven of delightfully sweet and spicy cupcakes, each unique in their swirls, each smelling like cool fall days and tall cups of chai and whipped cream.
This recipe requires 4 bowls...but besides a few extra dishes, it is simple enough for a 9-year-old to make (even a 9-year-old not nearly as talented as Halley is in the kitchen...she's going to have her own bakery one day...correction, WE are going to have our own bakery one day). Picture I'm one lucky lady with these two. Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes
Chocolate Batter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder (I used dutch process)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
Pumpkin Batter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, Fahrenheit. Grease or line 24 muffin tins.
2. In one large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients of chocolate batter (flour through brown sugar). In another large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for pumpkin batter (flour through sugar). Set aside.
3. In one medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients for the chocolate batter (milk through eggs). In another medium bowl, mix together the wet ingredients for the pumpkin batter.
4. Beginning with either chocolate or pumpkin batter, scoop rounded tablespoons of batter into each muffin tin, repeat with the alternate batter until muffin tins are about 3/4 filled. Swirl batter with a wooden toothpick.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in pan before flipping out and cooling on wire rack.
6. Serve with or without powdered sugar glaze (1 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1-2 TBSP heavy cream and a dash of cinnamon).
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