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Happy Halloween!!!!These cupcakes are by no means strictly Halloween cupcakes, but I really wanted a chance to decorate for Halloween! Spiderwebs, sprinkles, and Jack Skellington!! Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite movies, especially around this time of year (I’ve already watched it about 4 times in the last couple of weeks…). I attempted black frosting for some chocolate Halloween cupcakes because I was hopeful that maybe it would work, though I knew in the back of my mind that it wouldn’t. They still look dark and dreary, and festive at least!The spiced pumpkin cupcakes are delicious! I made them last year for Halloween, too, and they were a big hit. Pumpkin and cream cheese is a classic and tasty combo! They dome very nicely, too, and are very moist and tender. The perfect cupcake for fall, and for Halloween or even Thanksgiving :).

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes
Yield: about 24-30 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 large eggs

Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.

Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes to the wire rack and cool completely.

To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated; increase the speed and beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cupcakes and decorate as desired.

Source: Annie’s Eats

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