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pumpkin cupcakes, jana laurene photography

[yes. this is my picture. i’m working on my food styling/photography skills – what do you think?]

fall is my favorite season. maybe it’s because i love all things pumpkin.

so the other night, my roommate and i decided to have a little bake-fest [she’s my sous chef/cooking prodigy – i love it].

we googled ‘pumpkin cupcakes’, and martha stewart’s recipe was the first to pop up. let me just tell you, martha does not disappoint.

there wasn’t a frosting recipe, so i took the liberty of using a cream cheese frosting recipe that i now have memorized, thanks to my love affair with this banana cake. excellent choice on my part, if i do say so myself.

[the recipe makes about 20 cupcakes. i had to make another batch so i could take some pictures].

pumpkin cupcakes
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. coarse salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ground allspice
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree


1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. line cupcake pans with paper liners. set aside. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. set aside. [don’t worry if you don’t have all the right spices. we didn’t have allspice, so i just doubled the amount of nutmeg].

2. separately, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. [i apparently can’t read recipes, and just softened my butter instead of melting it – it still worked great]. whisk in pumpkin puree. [the recipe calls for 15 oz. of pumpkin puree, which is actually half of of the cans of pumpkin you find at most stores].

3. divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway to 3/4 full. bake approximately 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. [in my oven it was almost exactly 20 minutes].

cream cheese frosting
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 t. vanilla
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar


cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. add vanilla. then add powdered sugar. it will be too thick to use regular beaters after you add the powdered sugar, just fyi. hope you have a kitchenaid. or you don’t mind using your muscles. i pipe my frosting out of a re-usable featherweight piping bag i purchased at michael’s. and this recipe makes exactly the right amount needed to frost one batch of these cupcakes.


ps. i weighed less the day after i made these. they’re magic cupcakes.

for more of my favorite recipes, click here.


1 Emma { 03.22.10 at 3:58 pm }

that is a magazine-worthy photo! what’s your secret?!

2 Dawn { 03.22.10 at 3:58 pm }

Fantastic photo! I watched a show on Food Network one day that showed “food stylists” and some of their secrets… they used WD-40 to make the eggs look more appetizing and stuffed pie crust with mashed potatoes before placing individual cherries in the “cut slice”. So weird.

Not sure if there are any tricks for baked goods like that, but your pics looks yummy!

3 kylie nixon { 03.22.10 at 3:59 pm }

this looks great! ok jana, i’m serious about getting together- i think it would be super fun to go shoot together on an afternoon and just talk about photography and food and everything! we could shoot eachother or bring friends along… just have some good ole photo fun. let me know what you think!

4 Bianca { 03.22.10 at 3:59 pm }

i love that picutre!!! it looks delishhh!

5 Lydia { 03.22.10 at 3:59 pm }

oh my gosh! I made these same cupcakes last sunday & everyone ADORED them! super pics by the way :)

6 Lisa { 03.22.10 at 4:00 pm }

Thanks for sharing this recipe! I made them on Halloween and they were a hit! I even shared the love and posted the recipe on my web log. Beautiful photograph, by the way.

7 Lynne { 02.26.11 at 9:56 am }

Beautiful pictures! Looks delicious!

8 Jenn@eatcakefordinner { 02.26.11 at 8:31 pm }

I think your photo is very cute. I have been searching for a perfect pumpkin cake recipe, I will have to try this one!

9 The Harried Cook { 03.02.11 at 9:18 pm }

WOW! Your pictures look good enough for the cover of any magazine! Amazing!

I am a novice blogger & my pictures are really bad! Sigh.. Hopefully I’ll get some pointers from your blog. Thanks for the inspiration… and the recipe :)

10 Jessica { 12.21.11 at 6:50 pm }

The styling is cute on that photo. Good work as always! I think I might have to make these!

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