Tuesday, July 3, 2012

1 2-layer yellow cake mix (any. I use the generic Aldi brand)
1 3-ounce package vanilla instant pudding mix (I use 3/8 cup bulk vanilla pudding mix)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup extra light olive oil
1/2 cup water
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves (we don't like cloves much, so I use 1/4 teaspoon, max)
1/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat all ingredients in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed for another 2 minutes or until thoroughly blended. Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop (I like the trigger kind), fill 18 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
(This is a half batch of frosting - the full recipe makes far more than needed, but if you like lots and LOTS of frosting, go ahead and double it).

1/2 package (4 ounces) Neufchatel cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon milk
2 cups powdered sugar

 Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and milk in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes.