Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting

I've had fall desserts on my mind for a while. I'm probably more concerned with planning the dessert at our wedding than anything else right now. Instead of going the traditional route of the big wedding cake, we're thinking small. Cookies, and pies and of course something pumpkin needs to make an appearance. So in honor of the fall flavors we haven't been able to get enough these past few weeks, I figured we needed a good pumpkin spice cupcake in our lives. Mainly because you can never have enough pumpkin flavored desserts in October, and I just really wanted to make cupcakes.

I love a cupcake that is like a mini cake. These are dense with flavor and have a cakey texture, almost like a gingerbread, and it certainly helps withstand the weight of the cream cheese frosting. If you want something that's a little more light and airy these might not be your favorite, but I bet the maple bourbon frosting could sway you.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp nutmeg
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
2 tbsp honey
1 tbs pure maple syrup
½ cup canola oil
½ cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 350° and prepare two pans with cupcake liners, or cooking spray. In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom and nutmeg. Using an electric mixer beat the eggs. Gradually add the sugar until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin, followed by vanilla, milk, honey, maple syrup, canola oil and applesauce. Once the mixture is smooth, pour in dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, until the cupcakes are cooked through.

Maple Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp butter, at room temp
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp bourbon

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go. Pour in maple and bourbon and continue mixing until fully combined, and the frosting is light and fluffy. Pipe onto pumpkin cupcakes.