Modern Holiday Desserts

An important part of the holidays is of course the food. (Yes family, friends, good health, good tidings, these are all important but lets be real, we all love food). With Thanksgiving being yesterday and Christmas now less than a month away, I want to share a fun way for traditional holiday favorites like Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie to be incorporated into cupcakes in honor of UPB presents Cupcake Wars to take place on December 1 at 8pm in Taylor Down Under.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes

Prep Time= 40 minutes

Total Time= 1 hour 35 minutes

Makes= 24 cupcakes

½ cup finely chopped pecans

3 tablespoons sugar

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix

1 cup (from 15- oz can) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
½ cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 container Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy cream cheese frosting

1. Heat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
2. In heavy 8-inch nonstick skillet, cook pecans and 2 tablespoons of the sugar over low heat about 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted. Spoon and spread pecans onto sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar; toss.
3. In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about 2/3 full).
4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

5. Frost cupcakes with frosting. Sprinkle edge of frosted cupcakes with pecans; press lightly into frosting.

~Katelyn Diehl, Executive Assistant

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