I’ve had the same best friend for 20 years, which means we have a lot of traditions we’ve developed over the years. One of my favorites that we started in the last few years are making pumpkin cupcakes just for us. Normally when I make a big batch of baked goods, I share them around: I invite friends over, I bring some to work, I save some for my parents. But not these cupcakes. Every year we eat the entire batch ourselves.
This was one baked good I was determined to make work gluten-free; I love them too much to skip them. Luckily, this recipe adapts particularly well (I’m guessing it’s because it has so many eggs to help bind things together, along with the pumpkin to keep things moist).
The combination of pumpkin cake and chocolate ganache is literally the greatest. I don’t know how the world has not capitalized on this combination yet. But if you want to try it, don’t ask me; I’m not sharing.
Gluten-free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Recipe (makes 18-20; adapted from Martha Stewart)
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (use regular flour if you’re not GF; I love King Arthur for both)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick salted butter, melted and cooled (1/2 cup)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled (1/2 cup)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract, as long as it’s the real deal)
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
9 ounces chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with liners. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and spices (through nutmeg) with a fork. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together butters and sugars. Whisk in eggs and vanilla, stirring quickly and making sure everything is well combined. Whisk in dry ingredients, making sure to scrape bottom and sides of bowl to get everything in there. Whisk in pumpkin puree until smooth.
Divide batter between liners (they will be about 2/3 to 3/4 full). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of your middle cupcakes comes out clean, 24 to 28 minutes, rotating pans from top to bottom and back to front halfway through. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
When cupcakes are cool, put chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream until it’s steaming, but not boiling. Pour cream over chocolate and let sit for one minute, then stir until all chocolate is melted and smooth. Let mixture chill in the fridge until it’s stiffened a bit, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and dip cupcakes into chocolate twice. Store cupcakes in the fridge until you eat them all.