Tag Archives: fall

WB Challenge #1 – Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the cooking board that I frequent.  Some of the girls have banded together and created a monthly baking challenge called What’s Baking? (it’s a play off the name of the board, What’s Cooking?).  This is the first month of the challenge and the theme was Fall Cupcakes.

Immediately, the ideas started flowing through my brain. There were so many different ways I could go with this: Maple Pecan with Candied Bacon, Sweet Potato with Cranberry and Brown Sugar, Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, Apple Cider with Rosemary Frosting….

Lucky for me, the due date for this challenge coincided with the Husby’s birthday weekend, so I went straight to the source and asked him what kind of fall themed cupcakes he’d like for his birthday.  His answer was simple: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.

I searched the internet for the perfect recipe.  There are so many different Pumpkin Spice Cupcake recipes out there.  I finally chose one that had an ingredient that jumped out at me:  Freshly ground Black Pepper.  I was very excited to see what it would add to the otherwise simple flavor profile (it was super yummy).

So what did the Husby think of his birthday cupcakes?


Make sure to stop back on the 30th for a link to the round up of all the What’s Baking? Fall Cupcakes!!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting – slightly adapted from Sassy Radish


– 1 Stick Butter, Unsalted, Softened

– 1 Cup Brown Sugar

– 1/3 Cup Sugar

– 2 Cups Flour

– 2 tsp. Baking Powder

– 1 tsp. Baking Soda

– 1 tsp. Cinnamon

– 1 tsp. Ginger (I used fresh because I had extra on hand, but the original recipe calls for ground)

– 1/2 tsp Nutmeg

– 1/8 tsp. Cloves

– 1/2 tsp. Salt

– 1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper

– 2 Eggs

– 1/2 Cup Buttermilk mixed with 1 tsp. Vanilla

– 1 1/4 Cups Canned Pumpkin


– 2 8oz Packages Cream Cheese, Softened

– 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, Softened

– 2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar (Powdered Sugar)

– 1/4 Cup Grade B Maple Syrup



Preheat oven to 350.  Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Using a stand or hand mixer, beat together 1 stick butter, brown sugar and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt and pepper into a medium bowl.

Add eggs to the butter and sugar mixture.  Add 1/3 flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk/vanilla.  Repeat, then add remaining 1/3 flour mixture.  Beat in pumpkin until smooth.

Spoon batter into cupcake liners until 3/4 full.  Tap the tin once on the countertop to release air bubbles.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool.  After 10 minutes, remove cupcakes from muffin tin and cool completely before frosting.



Beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup.  Fill a piping bag with frosting and swirl over cupcakes.  Add a candy corn pumpkin for decoration and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set frosting.  Dig in!

Chai Tea Bread

Another one of the Fall flavors I love is Chai.  I love the way its spiciness hits my tongue and lingers on my tastebuds.  I could easily spend the morning with a good book and a chai tea latte (if time ever allowed me).  So when I found this recipe on the cooking board I frequent, I knew I had to make it.  I followed the recipe to a T and can’t really imagine making any changes, it was so good!

Chai Tea Bread – from Sugarplum Musings

For the Bread:
– 1/2 Cup Butter
– 3/4 Cup Sugar
– 2 Eggs
– 3 tsp. Vanilla
– 1/2 Cup Prepared Black Tea, cooled (I used English Breakfast)
– 1/3 Cup Milk
– 1/4 tsp. Cardamom
– 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
– 1/8 tsp. Cloves
– 3/4 tsp. Nutmeg
– 2 tsp. Baking Powder
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 2 Cups Flour
For the Glaze:
– 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
– 1/4 tsp Vanilla
– 3-6 tsp Prepared Black Tea (I used 6 to get the right consistency)
– Additional Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray the bottom of a loaf pan with Pam.
Using a hand mixer, cream together sugar and butter.  Beat in eggs, tea, milk, vanilla and spices on low speed until well combined.  Slowly add the baking powder, salt and flour.  Stir until just moistened.  Pour into pan.

Bake 50 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes then remove loaf from pan and cool on wire rack for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together powdered sugar, vanilla and 3 teaspoons of the tea, adding more little by little until the glaze is of a spreadable consistency.  Spread glaze over the bread and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing.  It’s even better the next day.

Pumpkin Lasagna

It might not be pretty, but it is delicious!

Well, there’s no arguing around these parts that it’s Fall.  The cooler weather has taken over and the leaves are changing colors and falling off the trees.  I’ve traded in my tank tops and capris for hoodies and jeans.  It’s my favorite time of year.

Sure, it means Summer is over and Winter and it’s nastiness is right around the corner, but there’s just something about Fall that makes everything seem right in the world.  Fall brings the arrival of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Bacon and Cheddar Apple Pies (check back soon for the recipe).  Fall is made for family gatherings around the dinner table or at the apple orchard.  It’s the flavors and aromas that I love about Fall… The scent of burning leaves when you step outside, the warmth of the fire from the fireplace, the mugs full of hot chocolate and yummy things baking in the oven.

Once the weather turned, I was chomping at the bit to make this recipe.  I combined two different recipes and added a few things on my own to create just the right flavor I was looking for.  The touch of sweetness was a welcome addition… Not too overwhelming. The Husby claimed it was like “dinner and dessert all in one bite.”  My original plan was to use chicken and apple sausage as the protein but, of course, the grocery store was out.  Luckily, I found a sweet italian turkey sausage that worked just fine.

What is your favorite thing about Fall?

Pumpkin Lasagna – Adapted from Prevention RD and Food Mayhem

– 1 Package No-Boil Lasagna Noodles
– 1 Package Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage, casings removed
– 1 Onion, chopped
– 1 Package Sliced Mushrooms
– 1 Bag Baby Spinach
– 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
– 2 Tbsp. Butter
– 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
– 2 Cans Pumpkin
-1 Cup Half and Half (I used fat free)
– 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
– 2 tsp. Maple Syrup
– 1 tsp. Cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
– 1 Tbsp Dried Sage
– 15 oz. Ricotta
– 1 bag Shredded Mozzarella
– 1 cup Parmesan
– Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

Saute mushrooms and onions in the olive oil until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add spinach and cook until wilted.  Set aside.

Brown sausage and set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add garlic and stir until golden brown.  Add pumpkin, half and half, sage, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Stir until warm then set aside.

In a 9×13 baking dish, spread a layer of pumpkin sauce, followed by a layer of noodles.  Add another layer of pumpkin sauce.  Top with half of the vegetable mixture, sausage, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan.  Repeat once then top with remaining noodles and sauce and the remainder of the mozzarella and parmesan.

Cover dish loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.