Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes

After oooh’ing & aaahhh’ing over these cupcakes on Nicci & Suzanne‘s blogs, I knew I had to make them & soon. My parents’ visit & our big tailgate proved to be the perfect excuse.

Y’all know I love anything sweet & the fact that they’re just three or four ingredients makes them all the better.

Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes


1 can Libby’s pumpkin
1 box white cake mix
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Mini candy of your choice~ I used Snickers, 3 Musketeers & Milky Way {the surprise}

Mix the pumpkin, cake mix & spice until combined. Line cupcake/muffin pans with liners or grease well. I made 18 smaller cupcakes, but you could easily make 12 bigger ones.

Easy, yummy & kinda healthy.

Pour the batter about half way in the cups. Top with your choice of mini candy bar. Or don’t & fill all the way {husband wasn’t sure about the “surprise” part, so I left six plain}. Fill the ones with chocolate goodness the rest of the way full. Be sure that the candy is completely covered. I had a few that weren’t & those weren’t much of a surprise.

Bake on 350 for 25 minutes or just until they begin to brown on top. Let cool then enjoy! We had them for dessert, breakfast & snacks, & they were so yummy for all three.

Pumpkin cupcake for breakfast, yes please!

Pumpkin Cookies

I wasn’t bringing anything down to OIB for Thanksgiving. That seemed weird to me~ I tend to bake & bring at least something. Then the girls at work decided to have a snack day tomorrow, so I thought perfect! I’ll make cookies for both!

I’d seen these pumpkin cookies on A Wedding Story about a month ago and I’d remembered how great they looked & sounded. I had all the ingredients on hand. They were easy to make. And Husband {not the dessert fan, I know weird right?!} even gave them his stamp of approval!! I doubled her recipe {listed below are my amounts} and 1.5x her glaze recipe {I posted her amounts} with a lot left over. After seeing her photo again, I realized I topped mine with a lot less glaze than she did.
5 c flour {I used 1 c white flour & 4 c whole wheat flour b/c I was out off all purpose}
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
3 c sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
1 c Libby’s pumpkin
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

for glaze:
2 c sifted powdered sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, & salt together in a medium bowl.
In large stand mixer, cream sugar & butter. Add in the pumpkin, eggs, & vanilla until all mixed.
Slowly add the dry into the wet ingredients. Bake 15 mins. As per instructions, I let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before placing them on wire cooling racks.

While the cookies were cooling, I sifted the sugar then mixed all the ingredients together. I placed cookies in close single layer in 9×13 pan then spooned glaze over the cookies. Enjoy!

Praline Pumpkin Dessert

This recipe is an old favorite of my mom’s (so old she’d forgotten about it!). A coworker mentioned before Christmas that it was now their family’s tradition to make “Nancy’s pumpkin cake” so my mom asked her for the recipe back. 😛 I thought I’d share because its easy & festive for the fall.
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 c sugar
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 box golden vanilla cake mix
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (we used more like 3/4 cup because I don’t love a lot of nuts in sweets)
3/4 c melted butter (recipe says can be little more)
Whipped Cream or topping
Heat oven to 350. Grease 9×13 pan. Beat pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, and pie spice until smooth (seems like original recipe called to do this with a whisk but notes say to use mixer b/c its easier!). Pour into pan. Sprinkle cake mix evenly on top, then sprinle pecans, then pour melted butter evenly on top of everything.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. Knife inserted in center should come out clean. Cool Slightly. Serve warm or chilled. Add whipped cream just before serving. If top completely with cool whip, store in refrigerator. We just cut pieces, microwaved then topped with cool whip individually. Enjoy!!

Trader Joe’s!

Not sure if I’ve mentioned Trader Joe’s much on here but I love it! The new Raleigh store opened last Friday right near Costco (maybe 2nd favorite place to grocery shop) and only 10 mins from us. The Cary TJ’s was more like 30 minutes. I’d usually try to stock up whenever I was in Cary, but now I don’t have to!!!! I went tonight to check it out, get dinner for myself, things to take for lunches this week, and few of my TJ’s staples (frozen fruit, hummus, pizza dough & sauce, wine, pretzel chips, bananas). $82 later; I had all that plus lots more. 4 packed bags full in fact! I plan to try out their pumpkin muffins for this weekends tailgate, the pumpkin pancake mix sounded yummy for Sunday breakfast, got bagels to eat with the Apple Butter wedding favor from 2 weekends ago, the super friendly check out guy told me I HAD to get the maple cookies, etc etc. I’m a sucker for deals on great food. I’ll post later if any new items I got should be recommended. 🙂

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

We had a chill weekend at home all day Saturday. I was attempting to sleep in when Moekitty woke me up at 8:23 to be fed! So waffles for us & kitty food for Moe and the couch it was. We watched lots of football games, took a few naps, and I got caught up on some Real Simple & O magazine reading. I’ve decided that I’m growing up; I like and feel like I relate to those magazines than the Marie Claire & Glamour I used to subscribe to. I ripped out a couple of recipes to try from both magazines, including this one.I’m looking forward to trying this recipe this week for a Chi O alum dinner club & also to give to then NCSU Chi O new member class retreat this weekend. It sounds easy & I’m thinking the pumpkin puree will make the cupcakes very moist. I’m going to double the recipe, but here’s the 24 cupcake recipe from Real Simple.

Cupcake Ingredients
1 box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients called for in the package directions)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
15 oz can pumpkin puree

Frosting Ingredients
2 8 oz bars cream cheese, at room temperature
2 c confectioners’ sugar

24 pieces of candy corn

Heat oven to 350F. Put cupcake liners in cupcake pans. Prepare cake mix as directed, but add pumpkin pie spice & substitue the can of pumpkin puree for the water.

Divide batter amoung the muffin tins and bake until toothpick comes clean. Usually 18-22 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, using the electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread frosting on top of cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.

Real Simple says that the cupcakes can be made up to 2 days before hand; just store at room temperature and keep covered. Frost up to 12 hours before serving.