Get Busy Baking, or Get Busy Eating: Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes and Brownie Bites

6 Nov

Those little puffs of dessert-o-rific joy? Those would be Two-Ingredient (-ish) Pumpkin Cupcakes. I dove into sweets this week with two different adaptations of mixes, in the spirit of my earlier post about doctoring pre-made and store-bought products. The results were downright delicious, and — now that I’ve devoured them, as have my ravenous coworkers — this post was ripe to be written.

First on the menu? Those cupcakes, which I baked to a) experiment with the 2-ingredient (ish) method seen here. I had no idea that this was even a thing, a technique, a recipe, but then, I decided to try it. And it was fabulous! So easy, and surprisingly light, given that the recipe contains no oil or eggs. (With that in mind, I suppose it’s also, technically, vegan? Bazinga!)

Two Ingredient-Ish Pumpkin Cupcakes — makes 12 to 15 cupcakes.

You’ll need:

  • 1 package spice cake mix, or plain yellow cake mix
  • 1 16 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional if using spice cake)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional if using spice cake)
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional if using spice cake)

For the frosting glaze:

  • 3-5 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F, or whatever temperature your box of cake mix requires.
  • Mix cake mix and pumpkin in a large bowl until fully combined. Add spices if using plain yellow cake mix.

The ingredients! Yup, that’s all, folks.

Mmm, ooey gooey pumpkin goodness. Aww yeah.

 

  • Prepare a muffin tin by spraying each section with Pam cooking spray. Add a hefty spoonful of batter to each section; then, bake according to package directions. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
  • To frost / create glaze, mix frosting ingredients in a bowl. Add more or less milk depending on thickness you prefer. When cupcakes have cooled, drizzle the frosting glaze over the cupcakes using a fork or spoon. Mmm!

The second recipe I played around with was these Doctored Up Brownie Bites. Based on this previous entry about adding all sorts of tastiness to store-bought ingredients and mixes, I tucked some goodies — walnuts, chocolate chips — into a basic mix (we’re talking 50 cents for the package — nothing like a store brand) and added some Greek yogurt in place of oil. You’d be surprised by how moist and downright chocolatey these brownies were. Check ’em out:

Brownie Bites, Doctored Up — makes 25-32 brownie bites

You’ll need:

  • 1 package brownie mix, plus required additional ingredients (minus any oil)
  • Plain OR vanilla Greek yogurt, measured to equal amount of oil required for brownie mix
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup regular size or mini milk chocolate chips.

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat your oven to 350° F, or whatever temperature required by package directions.
  • Combine mix and additional ingredients, including Greek yogurt, until thoroughly mixed.
  • Add walnuts, chocolate chips, and any other mix-ins you like. (Dried cranberries or dried cherries, for example, are killer here. Killer!)
  • Spray a mini-muffin pan with Pam cooking spray. Spoon a hefty tablespoon into each mini-muffin section, and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • All mini-muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the pan; then, remove and cool completely on a cooling rack. Mangia!

And as a little added bonus, I’m also including a quick recipe for Greek Yogurt Frosting. Seriously. This stuff is so delicious; it didn’t pair as well with the pumpkin cupcakes, but on those brownie bites — or, perhaps, some sugar cookies — it’d be subtle, slightly tart and sensibly sweet.

Greek Yogurt Frosting — makes 1 cup-ish of frosting for cookies, brownies or a coffee cake

Frosting! Way more nutritious (err … at least, less un-nutritious … ) than other kinds of frosting!

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Here’s what you do:

  • Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Adjust according to taste.
  • Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour before frosting any baked goods.

Dessert is in the air, friends; I even made a microwave mug brownie last night with a hankering for sweet-stuffs. Here’s to fall-themed desserts and satisfying your sweet tooth. Happy eating!

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