8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large eggs
5 large egg whites
1 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoons salt
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup light brown sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter
Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking liners. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar for 3 minutes. Beat in 1 egg white and ½ teaspoon vanilla.
In a bowl, whisk the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, granulated sugar, oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture.
Layer each muffin cup with some of the pumpkin batter, then the cream cheese mixture, then more of the pumpkin batter. Bake until springy to the touch, 25 minutes. Let cool.
Prepare frosting while cupcakes are cooling. Using an electric mixture, beat the brown sugar, remaining 4 egg whites and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Fill a medium saucepan with enough simmering water to reach a depth of 1 inch; place the mixing bowl on top. Whisk the mixture until it registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer.
Transfer the bowl back to the mixer and beat at high speed until fluffy; lower the speed and beat to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat at high speed for 5 minutes. Beat in the remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag and pipe large rosettes on top of the cooled cupcakes.
These cupcakes were out of this world! If you like pumpkin and cheesecake, then these are a must! The actual cupcakes are so moist and the cheesecake in the middle is so delicious and such a treat. The only thing that could be better than the cupcakes is the frosting – it is light and fluffy and is probably the best frosting I’ve ever tasted (and I don’t even eat frosting half the time). Erin said the frosting was a bit labor intensive, but it was worth it in the end; it’s the perfect topping to a great cupcake. Neither is too sweet, but just perfect! Erin used a piping bag for the frosting and it worked perfectly.
If you want to experiment with something a little out of the ordinary, then try these cupcakes and let me know what you think (I don’t think you’re going to be let down)!