Recipe Test: Georgetown Cupcake’s Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Georgetown Cupcake's Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Georgetown Cupcake's Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

We’ve all been there: you see a great recipe, you spend almost as much as a steak dinner on ingredients, you toil for hours in a cramped kitchen (or corner of your dorm room)…only for the final product to be a total flop. As in, even your floormate with a self-described “garbage disposal” appetite for everything won’t touch it.

You followed the directions perfectly, and still, it fails you. And you’re just left staring at the gelatinous — or cardboard-like — mass, thinking, “I could’ve had CHEESECAKE FACTORY! CHEEEEEESECAKE FACTORYYYYYY.” It’s painful, I know.

That’s why, with every dish, we test a few different recipes a couple times to bring you the dishes that are worth your hard-earned dollars. And, starting now, we’ll review popular recipes to help you decide whether they’re worth the grocery bill, like this little number from Georgetown Cupcake.

Georgetown Cupcake's Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Being a thrifty millennial, I’ve spent the past year and a half without cable — just Hulu and Netflix to keep me entertained. And last summer, I became obsessed with Georgetown Cupcake. I can’t explain it. I won’t. There’s just something mesmerizing about watching people craft slot machines and orange gorillas and firetrucks out of cupcakes.

Anyway, onto the recipe: Though it is a bit ingredient-heavy, it’s completely worthwhile. The treats are light, fluffy and have just the right blend of pumpkin and cinnamon-y spice. (If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, try my semi-homemade Pumpkin Pie Muffins or Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.)

There are a few tweaks I’d suggest:

  • Opt for mini cupcakes, as the frosting-to-cake ratio is more even. Just trim your cook time to about 9-10 minutes, then insert a toothpick in the center. Once it comes out clean, they’re ready.
  • Sifting isn’t mandatory. The test kitchen heads at Bon Appetit recommend just whisking the flour and dry ingredients to ease away any lumps, so there’s no need to hunt down a sifter.
  • I’m not sold on whether you really need to add in the flour in thirds. I don’t think it makes a difference, but I respect their process. Just know that if more than a third spills in while mixing, you haven’t ruined anything. Try to incorporate the dry ingredients gradually, so it doesn’t overwhelm the mixer and everything combines into the batter smoothly.
  • Adding maple to the cream cheese frosting isn’t necessary. It’s a nice, flavorful touch, but you don’t need to buy it just for this recipe. The cupcakes are just as great without it. (In fact, I prefer it without.)

Have you tried this recipe? What did you think?


Get the Recipe: Georgetown Cupcake’s Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

No time (or cash) for G-town’s version? Keep it simple with Collegiate Cook’s Pumpkin Cupcakes:

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
At just 8 ingredients total, this recipe is a lot easier on your wallet -- and just as incredibly delicious.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 36 mini cupcakes
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounces)
  • ½ cup of oil
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 ounces of cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place liners in each cup of a mini muffin tin, or grease the bottom and sides of each one with butter.
  2. For the cake: Mix the yellow cake mix and baking soda, then slowly beat in the remaining ingredients. Fill each cup in the muffin tin ⅔ of the way full. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs (no gooeyness).
  3. For the frosting: Blend all ingredients together, pour into a piping bag (or plastic bag with one corner cut open) and swirl on top of the cooled cupcakes.



2 Comment

  1. […] to restore them to can’t-eat-just-one, it’s-like-a-pumpkin-spice-latte-in-muffin-form glory, I realized just one ingredient was needed. Yes, it’d make this a — gasp! — […]

  2. […] Craftsy’s Wilton Method Cake Decorating class. You can buy pre-made cream cheese frosting, or you can make it from scratch using this delectable Georgetown Cupcake recipe. Collegiate Cook's Nutella-Filled Birthday Cake   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook […]

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