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Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite autumn treats and I make it often once the weather starts to get cool, but I also like to try and find new twists to put on it to keep it interesting. Pumpkin pie bars and chocolate pumpkin pie are some of my favorite variations. This year, I set out to put pumpkin pie in a cupcake form, something that could easily be eaten by hand but still had that custardy feel of a real pumpkin pie. Plus, it’s always nice to have another cupcake recipe around.

This cupcake recipe is based on an impossible pie recipe. Impossible pie is a concept that is a popular “back of the box” recipe for baking mixes, like bisquick. These “pies” have a little bit of flour in their mix that turns into a firm, crust-like outer layer around the filling in just the same way as this crustless quiche recipe. I incorporated enough flour and leavening into the cupcake batter that a firmer shell forms around the more custardy pumpkin pie center, make these easy to eat and handle, but delivering that familiar pumpkin pie texture and flavor.

The cupcakes will fall as they cool because of their slightly dense pumpkin pie center, so don’t worry as you seem the start to deflate after you take them out of the oven. I prefer these chilled, just as I like my pumpkin pies. As soon as they’re at room temperature, pop them into the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Serve these topped with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Granted, the real pie is a little bit more custardy and I do like the crispness of a good crust on a pie, but you can’t beat the ease of being able to take a portion of pumpkin pie wherever you go. If you have silicone cupcake liners, you’ll be able to pop the mini pies out easily, but they can also be served with regular paper liners (easier to handle).

Update: I’ve posted a video of this recipe, so you can see every step of the process!

Pumpkin Pie Cupcake, center shot

Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup half and half (or evaporated milk)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice
In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and half and half until well combined. Add in dry ingredients and whisk until no streaks of flour remain and batter is smooth.
Fill each muffin cup with approximately 1/3 cup of batter.
Bake for 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan. They will sink as they cool.
Chill cupcakes before serving. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Makes 12

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  • TJ {Sugar Blossoms}
    September 2, 2013

    Hi there! I wanted to let you know I featured you on Sugar Blossoms today. Stop by and check it out! http://sweetsugarblossoms.blogspot.com/2013/09/i-freakin-love-pumpkin.html

  • Beth
    October 2, 2013

    As other reviewers have commented, the recipe made 16 cupcakes but there are no complaints there. They taste just like pumpkin pie but it’s perfect if you don’t want the fuss of serving pie.

  • Debby
    November 4, 2013

    I made these yesterday and they were delicious , they stuck to the paper liners a little bit but other than that they were really good and easy to make. Put some cool whip on top and it’s just like a little pumpkin pie!

  • Kristen F.
    November 8, 2013

    I made these twice now. The first time I baked them in ramekins cause I didn’t have enough paper liners. The 2nd time I made them into cupcakes. I’d definitely recommend using ramekins. I had a tough time getting them out of the wrappers otherwise.

    Other than that, this recipe is delicious! Super easy and has a good amount of pumpkin in it; a lot of pumpkin desserts skimp on the pumpkiny-goodness! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jessica
    November 19, 2013

    I like the idea of making them in the ramekins, but have a few questions. Because the ramekins are about twice the size of a standard cupcake, should I put 2/3 of a cup in each ramekin? How long would I bake them?

  • Nicole
    November 20, 2013

    Jessica – You can find ramekins that are just about the same size as a standard cupcake at many baking stores. If you can’t, however, then you’ll need to extend the baking time by probably 10 minutes or so, depending on your oven and assuming that you double the amount of batter in each ramekin. You’ll have to check them to make sure that they are set before taking them out of the oven.

  • Jay Gaughan III
    November 24, 2013

    I made these with gluten free flour for my wife n daughter. I added pumpkin cream Cheese on top. They loved them.

    Thanks for the recipe


  • vanessa
    November 27, 2013

    I made them today, super easy to make. But i wonder, in the picture the middle looks like the consistancy of a regular pumpkin pie. But mines turned out more dense. What is the middle consistancy supposed to be?

  • Jessica
    November 28, 2013

    I just made these this morning. I unfortunately did not have silicon cups so I used paper ones (as indicated in the instructions). I wound up having to do them all over again because even though they were lightly coated with cooking spray, the pumpkin cupcakes adhered completely to the cups and when I tried to peel them off, half the cupcake came off with it. I wound up purchasing foil cups and they worked beautifully. They taste really amazing too.

  • Felicia
    December 9, 2013

    Hi there!
    I tried to make these this weekend, but unfortunately mine didn’t turn out right- and now I’m trying to trouble shoot what went wrong! Mine never looked “done,” even though I left them in the oven for quite some time. The tops began to burn, so I gave up- but the middle never set, and the edges never firmed up. Any ideas?
    My one theory is that I took them out prematurely originally, thinking they were ready- then realized they weren’t and put them back in the oven. Perhaps that time out of the oven messed it up?

    Thanks for your help!

  • Nicole
    December 9, 2013

    Felicia – It sounds like you may have simply overbaked your cupcakes. When they are done, they will still look wet in the center – like a pumpkin pie, not like a cake. These cupcakes are ready to come out of the oven when the tops no longer jiggle if you nudge the pan. As long as they are set and not runny, they are most likely done.

  • Beverley
    October 25, 2014

    I made these today from another recipe ~ the same ingredients just a little different instructions. The best way to have them come out of the cupcake pans is to spray them with PAM,fill and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes in the pans on wire rack, then turn over onto cooling rack and they will fall right out of the pans. It said you could use cupcake papers but the papers would be difficult to remove from the pies.

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