Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love this time of year.  Only in part because my birthday is in October.  Also because I love pumpkin things: pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer, and now pumpkin cupcakes!  This recipe is a snap and super yummy.  And cream cheese frosting is, quite literally, the icing on the cake.  Cream cheese frosting is the best.  Don't make to much or you will have trouble not finishing it off with a spoon (not that I speak from experience or anything).

You couldn't have anything pumpkin without a bit of nutmeg and some cinnamon, of course.  Just the smell of nutmeg reminds me of fall and my birthday and tasty food.  Actually it is pretty common for smells to be associated with memories because the olfactory system is very close to the limbic system, which is responsible for memories and emotions. 
I like to use canned pumpkin when I bake because it has a consistent texture and is less watery than whenever I use fresh pumpkin. 
These are technically muffins although I feel like they're getting really close to cupcake territory, especially with cream cheese frosting.  If you want something more muffin-y you can leave the frosting off.  I made a batch without and they were still totally delicious.  The sprinkle of cinnamon sugar turns into a crispy topping.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 cups Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1-1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoons Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoons Salt
4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
1 cup (heaping) Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cups Evaporated Milk
1 whole Egg
1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin tins.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until it is fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Add raisins. Fold gently until mixture is just combined.

Pour into a greased muffin pan—batter hardly ever fills all twelve unless you keep it down to 1/2 full. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg mixture over the top of each unbaked muffin.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. Ice with cream cheese frosting.

To make the frosting, mix all ingredients on high until soft and whipped. Spread onto completely cooled muffins, or place into a large pastry bag with a large star tip and go crazy! Store in the fridge, as icing will soften at room temperature.

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

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