Oh yes, it’s here…fall is upon us. Okay, I know in many places it may still be (way) too hot for sweatshirts and football hasn’t really started yet, but for many people Labor Day weekend and the arrival of pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks marks the unofficial start of the season. Last year a reader emailed me to ask if I would develop a pumpkin spice latte cupcake and I immediately loved the idea. Unfortunately that was right near the end of the fall transitioning to winter and seasonal beverages were transitioning to peppermint mochas. Since the timing wasn’t quite right I jotted down the idea and went right along with my holiday baking. But the idea has been lurking, never forgotten, just waiting for the season to come around again.
The past couple of weeks I have worked on tweaking the recipe to get it just right, and this version fits the bill. I started with a basic pumpkin cupcake but dialed down the spices and added in some espresso powder. After baking, the cupcakes are brushed with coffee to further enhance that flavor. Then they are finished off with lightly sweetened whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of caramel a la the fancy barista-constructed drinks we know and love. Try them, enjoy them, and welcome fall with open arms.