Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chinese 5 Spice Pumpkin Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

I've been intrigued lately with recipes using Chinese 5 Spice powder so I headed down to a local store that carries a wonderful selection of unusual spices and bought a small bag. Having never used this interesting spice before I searched for what sounded like a perfect recipe for something sweet using this 5 spice powder. Although recipes for barbeque sauce with this spice mix do sound very good! (I'll save that for another day!) The 5 spices making up this powder include star anise, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and ginger.
The fragrance and aroma of this spice mix is so wonderful. I could smell it every time I entered my kitchen! (Do you suppose it could be made into a perfume?!! Eau de 5 Spice ?!!) Kidding!!

Anyway, back to the cupcakes. This recipe is adapted from a "Bonappetit" recipe originally called "Four Layer Pumpkin Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting". The original recipe also called for walnuts for decoration. We're not big walnut lovers here so I left them out but feel free to include them if you love walnuts. You could even put some into the batter. I decided it would be fun to turn them into cupcakes so that's what I did and they came out just great!
The orange frosting just on it's own it amazingly delicious!! I think it would be fabulous on a gingerbread cake,too. The cupcakes had a nice subtle flavor of the chinese 5 spice with the pumpkin.
So give them a try. This would be a great Holiday treat. Small, bite sized and totally delicious!!
Had to take a bite to show you the inside !!

Chinese 5 Spice Pumpkin Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from "Bon appetit"s Four Layer Pumpkin Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting"
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. chinese 5 spice powder
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
2 stick unsalted butter-room temp.
2 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
1- 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup whole milk
Perpare 2 muffin pans lining with paper cups.( Makes about 2 dozen).
Preheat oven to 350.
1. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder,baking soda, chinese 5 spice powder and salt.
2. In bowl of standing mixer, beat butter and sugar til smooth.
3. Add eggs, one at a time.
4. Beat in pumpkin.
5. Add dry mix to butter mix in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions. Beat in between additions.
6. Using scoop, place batter into muffin lined pans filling each about 3/4 amount full.
Bake approx. 15-20 minutes, checking after about 15 minutes for doneness by inserting a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter-room temp.
2 - 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese - room temp.
1 tbsp. orange zest
2 cups powdered sugar-sifted
Chopped toasted walnut for decoration( if using).
1. In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese til smooth.
2. Stir in orange zest.
3. Add powdered sugar and beat on low til all is combined and smooth.
4. Frost cupcakes and decorate with walnuts if using.


  1. Your blog is great.. I have wanted to use this as well, i have an apple cake i am adding it the fall :)

  2. Thanks so much! This would be great for the fall season.



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