I know Halloween just ended, but we’re jumping right into a sweet treat even I can be on board with…sort of :) (I wonder if sweets will ever excite me as much as things like braised short-ribs or flammin’ hot cheetos…sigh) This year for thanksgiving forget the pumpkin pie and pecan pie…how boring! Okay not boring, totally delicious….BUT why not give your guests something a little unexpected?!  These Cinnamon Spiced Mini Cupcakes are great for a few reasons:
1) They’re mini…everything mini is better, me thinks. You can eat more and not feel as guilty.
2) They still have the “spice” flavors you would expect and hope for in a autumn sweet treat.
3) They’re topped with candied ginger. Candied ginger is awesome.

So sure, maybe a lot of you can’t bear to part from your family’s 200 yr old pumpkin pie recipe and the tradition of baking it every Thanksgiving for dessert…but what about offering your guests a welcome cupcake upon arrival? Just a thought. Enjoy!
xx Jenny

Cinnamon Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Ginger
Makes 24

spice cake:
2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons molasses
¾ cup buttermilk
cream cheese frosting:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup candied ginger, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a mixing bowl, sifted together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
3. Using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. With the mixer running, add one egg at a time followed by the molasses and buttermilk and mix until just combined.
5. Whisk the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir until no lumps remain.
6. Line a mini muffin tin with mini cupcake liners and fill each liner 2/3 way up with batter.
7. Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when removed from the center.
8. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
9. For the frosting: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time until fully incorporated. Scraped down the sides of the bowl and stir in the vanilla.
10. To assemble: Spread a layer of frosting onto each cupcake. Pour the candied ginger into a shallow baking dish and dip each frosted cupcake, shaking off any access. Serve.