for the cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
for the frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon orange gel paste food coloring
You will also need: 20-24 lollipop sticks (can be found at craft stores such as Michael’s or AC Moore)
Preheat oven to 350F; Line a muffin pan with liners.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together, set aside. In your stand mixer, whip sugar and eggs together until light, approximate 2 minutes. Stir in the oil and buttermilk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture until smooth. By hand, incorporate sour cream.
Fill eat muffin cup approximately two-thirds full (do not overfill). Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, cream butter, vegetable shortening and salt together until smooth. Beat in sugar, adding by a tablespoon at a time. Finally, add in the vanilla extract and food coloring. Chill buttercream for 20 minutes before filling a pastry bag.
Pipe a swirl of frosting using a large star pastry tip on each cupcake. Chill finished cupcakes for at least one hour. Once cooled, use a knife to poke a hole through the bottom of the cupcake liner and then insert a lollipop stick as a “stem” for each mini-pumpkin.