Unlock canned pumpkin’s potential

McClatchy NewspapersOctober 24, 2012 

Sorry, canned food industry, but chefs will tell you that all too often the stuff you get out of a can simply isn’t of the highest quality.

However this time of year, there is a notable exception. We’re talking orange, extremely mushy and perfect for baking. It’s canned pumpkin.

But what can you make from it?

Here are three recipes to try:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Butterscotch Buttercream Cupcakes:

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup solid packed canned pumpkin

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Buttercream icing:

12 tablespoons butter, room temperature

7 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup milk (may add more for desired consistency)

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon butterscotch extract or rum extract

Orange and yellow food coloring

Preheat oven to 350. Place rack in middle of oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, ground spices and salt. With electric or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Scrape down sides of bowl.

With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and canned pumpkin in three additions beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill cupcake papers 3/4 full with batter, using two spoons or ice cream scoop. Place in oven and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until firm to touch and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place on wire rack to cool.

For the icing, cream butter; gradually add about half the sugar, blending well. Beat in half of the milk with flavorings. Gradually blend in remaining sugar. Add milk if necessary to make consistency for piping. Divide buttercream into 3 bowls. Mix orange food coloring into first bowl and yellow food coloring into second bowl, leaving one portion white.

Using piping bags fitted with medium round tips, top each cupcake with orange icing in a circular motion, filling the top with a single layer. Top the orange with a layer of yellow icing in the same motion making a smaller circular layer. Top the yellow layer with the final layer of white icing to simulate a candy corn. Top each cupcake with a piece of candy corn. Fall Harvest Pumpkin Roll Cake:

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar


1 cup powdered sugar

8 ounces cream cheese

4 tablespoons soft butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat eggs on high for 5 minutes. Beat in sugar. Stir in pumpkin. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread batter onto a well-greased and floured 10-by-15-by-1-inch jelly roll pan. (You also can line the pan with parchment paper that is greased and floured.) Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Turn onto a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar, roll into a jelly roll and cool.

Combine filling ingredients and beat until smooth. Unroll cake, remove towel, then spread filling over cake and roll back up. Chill. Sprinkle top of roll with powdered sugar before serving. Upside-Down Butter Pumpkin Cheesecake Cheesecake:

16 ounces cream cheese

1 cup brown sugar

1-1/2 cups canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 eggs

1 box (two sheets) puff pastry

Egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

4 cinnamon sticks, snapped into thirds

Butterscotch Caramel:

(Substitute butterscotch ice cream topping if desired)

1/2 cup white corn syrup

1/2 cup brown sugar

6 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350. If making butterscotch caramel at home, make it first: On medium heat, bring to boil the white corn syrup, brown sugar, butter and salt. Allow to bubble for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in cream. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, brown sugar, canned pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs. Add half-cup of Butterscotch Caramel. Reserve remaining caramel for garnish. Pour mixture into 12 ramekins. Cut puff pastry into rounds and lay over top of ramekins. Brush with egg wash and bake for 25 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

Chill in refrigerator for two hours. Garnish with remaining caramel. Insert cinnamon sticks into tops of “pumpkin” to make stems.

Makes 12-16 standard cupcakes Source: 3 Women and an Oven, Overland Park Makes 12 1-inch servings Source: Bloom Baking Co., City Market Makes 12 servings Source: Butter Cups Bakery, Louisburg, Kan.

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