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Old 11-04-2017, 06:43 PM   #1
Baricat
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Microwave Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Yesterday was a special day. I got to meet one of the members on this forum from whom I've learned a lot. She is a lovely lady, as warm and smart as her posts. Soobee and I shared a low carb lunch (salads, of course!) and we talked everything LC under the sun.

When we talked on the phone earlier this week, she told me she wanted to hear about my latest culinary experiments. I did one better. My latest experiment was to try to make a great cupcake in the microwave. After a few rounds of trial-and-error, I brought her a few of these for her to sample, asking her to give me an honest critique. She shared them with her LC hubby, and they both very graciously gave me the thumbs-up. Soobee encouraged me to share the recipe here. So here goes.

These come together quickly and easily, so that with a bit of hand mixing and just a 2 minute and 20 second whirl in the microwave, you have soft, moist, and spicy little morsels of (almost) instant gratification. They are super decadent topped with a cream cheese frosting, but the taste and texture stand competently on their own.

They're definitely a cupcake, not a muffin, because they're sweeter and softer, with a lighter crumb than muffins. But I eat them unfrosted as if they were muffins, for breakfast or with a cup of hot tea. A couple of these in the morning, and I'm good 'til lunch.

You will need a microwaveable muffin pan, which can be found either on Amazon or eBay. You might be able to score one at a thrift store or yard sale. I have two vintage 6-cup microwave pans made of a rigid tan-color material (perhaps Bakelite?) but the new flexible 12-cup silicone pans would work perfectly, since this recipe makes exactly a dozen.

*3/4 cup flour mix (I use Kevin's flour mix. If you use another, please post your results here)
*1/3 cup BochaSweet
*1/3 cup sweetener of choice (may be more BS, erythritol, or a blend. I use my custom sweetener mix here, to save on the prohibitively expensive BS!)
*1 tsp ground ginger
*3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
*1/4 tsp ground allspice
*1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
*1/8 tsp ground cloves
*1/4 tsp baking powder
*1/4 tsp baking soda
*1/8 tsp salt

Whisk the above ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
Add:
*3/4 cup pumpkin
*1/2 cup vegetable oil
*1 egg
*2 tsp vanilla extract

Blend all together until smooth. You should have a relatively thick, not liquid, batter. Allow to rest undisturbed for 5 minutes, while you prepare your cupcake pan. This is a necessary step, allowing the leavening to begin to activate, since their exposure to heat is brief.

Line each cup with two cupcake papers each.

After the 5 minutes is up, scoop the batter into each cup, dividing evenly. Cups should be about 2/3 full. Do not fill more, or the batter will overflow the cup as they "bake." Ask me how I know this.

Put in the microwave on high for a total of 2 minutes, 20 seconds. If your microwave doesn't rotate as it cooks, then cook for 1 minute, 10 seconds. Give the muffin pan a half turn, and continue to cook for the remaining 1 minute, 10 seconds. At the end of that time, the top may look underbaked. That's OK. Use a toothpick inserted in the middle to test, and if it comes out clean, with at most a few tiny crumbs clinging to the toothpick, then they're done. If not, put in for 10 seconds, and test again. Repeat until done.

Immediately remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool, removing the extra papers. Cover the cupcakes with a linen towel to cool (since they are not conventionally baked, they do not form a crust, causing them to give off a lot of moisture as they cool, and will dry out without placing the towel over them during the cooling process.)

You can save the outside papers to use again, if desired. These papers are there to absorb the excess liquid given off by the cupcakes as they cook in the microwave, so they will be somewhat wet. Let the papers dry before stacking and saving them, if you don't want to waste a dozen papers every time you make these. You can reuse those outside papers several times, if you want. They will be too misshapen to use as inside papers, but that doesn't matter for use or reuse on the outside.

Once cool, frost if desired. They may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for a day. If they last longer, store your container in the fridge.
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Last edited by Baricat; 11-04-2017 at 06:44 PM..
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:44 AM   #2
RexsreineSC
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Cat, these sound wonderful.

I don't use Kevin's mix anymore. Apparently, no one has yet tried them with Fantastic Flour Mix. I'm planning on using that. (After the painting in my house is finished...)

The paper liners are there to absorb moisture from microwave cooking. Any idea what happens if you lightly grease silicone muffin pans? Mushy?

Any thoughts on 12-15 minutes in a conventional oven at 350 degrees? Not enough rise?

Thanks for your hard work on this recipe and for sharing!

Ginny in SC
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:16 AM   #3
Baricat
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Hi, Ginny!

It's highly likely that other flour mixes would work well, too. I have never used the Fantastic Flour Mix, but it's on my radar to try. I don't know for certain that it will work the same, however, having no experience with it. If you do try it, please let us know how it works. I know some of us are trying to distance themselves from any wheat products or derivatives, so I know there are many who will be interested in your results.

About the silicone cups, I'd still use the two paper liners. The microwaving process really collects and concentrates the liquid on the outside of the product in any recipe. That's why when we reheat things, they can initially come out soggy, then later get hard and dry when the concentrated liquid evaporates. Think of a slice of bread if you nuke it for a half a minute. Wet, then dry, dry, dry. The towel on top helps keep some of that moisture back on the surface of the cupcakes, where it can become reabsorbed.

Since the silicone doesn't absorb, there really does have to be a second paper liner to do the job.

But that only applies to making these in the micro. If you want to do it in the conventional oven, the customary practice of one liner per cup should work fine. As for oven baking them directly in the silicone cups, I'd imagine it would work OK, but having never tried it, I can't say for certain.

Right on about the temperature, 350 degrees, but they'll likely take 16-20 minutes, depending on your oven. The toothpick test is your most reliable indicator of doneness when conventional oven baking these, as well. And because they will form a crust in the oven, you can skip the linen towel at the end.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:34 AM   #4
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Mmmm, sounds good, and I may try it with Carbquik, since I don't have a lot of the other stuff at hand right now. I'll probably also do them in the oven - I prefer a nice dry exterior on my cupcakes and muffins and have never been overly pleased with the results of cooking them in the MW.

Will report back if I get a chance to try these!
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:40 AM   #5
Soobee
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I want to testify to the delicousness of these cupcakes. I was so surprised to find out they were microwaved. I don't know whether it was Kevin's bake mix, the Bocha or a combination, but they tasted just like a high carb baked muffin, or at least what I remember about a high carb muffin 20 years later! I don't usually use wheat, but I was willing to sacrifice myself in the name of science. I have not gotten the Bochasweet yet, but I intend to treat myself to some for Christmas.
This forum has always been such a wonderful place to meet people and learn about a variety of recipe ideas. But this week was the bomb! I found a "cosmic twin" who lives only 20 minutes away. We are going to have so much fun experimenting and sharing together.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:57 PM   #6
Baricat
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Char, forget what you know about OMMs. These aren't like that at all. It's the double liners and covering with the linen towel immediately. Provided all instructions are followed, the texture mimics something from the oven. I kid you not. That was what required such extensive experimentation before I felt they were ready for prime time. The only real "tell" is that of course, the top doesn't brown at all. But a strategic, yummy blob of cream cheese frosting can fix that right up.

Thank you, Soobee, for your testimonial! It was so sweet of you to accept trying something made with WPI. It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it! The things we do in the name of science...

Coming from you, that was no faint praise. I'm so glad that you could verify! We had such a great time meeting this week, and we're already planning our next get together.
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:25 PM   #7
Baricat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charski View Post
Mmmm, sounds good, and I may try it with Carbquik, since I don't have a lot of the other stuff at hand right now. I'll probably also do them in the oven - I prefer a nice dry exterior on my cupcakes and muffins and have never been overly pleased with the results of cooking them in the MW.

Will report back if I get a chance to try these!
Char, a random thought just occurred to me about using Carbquik in these. I believe it would be advisable to cut back on the oil a bit, since CQ has fat in it already. My guess would be to cut the oil back from 1/2 cup to 6 Tb. You don't want them to be greasy and sodden because of an over abundance of fat. It's a bit of a guess exactly how much to cut it back. Without testing the sub I can't know for sure, but I don't believe making that move (which amounts to cutting the oil by 2 Tb) would be overly drastic.
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