Spice up the fall dessert table with Spiced Cupcakes with Autumn Colored Cream Cheese Frosting. Ice baked cupcakes in various shades of orange and yellow, tinted by Color from Nature™ Food Colors. Organize on a dessert platter from dark to light for a pumpkin-inspired ombre effect. Recipe and Photo Credit: Sally McKenney Quinn of Sally’s Baking Addiction.
For the Cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat butter in large bowl on high speed with handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add brown sugar; beat on high speed 2 minutes or until blended, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla; beat on medium-high speed until blended. Then beat in sour cream. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Then gradually beat in milk on low speed until just blended. (Do not overbeat. You may need to whisk the batter by hand to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick.)
Spoon batter into 14 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.
Bake 19 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.
For the Frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl on medium speed with handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla and salt on low speed until just blended. Then beat on high speed 3 minutes. Taste. Add an extra pinch of salt, if needed.
Divide frosting evenly into 4 small bowls. Stir in the following Color from Nature Food Colors to reach the desired frosting colors: For Light Yellow Frosting, stir 1/4 teaspoon Sunflower color into first bowl. For Yellow Frosting, stir 1/2 teaspoon Sunflower color into second bowl. For Light Orange Frosting, stir 1/2 teaspoon Sunflower color and 1/8 teaspoon Berry color into third bowl. For Orange Frosting, stir 1 teaspoon Sunflower color and 1/4 teaspoon Berry color into fourth bowl.
Frost cooled cupcakes using one colored frosting on each cupcake. To serve, arrange cupcakes in an ombre formation, from dark to light.