Happy Thanksgiving! I’m sure you’ve all gathered up the ingredients, laid out the place settings, and prepped the pre-dinner cocktails.
My family’s Thanksgiving dinner has always been a traditional one…until I became a vegetarian. No, they don’t ditch the turkey cooked on the grill, the stuffing made with Italian sausage, or the dinner rolls enveloping crispy bacon. But thankfully, my mom HAS made room for my vegetarian dishes, and always sets aside a bit of meatless stuffing for me (because it’s SO good).
In an effort to broaden my family’s palates, I always try to bring a veggie dish that they’ll at least try. It’s not always easy – I’ll eat almost anything vegetarian now, whereas they still need robust flavors, agreeable textures, and nothing too green. This year, I’m planning on a lentil and chickpea loaf topped with a maple-tomato glaze. If nothing else, I’ll have plenty of leftovers!
One thing that hasn’t changed…dessert. For eight people at the table, it’s imperative we have AT LEAST two pies. Because pie. However, I’ll propose that even dessert can take a lovely turn for the different. These cupcakes combine the traditional flavor of pumpkin sweets, with the exotic creaminess of coconut, in an easy-to-transport cupcake form. So, if you’re assigned to bring a dessert and all the pie flavors have been claimed, try these! They’re sure to please, and super easy to make.
Pumpkin Coconut Cupcakes, adapted from Nancy Creative
Makes 24 cupcakes
- 2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 C canola oil
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 1/3 C brown sugar, loosely packed
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 C milk
- 1 (15oz) can pure pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.
In medium bowl, blend the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, blend canola oil and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Stir in the milk and pumpkin puree and blend well. Add the flour mixture into this pumpkin mixture and stir until blended. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.
Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans for about 5 minutes, then remove to completely cool on a wire rack.
For the frosting, adapted from Baked by an Introvert:
- 1 C softened unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 4-5 C powdered sugar
- 1/2 C softened coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 7-10 tbsp coconut milk (from the can)
Use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer to beat the butter until whipped and creamy. Add in the sugar one cup at a time. Next add the extracts and beat to combine. One tablespoon at a time, add in the coconut milk until you reach a consistency that’s perfect for piping.
Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a piping tip of your choice to frost. Be generous! You’ll have enough frosting, and the flavor combination is one you can’t beat.