Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tart Cupcakes

So.

Are you familiar with these? Because up until last week I didn’t even know they existed. They’re a “Target-exclusive” item, and they’re totally awesome.

Wanna know what else is awesome?

Chopping these up and shoving them into some cupcakes.

First, let me just say that the cupcakes alone are amazing. Add some of these yummy Pop Tarts to the batter and you have something that will completely blow your pumpkin-loving mind.

Also? Pumpkin cream cheese frosting. Mmm…

Truth be told, I actually had issues with the frosting. It was very runny and gooey and despite my adding more powdered sugar than was called for, it just wouldn’t get to a good piping consistency. So I just smeared some on the tops and called it a day. The problem may be that I used fat-free cream cheese (for those of you that don’t know, that’s kind of a no-no. You may be tempted to use fat-free varieties of sour cream or cream cheese in some of these recipes, but don’t. Just go all out and use the real stuff). That’s the only thing I can think of, since I followed everything else to a “T”. Someone make these and use real cream cheese and let me know, mmmk? Thanks.

I promise you won’t be sorry!

Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tart Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes
Recipe from Cookies and Cups

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts

Frosting Ingredients:
1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
5 cups sifted powdered sugar

Directions:
To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with liners and set aside.
Beat the butter on high speed until soft, about 30 seconds.
Add the brown sugar and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition.
In a seperate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a liquid measuring cup, measure the milk and add the vanilla.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (beat thoroughly between each addition).
Cut the crusts off of the Pop-Tarts and discard (or eat) them. Next, cut each Pop-Tart into about 12 pieces.
Fold the Pop-Tarts into the batter.
Fill the liners about 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are springy when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the tins, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting: Cream the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and mix well. Slowly add the powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice on low speed, then mix on medium for 1 minute, until smooth. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

I think, given the fact that there are Pop-Tarts in these bad boys, that they count as breakfast. You have my permission to have one (or two) in the morning.

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