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Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Ginger Cupcakes

These supermoist, gluten-free cupcakes have terrific pumpkin flavor and an irresistible topping of fluffy, creamy frosting and golden caramel sauce.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes 16 cupcakes

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  • 6 ounces mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • 1/4 cup chopped or sliced crystallized ginger, for garnish (optional)


  1. Make the frosting In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone and cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate the frosting until it is firm enough to spread, about 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, make the cupcakes Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk the rice flour with the tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar with the granulated sugar, vegetable oil and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth; whisk in the pumpkin puree.
  3. Meanwhile, make the cupcakes Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed. Transfer the cupcakes to a rack and let cool completely.
  4. Make the caramel In a medium saucepan, spread the sugar evenly and cook over moderately low heat, shaking the pan to keep the sugar in an even layer. Cook, swirling the saucepan occasionally, until the sugar is melted and a deep-amber caramel forms. Slowly add the cream (be careful, the caramel will boil vigorously) and cook, whisking, until smooth. Transfer the caramel to a heatproof bowl and stir in the salt. Let cool to room temperature.
  5. Make the caramel Frost the cupcakes and drizzle with the caramel sauce. Garnish with the crystallized ginger and serve.

Make Ahead

The unfrosted cupcakes can be stored overnight in an airtight container at room temperature. The caramel can be refrigerated for up to 1 week; rewarm before using.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published November 2013

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