Caramel Stems, Leaves, and Vines (optional, instructions below)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in pumpkin and vanilla.
Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Spoon batter into 2 lightly greased pumpkin-shaped muffin pans, filling three-fourths full.
Bake at 350° for 24 to 26 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).
Cut rounded tops off muffins to make them flat. Invert top muffins onto bottom muffins, forming pumpkins. Drizzle Caramel-Rum Glaze over pumpkins. Decorate with Caramel Stems, Leaves, and Vines, if desired.
*Vanilla Glaze may be substituted.
CARAMEL STEM: Press 1 caramel between fingers, lengthening to 1 1/2 to 2 inches to form a stem. Curl stem gently.
CARAMEL LEAVES: Roll caramels into 2-inch squares on a flat surface, using a rolling pin. Cut into leaves, using a paring knife. Gently press tips of leaves to flatten, if desired. Score leaves, using a paring knife. Pinch bottoms of leaves together.
CARAMEL VINES: Cut 1 caramel into 3 equal pieces. Squeeze each piece gently to flatten, and roll between hands or on a flat surface into a long thin rope. Twist ends to curl.
Note: We tested with Wilton Dimensions Multi-Cavity Mini Pumpkin Pans. Only have one pan? Bake batter in two batches, washing and drying pan between batches.
This is the first time I have made a recipe that was so disappointing that I just had to write a review. I made this recipe without modifications. The cakes were bland/tastless and chewy. Batter was thick and sticky. The finished cakes were pretty, but that is about all...
OK, I cheated. I didn't have any pumpkin spice, so I used a teaspoon of Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus (close to the same thing). Flavor was great. The only reason I didn't rate this as a 5-star was the texture. The batter was very sticky. I could hold a giant spoonful of batter upside down and it wouldn't fall off the spoon! There were a lot of air holes too. Next time I'll try it with steamed pumkin instead of canned.