Celebrate Thanksgiving with This Frankenfood Pumpkin Pie Cupcake Recipe

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November 20, 2015

First termed in 1992, the word Frankenfood is now in the Miriam Webster Dictionary.


noun Fran·ken·food ˈfraŋ-kən-ˌfüd

Definition of FRANKENFOOD:  genetically engineered food

This word was first termed by a Professor of English at Boston College when he was referring to genetically modified food, whether it be derived from genetically engineered plants or animals. The term was later used to describe revolutionary culinary creations that mash up original and unexpected food combinations and ingredients, resulting in delicious dishes … or awful misses.

Some of the better known Frankenfoods include the Ramen Burger, Spicy Pulled Pork S’Mores, Crispy Crème Donut Dog (with bacon) and Ben and Jerry’s Late Night Snack Ice Cream (vanilla bean ice cream with a salty caramel swirl and fudge covered potato chip clusters). For your Thanksgiving this year, put a swing on the same ole’ pumpkin pie recipe.

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch nutmeg

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 1 (32 oz) bag powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of pumpkin pie spice
  • About 1/3 of a prepared pumpkin pie (store bought is fine), roughly chopped into smallish pieces; you want around a cup total
  • Caramel sauce



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, pumpkin and spices with an electric mixer and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes.
  3. Evenly portion the batter among the muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for approx. 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool completely.


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, vanilla and heavy cream until light. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. If frosting becomes too thick, add a little more milk at a time.
  2. Beat in the chopped pie pieces and the spices, just barely folding them in. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag attached either with a very large tip, or just frost by hand (otherwise, the pie pieces will clog your cake tip).
  3. Top the frosted cupcakes with a drizzle of caramel sauce, and serve.

Serve it with some ice cream (perhaps Ben and Jerry’s mashup flavors!) for a different way to get your pumpkin on Thanksgiving.

Recipe courtesy Good Morning America Recipes.

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