For Whipped Bakeshop cofounder Zoë Lukas, who cites fall as her favorite season, creating the perfect autumn cupcake each year is a priority. This time, she and the staff of her Fishtown bakery went for a creamy, nuanced version of the pumpkin spice flavors that have come to dominate the nation's eateries and coffee shops every October.
The resulting cupcake of the month, christened "Hella Fall" for its evocative taste, is made with a light, fluffy cake baked with fresh cardamom spice. The cake is iced with Whipped's classic vanilla meringue buttercream frosting, then topped with a dollop of spiced pumpkin ganache. The ganache, which has a hint of a floral taste, is made with warm spices similar to those in pumpkin pie. The cardamom gives the cake a delicate flavor, and combined with the silkiness of the icing and nuanced hit of pumpkin on top, every bite delivers on the name.
"It's so easy to do a heavy-handed version of pumpkin-spice anything," Lukas said. "So we went with a more subtle direction."
The "Hella Fall" is available through the end of October. As always with Whipped's cakes, the treats are best served at room temperature.