Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cranberry-Rum Icing

Recipe and food styling by Katie Pilcher
Photography by Brian W. McDonald

1 box yellow butter cake mix, Betty Crocker recommended
1 cup pumpkin puree or 1 can pumpkin
1 (7-ounce) bag coconut

Prepare cupcakes according to package instructions, using pumpkin in place of water. Let cupcakes cool. Frost with cranberry-rum icing. Place coconut in a small skillet. Stirring frequently, toast over medium-high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle toasted coconut over iced cupcakes.

For cranberry-rum icing:

1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup rum
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 stick salted butter, softened
1 (2-pound) bag powdered sugar

Place cranberries in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until cranberries start to pop. Increase heat to high. Add rum. When mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to medium. Simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until rum is almost dissolved. Set aside until cooled.

In a mixer, blend cream cheese and butter. Slowly add entire bag of powdered sugar, blending until thoroughly combined. Add cooled rum cranberries, mixing on low until thoroughly combined and fully.