Autumn spice cupcake with vanilla frostingCinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg … such wonderful spices. This past Friday’s cupcake captured the flavors of the season, balanced sweetness and simplicity. Essentially, this is a pretty damn-near perfect cupcake, if I may say so myself.

Sure, it doesn’t have any razzle dazzle; no fancy fillings or hand-spun sugar toppings. But what this handheld dessert does have is a moist, springy cake laced with spices, topped with a sweet and creamy frosting. The garnish of sugar and spices sprinkled on top links everything together into a big grin and happy belly.

I don’t think I would change a single thing about this recipe, except maybe to add more spices and throw a vanilla bean into the frosting. I used my caramel cupcake recipe as the base, as well as my standard vanilla frosting recipe. Sometimes it’s best to work with what you know.