2 to 3tablespoonscaramel ice cream toppingfor garnish
For the Cheesecake Filling
16ounces⅓ less fat Neufchatel or regular cream cheese(2 8-ounce packages) room temperature
2tablespoonslight sour cream
1 ¼cupsconfectioners sugar
1teaspoonfresh lemon juice
The Pumpkin Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with cupcake liners.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy and well combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, a little at a time, alternating with the sour cream. Add pumpkin and beat for another minute or two until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until golden brown, about 16 to 19 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese and sour cream until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and then the lemon juice and vanilla, and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
Fill and Garnish the Cupcakes
Use a cupcake corer to remove the middle section of each cupcake and using a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip, pipe the cheesecake filling (instructions below) into the cupcake, finishing it off with a decorative swirl on the top. Sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts and use a fork to drizzle cupcakes with a little caramel ice cream topping.