For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use a 24 socket cupcake pan and line with paper liners. Set the pan aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer using a paddle attachment, combine the butter and both sugars, mixing until blended. Add the eggs and beat on low speed until all the ingredients are smooth and blended.
Decrease the speed of the mixer to slow and add half of the dry ingredients. Mix for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the pumpkin puree to the batter, beating for 30 seconds, and then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake liners and bake on the center rack until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool the cakes completely on wire racks, about 30 minutes.
For the pumpkin cream cheese: Mix together the cream cheese and butter with the powdered sugar using a paddle attachment in an electric mixer. Once thoroughly combined, add the cinnamon and nutmeg. Once creamed together well, slowly add the pumpkin puree. Continue to mix until evenly distributed and fluffy.
For the crunch topping: Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the pecans and pepitas and continue to cook until the pepitas pop and are toasted. Sprinkle the brown sugar and salt over the topping and continue to cook until glazed. Add the ginger and toss until even.
To assemble: Using a round tip and pastry bag, ice each cupcake with a thin layer of the pumpkin cream cheese. Roll into the pepita mixture, and ice with more of the pumpkin cream cheese, creating a swirl on top. Use shimmery blue and chocolate jimmies as a roll-in topping, and garnish with 3 blue men heads on top.
This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Julia San Bartolome, Sweet Arleen's, Westlake Village, CA
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