3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons salt

6 ounces (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 2/3 cups sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

15 ounces pumpkin puree

2/3 cup water

½ cup heavy cream

1 ounce white chocolate, chopped or 2 tablespoons white chocolate chips

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped or ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, and salt.


In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined. Blend together the pumpkin puree and water in a medium bowl. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then ½ of the pumpkin mixture, then 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the remaining ½ of the pumpkin mixture, and then the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing on low for only a few seconds after each addition until just combined, and stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Do not overmix. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the edges of the cupcakes start to shrink away from the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Invert onto cooling racks and finish cooling completely.


Bring the cream to a bare simmer in a small, heavy saucepan. Place the white chocolate into a small bowl and the semisweet chocolate into a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the hot cream to the white chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining hot cream to the semisweet chocolate and whisk until smooth. Let cool until thickened slightly.


Dip the top of a cupcake into the semisweet chocolate ganache and, while still holding it upside down over the bowl, give the cupcake a few abrupt shakes so that any excess ganache drips off. Transfer the white chocolate ganache to a paper cone and pipe a swirl pattern over the semisweet ganache on the cupcake. To complete the web design, draw the tip of a toothpick through the ganache from the center to the edge of the cupcake 8 or 9 times, wiping off the tip of the toothpick between each swipe, in a pattern of evenly spaced radiating lines. Glaze the remaining cupcakes with the remaining ganache in the same manner.


Makes 24 cupcakes. Cupcakes keep for 2 to 3 days in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place. Leftover ganache will keep for a week tightly sealed in the refrigerator. Reheat it gently using the microwave or a double boiler and serve it as a sauce or use it to make hot chocolate or mochas.