11.6.20 Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Sometimes, you want to make a cake, but just don’t want to put in quite that much effort. Just me? Can’t relate? Well, either way, you’ll love these cupcakes!

I love pumpkin things in the fall. Pumpkin drinks, pumpkin baked goods, pumpkin candles, pumpkin beer, it’s all magical! And these cupcakes are the ultimate version for me! Let’s talk about each part, because I’m obsessed with all of it:

  • the cake: perfectly pumpkin-y, just enough spice to come through but not drown out the other flavors, and so incredibly moist, even after a couple of days
  • the caramel filling: the best little surprise waiting for you when you take a bite! the cake and icing aren’t too sweet, so this brings the perfect amount of sweetness to the party
  • the slightly cream cheese-y frosting: so, in all honesty, I don’t like cream cheese frosting. like, at all. however, I wanted a frosting that wasn’t too sweet and would bring a hint of acidity, and cream cheese is the perfect option for that. so, I flipped the typical ratio of cream cheese to butter which bring enough of the edge of cream cheese without being too much. yay!

And, the best part, is that they come together so quickly! I almost wish the recipe made more than 12 cupcakes so I could have more to eat 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes – makes 12


for the cupcakes

  • 1 cup (125g) AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) neutral oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (225 g) pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla

for the caramel

  • 100 g (1/2 C) sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 60 mL (1/4 C) heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt

for the frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 240g (2 cups) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt

How to do it

make the cupcakes

  1. preheat the oven to 350*. put cupcake liners into a cupcake pan
  2. combine dry ingredients: in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and all spices
  3. combine wet ingredients: in a medium bowl, combine the oil, eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin, and vanilla
  4. add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. evenly divide the mixture among the muffin cups, then bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. set aside

make the filling

  1. place the sugar in a medium pot. heat over medium heat. once the sugar starts melting, stir gently until it has all melted and is an amber color
  2. add the butter in chunks and stir until completely melted. if the sauce separates, remove from heat and stir vigorously until it comes back together, then return to the heat
  3. slowly pour in the cream, stirring, and boil for 1 minute
  4. remove from the heat and add the salt. let cool

make the frosting

  1. in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt. mix at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until it lightens in color
  2. add the powdered sugar. mix on low until combined, then mix on high until the frosting is light and fluffy. put into a piping bag or a ziploc bag, if using, and set aside

assemble the cupcakes

  1. once the cupcakes are completely cool, use a paring knife or a piping tip to create a hole in the cupcake. be careful not to go all the way to the bottom or the caramel will leak out
  2. fill each cupcake with 1-2 tsp of caramel
  3. ice each cupcake, either using a piping bag or by scooping some frosting on top and smoothing with a knife
  4. dust with cinnamon and enjoy!

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