These Pumpkin Cupcakes are made with a moist pumpkin cupcake filled with salted caramel sauce and topped with a delicious Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting. A perfect and fun dessert for the fall season!
It’s the first day of October which means it’s officially Pumpkin Season! This is my absolute favourite time of the year! I love the cooler weather, colourful leaves — and most importantly, the desserts!
Fall desserts are the best desserts. Apple flavoured, cinnamon flavoured, caramel flavoured, and my favourite: PUMPKIN! Pumpkin Spice Lattes with Pumpkin Pancakes or Pumpkin French Toast for breakfast and Pumpkin Spice Fudge Blondies for dessert! Now that’s my ideal autumn.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
I just love fall baking! I’ve been baking a ton of fall flavoured desserts this past month and I can’t wait to share them with all of you! So first thing on the fall baking list: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!
To make this recipe, we start by making the pumpkin cupcakes. The cupcakes are super moist, soft and fluffy and full of that perfect pumpkin spice flavour!
The base of this recipe is my Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes, with a bit of modifications I made to make the perfect pumpkin cupcake. To start, I kept the same amount of flour, but I added some pumpkin spice and cinnamon to flavour it up.
For the wet ingredients, I used a cup of pumpkin purée. Remember to buy pure pumpkin purée, NOT pumpkin pie filling. Seriously, they sell both in the exact same packaging and brand at my local grocery store so it’s easy to mix up the two.
To the pumpkin purée we add some eggs, vanilla and vegetable oil which helps aid in these cupcakes moist texture.
As you can see in my vanilla cupcakes recipe, I usually mix white granulated sugar with the dry ingredients. I decided to change things up with this recipe by adding both granulated sugar and brown sugar. I love using brown sugar in pumpkin desserts because it adds even more flavour!
Instead of adding 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar as usual, I cut the amount down to 1 cup (3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar). This is because I really wanted the pumpkin and spice flavour to shine through, and I didn’t want the cupcakes to be overly sweet, especially since we’ll be stuffing them with caramel and piling on some cream cheese frosting.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The mixing method for these cupcakes is really simple, but a bit different from the vanilla cupcake recipe. Instead of mixing the wet ingredients together in a liquid measuring cup and pouring it into the dry ingredients, I used the “pumpkin pie method” as I like to call it.
I start by mixing the dry ingredients together in one bowl. Then I mix the pumpkin purée with the wet ingredients in another bowl. The pumpkin mixture gets pretty liquidy, so we’re gonna dump all the dry ingredients in there and whisk until it’s thick and smooth. And yes I said whisk, no mixer is needed to make these simple pumpkin cupcakes (you definitely need one for the frosting though).
Salted Caramel Filling
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, this shouldn’t be a surprise to you. Almost all of my cupcake recipes have a delicious filling in it, because why not? They’re so fun and I just love biting into a cupcake and having the gooey surprise filling ooze out.
To fill the cupcakes with the sweet and silky caramel, use the bottom of a large piping tip or an apple corer, and press it down into the top of the cupcake to create a hole in the centre. You can also use a small knife to cut out the centre and just place the tops back on after filling.
Now if you don’t want to fill your cupcakes you can skip this step. I only filled half of the cupcakes and they still tasted great with and without the filling!
Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Now it’s time for my favourite part, the Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting! Yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds. This yummy cream cheese frosting is incredibly creamy and silky, and the slight tanginess of the cream cheese pairs perfectly with the sweet caramel sauce. It’s the perfect frosting for these pumpkin cupcakes.
I made an entire post about this frosting with detailed instructions about how it’s made, so check it out!
I’m totally in love with these cupcakes! Super moist and fluffy and the salted caramel/cream cheese flavours paired with the moist pumpkin cupcake is out of this world! Simply perfect.
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Let’s get baking!
- 1 and ½ cups All purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 and ½ teaspoons Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
- 2 large Eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated Sugar
- 1/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 recipe of my Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
- Prepare one recipe of my Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce and allow it to cool completely or chill overnight.
For the Pumpkin Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C), and line a standard cupcake pan with paper liners. Line a second pan with 4-6 liners. This recipe makes about 16-18 cupcakes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, add the pumpkin purée, eggs, vanilla, oil, both sugars and buttermilk. Whisk until combined and smooth.
- Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until everything is fully combined and smooth. Fill each liner about 2/3 way full.
- Bake in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out with a few moist crumbs. Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes.
- Remove the cupcakes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating. Meanwhile, make one recipe of my Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting.
- OPTIONAL: Use the bottom of a piping tip or an apple corer to cut a hole out the top of the cupcakes. Fill with Salted Caramel Sauce.
- Transfer cream cheese frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip (I used Wilton 1M) and pipe a swirl onto each cupcake. Drizzle with more salted caramel sauce, if desired. Enjoy!
- Leftover cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.
- Frosting can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for several months. Before using — allow frosting to come to room temperature, then re-whip in a stand mixer until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.
- Salted Caramel Sauce can be made a few days ahead of time and stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. Re-heat in the microwave for about 25 - 35 seconds before using.
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