Pumpkin Cupcakes With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

I meant to get this recipe up on Halloween, but I ended up having so much to do for my upcoming cruise that I just didn't get a chance. But the good news is they're still perfect for November. I'd just recommend topping them with toasted walnuts or pepitas instead of candy corn.

These tender cupcakes are spicy and moist, and the frosting lends just the right touch of sweetness. I made mini and regular size cupcakes, but you can just do one or the other if you like.

I did have tons of leftover frosting, so I'd recommend making a second batch or baking some sort of pumpkin bread to use it on. (Check back here on Monday for a pumpkin bread recipe.)

Pumpkin Cupcakes With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking)


2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temp (I used dried buttermilk, which I put in with the dry ingredients, and water, which I added instead of the buttermilk when called for below.)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard or mini cupcake pans with paper cupcake cups.

Sift cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves into a medium bowl. Stir to combine.

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light in color, 4 to 5 minutes.

Beat eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. With mixer running on medium speed, add the egg mixture about 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing each addition to be fully incorporated before adding the next. Be sure to scrape down the bowl periodically. Continue until all of the mixture has been incorporated.

Add the pumpkin and blend well.

With mixer on low, add one-third of the flour mixture. Then add half of the buttermilk mixture. Add another third of the flour mixture and the rest of the buttermilk. Add the remaining flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl and finish mixing with a rubber spatula.

Divide the batter evenly among the pans. This makes 18 cupcakes or about 65 mini cupcakes (or about 12 cupcakes and 24 minis if you do a pan of each).

Bake cupcakes 15 to 20 minutes and minis 12 to 14 minutes. Cupcakes are done when firm on top and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Transfer to cooling rack. When cool enough to handle, remove cupcakes from pans and place on rack to cool completely.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting 


12 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
6 tablespoons butter, at room temp
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar


Blend cream cheese and butter together in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment until smooth. Add maple syrup and confectioners' sugar and blend. Scrape down the bowl and blend again until well mixed.

Frost the cooled cupcakes.

Decorate with candy corn, toasted walnuts, or pepitas.

What's your favorite pumpkin dish? (Feel free to post a link.)

I'm heading home to CT tonight and flying out of New York tomorrow, and then I'll be cruisin' the Caribbean until next weekend! While I'm away, I have some great guest posts for you. Be sure to come back next week for those... and come back on Sunday for my big news!