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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
Have you reached pumpkin overload yet? You know how excited us bakers get when it come to pumpkin. Within a course of five weeks, I’ve seen more pumpkin recipes than ever and guess what? I kind of love it. Seasonal baking keeps my kitchen adventures interesting. I’d get bored baking with chocolate or vanilla all year long. You have to add something to the mix and thankfully, pumpkin is that much needed addition that is on the tips of everyone tongues.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
However, once Thanksgiving hits, pumpkins get no love. Why is that? Is it the pumpkin overload or is because we start dreaming about big, ridiculous desserts for Christmas? I mean, a pumpkin is great but does it compare to towering layer cakes and deep rich pies that adorn our holiday tables? Most would say it doesn’t but I think that with the right recipe, a pumpkin could compete for a spot on your holiday spread.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Take this pumpkin cupcake recipe. It seems pretty ordinary but once you taste it, it blows your mind. I adapted the recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Sprinkle Bakes, and referred to the ultimate cream cheese frosting from Smitten Kitchen. While the cake recipe calls for brown butter, after burning one batch, I gave up and just melted butter. If you have a better attention span than I do, go ahead and try the brown butter route because I’m sure that only enhances the flavor of the pumpkin in the recipe. The cake combines the ultimate blend of sugar and spice, and delivers that combination in a moist yet sturdy cake. Made out of cream cheese and maple syrup, the frosting is the kind that has you dipping your finger into the frosting bowl every five minutes… Just a taste, you tell yourself… ten minutes later, you are in a frosting coma.

With Halloween coming up next weekend, I think this cupcake would be a fine dessert to have for your party-goers or little munchkins. Trick-or-treating is hard (walking! smiling!) so give them a reward for their oh0so hard endeavors. And don’t forget to stealthily sneak one from the serving plate before bed. I won’t tell anyone, I promise.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
Adapted from: Sprinkle Bakes & Smitten Kitchen
Yield: About 25 cupcakes


Pumpkin Cake:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. salt
1/s tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk

Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Let the butter melt, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter is completely melted. Pour the butter into a small bowl and let stand until slightly cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk 1 ½ cups of pumpkin puree with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and buttermilk until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Whisk in the butter until well blended.
Scoop and fill cupcake liners so they are 3/4th full. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely. Wrapped rightly or stored in an airtight container, the cupcakes will last for 3 days.

Make the frosting:
In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy, making sure to scrape down the side of the mixing bowl. To assemble the cake, scoop frosting into a piping bag and swirl frosting decoratively in a clockwise pattern. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to set up frosting.

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October 24, 2011 - 3:02 pm

Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming - These look so delicious! I will never get tired of pumpkin :)

October 24, 2011 - 5:15 pm

Run Fast Travel Slow - I’m not that into pumpkin, but I love the idea of maple frosting (I bet the cream cheese & the maple syrup balance each other really nicely) and I love the last photo in this post!

October 25, 2011 - 4:23 am

Alicia - MMM, these sound / look delicious! I crave all things pumpkin flavored this time of year – it’s so comforting and satisfying.

October 25, 2011 - 3:48 pm

Nastassia (Let Me Eat Cake) - no such thing as pumpkin overload!

October 25, 2011 - 4:29 pm

Tiffany @ Savor Home - These look so good and your photos are beautiful! I love pumpkin, maple and cupcakes, so these are now on my list of things to make!

October 26, 2011 - 9:11 am

Shannon - Yes oh yes – these look glorious!

October 27, 2011 - 6:12 pm

Anna - I don’t think there will ever be enough recipes for all the pumpkins we see in produce stores. A hella’ lot of pumpkins everywehere…
I am not a pumpkin fan but I am ready to blow my mind with my first bite of this pumpkin cupcakes…Thanks for sharing!

October 27, 2011 - 6:15 pm

Kelly - Absolutely delightful! Beautiful presentation and captivating photos.

October 27, 2011 - 6:52 pm

Jennifer @ Mother Thyme - These look fabulous! There is never to much pumpkin this time of year! I love the Maple Frosting. What a fabulous combination!

October 28, 2011 - 7:00 am

Eggton - Ah, I could look at the little dollop of icing on those cupcakes forever! They are so picturesque!

Thanks for posting. I made a sweet potato spiced nut cake with amaretto frosting recently, and it was AWESOME.

Here is the link just in case it’s of interest.

Thanks again for the recipe!


October 28, 2011 - 8:43 am

Carolyn Jung - I’m a sucker for anything with maple. And these little cupcakes look like the perfect embodiment of autumn. ;)

November 14, 2011 - 3:51 am

Tabby Animals - The maple frosting looks perfect. I can imagine right now the taste of this cup cake and I can’t wait to eat lots of these cupcakes. Yummy!

November 16, 2011 - 9:45 pm

Heather - I just got fine making these and they are soooooo good. This recipe is amazing. I’m not usually a cream cheese frosting fan, but the flavor melds perfectly with the sweet maple and the spiciness of the cake. I added some really flavorful ginger that I got at a spice market, which was a nice touch (but I love ginger). I also garnished my cupcakes with maple sugar, which added a nice little bit of texture. This is definitely something that I will be making again.

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