Pumpkin Cupcakes With Brown Sugar Frosting

My very first entry!  I was really nervous about which recipe I wanted to post first, but since this is the month of pumpkins, I thought I would incorporate that into my baking.

First, let me tell you something about pumpkins: my family really loves pumpkins.

No, you don’t understand.  We really love pumpkins.

My mother claims my brother got his red hair from all the pumpkin ice cream she ate while pregnant with him.  From September to November, our home is surrounded by pumpkins like a little gourd army.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, even pumpkin puree straight out of the can…nothing was too pumpkiny for us.

If there were a Church of The Great Pumpkin, we’d all be devout followers.

Anyway. Since I love the smell of spiced pumpkin in the fall (if you don’t, you’re a Communist), I wanted to bake something pumpkin that wasn’t pie.  I bring all my baked goods into work so I need something portable.  Hence…the pumpkin cupcake.  Nay, a cupcake cookie with freaking brown sugar frosting.  A sweet, cakey, pumpkin-and-spicy bit of perfection.


This was my first attempt at a buttercream frosting (we were big on Betty Crocker frosting at home), and, well…I missed the mark on the frosting.  Next time, I will definitely put it in the refrigerator long enough for it to harden, but not so much that I can’t pipe it out with a pastry bag.  Regardless of how the frosting looked in my head vs. how it turned out in real life, they tasted AWESOME.  And I stopped telling people it was buttercream so they didn’t have any expectations (shhh).  Also, I doubled the frosting recipe to make sure I had enough frosting; the recipe below is a single batch.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
(recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Baking Temperature: 350 degrees
Baking Time: 20-25 minutes

  1. In a medium bowl, blend together our, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream sugars and butter until fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Slowly add in eggs one at a team, beating well after each addition.
  3. Slowly add flour mixture until smooth, mixing on low speed. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
  4. Line cupcake pan with paper liners, and fill each liner up a little more than halfway full of batter.  Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely before frosting.

Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting
(adapted from The Repressed Pastry Chef via Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)

2 cups light brown sugar, tightly packed
1 cup heavy cream
½ pound unsalted butter, cut into 8 1-ounce pieces
¼ tsp cream of tartar

  1. Heat brown sugar, heavy cream, 2 1-ounce pieces of butter, and cream of tartar in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently while bringing the mixture to a boil. Allow the mixture to continue boiling while stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  2. Transfer the hot mixture to a stainless steel bowl and allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding.
  3. Place the cooled mixture int the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat on low for 30 seconds. Then beat on medium for 2 minutes, while adding the remaining 6 pieces of butter, one at a time, until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for an additional 1 minute until light and fully.
  4. Transfer 1 cup of icing to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, and place in the refrigerator until needed.

10 Responses to Pumpkin Cupcakes With Brown Sugar Frosting

  1. B. Gray says:

    Sounds yummy!!!

  2. Mom says:

    I was SO happy to see your first posting about PUMPKIN CUPCAKES!!! What could be better! I just wish I could taste one of them!

  3. Jen says:

    I want a cupcake! they look great and so does the new blog. Nice Job :)

  4. LouMitch says:

    why didn’t you bring any in today :( those look damn good!

  5. LouMitch says:

    nevermind…upon reading and not just looking at pictures it seems you did bring them in and I wasn’t there :(

  6. Suzy says:

    Thanks guys :) Don’t worry, I will probably make them again soon!

  7. Marla Singer says:

    Punkins are my life! I am addicted to punkins and want to eat some of these goodnesses! Maybe we can make them the next time I see you…

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