Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

by Melissa on October 22, 2010

Remember when I shared these Pumpkin Cake Truffles with you? Well, this is the cupcake recipe that I created them from! I made these cupcakes, along with the Apple Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream, for my husband to take to work back in September and both of them were a huge hit with is coworkers.

I have already told you how much I love the cake part of these cupcakes, so I want to tell you a little about the buttercream. If you have never tried salted caramel buttercream, you are truly missing out. Put off whatever baking plans you have this weekend and make these cupcakes instead! Even if you don’t like pumpkin, you could make this buttercream with chocolate cupcakes, or even the apple cupcakes I mentioned above. It is that good!  And don’t be intimidated by making your own caramel, it is very easy. Just be sure to watch it very closely, and don’t get distracted by your fussy baby, clingy toddler,needy husband wonderful family. :)

Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the  brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until well combined.  Add dry ingredients, and mix on low until smooth. Fold in pumpkin puree. 

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. 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.

Makes ~ 18 cupcakes.

Source: Adapted from MarthaStewart.com.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable. Alternatively, you could use just under 1/2 cup of your favorite caramel sauce.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.  Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).  Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration.  If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny.  If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. 
Source: Slightly adapted from SprinkleBakes.com.
Note: I used a Wilton 1 A large round tip to frost these cupcakes and the cupcake liners are from KingArthurFlour.com.
Like this post? Share with your friends!