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A single cupcake frosted with caramel dripping down the side

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

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  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 29 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


These easy pumpkin cupcakes are the perfect fall treat! They’re moist and fluffy and topped with a salted caramel cream cheese frosting.


For the cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups (330g) light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (118ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (180g) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (5g) pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons (5g) cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (5g) baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon (3.7g) salt
  • ¾ cup (177ml) milk

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, cold
  • 67 cups (780-911g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract or bourbon
  • 34 heaping tablespoons salted caramel sauce plus additional for garnish


For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Next mix in the pumpkin and beat until well combined.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients and sift together with a fine mesh sieve. Then, add half the dry ingredients to the batter followed by half the milk, and beat until it starts to combine. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and milk and beat until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.

For the frosting

  1. Cut the butter into pieces, about 1 tablespoon size. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally until the butter is light and fluffy.
  2. Then add the cream cheese and cream together with the butter for 2-3 minutes until they are whipped and free of lumps, scape down the bowl occasionally.
  3. Slowly add confectionary sugar, 2-3 cups at a time, alternating with the liquid (vanilla extract and salted caramel) and beat until desired consistency is reached. Add additional pinch of salt if desired.


  • Frosting consistency: This frosting should be thick but easily spreadable, it won’t be quite as soft as a cream cheese frosting. If your frosting seems too thin, add additional powdered sugar. Or if your frosting is too thick, add milk or heavy cream 1 teaspoon at a time. The secret to the best frosting is to really whip the butter before adding any additional ingredients. If your frosting because too soft when applying and decorating, stick it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  • Pumpkin puree- make sure you’re using 100% pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Make ahead and storage suggestions:
    • Storing frosted cupcakes: You can make these up to two days in advance. If preparing in advance and frosting in advance, I recommend refrigerating the cupcakes in a airtight container.
    • Storing unfrosted cupcakes: You can prepare the cupcakes, store them unfrosted in an airtight container at room temperature.
    • Make the frosting ahead of time and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. All the frosting to come to room temperature before piping.
    • Freezing cupcakes: It’s best to freeze these cupcakes unfrosted. Cool completely, flash freeze for 15 minutes then transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container. Thaw to room temperature prior to serving.


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 393
  • Sugar: 46g
  • Sodium: 184mg
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 56g
  • Fiber: .7g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 58mg