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Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcake

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These Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcakes are the perfect fall treat. The moist pumpkin cupcake is filled with a bourbon pecan pie filling and topped with a buttercream frosting with hints of brown sugar, maple syrup and touch of cinnamon.


A pumpkin cupcake with the wrapper pulled down, it's frosted with a pretty swirled frosting and topped with a pecan.

As it’s officially October, we are in my favorite month of the year! I’ve busted out my flannels and my beanies, and my boots are back in my weekly rotation. The Pacific Northwest has graced us with an early fall and we’ve already turned on the heater.

It also means there’s plenty of pumpkin cupcake and cider donuts to go around. My absolute favorite desserts this time of year.

I’ve upped the bar this year. Let me introduce you to Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcakes. These are my beloved moist pumpkin cupcakes filled with a bourbon pecan pie filling and topped with the most heavenly buttercream. The buttercream is flavored with brown sugar, maple syrup and a touch of cinnamon.

Bourbon, pumpkin and pecans- sounds like the perfect combination, am I right?

A vintage wire baking rack with a couple pumpkin cupcakes with a gorgeous frosting swirl and pecans on top

I wasn’t sure I could top my original recipe for my moist pumpkin cupcakes, but here we are folks.

The cupcake recipe is made with real pumpkin puree, brown sugar and a hint of maple syrup. It’s light and fluffy and packed with flavor. I tested several recipes before I landed on the winner, it’s my favorite seasonal cupcake to make.

I love a good pecan filling, but this time I wanted to elevate it with bourbon. Bourbon pairs so nicely with pumpkin. So, I took the recipe for my bourbon pecan pie bars and cooked it on the stovetop to turn it into a filling these cupcakes.

It’s similar to what you might imagine a coconut pecan frosting might be for a German chocolate cake. It’s prepared in a similar matter on the stovetop.

To prepare the filling, it does require you to temper the egg yolks, but it’s really easy. Just follow a few basic tips I’ve outlined below.

A super close up shot of a gorgeous frosting swirl garnished with crushed pecans.

Tip for preparing the pecan pie filling

  • Prepare the filling advance, because it does need to cool before you add the filling.
  • Be sure to finely chop the pecans because we are filling the centers of the cupcakes, and it will be easier to fill if the pecans are smaller.
  • First, you’ll melt the butter and brown sugar together, then you’ll stir in the flour and vanilla extract.
  • Once it’s well mixed, you’ll add the corn syrup and heavy cream. If you spray your measuring cup with pam spray, the corn syrup will drip right out of the measuring cup!
  • Once the mixture is well heated and the bubbles just start to break the surface (not boiling!), use your measuring cup to grab about ¼ cup of the liquid.
  • The eggs should be beaten already, slowly drizzle in the heated liquid while whisking. These helps to slowly heat the eggs. Whisk until all the liquid is incorporated.
  • Pour the eggs back into the saucepan and vigorously stir the eggs in to prevent them from cooking.
  • Once the mixture starts to gently boil, it should be thickened. Remove it from the heat and stir in the bourbon and chopped pecans.
  • Even if the mixture is still liquid, it will further thicken as it cools.

A pumpkin cupcake with a big bite out of it showing the center of the cupcake filled with a pecan pie filling and it's topped with a beautiful frosting.

Cupcakes with filling are the best. It’s like a bonus in every bite! To fill the center of the cupcakes, you can use tools like a cupcake corer or a melon baller, or you can use a knife to cup the center of the cupcakes out.

Each cupcake has about 1 tablespoons of filling. It’s easiest to use two spoons to add the filling.

A pumpkin cupcake with the center removed showing the pecan pie filling.

Whatever you do, be sure to grab a napkin, because after the first giant bite, you’ll surly end up with frosting on your face.

More fall recipes you might like

How to Make Buttercream Frosting

Pumpkin Tiramisu Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Latte Poke Cake

Double Pumpkin Poke Cakes

Maple Pecan Cupcakes

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A pumpkin cupcake with the wrapper pulled down, it's frosted with a pretty swirled frosting and topped with a pecan.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes


These Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcakes are the perfect fall treat. The moist pumpkin cupcake is filled with a bourbon pecan pie filling and topped with a buttercream frosting with hints of brown sugar, maple syrup and touch of cinnamon.


For the cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk (I use nonfat)

For the filling

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

For the frosting

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon, optional
  • dash of cinnamon


  1. For the cupcakes: 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 the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. Next mix in the pumpkin and beat until well combined.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients. Then, add half the dry ingredients to the batter followed half the milk and beat until it starts to combine.
  5. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed while pouring in the milk and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined.
  6. 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.
  7. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full.
  8. 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.
  9. For the filling: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the butter is melted. Add the vanilla and flour whisk to combine.
  10. Next add the corn syrup and heavy whipping cream and heat the mixture just until it starts to lightly bubble. Stir frequently.
  11. Temper the egg yolks by taking ¼ cup of the heated liquid and slowly mix it into the beaten eggs. Once mixed, pour the eggs back into the saucepan and immediately stir the eggs into the mixture to prevent them from cooking. Continue stirring.
  12. Once the mixture has thickened and is bubbling, remove it from the heat and stir in the bourbon and chopped pecans. Allow the mixture to cool prior to adding to the cupcakes.
  13. For the frosting: Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until butter look light in color.
  14. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated into butter then add the brown sugar and maple syrup and mix to combine. Beat for about 60 seconds.
  15. Next, add an additional 2 cups of powdered sugar and the heavy cream, vanilla and bourbon and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes.
  16. Add last 2 cup powdered sugar. Beat on low until ingredients start to mix together. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 2-3 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting. If you frosting is too thick, add an additional tablespoons of heavy cream.
  17. To assemble the cupcakes, remove the centers using a cupcake corer, a melon baller or a knife. Fill each one with 1 heaping tablespoons of the pecan filling. Use a large french tip or frost these cupcakes. Garnish with crushed pecans.


  • Prepare the filling first to allow enough time for it to cool before filling your cupcakes.
  • The cupcakes can be prepared in advance, as can the filling.
  • Category: Cupcakes

Keywords: pumpkin cupcakes

A wide shot of 3 cupcakes on a vintage wire rack with pecans scattered

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

5 Responses
  1. Ann

    Do you come up with such interesting recipes and take such mouth-watering photos so that I spend half a day on your blog? Go on! These cupcakes are incredible, now it is my favorite recipe! The combination of pumpkin and pecans is a real magic outside of Hogwarts, I cook them again and again, and eat a few at a time :))) Thank you!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      I have not tested it with a different liquid. I’d probably use heavy cream and add it into the filling instead of at the end.

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        If you split is 50/50, that could work but I wouldn’t add 1/4 cup of vanilla

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