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Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting

November 11, 2014

In the summer of 2010, I was responsible for baking 300+ cupcakes for my sister’s wedding… And Oh, My Gosh– what a nightmare. Keep in mind, this was before I started The Bite-Sized Baker blog, and as much as I loved baking back then, I still wasn’t regularly baking and I didn’t know many of the techniques and sciences behind baking… Not like I know nearly any of it now, but I’d like to think I know a bit more!


Baking the actual cupcakes was easy enough, all I needed to do was double or triple a recipe and then voilà. The real problem lay within making the frosting. I couldn’t tell you how many POUNDS and POUNDS of butter and confectioners’ sugar I wasted in my attempts to perfect frosting. Scratch that, I wasn’t even going for perfect frosting, I was simply trying to make frosting that was fluffy enough to go on a cupcake. 

I don’t even remember exactly what type of frosting I was making, but I do remember looking at my frosting and thinking it looked like curdled soup, greasy, or just plain wimpy and runny. When I would try to save it by adding more confectioners’ sugar, it would become to0 sickly sweet to eat, even for the sweetest tooth. And don’t even get me started on my cupcake decorating skills back then… Thank goodness my sister, Caitlin, is pretty much the most easy-going person I’ve ever met and the furthest thing from a bridezilla or else it would have been a REAL disaster.


These days, cupcakes and frosting are much less intimidating and I actually ENJOY decorating a pretty little cupcake from time to time… I had a little pumpkin puree leftover from when I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and wanted to use my mini cupcake pan so I decided to keep it simple with a dark chocolate-pumpkin cake and topped it with Brown Sugar Frosting, which is basically just a sweet, creamy, buttery delight. I garnished the cupcakes with extra buttered pecans I had made earlier from the lovely, Half Baked Harvest. If you’re feeling extra adventurous on the cupcake front, you can make her insane Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Buttered Pecan Frosting, but the pecans are delicious on their own if you just want a quick and easy treat!

Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes recipe from Garnish and Glaze:

1½ cups flour

⅔ cup dark cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup buttermilk

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin

2 teaspoons vanilla

¾ cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 egg yolk

Brown Sugar Frosting recipe from Annie’s Eats:

1 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

2 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

  1. To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line muffin tins with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a small bowl combine buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. While mixing on low, alternately add dry ingredients and pumpkin mixture in thirds. When evenly combined, pour into muffin tins and bake for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  3. When cool enough to handle, remove cupcakes onto wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting, beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.
  5. Frost the cupcakes as desired.
One Comment leave one →
  1. huntfortheverybest permalink
    November 26, 2014 2:22 pm

    these look like yummy cupcakes!

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