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Decadent Pumpkin Cupcakes

October 7, 2011

First I want to thank each and every one of you that has been reading and following and commenting on my past few months of posts!  I read (and truly appreciate!) each and every comment, I just haven’t had the time to respond to all of them because of my current work schedule.  But please know that as soon as I’m “back” in November I will be posting and replying a whole lot more!

Now did your parents ever say to you; “if you eat any more “insert food here”, you’re going to turn into one!”.  No? Anyone? ok…maybe it was just my parents 🙂  But if there were any truth to that statement I would definitely be a pumpkin by now.  As soon as labor day hits my house smells like a warm pumpkin spice candle, there is a pumpkin pie in the oven as often as humanly possible, and while thats baking you can find me, the girl wearing orange (a fav right now!) at the starbucks counter ordering a pumpkin spice latte.  Basically, I LOVE pumpkin 🙂  So these cupcakes?  an absolute must for the season.

So allow me to define decadent for you.  An unbelievable-y moist pumpkin spice cupcake with a creamy cheesecake-like filling topped with salted caramel buttercream and maple toasted pecans.  Seriously these cupcakes are crazy delicious.  They could be eaten without the frosting but what fun would that be?  A few notes though; the spots where the cream cheese are will sink a little but not drastically and the pecans are a must or else the whole thing may be borderline too sweet.

Decadent Pumpkin Cupcakes
Cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart, Yields 24 cupcakes


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed dark-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

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 cup shelled pecans
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.

For the cream cheese filling: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla together until completely combined and smooth.  Set Aside.

2. For the cupcakes: In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the pumpkin puree.

4. Take 1/4 cup of the pumpkin cupcake batter and beat it into the cream cheese mixture until combined.  Divide the rest of the cupcake batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Then spoon about a tablespoon of the cream cheese on top, smoothing it into the pumpkin batter.  Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. While the cupcakes are cooling (and before you turn the oven off!), line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the pecans out in an even layer on the sheet.  Drizzle the maple syrup over the pecans and then toast for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant.

6. For the frostingsalted caramelIn small microwave safe bowl, warm heavy cream in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds.  It should be hot to the touch.  In a medium saucepan, combine sugar & water but DO NOT STIR.  Place over medium-high heat & bring to a boil.  Cook until mixture turns an amber color, but not too dark that it looks like the sugar is burning but definitely amber.  This can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes just keep a close eye on it.

7. Remove from heat and add warm cream, vanilla, and sea salt.  Stir gently (and carefully!  it will bubble up as you’re doing this) until smooth & well combined.  Let sit for 20 minutes until cool enough to touch.

8. While the caramel is cooling, cream the 3/4 cup salted butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed.  Add the confectioners sugar a half cup at a time scraping down the bowl periodically.  Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined.

Frost each cupcake to your liking and top with toasted pecans!  Enjoy!  (the longest I’ve had these last is 2 days and they were still incredibly moist and delicious after being kept in an airtight container at room temperature)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2011 9:40 am

    Oh yeah, these would hit the spot. And yes my mom used to tell me I would turn into (insert food here), and I told my kids the same thing. Tried and true parental wisdom!

  2. October 7, 2011 9:49 am

    Yum! Would love to post your recipes on my blog! Stop by and visit if you get a chance. I know you are super busy. Please contact me at


    Dana @ On the Broomstick

  3. October 7, 2011 11:48 am

    I would love to reach into my computer screen and grab one of these cupcakes right now to go with my coffee. Lovely!

  4. October 7, 2011 2:10 pm

    Pumpkin and cream cheese-no doubt these are an awesome treat. They sure do look tasty and I like the nuts and the swirl on top. I look forward to seeing more from you in November. Have a great weekend and don’t let everyone else eat all those cupcakes!

  5. Susan Frank permalink
    October 8, 2011 9:13 am

    I made the Nutella cupcakes with the caramel frosting and they were excellent so I’m going to try these too. My family loves pumpkin and these have a little twist with the cream cheese filling. Love everything you bake!!:)

  6. October 9, 2011 12:31 am

    Fabulous! This is a delicious addition to Fall – mmm!

  7. October 12, 2011 10:24 pm

    Pecans and pumpkin go so well together! I think it makes the perfect topping, plus it would add that nice little crunch.

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