Toasted Pecan Pumpkin Cupcakes Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist pumpkin cupcakes studded with toasted pecans and topped with a sweet and creamy Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

Toasted Pecan Pumpkin Cupcakes Maple Caramel FrostingBack to my kitchen! Back to Fall baking!! Squee!!

Who’s tired of pumpkin? Bloggers keep asking that. I could never get tired of pumpkin! I wait all year to bake anything and everything with pumpkin. I would go so far as to say that I hoard pumpkin just in case there is a shortage like several years ago.

Do you remember that? Little pumpkin lovin’ hearts were breaking all over the USofA. Sadness.

Toasted Pecan Pumpkin Cupcakes Maple Caramel Frosting

So in light of a possible shortage, I say bake away!

The smell of warm cinnamon spiced pumpkin baking in the kitchen is my happy place.

Toasted Pecan Pumpkin Cupcakes Maple Caramel Frosting

Come to think of it, pretty much all cupcakes are my happy place.

Today I bring you my happy place!

Toasted Pecan Pumpkin Cupcakes Maple Caramel Frosting

This soft pumpkin cake is generously spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, mace and cloves! Don’t forget the mace! It’s my secret ingredient that I shared in my post about Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and Healthier Pumpkin Banana Bread!

If you love maple half as much as I do, you will swoon over this Maple Caramel Cream Cheese frosting. It is the stuff of legends.

A silky, decadent maple cream cheese frosting made with my salted Maple Caramel Sauce. A little tang of the cream cheese mixed with a sweet maple caramel is the perfect topping for the spiced pumpkin cupcakes! A little crunch from the toasted pecans and you have yourself an awesome Fall cupcake!

Toasted Pecan Pumpkin Cupcakes Maple Caramel Frosting

Fall cupcakes don’t get much better or easier than these! Pure pumpkin maple bliss.

Toasted Pecan Pumpkin Cupcakes Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 14 Cupcakes

Moist pumpkin cupcakes studded with toasted pecans and topped with a sweet and creamy Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!


    For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (slightly rounded)
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon mace
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted*
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup chopped, toasted pecans**
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 4 ounces cold cream cheese (no whipped, no low-fat, high-quality preferred)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold but still firm
  • pinch kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup Maple Caramel Sauce


    Make the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line 14 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners. I use two standard paper liners per cupcake.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and all spices; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugars and melted butter together with a hand mixer until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla after the last egg.
  4. Add the pumpkin and mix on medium until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.
  5. Alternately add flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. I add a third of the flour then half of the buttermilk and repeat. Fold the last flour addition in by hand to avoid over mixing. Fold in pecans.
  6. Scoop into prepared tins, filling almost to the top of the cup. Add some crumble to the top of each cupcake. Bake in preheated oven 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few clinging crumbs. Mine took 18 minutes.
  7. Remove immediately from muffin tins to cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Make the Frosting:
  9. Using a handmixer, beat cream cheese, butter, salt and cinnamon on medium speed until smooth and creamy, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  10. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth and creamy. Slowly pour the caramel into the frosting in gradual increments until the frosting is a spreadable consistency and achieves the maple flavor you desire. My maple caramel was a bit runny so I added full amount but then added some more powdered sugar to thicken it back up. You can adjust to your liking.
  11. The frosting will keep best in the refrigerator but it will also keep for several days at room temperature.
  12. Assemble the Cupcakes:
  13. Once cupcakes are cool, frost with your favorite piping tip!


*Melting Butter: I melt my butter in the microwave in 10 second intervals on 50% power until almost all the butter has melted. At this point I remove it from the microwave and stir or swirl the bowl until all the butter has melted. I do not like when the cream separates from the butter, which will happen if you cook it too long or at too high a power (or heat on the stove).

**Toast whole Pecans on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer for 10 minutes in a preheated 350° oven, or until you can smell them and the light parts of the pecans have turned a light golden brown. Pre-chopped pecans will toast faster!

More Cupcakes! Never enough #amiright?

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This recipe is linked to: Inspiration Monday, Merry Monday, Munching Monday, Monday Funday, Two Cup Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Party Time, Moonlight & Mason Jars, Gluten Free Wednesday, What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, Gluten Free Friday, Foodie Friday, Food on Friday, Flashback Friday, Saturday Night Fever, Sweet and Savoury Sundays



  • Liz
    November 6, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Your frosting to cupcake ratio is perfect! LOVE these pumpkin gems!!!

    • AmericanCooking22
      November 6, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Thanks, Liz! I tried to have some self-restraint 🙂

  • Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures
    November 6, 2014 at 7:54 am

    I don’t remember this pumpkin shortage. What a tragedy!

    • AmericanCooking22
      November 6, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Completely! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen
    November 6, 2014 at 8:50 am

    You and your cupcakes! They always look so amazing! I love all of the flavors in these pumpkin cupcakes. And I’ve got to try your salted maple caramel sauce! Pinned!

    • AmericanCooking22
      November 6, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Hahah I know. I have a cupcake problem. Thanks for the pin, Kristine!

  • Lea
    November 6, 2014 at 9:13 am

    There is an error in the recipe. The cupcakes call for ¼ teaspoon pumpkin puree. I haven’t tried the recipe, but I can’t imagine you meant ¼ teaspoon.

    • AmericanCooking22
      November 6, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Thank you, Lea! I definitely didn’t mean 1/4 teaspoon. t don’t even know what I was thinking. It should be 1/2 cup. I have updated the recipe. Thanks again for pointing that out!

  • Shashi @ runninsrilankan
    November 6, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Holy moly WoW! Mace, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in these beauts – not only do these look fabulous but I bet they smelt wonderful! Yes – these would take me to MY happy place!

    • AmericanCooking22
      November 6, 2014 at 10:12 am

      They smelled amazing! Thanks, Shashi!

  • Ilona @ Ilona's Passion
    November 6, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Wow, these cupcakes are so delicious, I could eat them right now:)

    • AmericanCooking22
      November 6, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Thanks, Ilona!

  • marcie
    November 6, 2014 at 10:21 am

    I’m not tired of pumpkin — I haven’t even had pumpkin pie yet! I could look past the pie with these in front of me…they look divine! Pinning. 🙂

    • AmericanCooking22
      November 6, 2014 at 10:28 am

      You haven’t even had pumpkin yet?!?! What are you waiting for! Thanks for the pin!

  • Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice
    November 6, 2014 at 11:27 am

    I could eat pumpkin year round and never get sick of it! These cupcakes look crazy good, Lindsey! I love the pecans in here, and that frosting looks incredible. Pinned!

  • Manali @ CookWithManali
    November 6, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Your cupcakes always look amazing Lindsey and this one is no exception! Pinned 🙂

  • Ella-HomeCookingAdventure
    November 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    All your cupcakes look wonderful.. I really love pumpkin too.. never can get tired of it:)

    • AmericanCooking22
      November 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Thanks, Ella! Me neither. Long live pumpkin!

  • Renee @ Two in the Kitchen
    November 6, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Holy cry girl. I am in a sugar coma just scrolling through all those amazing cupcakes you have on this post alone. These pumpkin cupcakes are amazing!!! Tired of pumpkin???? No way!! Keep the pumpkin coming!! 🙂

    • AmericanCooking22
      November 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Haha! I agree…bring on the pumpkin!!!

  • Kathleen @ Yummy Crumble
    November 6, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    So pretty! I bet your house smelled like pumpkin heaven. It’s the best smell ever 🙂

    • AmericanCooking22
      November 7, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      Best. Smell. Ever. You get me, Kathleen.

  • Kelly - Life Made Sweeter
    November 7, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Each time you post a cupcake recipe, I literally have to clean my keyboard after from all the drool! These look gorgeous girl, I love those toasted pecans peaking out and that fluffy and pillowy frosting looks to die for!! I can never have too much pumpkin for me, especially in cupcake form 🙂

  • Denise
    November 7, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Fabulous collection of cupcake recipes – Thank you so much!!!!

    • AmericanCooking22
      November 7, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks, Denise! You are welcome. Enjoy!

  • David @ Spiced
    November 7, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Did you just squeee? Haha! Well, it’s totally acceptable to squeee at these delicious cupcakes. You seriously know how to rock a cupcake. Where to begin?? The pumpkin? The toasted pecans? And the maple caramel cream cheese frosting? I mean that should be illegal in 17 states because it’s just too delicious! Nice work, cupcake queen, nice work!

    • AmericanCooking22
      November 7, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Lol I totally did. I almost took it out because then everyone would have confirmation that I am a complete loser. Confirmed. I thought these were totally squee worthy! Thanks, David! The crown stays for another day!

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