Moist pumpkin cupcakes studded with toasted pecans and topped with a sweet and creamy Maple Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!
Back 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.
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.
Come to think of it, pretty much all cupcakes are my happy place.
Today I bring you my happy place!
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!
Fall cupcakes don’t get much better or easier than these! Pure pumpkin maple bliss.
Toasted Pecan Pumpkin Cupcakes 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
- ⅛ teaspoon mace
- ⅛ 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)
- ⅔ 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)
- ⅓ cup Maple Caramel Sauce
Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350° and line 14 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners. I use two standard paper liners per cupcake.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and all spices; set aside.
- 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.
- Add the pumpkin and mix on medium until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove immediately from muffin tins to cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the Frosting:
- Using a handmixer, beat cream cheese, butter, salt and cinnamon on medium speed until smooth and creamy, approximately 2-3 minutes.
- 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.
- The frosting will keep best in the refrigerator but it will also keep for several days at room temperature.
Assemble the Cupcakes:
- Once cupcakes are cool, frost with your favorite piping tip!