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! For me, there is a long 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.
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.
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!
*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!