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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

Soft and fluffy pumpkin cupcakes spiked with warm fall spices and topped with a rich caramel frosting
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 -14
Author Heather of Kitchen Concoctions


  • Pumpkin Cupcakes:
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • -
  • Caramel Frosting:
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream half and half cream or whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 to 4½ cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. For Pumpkin Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with muffin liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, beat together sugars and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla, pumpkin puree and sour cream. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients; mixing at low speed until well blended.
  4. Spoon cupcake batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Cool completely and frost with Caramel Frosting right before serving. Top with chopped pecans, if desired. Serve immediately. Store frosted leftover cake/cupcakes in refrigerator.
  6. For Caramel Frosting: In a medium-sized saucepan, heat brown sugar and cream over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and melted. Remove from heat and strain into a large bowl.
  7. Stir butter into warm brown sugar and cream mixture, stirring until melted and fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla and salt.
  8. Using an electric mixer, beat brown sugar mixture for 1-2 minutes. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar, half a cup at a time. Continue adding and mixing confectioners sugar until desired consistency is reached (you will want the frosting to be stiff as it will soften as it sits at room temperature) If too stiff add additional cream if needed.

Recipe Notes

These cupcakes would also be divine with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting.
Because the caramel frosting is 'soft' and will soften more after sitting at room temperature, it is best to frost the cake/cupcakes right before serving. Depending on the humidity and the temperature, the frosting may melt, so refrigerate any left over frosted cupcakes. For best results, make frosting slightly 'stiffer' (by adding more confectioners sugar) than you think it should be, as it will soften as it sits at room temperature.