These Pumpkin Cupcakes are light, moist, and full of warm spices and fall flavor! Top them with a thick swirl of brown butter cream cheese frosting for the most perfect pumpkin dessert!
I know you all love pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting – and I’m here to say that if you love those, you’ll go CRAZY for these pumpkin cupcakes! They’re like the elevated older sibling of those classic pumpkin bars. Besides – who doesn’t love a good cupcake?
These are the perfect Halloween treat! I know Halloween looks different this year, but I’ve seen so many people doing fun ding-dong-ditch activities to safely share treats with friends and neighbors. Cupcakes are great for this! Pop a few on a plate or in a tupperware container with a fun fall message, and leave this on your neighbor’s doorstep! We’ve been sharing these with people all month (hey, recipe testing is a hard but delicious job, heh) and they’ve been a hit! The best part about these is that they’re SO easy to make – you don’t even have to soften butter or get out a mixer!
First, whisk up your wet ingredients – real pumpkin, vegetable oil, eggs, and brown sugar for lots of flavor and moist texture!
Stir in the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, and plenty of fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves! I did NOT skimp on the spices here because I wanted a SUPER flavorful cupcake!
Add the batter to your cupcake liners, and bake!
These dome up so beautifully in the oven! Let them cool completely – otherwise the frosting will melt! While they’re cooling, whip up your brown butter cream cheese frosting.
What’s Brown Butter?
It’s one of the most delicious things I know how to make! It’s simple too – just melt your butter in a pan on the stovetop, and then cook it over low heat until it becomes bubbly and deep golden brown with a caramely, nutty aroma. It adds so much depth of flavor to anything you use it in!
Let it cool in the fridge for about 10 minutes, then mix it up with cream cheese, powdered sugar, a little cinnamon and vanilla, and you’ve got the most delicious, creamy frosting.
Pipe it onto your cupcakes, and wonder why you’d ever bother making any other treats for the rest of fall!
Just look at those little brown butter swirled hats atop your perfect pumpkin cupcakes. So festive – and delicious. Perfect for gifting to neighbors, or for a fun Halloween-themed movie night in with your family!
Happy fall- and if you celebrate it, happy Halloween! Be safe, friends!
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo + leave a comment!
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cupcakes:
- 4 large eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 TBSP real maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1, 15 oz can pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 and 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 and 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 2 sticks salted buter
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened Use the block type, and full fat
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 TBSP milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon or a pinch more, to taste
- pinch of salt
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Make the Cupcakes: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and pumpkin. Add all the dry ingredients and whisk together, making sure no dry bits are hiding in the bottom of the bowl.
- Bake: Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them pretty close to the tops - about 3/4 full. (see photos above for reference). Bake for 18-19 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out with some moist crumbs on it, but not wet batter. Let the cupcakes cool a few minutes in the cupcake pan, and then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely while you make the frosting. Never frost warm cupcakes!
- Make the Brown Butter + the Frosting: In a nonstick pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking the butter - stirring constantly. The butter will get foamy, then bubbly, then start to turn turn golden brown and develop a nutty/caramely sort of aroma. Once it reaches a deep golden color, remove from the heat and pour into whatever bowl you want to make your frosting in. Pop that in the fridge to cool for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour. Just don't let it harden all the way up!Once the butter has cooled, add the softened cream cheese to the bowl. Beat with an electric mixer - the texture will seem weird at first but just keep mixing until it smooths out. I promise it will smooth out! Add half the powdered sugar and mix until just incorporated. Add the milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of salt and mix. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined.
- Serve + Store: Frost the cupcakes, and enjoy immediately! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- Make Ahead Tips: Cupcakes can be made ahead, cooled, and stored in a container at room temp for 1-2 days before frosting.
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