Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkin cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting

So if you’ll recall, yesterday I mentioned being extremely excited for the much-anticipated Baylor/OU game? Well. My friends, it did not disappoint. My Bears blew away the OU Sooners! It was utterly fantastic. My pizzas, on the other hand – not so much. Oh well…

making pumpkin cupcakes

pumpkin cupcakes before baking

And now we should talk pumpkin cupcakes. Because you should make these cupcakes, very soon. They are unbelievably moist, earthy, warm and comforting. Pairing them with chocolate frosting was the right thing to do. Even better, the frosting used cream cheese and sour cream, which of course made it deliciously tangy, a tanginess that served as a perfect counterbalance to the earthy pumpkin flavor. So great!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

My original plan was to make mini cupcakes. However, I only have one mini cupcake pan (for 24 minis), yet there is enough batter for 48 mini cupcakes, thus requiring me to make the two batches separately. Someone, meaning myself, did not have time to make two separate batches on the particular day I made these, so I grabbed one of my standard, 12-cup muffin tins and filled it with the remaining batter. This recipe works beautifully for both regulars and minis, I’m happy to report. Try it either way and enjoy!

pumpkin chocolate mini cupcakes

pumpkin chocolate frosted cupcake, eaten

{One year ago: Chocolate Meringue Pie}

Sources: Cupcakes adapted from Smitten Kitchen; Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting adapted from Weeknights with Giada by Giada de Laurentiis

1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sour cream
Mini chocolate chips, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 standard or mini cupcake pans with the appropriate liners.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.
Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla extract and the pumpkin puree. Beat until just combined.
Scoop the batter among the cupcake liners, about 3/4 full. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes for the standard cupcakes and 12 to 14 minutes for the minis. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. To a medium bowl, add the confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, butter, cocoa powder, and sour cream. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
When the cupcakes are completely cooled, use a butter knife or small offset spatula to spread a generous amount of frosting on each cupcake. Sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips on top of each cupcake.

5 responses to “Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Julie,
    These cupcakes are too cute, and brilliant of you to choose a sour cream/cream cheese frosting with them.
    I should find mini muffin cupcake papers, I keep making savory things using gyoza wrappers in my mini muffin pan, but it would be nice to have the papers for giving away. Probably in the Wilton area of the craft store.

    • Texan New Yorker

      Thanks! Yeah, my regular grocery store sells the mini muffin liners, but I’m sure a craft store would sell them too.

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