Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream

Now that the word about my food blog has started to spread, it has become an expectation that I will bring food with me everywhere I go.  It’s not really a bad thing, because it gives me a good excuse to get rid of some of the baked goods that I love to make but really shouldn’t eat!

So, last week when I was heading to the salon to get my hair cut, I knew I couldn’t go empty handed.  I’ve been meaning to make some festive fall cupcakes for Halloween, so I decided they would be the perfect treat for my favorite stylists!  I adapted my pound cake recipe to make pumpkin pound cake cupcakes.  I wasn’t in the mood for the usual cream cheese icing that I would typically pair with pumpkin, though.  So I whipped up a quick cinnamon brown sugar buttercream icing instead.  The cupcakes were good, but the icing was fantastic (I did save a few for the hubby and I).

I love holiday foods, so I decided that it would be fun to use some Halloween candy to decorate the cupcakes. One of my favorites is the autumn mix of candy corn, Indian corn, and mallowcreme pumpkins.  So, I topped half of the cupcakes with candy and sprinkled them with some additional cinnamon. They were fun, festive, and even got me a marriage proposal from one of the men at the salon. Sorry, I’m already happily married!

Pumpkin Pound Cake Cupcakes

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened

Combine all of the ingredients (yes, I said all of the ingredients) in the bowl of your stand mixer (or just a large mixing bowl if you are brave and have a hand mixer). Beat on medium speed for 20 minutes (that’s why I said you must be brave… or at least energetic).

While the mixer is doing all of the work, preheat the oven to 350°F, line two standard muffin pans with cupcake papers (for 24 cupcakes).  I found cute pumpkin ones at the store, so I used those for my festive cupcakes.

Once the batter is smooth, fill each of the cupcake liners about 2/3 full with batter.  Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool the cupcakes in the pans for a few minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (varies based on temperature/humidity)
  • 3 tablespoons half and half (varies based on temperature/humidity)

In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter and shortening. Whip together with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy.  Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and whisk until well combined.

Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Alternately add the half and half, whipping the icing on medium-high speed after each addition, until the desired consistency is reached.

Fill a pastry bag with the icing and pipe the icing onto the cupcakes.  I used a round tip to pipe spikes and swirls of icing.  Top the cupcakes with Halloween candy and a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired.

72 Responses to Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream

  1. So I’m making this recipe for the first time on Wednesday. I just have two questions from previous bakers. How many cupcakes does this recipe make? And for the Buttercream is it light enough to be colored? For thanksgiving Im making the cupcakes into a turkey and the lady I am making them for wants the cinnamon brown sugar B.C but of course colored to make the colors of the turkeys feathers. Thanks for the help! Happy baking :)