It’s the season for being with those we love, life around the table, and all things food. And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, we are getting our kitchens and our appetites ready to go. Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated and planned meals of the year, but sometimes the dishes can seem a little repetitive. Although I sure love the classic staples and will eat well over my fair share of turkey, stuffing, and rolls, sometimes it’s fun to mix things up a little.
Nothing says classic Thanksgiving dessert like a good ‘ol pumpkin pie. And while I’m team pie through and through, some people just aren’t pie people so why not put a spin on your pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving with delicious pumpkin cupcakes with a decadent salted caramel frosting? I am not kidding when I say kids will love them and even the least favorite pumpkin fan (like my dear husband) will devour one too many of these. You will literally be slapping hands away when they are fresh out of the oven, but try them and you won’t regret it.
The seasonal spices of fall just come out in this perfectly moist cupcake. Drizzle the frosting with caramel for an added touch or just add some coarsely ground sea salt on top. Put an adorable little pumpkin on top for the kids or leave it as is. Either way, these cupcakes are going to be a deliciously sweet and slightly salty end to a beautiful Thanksgiving day spent with those you love.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1¼ tsp salt
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 eggs large
Salted Caramel Frosting
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 5-6 T heavy cream divided
- ¼-½ tsp salt
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- caramel sauce optional
- small pumpkin candies optional
- coarse sea salt optional
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line your muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, add in pumpkin puree, sugars, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and eggs and whisk together. Add in flour mixture into the pumpkin puree mixture and gently mix with a rubber spatula until smooth and everything is combined.
- Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tins evenly about 2/3 full. Put into the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the light brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved. Add 1/4 tsp salt and allow the mixture to bubble for about 2 minutes, whisking about every 30 seconds. Remove from heat, pour into a heat proof mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl and cool for 30 minutes.
- Using a stand or hand mixer with a whish attachment, beat in 2 cups powdered sugar and 3 more Tablespoons of heavy cream. Gently whisk in 1/2 cup more powdered sugar. If you like the consistency, keep it as is, but if you would like to thin the frosting a little, add 1 more Tablespoon of heavy cream. Taste the frosting, and if you'd like a little more salt, add 1/4 tsp and whisk one more time.
- Pipe or spread frosting on each cooled cupcake. To garnish, you can drizzle caramel sauce, sprinkle coarse sea salt, and add a pumpkin candy on top. Enjoy!