Pumpkin Cupcakes


These pumpkin cupcakes are a blend of two recipes from my book A Baker’s Field Guide to Cupcakes, taking the outer decoration from one and the inside of another to create the most pumpkiny cupcake of all. The spiced yellow cake is filled with creamy pumpkin mousse, which sounds fancy, but is quick to make and easy to get into the cupcake. They look like a pumpkin on the outside, too, thanks to the orange tinted, silky smooth Italian meringue buttercream frosting.

Recipe © 2013 by Dédé Wilson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Makes: Makes 12 cupcakes
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup milk
Pumpkin Filling:
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 7½ ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Scant 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin purée
  • Pastry bag and coupler
  • Ateco or Wilton Tip #12 (or any plain round tip with approximately ¼-inch opening)
  • Ateco tip #47
  • Wilton Icing Color in Orange
  • Wilton Icing Color in Moss Green
  1. For the Cupcakes: Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line one 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and cloves together in a small bowl to aerate and combine; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice; beat in vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down after each addition, allowing each egg to be absorbed before continuing. Add the flour mixture in four additions, alternately with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture and beat briefly until smooth on low-medium speed after each addition.
  4. Divide batter evenly in pans. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center shows a few moist crumbs. The center should also spring back when lightly pressed. They might color a bit around the edges, too.
  5. Cool pan on rack for 5 minutes then remove cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. For the Filling and Decoration: In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in pumpkin.
  7. Place filling in pastry bag fitted with #12 tip. Insert tip right down in the center of each cupcake. Squeeze to fill with filling. As soon as the top of the cupcake begins to expand and crack, ease up on pressure – the cupcake has taken on as much filling as it can. (You are aiming for about 1 tablespoon filling per cupcake). If any filling is oozing out of the top, simply wipe away before frosting.
  8. Have the Italian Meringue Buttercream ready to use. Remove about ¾ cup and place in a small bowl; set aside. Tint the larger portion orange. Using your pastry bag and the smooth side of #47 tip, pipe vertical ribbons to make the pumpkin shape. The ribbons will bow out to one side or the other to give a sense of roundness (see photo).
  9. Tint reserved buttercream green. Again, using tip #47, pipe stem and stem cap going up and down in an upside-down fan shape, which will utilize both the smooth and ridged side of the tip. This will give a sense of texture (see photo). Cupcakes are now ready to serve. Cupcakes may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Make sure to bring to room temperature before serving.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to toolbar