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Pumpkin spice cupcakes are the perfect fall dessert! They’ve got a rich pumpkin flavor with the perfect amount of spice, and the maple brown butter buttercream frosting is light and fluffy, and oh so creamy. If you like anything pumpkin spice, you’re going to love this easy cupcake recipe.
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Table of contents
- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
- How to Make Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes Recipe: Troubleshooting & FAQ
- Looking for more fall recipes? Check these out!
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Fall means it's time for everything pumpkin, and these pumpkin spice cupcakes definitely do not disappoint. They have the perfect texture, plenty of pumpkin flavor, and are finished off with a melt-in-your-mouth maple brown butter buttercream frosting. How could you go wrong with that?!
I used LACTAID® Whole Milk in both the pumpkin cupcake base and the frosting; LACTAID® is 100% real milk, just without the lactose. This means that using this milk in baking still yields the same moist and/or creamy results; and it allows anyone who suffers from lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivity to enjoy their favorite foods.
How to Make Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
You'll start by whisking together the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, LACTAID® Milk, vanilla, sugars, oil, and eggs. Then stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until combined. Scoop the batter into muffin cups lined with paper liners, filling about 2/3 of the way full (I used a 3-tbsp cookie scoop and it was the perfect amount!) and then bake!
The cupcakes will bake at 350°F for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Then you'll remove them from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. You'll start by browning the butter; once browned, you'll need to throw it in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes for it to solidify again. From there, beat together the brown butter until light and fluffy. Then slowly add in the powdered sugar and continue beating until fluffy. Then beat in the LACTAID® Milk and maple syrup. And then finally frost the cupcakes and enjoy!
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes Recipe: Troubleshooting & FAQ
Can I reduce the sugar?
I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s doing more than lending a sweet flavor; it’s actually helping with the structure of the overall cupcake. I promise the cupcakes themselves aren't overly sweet, so just follow the recipe as is!
Can I use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, & cloves?
Absolutely! I prefer using the individual spices so I can control the exact flavor profile of my baked goods. Feel free to omit all of the spices called for and just use 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead though.
Can I freeze these cupcakes?
Absolutely! I recommend freezing these cupcakes without the frosting on them. You can then thaw the cupcakes at room temperature, add the frosting, and serve. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Do I have to use cupcake liners?
Technically, no! You can either use paper cupcake liners or simply spray the cupcake/muffin tin with cooking spray before pouring in the batter.
Help! Why are my cupcakes dry?
If you used cup measures as opposed to weight measures, there’s a larger chance your cupcakes will come out dry. Why? As weird as this sounds, measuring cups aren’t as accurate as you think. For example, somebody who scoops the measuring cup into the flour will have way more than somebody who uses a spoon to scoop the flour into the same sized measuring cup. This is why you should really be measuring by weight with a kitchen scale instead—it’s much more reliable and completely eliminates any inconsistencies.
These cupcakes are the absolute best way to celebrate the fall season. They look impressive, yet they’re so easy to make! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!
Looking for more fall recipes? Check these out!
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Baked Apple Cider Donuts
Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls
Salted Caramel Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Spiced Maple Pecan Scones
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Brown Butter Buttercream Frosting
For the Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes:
- 125 g all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 225 g pumpkin puree
- 60 g LACTAID® Whole Milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 110 g light brown sugar
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 85 g canola oil
- 3 large eggs
For the Maple Brown Butter Buttercream Frosting:
- 225 g unsalted butter
- 480 g powdered sugar
- 60 g LACTAID® Whole Milk
- 40 g pure maple syrup
To Make the Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Whisk the pumpkin, LACTAID® Milk, vanilla, brown sugar, sugar, oil, and eggs together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until completely combined.
- Spoon the batter into the liners until each cup is 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
To Make the Maple Brown Butter Buttercream Frosting:
- Cube the butter and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning; you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and you'll begin to smell a nutty aroma. Once browned, immediately remove from heat, pour into a heat-proof bowl, and freeze until solidified, about 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the solidified brown butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, LACTAID® Milk, and maple syrup. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes.
- Frost cooled cupcakes however you’d like. I used a Wilton 1M piping tip for these pictured cupcakes.
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