Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with toasted Pecans and topped with a creamy Chocolate Frosting.

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Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes

Is it too late for a pumpkin recipe? I think the pumpkin season is still here at least till Thanksgiving, isn’t it?. So now that I have convinced you (and myself) let’s talk about today’s recipe – Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting.

First let me tell you about the amount of baking stuff I have in my kitchen. Wait, I can’t even tell that because there’s so much! It’s not even funny. Yesterday while trying to figure out and sort my baking closet I noticed that I have one last can of pumpkin puree remaining and I couldn’t possibly wait till next year to use it. Do you blame me? So as soon as I saw the can I knew I was going to make cupcakes. I adore baking cupcakes, for me they are easier to decorate than cakes and are cuter too. Don’t you agree?

Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes With Chocolate Frosting

I love chocolate and I have grown to like pumpkin too. Honestly pumpkin isn’t really a thing is India. Pumpkin is also not a popular flavor back home so all the baking that I have done with pumpkin has been in the last 2 years. Before that I didn’t even know that we were supposed to bake with pumpkin, well as a matter of fact I didn’t even know how to cook then! Anyway these moist pumpkin cupcakes are high on flavor and also filled with some chopped toasted pecans. I love adding nuts to my cupcakes, gives them a nice texture. I think it’s always nice to bite into something crunchy in middle of a soft baked good. Just me?

Pumpkin Cupcakes With Chocolate Frosting

I used all my favorite ingredients to make moist cupcakes – oil, buttermilk and brown sugar. You cannot go wrong with this trio provided you don’t overmix your batter. I think I have repeated this so many times on my blog but I’ll say again – never over-mix your cake/muffin/cupcake better. Overmixing will lead to more gluten formation and you will end up with a tough baked good. You have to mix the batter until just combined so always be gentle with the batter after you mix in the flour.

For the chocolate frosting I used simple butter, cocoa powder, confectioners sugar and heavy cream. Adding vanilla is optional, I did because I love it. I also added little cinnamon powder to the frosting, you can skip it but I loved the addition of little spice in the frosting too. I might be in minority but I do like using salted butter for my frostings, you can use unsalted butter in place.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

* You can use either heavy cream or milk in the frosting. I prefer cream because of the richness it gives to the frosting.

* The quantity of heavy cream can be adjusted in the frosting according to requirements. Add more cream for a spreading consistency.

* You can add more cocoa powder in the frosting for a more intense chocolate flavor.

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Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

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Servings: 15 cupcakes
Pumpkin Cupcakes with toasted Pecans and topped with a creamy Chocolate Frosting.


Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1.25 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1.25 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree canned or fresh
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
  • cup buttermilk
  • cup toasted pecans coarsely chopped

Chocolate Frosting

  • ½ cup salted butter at room temperature
  • cup confectioners sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon powder
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  • Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners or spray it with a nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  • Spray a baking sheet with oil and place pecans on it.
  • Toast the pecans at 350 F degrees for 6-7 minutes or till fragrant.
  • Take out of the oven and chop them coarsely. Set aside.
  • In a bowl whisk together all purpose flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon powder and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  • In the steel bowl of your stand mixer or using your hand mixer beat together vegetable oil and both the sugars till well combined.
  • Add eggs, vanilla extract and mix till well combined.
  • Now add the pumpkin puree and mix.
  • Start adding the flour mix and alternate with buttermilk. Add the flour in 3 parts and buttermilk in 2 parts starting and ending with flour.
  • Mix till just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Fold in the chopped toasted pecans.
  • Fill the cupcake liners till 2/3 full with the batter.
  • Bake at 350 F degrees for 17 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcakes comes out clean.
  • Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

  • Using steel bowl of your stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or using your hand mixer beat room temperature butter till smooth and creamy, around 3-4 minutes.
  • Now start adding confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat at slow speed at first and once the sugar mixes in a little, beat at high speed for 30 seconds.
  • Add vanilla, unsweetened cocoa powder and mix till well combined.
  • Add heavy cream and beat till frosting is nice and smooth.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes using the chocolate frosting.


Calories: 356kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 148mg, Potassium: 144mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 36g, Vitamin A: 2140IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 1.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
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Hi, I’m Manali!

Bringing you easy, delicious vegetarian & vegan recipes! Eating veggies can be fun, you just need to get creative in the kitchen with the right set of ingredients!

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  1. I could have pumpkin all year long so it’s definitely not too late. These cupcakes are gorgeous! I love the pumpkin, pecan and chocolate combo!

  2. Definitely not too late for pumpkin desserts!! (Never too late, to be honest, haha). I love chocolate and pumpkin together. These look mouthwatering!

  3. These cupcakes are so cute Manali! I love the swirl of chocolate frosting and the little pumpkins! I’m sure they were delicious.

  4. Is it too late for pumpkin? What kind of question is that?! It’s never too late for pumpkin. Always pumpkin. Always.

  5. I don’t think it’s ever too late for pumpkin! Especially not when it’s pumpkin cupcakes!!! But you know me – cupcake addict. I love your swirl of chocolate frosting on top! Such a yummy combination! Pinned!

  6. Pumpkin and chocolate is the best combination! I can never pass up a delicious cupcake. These would be the perfect afternoon snack with a cup of tea!

  7. Manali, these are gorgeous cupcakes! I don’t think it’s too late for pumpkin spice at all… I actually have numerous cans of pumpkin in my pantry to use throughout the year because I never tire of it. Those little pumpkin candies are my favorites in the fall and they look perfect perched on top of that chocolate buttercream!

    1. Thank you Heather! Glad to know it isn’t late for pumpkin recipes..haha… I just finished my last can so I think I’m done for this year. Glad you like the cupcakes, I love those little pumpkin candies too!

  8. Pumpkin season ‘ain’t over yet so keep these pumpkin recipes a’comin’! These cupcakes are seriously gorgeous, Manali! Your photos are always so clear and bright—love it! 🙂

  9. Love love love those! And pumpkin season is not over yet! At least not for me… lol

    And, if you don’t mind me asking, what kind of lens do you use for your food photography? I love how sharp your pics are! <3

  10. Pumpkin season is definitely here until at least Thanksgiving Manali!! THat frosting is calling my name!!

  11. Yes, it is definitely still pumpkin season in my mind! I’ll still be eating pumpkin things through Christmas, so for me the season basically lasts from Aug.-Dec. Lol! Almost half the year. I also agree that cupcakes are sooo much easier to decorate than cakes, and they just look cute too! These are beautiful and sound so delish!! 🙂

  12. These cupcakes are absolutely gorgeous, Manali! I’m in awe of your frosting piping skills, beautiful! I love the pumpkin cake with the chocolate on top. Pinned!

  13. I recently organized my pantry too and I found 2 cans of pumpkin puree. I think you just gave a reason to open one. I am such a sucker for cupcakes… any kind! I don’t discriminate hahaha. Pinned!

  14. I do agree…cupcakes are cuter!! These look so yummy…happy you didn’t wait til next year to use the pumpkin!