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?
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?
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.
* 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
- 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
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- ⅔ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup salted butter, at room temperature
- 2¾ cup confectioners sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 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.
- 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.