From scratch: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Hi Peeps!

So not only did I have an amazing weekend, I also did a lot of baking too! I made whole wheat pancakes with homemade peppermint syrup (YUM!!). I also made from scratch, PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM.



Are you drooling yet?? THEY WERE AMAZING!! I posted that picture on twitter and facebook and got responses saying “Recipe Please!”. 🙂

Okay, here’s the details. I found this recipe through Pinterest, and the original recipe came from this wonderful blogger lady. Now, I decided to make these for my Daddy’s birthday this past weekend. 🙂 AND believe me, they were a hit. If you want the original recipe, you can find it here. But I made a few adjustments, so I’ll share my version.  However, FAIR WARNING!! I added in my own comments on EXACTLY HOW I DID IT. I changed the blogger’s directions a little as she used too many bowls, needed too many attachments, and quite frankly, I’m just too broke to buy all of that, and I’m strap for time. KEEP IT SIMPLE!!

So, here we go!!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour and it stayed EXTRA moist. Bonus – WHOLE WHEAT!!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda. (For those new to cooking, that’s TSP. Its a lot of fun saying TSSSSSSSPPPPPP aloud.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I used ground nutmeg and it worked perfectly!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (use real sugar!! Read this to know why!)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (Use real butter, people. You won’t get the true effect if you don’t)
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and all spice. Now mix all these dry ingredients TOGETHER. I used a fork and ‘whisked’ it around so it was even throughout.

Back to the TSSSSSSSSSSPPP comment, I was over at my parent’s house making these, using their measuring cups and YES, you guessed it, I read the measuring spoons wrong. So, I ended up adding 1 TABLESPOON of Baking Powder and 1 TABLESPOON Baking SODA! Yup, tossed. All of it, just in the garbage. Restart. Do not pass go. Do not collect your $200. FAIL. But, try, try again. So, what did I do next? I said TSSSSSSSSSPPPPPPP for every time a teaspoon was needed (and that’s a lot in this recipe!).

Now, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter (I melted the butter in the microwave to make it easier to mix), and eggs. Beat on a medium speed until well combined. In the original recipe, the lady said to use a paddle attachment. Well, I’m old school. I have one of these bad boys:


I’m sure if you’re all fancy and have one of those standing mixers, where you don’t have to touch it, at all, it will work just fine. HAHAHAHA! Regardless, a paddle attachment was not required.

Now, I do have to say that this mix is good, even without the pumpkin!! They taste & smell like the holidays to me! I will be making these once again!! But, for this recipe, we’re adding the pumpkin puree. So, go on, add it!

Now, before we move on, the blogger lady said to do this step, first. I find this A) a waste of money because your damn oven is just sitting there heating away FOR NOTHING!! and, AND, I’m not that quick!! B) you can let your oven preheat while doing the liner thing (explained in a bit), but also while your CLEANING UP!! So, ONTO THE STEP: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Divide your batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway 2/3rds full. Bake until tops spring back when touched and cake tester (toothpick!) inserted in the center comes out clean. In Denver, it took about 18 minutes. Blogger lady said 20-25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack; let cool completely.

Apparently this recipe was suppose to make 18 cupcakes.


IT MADE 36!! 36 cupcakes!!

Now, while the cupcakes are in the oven cooking, we’ll move onto the

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water (TBBBBBBBBBBBBBBS)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick walted butter
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

In a small saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. Now, blogger lady said 10 minutes. It took about 5. AND I burned it the first time. There’s a fine line between BURNED and AMBER. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. This is important, because if you don’t add in the cream immediately, it will stick to the bottom of your pan. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable. Now, blogger lady said you could just use under 1/2 cup of your favorite caramel sauce, and I suppose you could, but to me, you can’t claim that you made these from scratch if you cheat like this. JUST SAYING! Plus, your getting into fake sugar land.

Now, I didn’t use salted butter because, well I only had unsalted butter. AND, I wasn’t going to buy pre-packaged SALTED butter, when I can just add my own salt. So, I melted the unsalted butter and mixed in salt until I could just taste the salt. Next, melt the unsalted butter. Once melted, mix both butters and salt together until lightened and fluffy, using your mixing machine. Next, add in powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined, again using your mixing machine.

Next scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium speed until light and airy and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens, refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Now, I just used a Ziploc baggie to put the buttercream in, and snipped a corner off to create the piping effect.

TA DA!!! All done! and you get beautiful, made from scratch, cupcakes.


Now, if you end up burning your amber color sugar the first go around, like me, add some water into your saucepan, re-heat. Grab some paper towels and a strainer. Place your paper towels into your strainer and pour the hot mix into the paper towels. Next, add Baking SODA to your pan. Let it soak and return back to it after you’ve cleaned everything else up. Using a scrubber, your mix should come off easily! I love baking soda. This trick can be used on any other sticky pans you might have, especially this upcoming holiday season.

I hope you guys like the recipe! At least, my version of it. 🙂 Let me know if you tried these and if you did anything differently! I’d love to know if they were a huge success like they were in my family! 🙂


Your Cuppie Cake,

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