These chocolate pumpkin cupcakes are perfect for fall! These cupcakes stay fresh for days – the perfect make-ahead sweet treat for Thanksgiving!
Full of buttermilk and canned pumpkin, these cupcakes are incredibly moist. I adapted an old Country Living recipe to create these cupcakes and I honestly never noticed how moist the cake portion is because the original recipe had a rich ganache that overpowers the cake. I much prefer it with my vanilla frosting! It lets the cupcake shine. I also use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder for added depth.
Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1.5 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
Vanilla frosting, recipe follows
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with paper liners and spray liners with nonstick spray.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
- Whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla in another small bowl.
- Cream together butter and sugars in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternatively, ending with the buttermilk mixture.
- Fill prepared liners 2/3 full. Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool ten minutes, then remove from tins and cool completely.
- Prepare frosting according to recipe below, tint desired shade of orange (if desired), and frost cupcakes.
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp milk
- Cream together powdered sugar and softened butter with an electric mixer. Start with two cups of powdered sugar and half a stick of butter, alternating additions.
- Slowly incorporate vanilla extract and milk. Beat until smooth. Use orange food coloring (or a mix of red and yellow) to tint desired shade of orange. Add additional milk or powdered sugar if needed for desired consistency.