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Pumpkin cupcakes with brown butter frosting, topped with caramel sauce and walnut pieces on a grey tablecloth with a cinnamon stick.
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5 from 1 vote

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting

These Pumpkin Cupcakes are the perfect fall dessert! Perfectly spiced pumpkin cupcakes topped with an easy brown butter frosting and drizzled with salted caramel sauce. A must-bake this fall!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Holiday
Servings: 12
Calories: 322kcal


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (100g)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (50g)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (80ml)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (230g)
  • 1/4 cup milk (60ml)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (190g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature (115g)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (240g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • Caramel Sauce optional
  • chopped pecan nuts optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  • Tip: Make the brown butter for the frosting now if you want to assemble the cupcakes on the same day.
  • In a large bowl combine sugars, oil, vanilla extract, eggs, pumpkin puree and milk. Mix until combined.
  • In a small bowl (or large measuring cup) combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Don't overmix!
  • Spoon the batter into muffin cups - fill only 1/2 full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean with only a few crumbs attached.
  • Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
  • Brown the butter for the frosting: Slice 1/4 cup butter up into pieces and place in a light colored skillet. Melt it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Lightly browned bits will begin to form at the bottom of the pan and it will have a nutty aroma. This takes about 5-8 minutes. Once browned pour the butter into a heatproof bowl and refrigerate until solid.
  • Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the remaining un-browned butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the cooled brown butter and beat until combined.
  • Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beat on low speed for 30 seconds until combined.
  • Gradually add the buttermilk, one tablespoon at a time, until spreadable. Beat for 1 more minute at high speed.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes however you'd like. I used a Wilton 1A round piping tip for the pictured cupcakes. Top with salted caramel and chopped pecans, if desired.


Spices: Instead of the individual spices, you can also use 2 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
Homemade Caramel Sauce: I always use this easy recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.
Make ahead tip:
  • Cupcakes can be baked 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Or bake and freeze them for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Brown butter can be made in advance. Pour it into a jar with an airtight lid, store it in the refrigerator and use within 1-2 weeks.
  • Leftover frosted cupcakes keep well covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3 days.


Calories: 322kcal