pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese icing and salted caramel drizzle

These cupcakes...oh my.  I must say that they're probably the recipe that I'm most proud of (for the moment!), and I'm so excited to share it with you!

Now there was a bit of discussion in my house as to whether or not pumpkin cupcakes would be a good idea or not.  Sure, pumpkin muffins are great, but would they work as cupcakes?  Would they be different from muffins?  These were deep questions people.

(The answers were yes and yes...by the way).

Also....there is salted caramel involved.  Need I say more?

(The answer to that question is definitely "no".....in case you were wondering.)

b r o w n   b u t t e r   p u m p k i n   c u p c a k e s   
with   c r e a m   c h e e s e   i c i n g   and   s a l t e d   c a r a m e l   d r i z z l e 

brown butter pumpkin cupcakes
[recipe by: kelsey siemens]


2/3 cup butter (browned)

1  2/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

2 eggs

7.5 oz pureed pumpkin (about 1 cup)

1  1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla


1)  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2)  First you'll want to brown your butter, and allow it to cool slightly.  Using a stainless steel saucepan or frying pan is great since you'll be able to see when the butter starts to darken.  Place your butter in a large pan over medium heat.  Swirl the pan to help your butter melt and cook evenly.  It will take a few minutes, but your butter should start to foam a little bit on top, and then will start to darken.  Keep swirling, and once it reaches a dark tan colour then remove from heat and set aside to cool.  It will smell a bit nutty and taste extra delicious!  (You can always skip this step if you're short on time, and just melt your butter instead).

3)  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice.  Mix well, and then set aside.

4)  In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.

5)  Add your browned butter, pumpkin, milk and vanilla, and mix well.

6)  Gradually add your dry ingredients to the wet ones, and mix until just combined.

7)  Line cupcake tins with liners, and fill about 3/4 full.

8)  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (I baked mine using our convection oven, so you may need to add a few more minutes!).

9)  Allow cupcakes to cool before icing.

cream cheese icing 
[recipe from Jean Pare}


8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups icing sugar


1)  In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together.

2)  Gradually add icing sugar until desired consistency is reached (you may not need it all if you want a softer icing).

3)  Ice your cupcakes!  I used an icing spatula, but you could also pipe the icing on if you want.

salted caramel sauce


1 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, cubed

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 tsp salt


1)  In a large saucepan, heat your sugar over medium high heat.  Do not walk away from the pan!

2)  Gently start swirl the pan once the sugar starts to melt, but don't stir.  Keep an eye on it so that it doesn't burn.

3)  Simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved and starts to turn an amber colour.  

4)  Wait until it's just a bit darker than the initial yellow colour, and then quickly add your butter, heavy cream and salt.  Stir like crazy!  This mixture will foam quite violently, so be careful.  

5)  Remove from heat and allow to cool down to room temperature before serving or placing in the fridge to store.  The sauce will thicken as it cools.

6)  Drizzle over your cupcakes, and if you're super fancy you can add some coarse sugar for texture!

(*The caramel sauce will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge)

Let's just say that may have had more than two as soon as I finished photographing them.....  #noregrets

And these would be perfect for a last minute Halloween party dessert.  So go on and make them!