Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes Topped with Maple Buttered Pecans

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes Topped with Maple Buttered Pecans
Almost a week had gone by with a container of pumpkin puree staring me down each time I opened the refrigerator. Yesterday I finally decided to do something about it. I had been trying to come up with some way to use it before it went bad, but the only thing I could think of that would be quick and relatively mess-free was pumpkin bread. I wasn't super excited about that especially since I've been baking a lot of muffins and breads lately. When my parents came over to babysit, that gave me a little more time to play around. So what did I do? I made cupcakes. I have to say, these just might be the best I've ever made! The cupcake itself is moist, tender, buttery and sweet, and the frosting is tangy and melts in your mouth. The maple buttered pecans give these added texture and flavor and really compliment the pumpkin flavor. I definitely ate my fair share of these, Stephen even joined in too- and he never eats pumpkin goodies! I'm thinking these would be a great treat to give to friends and family or even a new addition to a traditional Thanksgiving dessert spread!

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes Topped with Maple Buttered Pecans
1 c. all-purpose flour
¾ c. sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
¼ c. vegetable oil
¼ c. (½ stick) butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 c. solid-pack pumpkin puree
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¾ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting:
3½ c. powdered sugar
4 oz. original cream cheese, room temperature
3 tbsp. butter, room temperature
¼ c. solid-pack pumpkin puree
½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

Maple Buttered Pecans:
¾ c. whole, halves or chopped pecans
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. maple syrup
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
½ tbsp. butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line one regular size muffin tin with liners, set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter, oil, and sugars for 2-3 minutes or until light and creamy. Add pumpkin puree and vanilla, then with mixing speed on low, add one egg at a time, mixing until incorporated. 
3. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. With mixing speed on low, gradually add dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
4. Remove bowl from stand and fill each liner ¾ of the way full. Place in oven and bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and spring back when touched. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely (about 30 minutes).
5. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the frosting (except for the powdered sugar) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted wit the whisk attachment. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes on medium-high speed. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added, beat on high for 2 additional minutes. Set aside.
6. Combine all ingredients for the maple buttered pecans (except for the butter) in a small mixing bowl. toss to coat the nuts evenly. Spread onto a lined baking sheet (Silpat or parchment), place in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, stirring half way through the baking process. Remove from oven and toss in a clean bowl with the butter, let cool.
7. Frost cooled cupcakes with desired tip, top with cooled pecans.
Life Made Simple Original Recipe, frosting inspired by a recipe in the Holiday 2013 issue of Something Extra | Makes approximately 12 standard size cupcakes


  1. Love the sound of those maple buttered pecans!

  2. Does the frosting need to be refrigerated?

    1. The frosting should hold at room temperature for at least 2 days, 3 if your kitchen is cool (we keep our house at 70 degrees in the winter). Hope that helps, happy baking :)

  3. Such a great way to use up leftover pumpkin puree!


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