Pumpkin Caramels and Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

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pumpkin caramels

I made those.

Having never have made caramels before, the process seemed daunting.

But I got this new book, Sweet Confections by Nina Wanat and knew I wanted to try.  Her directions are easy to follow and the photography was done by the amazing Todd and Diane of White on Rice.

The pictures are enough to make you drop everything and run to the store for supplies.

Pumpkin chocolate cupcake with pumpkin caramel

But since I didn’t want to put Nina’s beautifully perfect recipe here (that’s what the book is for), but still wanted you to be able to sample some if this wonderful pumpkin and chocolate deliciousness, I made cupcakes.

Pumpkin Chocolate cupcakes.

With cinnamon buttercream.

And a caramel on top.

These tasted amazing.  Ah-mazing.

I remembered I had some of these fun *free-standing muffin molds and I literally danced over to my supply closet to retrieve them.  (I also used *these fun little cupcake liners.)

Um, I like baking.  And cupcake liners.  And dancing in my kitchen.  And eating pumpkin caramels.


Pumpkin Caramels and Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups softened butter
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cups cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt


  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. In a small bowl combine buttermilk and pumpkin. Just mix together until incorporated.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a mixer, beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
  5. Alternating, add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the sugar mixture. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  6. Mix for 1 minute on low until fully combined. Using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup, place batter in prepared cupcake pan.
  7. Bake for 16-20 minutes. Cupcakes are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.


This recipe for Cinnamon Buttercream is divine, I simply excluded the brown sugar. (Because I wanted it to be whiter, not for taste purposes.  I am a vain baker like that.)

I used a *2D tip to pipe out big clouds of cinnamon frosting.  Then I simply went back and added a caramel square to each cupcake.


Now for the fun part… I would like to give YOU a copy of Sweet Confections!

Simply leave a comment.

Good luck!

CONTEST CLOSED!  The winning comment was #115, Roberta.  I will be sending you an email Roberta!

Thanks all who participated!

Open to USA and Canada residents only.  Sorry all you fabulous international bakers!  No comments accepted from Facebook.  

*Amazon Affiliate link.





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  1. MonicaS says

    Is there a possibility of getting a copy of both recipes??? The caramels & cupcakes??? I just saw this, & didn’t even know about the contest! They both sound like complete heaven! (Please say yes!) Otherwise, I will be searching online for similar recipes, but none will match yours…

  2. Angie says

    I made these cupcake and they tasted amazing! However, the tops spread across the top of the pan. I think it’s because of the altitude here in CO. Any tips for high altitude cooking?

  3. Heather M says

    I made the cupcakes and they are indeed AH-MAZING! No real pumpkin flavor, but the pumpkin does make them super moist and adds depth to the chocolate! The buttercream recipe is good, but I hate shortening personally and made it with cream cheese in place of it and added a little vanilla, came out heavenly! Wonderful cupcake recipe, thank you!!!

  4. Christy A says

    Yum! Just made these and the cake was sooooo moist and fluffy (i usually expect a denser cake when I use butter instead of oil)…I wish I would have followed your changes to the icing, but I did not and it was overpowering. Next time I will omit the brown sugar from the icing and they will be perfect!

  5. Amy Ling says

    This looks soOOO yummy but I’m on a restricted starch and sugar diet per the dr. Do you know what I can use in placement of the 2 cups of sugar? I currently use stevia and sometimes honey and I only bake with almond or coconut flour. Please let me know. Really would like to make this.

  6. HeatherK says

    I’m going to make these for a birthday party next week. I’m wondering a) Does the ingredient “cocoa” mean unsweetened cocoa powder? and b) How many cupcakes does this recipe yield? Thanks so much. They look fantastic.

  7. Doreen says

    The cupcakes look amazing! I too dance in my kitchen. I also sing in there, but always say I stepped on the cats tail, if asked what the horrid noise is!

  8. Lisa says

    Is the recipe for the cake the same as for cupcakes?
    I can’t seem to find link for cake.
    Was wondering how long u cook cake for as opposed to cupcake



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