• Chocolate Cupcake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream

    filed under: Cupcakes on October 2, 2015

    These dark Chocolate Cupcakes are paired with the most delicious and perfectly spiced Pumpkin Buttercream!

    The Perfect Chocolate Cupcake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream!

    I may be in the minority, but I happen to love living in Minnesota. Yes, even though we have winter 6 months of the year and even though one of our seasons is officially called “road construction” and even though the mosquitos we breed are what horror movies are made of.

    But here in the midwest when October hits the air changes. The humidity is gone and it is replaced with the delicious smell of sunburnt leaves. The wind carries a slightly crisp feel that compliments the warm sun and makes afternoon walks heaven on earth.


    The colors of fall delight my eyes as I take in all the yellows and oranges and browns and reds.

    I truly cannot imagine living anywhere else.

    The Perfect Chocolate Cupcake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream!

    Maybe one of the best things about fall in my house is the baking. I love turning on the oven and having it warm the kitchen ever so slightly. I love how fall baking always means cinnamon and apples and everything pumpkin.

    Oh how I love baking with pumpkin!

    These cupcakes are a combination of my two favorite things… chocolate and pumpkin spice.

    Chocolate Cupcake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream

    The Perfect Chocolate Cupcake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream!



        • 1/2 c (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
        • 2 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
        • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
        • 3/4 c (150g) granulated sugar
        • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
        • 1/2 c (115g) sour cream, room temperature
        • 1/2 c (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder
        • 3/4 c (95g) all-purpose flour
        • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
        • 1 tsp. baking powder
        • 1/4 tsp. salt

        Pumpkin Buttercream

        • 1/2 c butter (113g), room temperature
        • 1/2 c (110g) pumpkin puree
        • 1 tsp. vanilla
        • 3 c (380g) confectioners sugar
        • 1 tbsp. pumpkin spice



        1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. This recipe makes 12-14 cupcakes, so prepare one pan (or maybe two) with cupcake liners.
        2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between each time. Set aside.
        3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment; add the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and sour cream and whisk on medium speed until smooth. (about 1 minute)
        4. In a medium sized bowl, sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined.
        5. Add the cooled butter/chocolate to the stand mixer and whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds.
        6. Slowly add in the flour mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time with the stand mixer on low.
        7. As soon as you are done adding the flour turn the mixer off. (You do not want to over-mix!)
        8. The batter will be very thick.
        9. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake for 15-18 minutes. The center of the cupcake should spring back up if gently pressed.

        Pumpkin Buttercream

        1. Place all ingredients in bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment (can also use a hand-held mixer) and turn on to low speed.
        2. Once all ingredients are combined, turn mixer speed to medium-high and mix for 2-3 minutes.
        3. Buttercream can be stored for up to 1 month in refrigerator.

        Recipe adapted from Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes.

        Tips & Tricks

        If you want to pipe this buttercream I would use only 1/4 cup of the pumpkin puree. This will create a much thicker (stiffer) consistency. If the frosting is too thick to pipe, you can add some heavy whipping cream. Start with 1 tablespoon at a time.

        This recipe works best when you use quality ingredients. I splurge and get McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice as well as the best quality pumpkin puree I can find. (that usually means a trip to Whole Foods for the organic stuff!) You can also use less confectioners sugar if you don’t mind a texture similar to pumpkin pie!

        The Perfect Chocolate Cupcake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream!

        To achieve the look of these cupcakes I used an ice cream scoop. Simply dip the scoop into your frosting and then level it off on the side of the bowl. Drop the frosting onto the cupcake then gently tap the bottom of the cupcake on the counter. This will help the frosting to settle and spread a bit more evenly over the cupcake.

        I do all of my baking while my oldest kids are at school but am lucky to still have the baby home with me. This child is the reason for my first gray hair! (You can read more about how I Survive Toddlerhood here.)

        The Perfect Chocolate Cupcake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream!

        And while that child has been into more mischief than all her siblings combined, I could not help but laugh as she snuck her way into my photo shoot. Rest assured, this pumpkin buttercream is toddler approved!

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        That cloud of pumpkin spice buttercream! It sounds divine!

          Thank you Jen. I am so thankful for your support on comments on my blog… it means so much to me!

        For the frosting…is it unsalted or salted butter?

          You can use both. If you use unsalted, add a pinch of salt. 🙂

        looks delicious- i think i can almost smell & taste from your pics! Love the feel of fall and the colors too, enjoy amanda!

        Chocolate cupcake and pumpkin frosting looks and sounds like a great combination!

        I LOVE this! I am going to try this buttercream on some cookies. Or maybe scones. Or well, anything because it sounds amazing!

        Can we have the Pumpkin Butter Crème Recipe print separately-Please & Thank you.

        I so want this cupcake right now. The pumpkin spice buttercream looks delish.

        The cloud of frosting is perfect! I love how fluffy and seasonal this cupcake is and I can’t wait to bake a batch for myself!

        These cupcakes are absolutely sensational!!!!! I’m in love!

        Amanda: I have run into some problems! I have tried twice on the frosting and both times it has curdled. Can’t figure out why, I followed your instructions to a T! Any advice? Much appreciated–they look so tasty!!!

          Oh No! So sorry Elena! Typically when a buttercream curdles it is because the ingredients are too warm or too cold. Humidity can also play a factor. You can try and alternate method of mixing the butter on high for 1-2 minutes, then slowly adding in sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin spice. Once combine, mix the pumpkin puree in by hand. Hope that helps!

            Ah! That is not the order I went in. I will try again! Thank you so much!

        I would not be able to keep my fingers out of that buttercream either 🙂

        When you weigh the flour on the scale, does the total weight include the measuring cup?

        Ex. 95grams of flour: is 95grams the total of cup and flour together? Or do I need to measure the cup alone and then add 95 grams of flour bringing the total weight to 150grams(95flour + 55cup)

        The ingredients only show 3/4 cup of flour.


        What is the correct amount please?

        Thank you.

        I would never have thought to combine chocolate and pumpkin but it is a match made in autumn heaven. The photos are gorgeous!

        Amanda, I used to love your blog so much! I read your recipes on my ipad and lately the ads are just TOO much for me. The ads that pop up on top of the content and I have to close out of, plus all the ads inside the words, make it really hard to use your site anymore. I know you need to earn money but I wish you would block all the ads that are always popping up now.

          So Sorry! Mobile ads are a bit annoying… I AGREE! I am working on finding a good fit for my readers.

        Don't Pass on Dessert!