Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

I’m aware that the food world has no shortage of pumpkin cupcake recipes, but I’m sharing this one anyway. It’s my favorite because it doesn’t err on the “muffiny” side.  It is truly a pumpkin cupcake, and I cannot recommend them enough.  Make them!  Need some convincing?

  • Sour cream.  It does magical things to cake batter.  Any cupcake with sour cream as an ingredient is my favorite cupcake, and this one has it. 
  • Brown butter is pretty amazing in anything, but mix it up with pumpkin and spices… swoon 
  • You won’t even have to break out the electric mixer for the cake batter.  If you have a whisk, a large bowl and a spoon – you’re good to go.
  • Cooked cinnamon frosting. From the Red Hook guys, no less.

And what about those postage stamp cupcake banners?  My intentions were to fill this post with fall reminders (leaves, pine cones, & gourds) but the muse led elsewhere.

Elsewhere just happened to be in a bag of international postage stamps.

Used international postage stamps can be purchased inexpensively at bookstores. They usually hang out in the collectibles section with the coin portfolios, and come in a bag of 300 for about six dollars.  If you can’t find them at a bookstore, there are plenty to be had on Etsy for just a few dollars.  I think they are so beautiful!  The bags are full of duplicates so you won’t mind using a few for crafting purposes. Cut a triangle-shaped notch from the end of two stamps that are attached (or one large one) and glue it to a toothpick.  Easy!

Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes 

with Cinnamon Frosting

Yield:  About 24
cupcakes                                                                                                              [click for printable version]

Cake:

¾ cup unsalted butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

3 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. allspice

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 ½ cups pumpkin puree

3 large eggs

½ cup sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
    Line cupcake tins with papers.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the
    butter turns golden brown. Pour the browned butter into a small bowl and let
    stand until cool but not solidified.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon,
    ginger, salt and allspice.  Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk 1 ½ cups of pumpkin puree with the
    granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and sour cream until well combined.  Stir in the flour mixture until just
    combined.  Whisk in the browned butter
    until well blended.  
  5. Divide batter between cupcake liners.  Fill them about half full.
  6. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until they spring back
    when pressed in the middle.

Cinnamon Frosting 

From Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together.
    Add the milk and heavy cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally
    until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted
    with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to
    low and add the butter; beat until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed
    to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla
    and cinnamon and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft,
    transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill slightly, and then beat again
    until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, place the bowl
    over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the
    proper consistency.
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Heather (Heather's Dish)
Heather (Heather's Dish)
9 years ago

I'm going to say this entire recipe makes me swoon…although you're right, brown butter anything wins every time!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

oh my does THIS sound so good…anything w/ brown butter and frosting all in the same line….umm ya, winner

jenn
jenn
9 years ago

Looooove… I think I need to make these this weekend… and the toppers are darling!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Everything about these I.LOVE. Especially that they are truly a cupcake, none of this muffiny stuff, I want a legit cupcake!

Nicole
Nicole
9 years ago

ohhhh heather these look amaaaaazing!!!! i haven't been able to decide on which pumpkin cupcake to make (there are so many) & this looks just perfect! not to mention, the stamp toppers are ridiculously cute & such a great idea! thanks!!

L-Diggitty
L-Diggitty
9 years ago

These look AMAZING!!!! Mine will probably not turn out to be as photogenic 🙂

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

You had me at brown butter.
Really tho – can you please gush some more about that frosting? It sounds fab. I've wanted to try a cooked-flour-&-milk frosting again but didn't think it lasted over night and hadn't seen one that looked "pipeable". More info please!

Madeline (ThursdayNightBaking)
Madeline (ThursdayNightBaking)
9 years ago

I thought I was satisfied with my pumpkin cupcake recipe…until I saw these. My "cupcakes" do lean on the muffin-y side. I'll have to try these out 🙂

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
9 years ago

Gorgeous cupcakes! They are so pretty and tempting.

Cheers,

Rosa

Jenny (VintageSugarcube)
Jenny (VintageSugarcube)
9 years ago

Ohhhh la la.. I was about to go hunting for a fabulous pumpkin recipe.. Now I'm set!! Thanks!

Heather Ozee
Heather Ozee
9 years ago

YUM!!!! And wow at your photos. You get better and better 🙂 The girls said… "Oh Man!" When they heard about these cupcakes.
Love Ya

Suny Senabre
Suny Senabre
9 years ago

Seguro que son deliciosos, esa rica magdalena especiada y la crema combinan de maravilla.

Un beso,

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

How do you think this cake would be as an 8' round? Any tips?

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
9 years ago

legally baked – maybe the term I should have used is "cooked" frosting. Some people refer to the egg whites/7 minute frosting as boiled frosting. This frosting is boiled, but it is definitely stable at room temperature. Mine are still perfect after 2 days. It is really good and silky like Swiss buttercream, and it does not "crust" like the powdered sugar buttercream. Anonymous – you could probably get two 8" rounds out of this batter. The original recipe was for cake layers instead of cupcakes. You'd need to increase the bake time to 40-45 minutes. It is definitely sweet… Read more »

Erin
Erin
9 years ago

OOO la la yummy!

Jenn
Jenn
9 years ago

These sound yummy! I am going to make them for a Halloween dessert table!

amanda @ fake ginger
amanda @ fake ginger
9 years ago

You had me at cooked cinnamon frosting. There's something magical about a cooked frosting, especially one with cinnamon!

Megan
Megan
9 years ago

I just really think these need to happen in my kitchen immediately.

I love that you made flags out of stamps. You've got serious skillz.

cookies and cups
cookies and cups
9 years ago

freaking amazing! I think sour cream is a magical ingredient too!

The Devil's Food Advocate
The Devil's Food Advocate
9 years ago

Beautiful! The cooked frosting is reminiscent of one my Grandmother used for Red Velvet Cake many years ago. This is another great choice for Thanksgiving dessert.

Kate
Kate
9 years ago

Those look gorgeous. Bookmarking this for some weekend baking.

Johnny
Johnny
9 years ago

Oooh lovely, sounds like just what I need for breakfast right now 😉 Thanks for the frosting recipe, I'm gonna try that one.

Leah
Leah
9 years ago

You are so right that SO many pumpkin cupcake recipes are actually muffins! And I LOVE the stamp idea. Just added it to my cupcake board on Pinterest. 🙂

Kirsten
Kirsten
9 years ago

You had me at pumpkin and brown butter. But throw in some frosting from the Baked guys??? Oh yeah, baby!!

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

What tip do you use to pipe?

Rachel @ The Avid Appetite
Rachel @ The Avid Appetite
9 years ago

Wow. These are simply beautiful. I'm hosting a pre-Thanksgiving dinner in about a month…this might just be my dessert of choice to serve!

TwiceCharmed
TwiceCharmed
9 years ago

I was just searching for a pumpkin cake recipe. Hoping this should work for a cake. Going to try it today.

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
9 years ago

@Anony – I used a large open star tip.

Lissa
Lissa
9 years ago

How do you get your frosting so perfectly piped? I've tried doing it with my cupcakes, but it never ends up looking very good. What tip do you use?

Lissa
Lissa
9 years ago

Doh, I didn't even see that you already posted that!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
9 years ago

That's okay Lissa – this is how I pipe – and you can tell on the cupcake with the green flag.

I pipe one circle of frosting on the cupcake top and then pipe a second "tier" on top of that – it is a slightly smaller cirlce – and I move the bag in circular motion as I pipe it closed and pull the piping bag strait up.

That might sound confusing. I really should make a video.

Flavia Galasso
Flavia Galasso
9 years ago

I have to try this… absolutely!!! 😀 hugs, Flavia

Trish
Trish
9 years ago

Oh, I'm so happy I found your blog… so inspiring.

adozeneggs
adozeneggs
9 years ago

Those sound fantastic. I'm so trying them!!

Paula
Paula
9 years ago

So excited to try this and very happy that it does not err on the *muffiny* side. Looks lovely.

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

Do we get to find out who won the stand mixer contest? 🙂

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
9 years ago

You can find it here on my Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/SprinkleBakes/posts/206810936056277

Stephanie Chazan
Stephanie Chazan
9 years ago

Heather,

I'm looking for a pumpkin based cake that can be used under fondant (non-stacked). Is this batter dense enough to support fondant? Would it cook well as a cake instead of cupcakes?

Your creations are always so innovative and beautiful!

Stephanie

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
9 years ago

Hi Stephanie!

This was once a cake recipe that I made into cupcakes- so yes, it can be baked as a cake. You'll get two 8" layers from this recipe.

Increase the bake time to 40-50 minutes.

Thank you for the kindness 🙂 xoxo

365daysofbaking
365daysofbaking
9 years ago

Heather, I love the stamps, what a great idea! The cupcakes sound delicious, especially with that cinnamon frosting! So pretty!

Jihane @ Sinful Sundays
Jihane @ Sinful Sundays
9 years ago

Thank you for this! I've been wanting to make pumpkin cupcakes but every time I saw one or tasted one it did taste more like a muffin. Totally trying these! 🙂

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Mm. I love the taste of brown sugar, but I've never had it in frostng form. And it sounds perfect with the pumpkin cupcakes. Also, I like the little postage stamp flags, they are so adorable and creative 🙂

Lissa
Lissa
9 years ago

A video would be awesome! I love baking more upscale desserts that look professional and so I'm learning more about how to ice cakes and decorate cookies and things like that. Presentation is everything 😉 Thank you for the tips!

Chelsea
Chelsea
9 years ago

I agree with you on so many things! Sour cream really does transform cakey baked goods. I will never not use it again. And browned butter… just fantastic. Those postage stamps make adorable flags! Thanks for the tip on where to get them!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Those look gorgeous. I love that they are true cupcakes of the non-muffiny variety!

Nic@diningwithastud
Nic@diningwithastud
9 years ago

Oh I needed a pumpkin cake recipe for Halloween. Will it work on a larger cake scale?

Sue
Sue
9 years ago

These look so beautiful, and the flavors all work together for a perfect fall indulgence:) I love your little postage stamp banners…to use stamps for such a thing would never enter my mind!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Estaba esperando una buena receta de cupcakes de calabaza con un frosting espectacular y en tu receta encuentro todo lo que busco. Gracias.

Rituparna
Rituparna
9 years ago

That is just delicious & those postage stamps are an amazing idea. But, what I fell completely in love with is that wire stand…

Patricia Scarpin
Patricia Scarpin
9 years ago

I'll probably dream about these tonight. 🙂
Love that cinnamon frosting!