Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe Video

If you’ve been following my show for a while, you probably know I am a sucky cake decorator. BUT THAT WILL NOT STOP ME FROM TRYING! “How cute would it be,” I thought to myself, “if I could make pumpkin cupcakes that actually were decorated to look like pumpkins, too!”  So I tried.

And failed.

But whatever, because, salted caramel frosting, right? Right? And candy corn? Yeah?

If you want to make your own pumpkin puree, here’s how.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel to get notified of new videos.

Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe – Printable!

Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes


Pumpkin Cupcakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup soft butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup milk


  1. Set oven to 350 and line 12 muffin/cupcake tins with paper cups or lightly grease.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 1 minute.
  4. Add egg, pumpkin and vanilla and combine well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all butter/sugar is combined.
  5. Add flour and begin mixing on low speed while pouring in the milk.
  6. Once well mixed, distribute into 12 cupcake tins.
  7. Bake 20 minutes or until risen and firm to touch.
  8. Cool.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!


Salted Caramel Frosting

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. In a medium pot, combine 4 tablespoons butter and brown sugar. Place over medium heat until butter is melted.
  2. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles. Continue cooking, stirring, for 5 minutes or until thickened and slightly darker.
  3. Pour hot caramel into a large mixing bowl and add salt, cinnamon and vanilla (and cayenne) and beat on medium speed about 5 minutes until cooled somewhat.
  4. Beat in one tablespoon of butter until combined, then another.
  5. Beat another 5 minutes until only slightly warm. Beat in remaining tablespoons of butter.
  6. Beat 5 minutes more.
  7. Sift in powdered sugar and beat mixture until cooled.
  8. Makes about 2 cups

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

You might also like pumpkin donuts, pumpkin scones, or pumpkin bread!

Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe


  1. Randy in Vermont on October 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Looks like a very Octoberish recipe Hilah. I am not much of a baker but my daughter is. The only thing I bake is bread. We sent you some apples and they should be getting there soon. Empire and Vermont Gold are really good for eating but please don’t let them sit out in the hot Texas sun. Put them in the fridge for a while because I think apples are one of the foods that taste better cold. I loved your song and the outtakes were real funny, shocking but funny. Randy and Merrilou

    • Hilah on October 16, 2013 at 8:58 am

      Hi Randy!
      These are very fall! There’s more spices I think, than usual, which makes them “warming”. 🙂
      I’ll be on the look out for the apples! Been meaning to try baked apples in the crock pot so this will be perfect. And we finally got a cold front down here, just as of last night, so it’s nice and cool and rainy. Ahhh…

  2. Preeti on October 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I am so going to try this for a party this weekend! Thanks!

    • Hilah on October 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      You will be a hit, Preeti! 🙂

  3. Naomi on October 17, 2013 at 9:39 am

    These sound delicious! I don’t like pumpkin pie, but enjoy pumpkin flavor. I will definitely try. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hilah on October 17, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Hope you like these, Naomi!

  4. Danielle on October 17, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    This recipe is amazing! I just made it this evening at the request of a pregnant friend who is craving all things pumpkin, and it’s everything you want a pumpkin cupcake to be 😀 I did substitute ginger for all spice, but man…these are good Hilah!

    As for the icing, it’s super delicious too…but I was worried I wouldn’t have enough for a double batch of cupcakes, so I doubled it too. I now have a tub of it waiting for me to bake something again, oops…haha. I am thinking really thin, not too sweet pecan butter cookies with it sandwiched in between…any other suggestions aside from more cupcakes?

    Anyhow, thanks for the recipe! 🙂

    • Hilah on October 18, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Hi Danielle! You sure are a sweet friend! I’m really happy she liked these.
      Your pecan cookie sandwich idea sounds delicious. I wonder if peanut butter cookie sandwiches would also be good? This would definitely be good on a plain chocolate or vanilla cake, too.
      Thank you for writing!

  5. Esther on October 25, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Hi Hilah! This sounds DELICIOUS. So delicious, that I want to make this for a potluck at work, however, I want to double the ingredients and bake it in a 9″x13″ cake pan. What temperature and time would you recommend to bake it at? And do you have other suggestions on what ingredients to increase or decrease to accommodate as a cake? Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • Hilah on October 26, 2013 at 9:54 am

      Hi Esther!
      I’d bake it at 350 still, for 30 minutes and then test it with a toothpick. If you don’t know that trick – I’m sure you do – stick a toothpick in the center of the cake and if it’s clean when you pull it out, the cake is done.
      You might try reducing the liquid amount a tiny bit, instead of 1 1/2 cups, start with 1 1/4 and add a little more if you need it to get the batter to a cake consistency. The center may fall if there is too much liquid, is why I suggest trying a little less at first.
      Let me know how it goes!

  6. Tetley on October 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Made these just now tasted amazing, the icing is just wow, but i would say the cooking time is longer than the recipie, when i took my first batch out the were still dough! Whoops. And i used butternut squash cause i couldnt get hold of pumpkin and that worked fine 🙂

    • Hilah on October 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you, Tetley! Good to know it works with butternut, too.

  7. Janice on November 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I made these to take to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. We had some extras tonight for dessert and they kicked ass! Instead of making regular sized cupcakes I made minis and piped the icing over the whole top. I’m so glad to have an easy caramel icing recipe, it took awhile but it was easy and delicious. My youngest son, who is a really picky eater loved the cupcakes all by themselves, although I didn’t tell him it had pumpkin in it until after he had said that he liked them. Thanks for a great recipe! I will make these again. I really enjoy your videos and you remind us that it’s not always that hard to make things yourself.

    • Hilah on November 27, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Whoohoo! So happy to hear that, Janice! Glad you liked both the icing and the cupcakes. I went through several versions of the icing when working up the recipe and this was the one Chris liked the best, too.
      Super cool that your picky eater liked them, too! Thanks so much for writing. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Inna on February 23, 2014 at 1:20 am

    Hi Hilah! Is it possible to use a handmixer with just a whisk attachment to beat the caramel frosting to the right consistency? I don’t have a paddle, nor a stand mixer yet(((( Thanks!

    • Hilah on February 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Inna,
      That will be fine! Instead of the whisk, though, I’d try with the regular beaters on the hand mixer first. The icing is thick and the hand mixer whisk attachments I’ve seen wouldn’t be sturdy enough.

  9. Marie on April 26, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I found your web site today and made these cupcakes tonight. They’re very moist and tasty. I didn’t have some of the ingredients for frosting so we enjoyed them plain. My daughter tends to be very picky but she’s had two already! I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

    • Hilah on April 27, 2014 at 11:10 am

      That’s wonderful to hear, Marie! Glad your daughter especially liked the cupcakes. 🙂

  10. Momma J on October 30, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    I am going to bake these tomorrow. However, I might bake a GF batch for my DIL (daughter-in-love). I’ll try and figure out those substitutions with coconut flour, and usually more eggs (that dense flour loves more moisture).
    I love your humor!!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.