These pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting are my FAVE pumpkin dessert. A soft cupcake that’s filled with pumpkin and spices, a cool, thick, cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and to top it off? A crunchy, sweet and salty pumpkin seed brittle! Ah-mazing.
I have something to confess… I’ve been holding out on you. I’m new to this blogging thing, and I didn’t want to bring out the big guns too soon! So, I hope you’ve been following along because trust me when I say that these pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting are one of the greatest things I’ve ever eaten! Oh. And the title of this post really should be pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and pumpkin seed brittle, but that title is WAY too long for google. 😉
You’re not over pumpkin yet are you? Me neither and let’s be honest, we all know that each one of us has at least one leftover can of pumpkin hiding in the back of the pantry still….right? If not, you’re going to need to go out and buy just one more.
When I lived in Chicago attending Loyola University, I worked at a cupcake shop called More. Just a heads up, if you’re in college and don’t want to gain 10 lbs in a very short period of time, I would highly recommend NOT working at a cupcake shop. Oops 🙂
While there are cons to working at a cupcake shop, the pros obviously outweigh them (get it? If you want more of my comedy hour check out this knee-slapper). Case and point: pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and pumpkin seed brittle. They were perfection and honestly the only cupcake I ever ate at More. The pumpkin cupcake is moist (I know, I know, we all hate the word, but it is what it is), lightly spicy, and full of pumpkin flavor! The cinnamon cream cheese was just the right amount of sweet and tangy with a hint of cinnamon and while that’s all great, I know you’ve heard of pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon frosting, but the kicker here is the pumpkin seed brittle.
PUMPKIN. SEED. BRITTLE!!!!!!
It’s genius! It’s just a little bit sweet, a little toasty, and a whole lot of crunchy. It’s the perfect textural compliment to the soft cupcake and gooey frosting. Why aren’t more people doing this?! Join me please in my brittle campaign to change the world!
Start by making the cupcakes. First you’re going to sift your dry ingredients together, set aside. Now cream some butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add in eggs, pumpkin, and milk. The mixture will look a little separated. That’s ok, don’t freak out! Just mix well and then gently fold in the dry ingredients.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop batter into a lined muffin tin, I used a mini muffin pan, but feel free to use the “regular” size! I like using the cookie scoop to ensure perfectly sized cupcakes!
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven!
While the cupcakes are baking, make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Cream together butter and cream cheese, then slowly add in sifted powdered sugar. It’s important to use sifted powdered sugar so you have a lump free frosting! Add in vanilla and cinnamon and beat until fluffy.
There’s only more more step, stick with me! Although there are three different parts to this recipe, this recipe is overall pretty simple and definitely worth the extra effort!
THE BRITTLE. Ahhhh. I’ve been waiting for this. Whatever you do, do not, do not, do NOT skip this step. It’s really what sets these cupcakes apart from other pumpkin cupcakes!
This is where mise on place is super important! I’ve talked about it in other recipes, like this apple cake, but it’s absolutely critical here, as the ending steps move really quickly!
Lecture over, let’s move on! 😉
Set out the ingredients of the brittle: water, light corn syrup, sugar, salt, toasted pumpkin seeds, baking soda, vanilla, and butter.
Start by placing the water, corn syrup, sugar, and salt in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly using a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a boil, then cover with a lid and let cook for exactly 60 seconds.
Keeping the heat at the same level, remove the lid and cook the syrup until the temperature reaches 280 degrees F. This takes a while, so be patient! Don’t be tempted to crank the heat to high, you’ll need to wait for 6-10 minutes. This next part moves quickly, so keep an eye on that thermometer! Stir in the pumpkin seeds and stir constantly until the mixture is at 300 degrees F.
Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda, vanilla, and butter. The mixture will foam up, keep stirring until it is no longer foaming and immediately pour (as thinly as possible) onto a greased baking sheet or silicone mat.
If you must spread further, use two forks to gently pull the edges away from the center. Why forks you ask? Just in case you aren’t thinking and try to spread it with your hands…OUCH!
If you’re wondering why you have to be so precise with the temperatures and when to add certain ingredients, my answer is… It’s Science 🙂
Let this cool completely and then break into pieces! Okay… but before you break it into pieces run your hands over it (after it’s cooled down of course). You’ll know why once you’ve done it.
You did it! Pat yourself on the back for making a really awesome dessert. Now, I’d recommend assembling the cupcakes right before serving, so either serve them immediately or each component should be stored in separate airtight containers. The cupcakes at room temperature, the cream cheese frosting in the fridge, and the brittle should be stored in the freezer. Assemble and serve them chilled or at room temperature.
This is a seriously impressive dessert that you can feel SO proud of serving at your next event! I love making these mini sized, so it makes enough for a large crowd! These are so cute and people always go crazy for the crunchy brittle on top. A soft, delicate cupcake that’s filled with pumpkin and spices, a cool, thick, cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and to top it off? A crunchy, sweet and salty pumpkin seed brittle. They’re easy enough to make every week, but fancy enough to serve to impress!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, I’ll see you next week!
Have you ever made your own candy before? Show me the yummy!
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Equipment for this recipe
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar packed
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese softened,
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 - 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cups lightly salted pumpkin seeds (toasted in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes on a baking sheet)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter room temperature
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Sift together the dry ingredients in a bowl (the flour through baking soda) and set aside.
- Cream together the softened butter and sugars until fluffy.
- Add in the eggs until well incorporated, add in the milk and pumpkin puree, and then gently fold in the dry ingredients.
- Scoop into a lined mini muffin tin and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack.
Cinnamon cream cheese frosting
- Cream together butter and cream cheese, then slowly add in sifted powdered sugar. Add in vanilla and cinnamon and beat until fluffy!
Pumpkin seed brittle
- Set out the ingredients of the brittle: water, light corn syrup, sugar, salt, pumpkin seeds, baking soda, vanilla, butter,
- Start by placing the water, corn syrup, sugar, and salt in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly using a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a boil, then cover with a lid and let cook for exactly 60 seconds.
- Remove the lid and cook the syrup until the temperature reaches 280 degrees F (this takes a while, so be patient).
- This next part happens fast. Stir in the pumpkin seeds and stir constantly until the mixture is at 300 degrees F.
- Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda, vanilla, and butter. The mixture will foam up, keep stirring until it is no longer foaming and immediately pour (as thinly as possible) onto a greased baking sheet or silicone mat.
- If you must spread further, use two forks to gently pull the edges away from the center.
- Let this cool completely and then break into pieces!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.