Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with a Cinnamon Buttercream & a Salted Caramel Drizzle

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It’s that time of year! Time for pumpkins. I LOVE pumpkins. Pumpkin Spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin anything! Much to my chagrin, the hubby is not a big pumpkin fan. So in comes my newest “creation.” Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with a cinnamon buttercream and a salted caramel drizzle.

The original inspiration came from I Am Baker. She made Pumpkin Caramels and Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes. I used her chocolate pumpkin cupcake recipe, frosted with a cinnamon buttercream from Fake Ginger and topped with Trader Joe’s fleur de sel caramel sauce. Oh so yummy. The combination of flavors was to die for!!!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes
recipe from I Am Baker
Makes approx. 24 cupcakes 

Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups Flour
2/3 cups Cocoa
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Vanilla Yogurt
1 cup Canned Pumpkin
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 cups Butter, softened
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
4 large Eggs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325.
Line cupcake pan with liners.

In a mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Add in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.  In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, set aside.  Stir yogurt, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.  Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately beat in the flour and yogurt mixtures in thirds, starting and ending with flour.

Bake for 18-25 minutes, depending on your oven.  Remove once toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, or center springs back when touched. Let cool.

Cinnamon Buttercream

recipe from Fake Ginger

Side note: I made three batches of buttercream to frost 24 cupcakes. If you are going to frost them with a knife then you will use less but if you’re using a decorating tip you will need at least two batches, but probably three. I made all three batches separately because I hate the mess that powdered sugar makes when it’s too high in my mixer but you can try to double the recipe if you’d like. :)

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 – 4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions: 
Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar a 1/2 cup at a time until completely incorporated, adding up to 4 tablespoons of milk when the icing gets to thick. Add vanilla and cinnamon and beat until just combined.

When cupcakes are cooled you can frost them however you like.

Salted Caramel Drizzle
Ingredients:

Trader Joe’s fleur de sel caramel sauce (or another caramel sauce of your choice)

Directions:
Place about 1/2 cup caramel sauce in a microwave safe dish and microwave for about 10 seconds. You want the sauce to be just thick enough to drizzle, not so hot that it is thin and melts the frosting. Once your caramel is at the desired consistency, use a spoon to drizzle the caramel on the frosting. If you want a more perfect look you could try to pipe it but that just makes more mess, and we all know that baking makes enough mess!

Enjoy!