Soon it will be the season for State Fairs and local county fairs! And, the locals will be submitting their very best baked goods to be judged in hopes of winning that coveted blue ribbon! If I were to submit one of my recipes to the county fair, it would be these pumpkin cupcakes with sea salt caramel buttercream! The moist pumpkin cupcake alone is divine, but the salted caramel buttercream frosting takes them to blue ribbon status!
I know what you are thinking – “there are already so many delicious pumpkin desserts” – pumpkin pie, pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin roll . . . Trust me, this is one pumpkin recipe that you want to try! The ingredient that sets this pumpkin cupcake apart is the browned butter – yum!!
And, the frosting – sea salt caramel cream cheese buttercream! I like to top each frosted cupcake with a caramel!
- PUMPKIN CUPCAKES
- 3/4 C unsalted butter
- 1 2/3 C all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1 C pumpkin puree
- 1 C packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 C granulated sugar
- 1 large eggs
- SEA SALT CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
- 1/2 C unsalted butter softened
- 6 oz. cream cheese softened
- 1/2 C salted caramel sauce (I use Smuckers)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 C confectioners sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325.
- Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
- Add butter to a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. The butter will melt and then begin to bubble and foam. Eventually, it will begin to turn brown and smell nutty. Be patient and watch carefully to make sure it doesn't burn. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter into a small, heat-proof bowl to stop the cooking. Set aside to cool.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves.
- In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, browned sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and the cooled brown butter. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
- Fill the cupcake liners to 3/4 full.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
SEA SALT CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
- Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until creamy.
- Add the caramel and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.
- Continue beating until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add the confectioners sugar until well combined. Then, beat on high speed for about two minutes.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and top with a caramel candy.