Pumpkin Caramel Cupcakes

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Experience the perfect blend of rich, moist pumpkin-spiced cake topped with a luscious swirl of velvety caramel frosting. Each bite is a symphony of autumnal aromas and sweet indulgence, capturing the essence of crisp fall days and warm gatherings.  Get ready to savor the harmonious dance of pumpkin and caramel in every delectable bite – your new favorite fall treat awaits!


Difficulty: Easy

Prep time: 20 minutes

Bake time: 16-18 minutes

Inactive time: 30 minutes

Servings: 18 cupcakes



  • Only use pumpkin puree for this recipe, not pumpkin pie filling
  • We used premade caramel bit pieces (sold in the baking aisle at the grocery store).  Not all homemade versions of caramel will withstand the heat of baking.  
  • We highly recommend using piping bags to decorate, which you can find at most grocery stores, local hobby stores or online.  
  • We used #6B but any star tip would be comparable.  
  • We used premade caramel sauce already in a squeeze bottle for less mess, but you could use a spoon to drizzle or transfer the caramel sauce to a piping bag to drizzle as well.  



For the cupcakes:

2 c flour

2 t cinnamon

¼ t ground nutmeg

¼ t ground cloves

1 t baking powder

½ t baking soda

½ t salt

⅓ c oil

¾ c sugar

½ c brown sugar

2 eggs

2 t vanilla

¾ c pumpkin puree

⅓ c milk

½ c caramel bits


For the frosting:

1 c unsalted butter, softened

1 t salt

1 t vanilla

3-4 T milk

4 c powdered sugar

½ c caramel sauce, plus more to drizzle

¼ c caramel bits, to decorate



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prep a cupcake pan with liners.  Set aside. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder and soda, and salt.  
  3. Add in the oil, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin puree, and milk.  Mix thoroughly – stopping the mixer, scraping the side and mix again.  
  4. Fold in the caramel bit pieces.  Divide the batter amongst the cupcake liners, filling each cavity about ⅔ full.  
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before decorating.  
  6. To make the frosting – in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the softened butter, salt, vanilla and about half of the powdered sugar.  Mix on low speed for about a minute and then bump up the speed to medium for another minute. 
  7. Add in the remaining powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons worth of the milk.  Mix on low for a minute and then on medium for an additional 2 minutes.  The frosting should be light and fluffy.  Mix in the caramel sauce and combine thoroughly.  
  8. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.  
  9. Pipe a large dollop of frosting on each cupcake.  Hold the piping tip about half of an inch above the center of the cupcake and straight up and down.  Holding the tip steady, squeeze the frosting bag slowly and consistently until it flows out and then stop applying pressure once the frosting creates the mound.  Disconnect and repeat with the remaining cupcakes.  
  10. Drizzle the caramel sauce across the frosting.  Press the caramel bits gently into the frosting.  


Storage:  Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge or frozen for 3 months.