the great thanksgiving recipe swap: chocolate pumpkin cupcakes with orange cream cheese frosting

For the cupcakes:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups good-quality cocoa
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 cups buttermilk
1 Р14.5 ounce can pumpkin pur̩e
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (firmly packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

For the frosting:

1 package (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree (reserved from the cake recipe)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/8-1/4 teaspoons orange food coloring, optional

For the Cupcakes:

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Make the batter: Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom in a large bowl and set aside. Set 3 tablespoons of the pumpkin puree aside for the frosting. Combine the buttermilk, remaining pumpkin, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium speed, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and light. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, blending well after each addition.

Divide the batter among the cupcake liners (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean — about 18-22 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan for 7 minutes. Remove cupcakes and cool.

For the Frosting:

Blend the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin puree, orange zest, and vanilla in a large bowl, using an electric mixer set at medium speed, until smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy — about 3 more minutes.

Add the food coloring and gently stir until the color is uniform. Chill the frosting until ready to ice the cupcakes. When cupcakes are cool, frost according to your preference.

Recipe and photo from GoodLife {eats}

Read more about The Great Thanksgiving Recipe Swap here!

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  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    November 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

    My husband loves pumpkin and chocolate! I wonder if he’d like this combo? The flavors sound wonderful, especially with that frosting!

  • stacey-healthylife
    November 7, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Those look amazing.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss
    November 7, 2010 at 10:30 am

    These sound perfect. Chocolate AND pumpkin!! 😀

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations
    November 7, 2010 at 10:41 am

    The idea to put orange with pumpkin and chocolate is genius.

  • Erika @ Food.Fitness.Fun
    November 7, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Those cupcakes look delicious! YUM! 🙂

  • The Blue-Eyed Bakers
    November 7, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Goodness they look gorgeous!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    November 7, 2010 at 11:09 am

    chocolate + pumpkin = awesome!

    but orange cream cheese frosting….oh, that sounds beyond yummy!

    Hope you have some downtime this week after what’s been a whirlwind weekend, no doubt!


  • Camille
    November 7, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I’m not a big fan of orange, but I feel like these would be absolutely perfect with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting… mmmmm 🙂

  • Hope
    November 7, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Orange cream cheese icing?! Oh yes please!

  • Lisa
    November 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    oh my – these look wonderful!

  • Kelsey
    November 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I had some very similar to this yesterday and it was absolutely amazing.

  • Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes
    November 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Love the whole pumpkin/chocolate thing…think i’ll have to try this this next week…might throw some choc. chips in the batter yet too! 🙂
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

  • Melissa @ For the Love of Health
    November 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Perfect fall recipe 🙂 Looks delicious

  • Rebecca
    November 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    They look amazing. I really wish I could get canned pumpkin in the supermarket, in Australia its not really a big thing 🙁

  • e m l
    November 7, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Just wondering if the books in your “book shelf” on the side-bar are all books you’ve read or are just randomly selected? Thanks 🙂

  • Grace
    November 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    I was trying to decide what cupcakes I would make for Thanksgiving this year, and I think these will definitely be a winner! Thanks for sharing!

  • Krystina (Basil & Wine)
    November 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Those are totally adorable.

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    November 7, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Lovin’ the picture.

    November 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    <3 yummy recipe swap! i should have put cream cheese in my butter cream frosting! will do next time- what a great tip <3

  • Camille @ La Bella Vita
    November 7, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    What a perfect Fall treat, Yum!

  • Brenna [fabuleuxdestin]
    November 8, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Yumm 🙂 I love your idea for the Thanksgiving swap Jenna! I am planning a huge Thanksgiving for all the expats in my town in France and all these ideas are really helping !

  • Cara Craves...
    November 8, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Well don’t those just look perfect!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    November 8, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Adorable. Too adorable for words. They look and sound delicious too. 😀

  • grocery goddess jen
    November 8, 2010 at 6:14 am

    I love the photo of those! Which I guess you didn’t take, but I still love it 🙂

  • emily
    November 27, 2010 at 7:40 am

    i made these for thanksgiving and they were a hit!! yummmy! thankyou for sharing!