Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



Pumpkin maple cupcakes

by: Chica

Pumpkin maple cupcakes
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Fasten your seat belts, folks. Or tie on your aprons. Or bibs. Or something. Just get ready, because I’m about to share the most amazing cupcake recipe ever with you! It’s a recipe for pumpkin spice cupcakes with dulce de leche cream filling and topped with maple cream cheese frosting. Are you drooling yet?

A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to make a pumpkin cupcake, so I headed to the kitchen and got to work. I combined a lot of flavors I knew would go well together, and what I ended up with was a creation that is almost beyond words. Let me put it this way: I don’t even like pumpkin, and I love these cupcakes. One of my good friends, Kris, doesn’t even really like cake or frosting, and she loves these cupcakes! They are THAT good.

If you want to wow your friends and family at Thanksgiving (or any other time), this is the recipe for you. If you want to lose weight, however, you might not want to make them, because you will want to eat them all yourself!

For the cupcakes, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs
  • 15oz can of pumpkin puree (do NOT use pie filling!)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp maple flavoring

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In your mixer bowl, add the eggs, pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and maple flavoring.

Mix the wet ingredients until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and slowly mix until well incorporated.

Scoop the batter into a muffin tin that has been lined with cupcake liners, filling each one about 2/3 full.

Bake for 22 minutes at 350 F, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely. While they are cooling, prepare the filling and frosting, as follows.

For the filling, you’ll need:

In a medium bowl, use a whisk or mixer to whip the cream until stiff. Add the dulce de leche.

Whisk until smooth. Try not to eat it all!

For the frosting, you’ll need:

  • two 8oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick butter (not margarine), at room temperature
  • 1 tsp maple flavoring
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • chopped pecans for garnish (optional)

Mix the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until soft and well blended.

Add the maple flavoring and vanilla extract and mix to incorporate. Add the powdered sugar, on low speed, and mix well.

This frosting is rich and creamy and divine. It tastes great on these cupcakes, but tastes just as good on a spoon! Fortunately this recipe makes enough to frost the cupcakes very well and have a little left over for the cook to steal. It’s probably my favorite frosting ever, because of the maple. Jo agrees, and she’s such a huge frosting fan that I think she could eat a half bowl of this stuff if I left her alone with it!

Now it’s time to put these wonderful ingredients all together. Start by using a sharp knife (or a cupcake corer) to cut a little hole in the middle of each cupcake. For heaven’s sake, don’t throw those little bits away, though. They are great snacks!

Use your dulce de leche cream to fill each cupcake’s hole up to the top. Remember that the bigger you made the hole, the more cream you can get inside! You could leave this step out entirely and not fill the cupcakes, but seriously… why would you do that?

Equip a disposable icing bag with a large star tip (my favorite is a #1M star) and then fill it with your luscious maple cream cheese frosting. Starting on the outside and working your way to the center, frost the cupcakes with a giant swirl that covers the filling completely.

For a finishing touch, sprinkle some chopped pecans on top.

When you cut (or bite) into these cupcakes, you’ll be met with the rich, oozing caramel center, which balances perfectly with the maple frosting and spiced pumpkin cake. It’s heaven, I tell you!

Pumpkin maple cupcakes
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17 comments so far:

  • 1
    Karmen 11/19/2010 at 3:46 pm

    I cannot wait to make these!

  • 2
    Claire from NY 11/23/2010 at 4:09 pm

    I’m making this today :-) I can’t wait how this turns out. I have a few things to change since I couldn’t find dulce de leche for the life of me.
    Will definitely let you know how it turned out.

    Thanks for the recipe :-)

  • 3
    Chica 11/23/2010 at 6:27 pm

    Claire, we can’t wait to hear how you like the cupcakes! Dulce de leche is pretty amazing stuff… it’s like a really rich caramel. Look for it in the Mexican food aisle.

    If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also make dulce de leche at home by boiling an UNOPENED can of sweetened condensed milk in water for 2-3 hours. Make sure you let it cool COMPLETELY before opening the can (or else it will splatter out all over and likely burn you) and make sure the water never runs out in the pan. Be very careful with this technique and watch the pan the entire time it’s cooking :)

  • 4
    Melanie Schoenhut 11/24/2010 at 12:29 am

    I love the way you put the frosting on top of the cupcake.My kids will surely love and enjoy while we are doing this one. Thanks for the idea.

  • 5
    Cindy 11/02/2011 at 10:39 pm

    I made these for our annual Halloween dinner with the neighbors…THEY ARE WONDERFUL! My new favorite cupcake. I couldn’t
    find the dulce de leche at my grocery store (Mexican food aisle??…I checked everywhere), so I used caramel ice cream topping folded into the whipped cream and it was still delish! Thanks so much!

  • 6
    Chica 11/03/2011 at 12:12 pm

    Cindy, thanks for your comment, which put these cupcakes back on my radar. I haven’t made any in a while… I think I’m due for a batch!

  • 7
    ashley 10/24/2012 at 11:23 pm

    The cake it’s self is good (it needs a tad less oil) , as is the dulce de leche filling, however the frosting isnt so good. It is runny (I am an experienced baker- I actually sell my cupcakes) and I made as stated, it didn’t work. So I added more powdered sugar…you couldn’t add enough. I’m not sure why. Also- it taste like any other cream cheese icing, you need to add more maple. And unless you buy clear colored maple flavoring, it will be more of a brown color than shown here. The whole cupcake is to heavy, it taste like liquid. The frosting needs to be sturdier (maybe a buttercream) to taste right against the liquid filling. The flavors however all go well together.

  • 8
    Chica 10/26/2012 at 8:26 am

    Ashley, I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with this recipe. I’ve made it many times without any problems. If your frosting was runny, it was likely due to the butter being too soft or using too much sugar (suprisingly, adding too much powdered sugar can actually thin a frosting rather than stiffen it up).

  • 9
    ashley 10/26/2012 at 2:38 pm

    It’s not because the butter was to soft, mine was fine. I’ve been to culinary school….. It’s the recipe, it has to much cream cheese. It taste good it just doesn’t hold

  • 10
    ashley 10/26/2012 at 4:10 pm

    i wasn’t saying anything bad about them, I’m actually making these for a contest! :) just using a little less cream cheese in the frosting, and replacing a little of the oil w/ unsweetened apple sauce . thanks for a tasty cupcake!!

  • 11
    Chica 10/27/2012 at 10:53 am

    Sounds like you’ve found a way to make the recipe suit your tastes. Best of luck in the contest… what contest are you entering?

  • 12
    ashley 11/01/2012 at 1:34 am

    it was just a little bake off at work, but i won :) people LOVED this cupcake , some saying it’s the best i’ve ever made. those flavors go amazing together!!

  • 13
    Chica 11/01/2012 at 9:24 am

    Congrats, Ashley. Glad we could help you out!

  • 14
    nilda 07/24/2013 at 1:04 pm

    omg thats all i have to say , i just made these and they are to die for, i follow the instructions but added double chocolate chips to the batter and i loved the results. thanks for this wonderful recipe….

  • 15
    tina 10/28/2013 at 11:54 am

    I will definitely make these cupcakes for our party at work. This ingredient “dulche de leche” puzzled me too, but I think I have the way out. Here what I will use. I will take 1 or 2 cans of condensed milk (not opened, of course) and boil in water for 2 hours. I am positive it will make a trick! Good luck to all amd me, too. :-)

  • 16
    Chica 10/28/2013 at 5:46 pm

    Tina, I have used the technique you described before for making dulce de leche. It works very well, but please be VERY careful on three counts: First, make sure the can remains covered in water at all times and it doesn’t all boil away. Second, keep in mind that while unlikely, the can does have the possibility of exploding from the pressure of being boiled. Finally, be careful not to open the can until it is completely cool, or else the super hot melted caramel will splatter all over and likely burn you. Check the Mexican food section at your grocery store and you might find little cans of dulce de leche there, ready to go :)

  • 17
    tina 10/29/2013 at 7:28 am

    Chica, thank for your all advises. I am from Russia and I know this technique for more than 30 years now -:). We used it for filling up some pastries (nuts to be exact – we were baking nut shells in special metal forms and then putting them together after filling them).
    And actually this boiled condensed milk tastes perfect without even adding butter (do we need more calories? lol). I used this filling in here (I mean USA) too, when I was baking “peaches” – everybody loved them! I can share the recipe. It’s time consuming, but it worth it! Yuummmm…

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