Mini Choco-Pumpkin Cupcakes (w/Homemade Buttermilk!)

I was browsing through blogs one day on foodgawker and I came across these really cute chocolate pumpkin cupcakes. I thought they were so festive for this time of the year and I loved the creative combination of chocolate and pumpkin! I decided to make these cupcakes using my babycakes machine (still in LOVE with it) and my credit goes out to the creator of this recipe- Katie Goodman– from They’re simple to make and scrumptious to eat! I took them to a dinner party, and everyone loved them! Plus the size is great, so people don’t have to make the excuse of just eating half a cupcake (EW!). I think the key to a good batter is using good quality cocoa powder and spices. I tweaked the recipe just a bit from the original!

Chocolate-Pumpkin Batter:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour- sifted
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli)- sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder-sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda- sifted
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk (I made homemade buttermilk- recipe below)
  • 1 – 15 ounce can pumpkin purée (reserve 3 tbsp for frosting)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (firmly packed) dark brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • PAM– baking flavor

Pumpkin Cream-cheese Frosting:

  • 1 package (8-ounce) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree (reserved from batter recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted)
  • few drops yellow/red+yellow food coloring (optional)
  • orange crystals (for garnishing)
  • shaved dark chocolate curls (for garnishing)

Homemade Buttermilk:

  • 1/2 cup organic plain yogurt (I use Stoneyfield farms)
  • 1/8 cup water (more or less depending on yogurts consistency)

1. Stir ingredients together, set aside.

TIP: Make frosting FIRST, so it can cool in the fridge while you make the cupcakes!

For the Batter:

1. Mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the buttermilk, remaining pumpkin puree, 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.

**NOTE: Be careful to NOT add eggs to the butter/sugar mixture BEFORE you fluff the butter and sugar. I admit I made the careless mistake of adding the eggs directly to the sticks of butter, and had to remove it!

2. Spray your babycakes machine and pour about 2 tbsp of batter into each cup (being careful not to overfill) and plug into outlet. Close lid and bake for about 5-7 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. DO NOT PUT CUPCAKE LINERS. Set cupcakes aside on a rack to cool.

Makes about 24-30 mini cupcakes

For the Frosting:

1. Blend the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin puree 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.

2. Add the food coloring and gently stir until the color is uniform. Chill the frosting until ready to ice the cupcakes.

3. To frost I used a small ziplock baggy and cut a small edge off. I frosted in a swirly motion and topped with chocolate and/or crystals!

What I Tweaked:

1. The original batter recipe also calls for 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar. I negated that entirely, because I felt that the combination of really sweet-creamy frosting and really sweet batter would be a bit much for me! So with just the brown sugar, the cupcake is slightly sweet, and the frosting really sweet, so it balances out (for me at least!). I have a huge sweet tooth, so I probably would’ve eaten it the way it was originally meant to be made, but this way is good too!

2. The original frosting recipe calls for orange zest. I negated that entirely because I didn’t have oranges at home, so the frosting just had a hint of pumpkin taste!


15 thoughts on “Mini Choco-Pumpkin Cupcakes (w/Homemade Buttermilk!)

  1. yum yum yum!!! These sounds awesome! I love the whole pumpkin/chocolate combo, it’s perfect. I’ll be hanging with Katie tomorrow! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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