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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream

The other day I realized that it's been almost a year since I last posted a cupcake recipe...what?!! I had to change that immediately. I am the queen of cupcakes, don't let the macarons fool you. Cupcakes were my very first baking passion and will always hold a huge place in my heart. So, in true Fall fashion, I've made you pumpkin cupcakes...with an extraordinary caramelized white chocolate buttercream.

First of all, let me just say, if someone caramelizes white chocolate for you, they definitely love you. Caramelizing white chocolate is a time-consuming process that requires your full attention and a decent amount of arm strength. And the fact that I did this right after having a tooth extraction at the dentist just goes to show how dedicated I am to you all....insert awwwws here.

But seriously, caramelizing white chocolate does take a bit of work...however, it's not that hard to do. You just have to keep an eye on it and stir, stir, stir. In the end you'll be left with a delicious golden spread that has a deep caramel flavor and tastes like a combination of dulce de leche and shortbread. It's hard to describe exactly, but it goes OH SO WELL with these cupcakes.

I was numbed up on one side of my mouth and even half of my taste buds couldn't get enough of these. Cupcakes are definitely considered a "soft diet" like my dentist advised, right?

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream

Yield: 15 cupcakes
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1 and 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs

For the caramelized white chocolate buttercream:
1 cup (16 tablespoons) salted butter, room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/2 cup warm caramelized white chocolate*


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium-sized bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil until well-combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually pour in dry ingredients, beating until just combined.

Distribute batter between prepared cupcake liners, using about 3 tablespoons of batter in each liner.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

In the meantime, prepare the frosting.

In a medium-sized bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar and  warm caramelized white chocolate and beat until well-incorporated.

Spoon frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large decorating tip and frost cupcakes as desired

Notes*: The technique is the same for any amount of chocolate you use, but it is recommended to use no less than 12 ounces. That is what I did and I ended up with about a cup of caramelized white chocolate. These are the chocolate chips I used. 

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