Pumpkin Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting.

A super-moist spiced pumpkin chocolate chip cupcake topped with rich dark chocolate frosting. 

A super-moist spiced pumpkin chocolate chip cupcake topped with rich dark chocolate frosting! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’ve waited long enough.

It’s pumpkin time. For me, it’s pumpkin season 12 months of the year.  The more pumpkin, the better.  I’ve been patiently waiting for months to share several new pumpkin recipes with you!

While I love summer dearly, I am so excited for the fall to arrive. Our wedding planning will really take off because the big day will be less than 1 year away (Sept 20th 2014).  October can’t come soon enough because my cookbook manuscript will be DONE!  I am also looking forward to: cozy sweaters, fuzzy socks, hot chocolate, pumpkin coffee (!!), crunchy leaves, and scarves. Lots of scarves. Do you know about my obsession with scarves? We’ll get to that later.

A super-moist spiced pumpkin chocolate chip cupcake topped with rich dark chocolate frosting! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

This is a cupcake recipe you really want in your life. Why?

(1) They can also be muffins!  Yes, these pumpkin spice cupcakes are amazing even without frosting. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but seriously.
(2) There is little sugar in the batter. Only 1/2 cup of brown sugar sweetens the cupcakes.
(3) Cinnamon – a lot of it :)
(4) The batter is so easy to make. No mixer!

I want to eat these cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and second dessert.

These cupcakes are laughably easy, which is why I love to make them so much.  You’ll need a few simple ingredients like flour, eggs, leaveners, oil, milk, and pure pumpkin. When I make baked goods with pumpkin, I make sure there are enough complimentary spices to go along with it.  Ground nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon give these cupcakes a sweet spicy flavor. You will LOVE it.

We all know pumpkin to be a pretty moist ingredient, but that’s not enough to make these cupcakes super moist and tender. You’ll also add oil, brown sugar, and eggs. These three ingredients make the cupcake’s texture anything but dry.  Like I mention above, there is only 1/2 cup of brown sugar in the entire cupcake batter. There is simply no need for more sugar. I like to eat these cupcakes plain for breakfast and call them pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Yes, they are amazing even without frosting! But let’s face it. There is always room for frosting…

A super-moist spiced pumpkin chocolate chip cupcake topped with rich dark chocolate frosting! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

I can’t resist dark chocolate frosting.

And you can’t either! This chocolate frosting is one of the most popular frosting recipes on my website. It’s thick, extra creamy, and very fudgy.  It’s not overly sweet either. Just pure chocolate. Pure chocolate makes an excellent topper on pumpkin spice cupcakes. If you want a frosting that is a little lighter and less overpowering, try my pumpkin cream cheese frosting.  Or even this Nutella frosting. A-mazing.

Feel free to leave out the mini chocolate chips and add pecans, walnuts, or even pumpkin seeds.  Dried cranberries or dried cherries would be fabulous additions as well. These super-moist and flavorful pumpkin cupcakes are so versatile. That’s reason #5 why I love them so much.

Every pumpkin lover needs a go-to pumpkin cupcake recipe. With its deep warming spices and rich chocolate frosting, these cupcakes are perfect for after-school snacks, fall bake sales, celebrations or whenever you’re in the mood for a pumpkin spiced-treat.

A super-moist spiced pumpkin chocolate chip cupcake topped with rich dark chocolate frosting! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

It’s never too early or too late in the year to enjoy pumpkin.

 

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting

Feel free to leave out the frosting and enjoy the cupcakes plain. They are lower in sugar than most pumpkin cupcakes, so I like to enjoy them as muffins for breakfast. Cover frosted cupcakes and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Yield: 14 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (227 grams) pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (90 grams) mini chocolate chips

Dark Chocolate Frosting

  • 2 and 3/4 cup (330 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 2/3 cup (57 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 Tablespoons (90 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons (95 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray two 12-count muffin pans with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs together until combined. Add the pumpkin, oil, milk, and vanilla until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do NOT overmix the batter. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into 14 cups; fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping. Bake for 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. For the frosting: Sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps. Set aside.
  6. With a handheld of stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until fluffy - about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too dark. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. Frost cooled cupcakes.

The dark chocolate frosting is quite rich.  For a lighter frosting, try my pumpkin cream cheese frosting instead.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

I can’t wait to make these recipes again this season!

Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Pie

Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Pie

 

Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Brownie Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting (1 of 1)

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip OatmealBars-8

 

What’s your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin? 

 

   

170 Responses to “Pumpkin Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting.”

  1. #
    61
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted August 19, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Bring on the pumpkin! I just wish it would actually get cold here in Arizona! These look so yummy!

    Reply

  2. #
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    Laura@bakinginpyjamasposted August 20, 2013 at 3:42 am

    Yes! Pumpkin recipes at last. I love this time of year just like you Sally, especially the baking side of it. I’m already stocking up on my pumpkin puree. Great recipe :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 20th, 2013 at 6:28 am

      I’ve already stocked up on my pumpkin! And I have no doubt that you love baking with pumpkin too. Thanks Laura!

      Reply

  3. #
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    Irena S.posted August 20, 2013 at 4:41 am

    So envy that you can make pumpkin desserts all the time! One can of pumpkin cost more than the whole batch of cupcakes in where i live….. and I am too lazy to make my own pumpkin puree lol :p Nice recipes and photos! xx

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 20th, 2013 at 6:28 am

      Thanks Irena – what a bummer about pumpkin for you :(

      Reply

  4. #
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    Jamie @lifelovelemonsposted August 20, 2013 at 6:50 am

    PUMPKIN! Finally. These look super yummy. Love the frosting!

    Reply

  5. #
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    amyposted August 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Wow this looks amazing!! Will have to try this ;D

    http://yummei.blogspot.co.uk

    Reply

  6. #
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    Jessica Perrilleonposted August 20, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Oh my gosh! These are amazing….my family gobbled them up! I love ANYTHING pumpkin, and these are a keeper. I will make these again and again. You are right- they don’t even need frosting. How do you think these would be with white whole wheat flour? Or, could I make this into a cake? Would the batter fit a 9 inch round cake pan?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 20th, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      I’ve made them with white whole wheat flour before, Jessica – and they are wonderful! Yes, you could also make this in a 9×2 round cake pan. Make sure you only fill the pan halfway though. It will rise quite a lot. I am unsure of the baking time.

      Reply

  7. #
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    YoungMild&Freeposted August 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I’ve never tried chocolate and pumpkin together, but I think I need to try this. Thank you for sharing!

    xx
    youngmildandfree.wordpress.com

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 20th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      If you give them a try, let me know!

      Reply

  8. #
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    Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepperposted August 20, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Mmmm, yay for pumpkin season! These look fantastic!

    Reply

  9. #
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    Amyposted August 20, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    A pumpkin cupcake that doubles as a muffin? Oh my Sally, you’re my hero! That’s my favorite kind of cupcake — one that I can eat for breakfast (without the frosting) and not feel guilty about. Although I love summer and all of its juicy fruit, I’m starting to get excited about fall too!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 20th, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      You’d LOVE these cupcakes/muffins Amy! I love that they aren’t overly sweet (except when you add all that chocolate frosting, of course.) =)

      Reply

      • Amyreplied on August 20th, 2013 at 10:31 pm

        And dark chocolate always makes everything better!

  10. #
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    Jessposted August 20, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    YAhhooo – bring on pumpkin recipe season!!! Let’s get this pumpkin part-ay started. And this is a winning way to kick it off, Sally. ;) Good luck finishing your manuscript – I absolutely can’t wait to see the finished product.

    Reply

  11. #
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    Jennie @themessybakerblogposted August 22, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I’m with you. I could eat pumpkin treats all year long. Pumpkin reminds of of cozy pjs and a warm fireplace. These cupcakes look delicious.

    Reply

  12. #
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    Mercedesposted August 22, 2013 at 11:56 am

    There is a pumpkin chocolate chip cake that I make for my sister every year and these cupcakes just may have to be my new twist on that tradition this fall! That frosting looks incredible Sally!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 22nd, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      I love pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes and I’m sure yours are amazing Mercedes!

      Reply

  13. #
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    Erin @ Texanerin Bakingposted August 23, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Lol. Sally, nooo! See, now that you’ve posted something pumpkiny, every other blogger will cave in and summer will be over. Nooo! ;)

    But you get a pass since every month is pumpkin month for you. :D

    These look awesome! And that frosting?! Oh my gosh.

    Reply

  14. #
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    Nutmeg Nannyposted August 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Oh yum :) so happy to see pumpkin! I just adore this recipe!

    Reply

  15. #
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    Yammie @ Yammie's Nosheryposted August 26, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Sally, I love these! The frosting looks awesome! Chocolate+Pumpkin is such a great idea!

    Reply

  16. #
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    Claudiaposted August 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Hi Sally,
    I am German, love to bake and I am always looking for something a little …. not so German – just to have a different taste, something new, something sprecial – so just a few weeks ago I discovered your site. – to make a loooong story short – I love it. Today I tried the pumpkin cupcakes with fresh pumkin – they were delicious!!! Sometimes I have to adjust to the German possibilities but so far – woderful recipies!! Thanks a lot!
    Claudia

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 26th, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Oh Claudia that is fantastic! I am so glad to hear you loved these cupcakes AND so glad that you found my website. It’s always nice to try something new. Thank you so much for reporting back and let me know what you try next!

      Reply

  17. #
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    Maddieposted September 2, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Hey Sally! These muffins are in the oven as I’m typing this. They smell amazing!! I used 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1/8 cup white choc chips and 1/8 cup dried cranberries. I can’t wait to try them. Also, I didn’t have mini chips, so I just chopped up the regular sized ones. Thanks for all your recipes. Foolproof, easy, and highly recommended!!

    Reply

  18. #
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    Christinaposted September 2, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Made these tonight- Delicious! However, I like the cupcakes better plain, but love the frosting! I am wondering if it’ll be ok if I freeze it? My sons birthday in next week and I’d love to use the remaining frosting for cake or cupcakes?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 3rd, 2013 at 9:52 am

      Hi Christina! I’ve never tried to freeze this frosting before to be honest. I much prefer to make it fresh. I feel it would just taste so much better. However, you can certainly give it a try. It should be OK freezing for 1 week. Let it sit at room temperature to thaw completely before using.

      Reply

  19. #
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    stephanieposted September 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Made these tonight! I substituted the oil for applesauce and used 1 cup white flour, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour. I also omitted the chocolate chips. They came out great! Next time I will also add 2 Tbs oil to add a bit more moisture.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 17th, 2013 at 8:07 am

      That’s great, Stephanie! Thanks for reporting back.

      Reply

  20. #
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    Jessicaposted September 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Hi! I made these last week and they were so good! I am making them again, but was wondering if I could do mini loaf pans so that I can bring them to friends? Do you know if it would affect the baking time? Amazing, thank you!!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 22nd, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      Hi Jessica! Making them in mini loaf pans would definitely work. I love that idea! They may take a bit longer since the loaf pans hold more batter than muffin tins do. I’m not sure of the exact time.

      Reply

      • Jessicareplied on September 22nd, 2013 at 3:44 pm

        Thanks Sally! I divided the batter between 4 mini loaf pans, so I’m going to start by doubling the time and see where they are after that.

  21. #
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    Kayteposted September 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I made these just now & they turned out moist & delicious despite the fact that I “healthy-fied” them up a little bit! Yay!! In case anyone is GF & curious… I used Cafe brand GF All Purpose baking mix (cup-for-cup) & substituted 1/3 cup of natural, unsweetened applesauce for the oil. I also skipped the milk (totally by accident) & they’re still really moist & delicious so I can’t imagine how much moister they’d be with milk! I added walnut pieces to 1/2 of them & choc chips to the other 1/2 of the mix. Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe :) Healthy-fied version nutrition info:
    Calories 141 Carbs 30 Fat 2 Protein 2 Sugars 14

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 25th, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      Amazing! Your version sounds delicious Kayte! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

      Reply

  22. #
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    Saraposted September 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Made these yesterday and will never look for another pumpkin chocolate chip cupcake/muffin recipe, again! They are not only amazing in taste, flavor, and texture, but they are extremely easy and quick. The dark chocolate frosting is also unbelievably incredible. I will use this frosting for other things I need to frost with chocolate! Texture was like mousse, flavor was rich and hit the choco-o-holic craving, seamlessly. :) And, they’re beautiful. If you haven’t made these yet, don’t wait any longer! Thanks for sharing, Sally!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 30th, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      Sara, I am so happy to read this comment today! I have been dying to make these cupcakes again and I’m actually planning to do so tomorrow. I just love them. They aren’t too sweet at all – the perfect “canvas” for the rich dark chocolate frosting. Which yes – does taste like dark chocolate mousse! So happy to hear how much you love them. :) Thank you so much for coming back to my blog to write about them.

      Reply

  23. #
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    The Cake Lovers (@thecakelovers75)posted September 30, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Yummy looking cupcakes.

    Reply

  24. #
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    Katieposted October 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Hi, Sally!

    Do you think I would be able to halve this recipe so I only have 7 cupcakes? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 2nd, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      Hey Katie! Yes, you could easily halve this recipe. Enjoy!

      Reply

  25. #
    85
    Apollineposted October 3, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Hi dear Sally !
    I’ve just made these cupcakes to celebrate the arrival of fall and let me tell you that they are delicious ! Your recipe is so easy and the result is perfect ! I’m French and I was wondering if I could translate your recipe in French on my blog ? I won’t use your picture and I will of course talk about your blog but I would really like to share this great recipe with my french readers ! I feel like pumpkin recipes aren’t as popular in France as in United States.
    Thank you for this amazing recipe, I will let you know if I try other of your recipe (which might happen really soon !).
    Have a nice day !

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 3rd, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Hi Apolline! You may certainly use this recipe and rewrite it (and reshoot it if you’d like to include photos) for your own blog, as long as you link back to my own blog as the source. Which I know you’d do anyway. Thank you so much for sharing! I love these cupcakes too.

      Reply

      • Apollinereplied on November 2nd, 2013 at 7:16 pm

        Thanks Sally for always taking your time to answer to comments ! The recipe is finally on my blog and I have put pictures of the muffins I have made, I think they turned out pretty well ! My whole family LOVED them so thanks again for this delicious recipe !

        Have a nice day !

  26. #
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    Amberposted October 10, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Hi Sally! I was just wondering if you use semi sweet mini choc chips or milk chocolate? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 10th, 2013 at 10:36 am

      semi-sweet. But it really won’t make a different. I’ve used dark chocolate chips before too. Truly any chocolate you prefer or have on hand would be fine. Enjoy!

      Reply

  27. #
    87
    Danniposted October 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    My new favourite blog! Going to try these out today!

    x

    Reply

  28. #
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    Roseposted October 24, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Sally, my name is Rose. I love your blog, but I’m one of those lurkers who rarely comments (I guess even on the internet I’m introverted). :-) I have this recipe my college roommate found on allrecipes.com – Pumpkin Apple Muffins. I was never a huge fan of pumpkin until I tried this combo, and then I went pumpkin crazy. Pumpkin + apple is divine. The thing is, this recipe has a TON of sugar, and while I’m not a sugarphobe…..it’s a lot of sugar. I’ve been experimenting with the recipe a little, but I just saw this recipe. Do you think adding apples would mess it up with all the added moisture? Plus, I’m pretty sure I would want to add more than 1/2 cup.

    Here’s the link to the original recipe if you want to check it out.
    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pumpkin-apple-streusel-muffins/

    Thanks for your time!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 25th, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Hi Rose! Thank you for saying hi. Pumpkin apple muffins sound incredible. You can certainly turn these low sugar unfrosted cupcakes into muffins. Just leave off the frosting (obviously!) and leave out the chocolate chips. Add 1 and 1/2 cups peeled and chopped apples and bake as directed. They’ll be delicious, no doubt!

      Reply

      • Rosereplied on October 31st, 2013 at 1:38 pm

        Just wanted to tell you, made these this morning with apples, and they turned out beautifully. You should definitely try it. :) Pumpkin, apple, cinnamon….perfect blend of fabulous fall favorites!

        • Sallyreplied on October 31st, 2013 at 8:09 pm

          I WILL be trying it! Thanks Rose.

  29. #
    89
    Teresa Dposted October 28, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Hey Sally! I made these this evening and they are one of the best pumpkin recipes I have ever made! The cupcake’s texture was amazing, extremely moist and light; not dense like a pumpkin muffin would be. And the frosting…oh, the frosting; lets just say I couldn’t stop “testing” it! The only change I made was adding a graham cracker crust on the bottom and filling them with a marshmallow buttercream to make them s’more pumpkin cupcakes :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 29th, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Teresa. S’mores pumpkin cupcakes. I think I love you! Must try. :) Thank you for the suggestion!

      Reply

  30. #
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    Juliaposted April 5, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I made this frosting today and I absolutely loved it! My family loved it too! I will definitely be trying out more of your frosting recipes! Your blog is the first place I go when I need an idea to bake something

    Reply

  31. #
    91
    Mandieposted October 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Of all your cupcake recipes….THIS ONE is the one I’ve gotta try ASAP! Ingenious. And I bet they are as delirious and moist as they look!

    Reply

  32. #
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    Chelseaposted October 24, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I want to try this recipe! What consistency should the pumpkin be? Should you food process it before combining it with the other ingredients?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 24th, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      If using canned pumpkin puree, it can just come right from the pan. If using homemade, make sure it is smooth. I hope this helps?

      Reply

  33. #
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    Cecilposted November 7, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Great for breakfast. The sweetness is just enough. I skipped the frosting.

    Reply

  34. #
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    Jessposted November 11, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Do you think the cupcakes would work dairy free? If I use almond milk instead of milk?

    Reply

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