Brownie Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

brownie cupcakes topped with pumpkin cream cheese frosting

I had my first bake sale this past weekend. Reader Maggie (hi Maggie!) from the Hillyer Art Space in DC approached me this summer and asked that I bring and sell a few baked goods to their art showing.

The original brownie cupcakes on my blog have been so popular, I knew a fall-inspired version of them would be a huge hit.

brownie cupcakes topped with pumpkin cream cheese frosting

Plus, I’m a tad obsessed with pumpkin and I don’t think I’m alone in that. 😉

brownie cupcakes topped with pumpkin cream cheese frosting with a bite taken from one cupcake

Needless to say, these babies were the first item to sell out.

For the cupcakes, I remixed my original recipe and melted some good quality chocolate in the batter instead of cocoa powder. The melted chocolate makes these brownie cupcakes dense, rich, moist, and decadent. Pure chocolate decadence. Is there really anything better?

brownie cupcakes topped with pumpkin cream cheese frosting

Yes. There is something better. Adding pumpkin. The pumpkin cream cheese frosting was an afterthought. I spied some pumpkin puree leftover from my healthy pumpkin bars in my refrigerator, and instantly knew I should incorporate it into the cream cheese frosting.

It’s lusciously creamy, perfectly spiced with pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, and the dollop of pumpkin gives it a beautiful light orange color. Doesn’t it just look like a puffy cloud on top? So soft and silky. I love the spice speckles peaking through!

brownie cupcakes topped with pumpkin cream cheese frosting

What you will love most about this recipe is that it comes together fairly quickly.

With the dozens of cookies and other treats I made for the bake sale, an easy and quick cupcake was a glorious sigh of relief.

brownie cupcakes topped with pumpkin cream cheese frosting

Wilton #12 piping tip always does the trick. 😉

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brownie cupcakes topped with pumpkin cream cheese frosting

Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Fudgy brownie cupcakes topped with silky smooth pumpkin cream cheese frosting!


Brownie Cupcakes

  • 4 ounces unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: ground ginger, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg (OR 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice)
  • 22.5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heat-treated all-purpose flour (to thicken, as needed)
  • salt, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line 12 muffin tins with baking cups or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: Melt the chopped chocolate and sliced butter together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each until completely smooth and combined.  Allow to cool for a few minutes. Stir in sugar, then vanilla. Add in eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the flour and salt.
  3. Pour batter into 12 muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. Mine took 22 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center will have moist crumbs. Be careful not to overbake the cupcakes.
  4. While the cupcakes are cooling in the pan, make the pumpkin frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin, and spices on medium speed until creamy. Add the 2-2.5 cups of sifted powdered sugar depending how sweet you’d like it. If frosting is much too thin, add in the flour to thicken it. Add salt to cut the sweetness, if you prefer. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.


  1. Frosting: The frosting will not be super thick, but will still spread or pipe well and maintain its shape on the cupcake. I used a Wilton #12 tip for piping.
  2. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: fudge cupcakes with pumpkin frosting, fudge brownie cupcakes

The bake sale was so much fun! I knew today’s cupcakes would be popular. You can’t go wrong with chocolate & pumpkin! I also made some Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies for it.

Many thanks to Maggie for the invite and to my best friend, Erin. Erin was my photographer for the day and navigated our way down to DC. I’m not very good at driving in that city!


Comments are closed.

  1. Hi Sally! How did you fill the baking cups with this batter? 2/3 full or fill it entirely? I’m wondering if it will rise if I pour the batter 2/3 full since it has no baking soda or powder? I’m going to bake this for my husband’s birthday. I can’t wait!

    1. Hey Carla! I usually fill the cups 3/4 of the way full. Hope you and your husband enjoy!

  2. Hi! If made on a saturday and needed on a wednesday for office potluck…could you freeze? if so can you freeze completely done?

    Thoughts? THANK YOU!

    1. You could freeze the cupcakes and allow to thaw the night before in the refrigerator. You could make the frosting 1 day in advance, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

  3. These cupcakes are exactly what I’ve been looking for! I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect chocolate cupcake, and I will take a fudgy brownie over chocolate cake any day! So excited to make these! Will the recipe double well, or should I do two batches?

    1. This recipe doubles wonderfully! However, to be safe – I usually just make two batches. It’s easy to do that anyway!

  4. The fudge brownie recipe is to die for. I used the peanut butter cream cheese frosting from one of the other recipes and made them for a friend’s birthday. He love love loved them!

  5. So along with some white chocolate pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies, I made a batch of these to take up to my mother-in-law’s house (while you were away on your honeymoon). Sense a theme here (pumpkin?). My mother-in-law loves everything chocolate….so I felt I needed something else besides the snickerdoodles to make her happy. And pumpkin? Well. it’s seasonal.
    These were great, very moist cupcakes. I did take your advice and thickened up the frosting with a little flour. My mother in law loved them so much, she had to have two for dessert! Everyone loved them. My husband’s only complaint was he felt it was a little too much frosting. But I’m a frosting person and I felt it was just fine as is. Thanks again for another crowd-pleasing recipe!

  6. I spent the past two weekends wasting my life away on another blog’s cupcakes that didn’t turn out either time! I returned here because I’ve made so many of your recipes and they always come out incredibly.

    This one was no different! These are so gorgeous and decadent, they baked absolutely perfectly and I didn’t need any extra thickening for the frosting, either. I split one with my boyfriend and am taking the rest to work tomorrow. Thank you for all the lovely recipes you provide: I know I can trust you to make something that bakes right and tastes amazing!

  7. Great recipe! Thank you, Sally!

  8. LOVED these! I do agree with another commenter that the frosting is extraordinarily sweet. Even the cupcakes are a touch on the sweet side. I ended up doubling all of the frosting ingredients and reducing the sugar by one cup and it was perfect. These are a super yummy and perfectly decadent fall treats.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally