Brownie Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting - an easy recipe by

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.

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting - an easy recipe by

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

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting - an easy recipe by

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?

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting - an easy recipe by

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!

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting - an easy recipe by

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.

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting - an easy recipe by

Wilton #12 piping tip always does the trick. 😉


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!


  1. First, LOVE your apron. Too cute! I need a new cute apron!!
    Second, these cupcakes sound amazing. I’m totally on the pumpkin train right now….and this brownie cupcake has put me over the edge. LOVE IT.

    1. Pumpkin was hard for me to find over the weekend because most stores were sold out! I found it yesterday though. I love baking with it!

  2. Chocolate and pumpkin is a seriously yummy combo! I love the spice speckles that you can see in your frosting!!! How fun that you were able to do your first bake sale…very cute apron btw!!!

  3. Sally you look amazing in your apron and nice gun show – girl you’ve been working those arms! Lookin’ good 🙂

    And so do these cupcakes! Wow – soooo fudgy and the frosting. Now I could happily eat that forever! I love cream cheese based frostings and with pumpkin, mmmm, sooooo good! My first pumpkin recipe is tomorrow!

  4. You were in D.C.?! Next time you make a trip down let me know. I would have loved to stop by! That sounds so fun that it was at an art showing too. And no doubt that those cupcakes were a success. Drooooooooling!

  5. Eeeek! You’re so beautiful, Sally! I’m glad you had a great time. I can tell these cupcakes sold out first–look at them! The piping job is simple but it makes you see ALL the glorious spices in that fluffy pumpkin frosting; I LOVE that! And I love pairing a fudgy brownie base with a fluffy, spicy pumpkin. Just freaking incredible!

    1. Hayley you are always so supportive and sweet!! Thank you so much – yeah those cupcakes were a huge success. So glad! I wanted to keep the frosting presentation simple because I didn’t want to take away from it! I think it kinda looks like a fluffy cloud on top!

  6. I love these so much. That frosting…YUMMY. It looks to die for! Yay for bake sales, I really need to get on it and do one. 🙂

  7. I want to put that pumpkin cream cheese frosting on absolutely everything. I’ve seen a ton of pumpkin cakes/bars/etc. with plain cream cheese frosting…but pumpkin cream cheese frosting? Way to take it up a notch!

    1. MY thoughts exactly! I wanted to put this frosting on everything! It certainly won’t be the last time I make it. Thanks Meghan! 🙂

  8. Okay, these just look absolutely amazing. The dark, fudgy brownie with the soft, pumpkin-y cream cheese frosting…I have no words. Those are seriously gorgeous. And the spice speckles? Perfection! Eeek, could you do a bake sale in my kitchen, please??

  9. I love bake sales! These look delicious…oh and the version you have with the cookie dough frosting — um, yeah, i’m gonna get right on that 🙂

  10. It sounds like your bake sale went really well! That’s so fun!

    Fudge brownie cupcakes – now that’s a cupcake I could easily get on board with 🙂 They sounds delicious!

  11. Oh my goodness, they look wonderful! I definitely would’ve bought a bunch from you at the bake sale. =) love the combo of chocolate + pumpkin!

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