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!


Comments are closed.

  1. Sarah Carletti says:

    That is so awesome that you did a bake sale! What fun!

    1. Thanks Sarah! It was a lot of fun!

  2. Aimee @ ShugarySweets says:

    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. Thanks Aimee!! The apron was a birthday present from my friend. 🙂

  3. that looks YUMMY ! to bad pumkin is not a very common ingredient here…hard to find.

    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!

  4. Jen @ Savory Simple says:

    congratulations on your bake sale! This frosting looks over-the-top delicious.

    1. Thanks Jen! Yes, the frosting on these steals the spotlight!

  5. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life says:

    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!!!

    1. Thank you Jocelyn! The aprong was a present from my friend. The bake sale was such a fun experience! I hope to do more. 🙂

  6. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    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!

    1. Thank you Averie! Mmm can’t wait for your pumpkin recipe and all the pretty photos. Arms… that’s why I swear by YOGAAAA!

  7. 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!

    1. Ahh! I’m sorry Elaine. Next time, for sure let you know! It was a lot of fun. You’d love these cupcakes girl!

  8. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel says:

    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!

  9. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says:

    You are slowly convincing me that I want fall recipes even though it’s still 90 out

    1. Turn over to the pumpkin side Erin! hehe

  10. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says:

    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. 🙂

    1. They are a lot of fun Dorothy! And it’s an excuse to bake a TON of treats. 🙂

  11. These look amazing and that flavor combination is very intriguing!

    1. Thanks Loretta! Chocolate compliments pumpkin very well. I loved the flavors together in these.

  12. Meghan @ After the Ivy League says:

    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! 🙂

  13. I love pumpkin cream cheese frosting! These are beautiful!

    1. Hi Jessica! Thank you so much. I thought they were pretty too 😉

  14. Congrats on the bake sale, Sally! So glad it went well. And I love this frosting. The texture looks absolutely to-die-for!

  15. It was a lot of work, yes Laura! But all in good fun. I had a blast! I baked for 3 days straight!

  16. Anna @ hiddenponies says:

    These look amazing, I can see why they sold out first!!

  17. Julie @ Table for Two says:

    omg, these look so moist and cheesecakey delicious!! i would’ve bought your entire stash!!

  18. Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl says:

    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??

  19. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    These sound so awesome!! Love this idea!

  20. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes says:

    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 🙂

    1. Ashely – that cookie dough frosting is umm…. LETHAL! So freakin’ good lol!

  21. what katie's baking says:

    omg! the bake sale looks like so much fun. so many goodies!
    and these cupcakes… no words.

    1. Aww thank you Katie! The bake sale was so fun! Yep, these cupcakes left me speechless too haha! 🙂

  22. Nicole @ The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie says:

    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!

    1. Thanks Nicole! You’re so sweet. Fudgy brownie cupcakes are almost better than regular brownies 😉

  23. Ari @ Ari's Menu says:

    Can you please have a bake sale in Phoenix?? I want like 5 million dozen of these.

    1. Haha Ari you are so funny!! You deserve a million of these cupcakes from all that running you’ve been doing!

  24. Kristy (Sweet Treats & More) says:

    You are kinda killing me with these!! They look soooo good. I’m about to get my pumpkin on:)

    1. Can’t wait to see any of your pumpkin recipes Kristy!!

  25. amy @ fearless homemaker says:

    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!

  26. Yes! I love how pumpkin can literally be combined with ANYTHING! obsessed. 🙂

  27. Thanks Colleen! I thought the frosting was pretty too 🙂

  28. Javelin Warrior says:

    I do love pumpkin and these cupcakes sound incredible – fudge, pumpkin and cream cheese all in one bite! I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution as always). Thanks for always inspiring me with your creations…

    1. thank you so much Javelin!

  29. Fork and Whisk says:

    Great idea with the popsicles sticks with the truffles. These cupcakes look great as well.

    1. Thank you!

  30. hello! i want to make these for a bake sale tomorrow, but i sont have that tip 🙁
    would it pipe well the the big wilton star tip? it is all i have

    1. I love the star tip! I would definitely try that out. But just know that the frosting isn’t super thick like bakery frosting. You could always just swirl the frosting on with a knife for a more rustic look as well.

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