Perfectly sweet cupcakes with a ribbon of creamy filling and a topping of decadent frosting. You’ve got to try Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting!
A friend asked me recently to make cupcakes for a wedding shower she was hosting. Because I’m always up for spending time in the kitchen creating decadent treats, I immediately said yes. And then I spent the next couple weeks narrowing down my flavor choices.
I knew right away I wanted to do some sort of spin on my to-die-for Triple Chocolate Cupcakes, and I knew I had to a berry version with cream cheese frosting. It was only at the last minute that I decided to whip up these Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting, too.
The pumpkin in these cupcakes is subtle, but not underwhelming; they’re perfect for those who haven’t yet seen the light when it comes to the magic of pumpkin desserts. Plus, nothing helps win over pumpkin skeptics quite like a ribbon of rich cheesecake filling. Top the whole thing with made-from-scratch salted caramel frosting, and who can resist?
Whether you’ve got a fall party coming up, or a tailgate to attend, or you just want to surprise your coworkers or family, these Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting are the perfect treat.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
For the Cupcakes
1 box yellow cake mix
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Cheesecake Filling
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
(substitute 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice for all spices listed above)
For the Frosting
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, pumpkin, sour cream, milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix until ingredients are well-combined and few lumps remain. To make the cheesecake filling, combine all filling ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer for two to three minutes, until fluffy.
Scoop one tablespoon of cupcake batter into cupcake pans prepared with muffin liners. Add two to three teaspoons of cheesecake to each liner, and then add more cupcake batter until liners are about three quarters full. Bake cupcakes for 17-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in pans for five minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Prepare the frosting while the cupcakes cool. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, heavy cream, vanilla, brown sugar, and salt. Place over medium-heat and cook, stirring frequently, until butter and sugar are melted and the mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool. When caramel is room temperature, set three tablespoons and add the rest to a large bowl with the powdered sugar. Mix on low until sugar and caramel are combined, and then increase speed to medium and mix for five minutes, until frosting is fluffy.
Frost the cooled cupcakes and drizzle with remaining caramel (warm caramel in the microwave to make it thin enough to drizzle). Garnish with candy pumpkins, if desired.
This recipe yields approximately 24 cupcakes.
If you forget to reserve some of the caramel sauce, use a store-bought jar instead.
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