Batch of cupcakes topped with the cheese cream icing and sugared pumpkin

Best Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes are beautiful when filled with a homemade pumpkin filling and topped with a cream cheese icing. Place a piece of sugared pumpkin on top to create a tasty fall dessert. These cupcakes are pumpkin-lovers’ dream!



For the sugared pumpkin:

  • 14.1 oz (400 g) pumpkin
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (480 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (50 ml) water
  • 1 4/ cup (55 g) granulated sugar for decoration

For the pumpkin cupcake filling:

  • 17.6 oz (500 g) pumpkin
  • 1 1/4 cup + 4 teaspoons (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons (100 ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

For the batter:

  • 1 cup + 4 1 /2 tablespoons (160 g) flour
  • 1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons (50 g) cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder *
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (140 g) granulated sugar
  • 4.2 oz (120 g) butter
  • 2/3 cup + 1/2 tablespoons (170 g) eggs (see note #5)
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) milk
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 3.5 oz (100 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (85 ml) pumpkin syrup
  • 7.7 oz (220 g) cream cheese


  1. To make the sugared pumpkin, cut pumpkin into 1 inch x 1 inch / 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm cubes. Place pumpkin cubes, sugar, and water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 35 minutes. Drain pumpkin cubes with a colander * for 30 minutes. Keep the pumpkin syrup for later.
  2. Preheat oven to 175 F/80 C. Arrange pumpkin cubes on the parchment paper * and dry in the oven for 2 to 3 hours. Let cool and roll pumpkin cubes, a few at a time, in granulated sugar. 
  3. To make the pumpkin cupcake filling, cut pumpkin into small cubes and cook with sugar and water over medium heat for 20 minutes, until pumpkin is soft. Drain pumpkin with a colander * and make the puree, using a food processor *. Set aside. 
  4. Preheat oven to 355 F/180 C. To make the batter, sift flour, cacao powder, salt, and baking powder * and put aside. Beat softened butter with sugar, using an electric mixer * until the mixture becomes smooth and whitish. Add eggs, one egg at a time, and mix. Add sifted dry ingredients and milk, alternating, and mix just to combine. Pour/spoon the batter into cupcake liners *, filling up to 2/3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before decorating.
  5. To make the cream cheese icing, place softened butter, sugar, and 85 ml of pumpkin syrup (remained after making the sugared pumpkin) in a bowl and beat with the electric mixer * till the mixture becomes creamy. Add cream cheese at room temperature and beat till the cream becomes smooth and homogeneous.
  6. To decorate cupcakes, remove the center of cupcakes with a cupcake corer * and fill each cupcake with the pumpkin filling. Place the icing in a pastry bag * with the open star pastry tip * (Wilton 1M) and pipe on top of cupcakes. Decorate each cupcake with a piece of the sugared pumpkin. 


  1. To make the sugared pumpkin, use a butternut squash. Use baking pumpkins labeled as “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins” to make the pumpkin filling; although, butternut squash works here as well.
  2. Make the sugared pumpkin in advance and keep in an airtight container. Instead of using the oven, let dry pumpkin cubes on the parchment paper * for one to two days at room temperature. Then roll cubes in sugar.
  3. Prepare the pumpkin cupcake filling ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week. 
  4. Use canned pumpkin puree as a filling to decrease the sugar load.
  5. 170 g eggs approximately equal 3 whole extra large chicken eggs (eggshell removed).
  6. Make cupcakes one day in advance, cover, and store at room temperature. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to two to three months. To thaw, keep them in the fridge overnight.

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