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5 from 5 votes

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

Chocolate pumpkin cupcakes are moist, super chocolatey and full of pumpkin spice flavor. They're topped with pumpkin spice cream cheese frosting for the ultimate fall treat!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: chocolate, chocolate cupcakes, cream cheese frosting, pumpkin, pumpkin cupcakes
Servings: 12 cupcakes


For the Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree Libby's
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon black cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cold
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree dried to ¼ cup (see recipe for explanation) Libby's
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted


For the Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a standard cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.
  • Start by creaming together the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes.
  • Then add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until pale in color and smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Next mix in the milk, sour cream and pumpkin puree.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the sifted purpose flour, sifted black cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth.
  • Evenly divide the batter among the cupcake liners. They should be about ¾ way full.
  • Bake the cupcakes for 17-19 minutes, or until a toothpick/cake tester comes out clean from the centers.
  • Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

For the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Measure out an even ½ cup of pumpkin puree (not a heaping cup, take a knife and scrape off the excess) and spread it onto a plate. Using paper towels, dab the pumpkin to remove excess liquid. You'll know the pumpkin is dry enough when it measures out to ¼ cup and hardly any more liquid transfers to the paper towels. It usually takes about 5 paper towels to get it this dry. (This step is not optional. If the pumpkin is not dried your frosting will split.) Set aside.
  • Add the softened, unsalted butter to a medium sized bowl. Beat the butter on high with an electric mixer until it is pale in color and fluffy, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add in the cold cream and mix until combined.
  • Add in the dried pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and combine.
  • Then add in the powdered sugar a cup at a time and mix until everything is combined and the frosting is light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

Assembling the Cupcakes

  • Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip. (My favorite to use is my Wilton 1M.)
  • When the cupcakes are completely cooled pipe a generous amount of frosting onto each.
  • Then serve! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.