Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes

When a good thing is a good thing.. it’s a good thing! And that’s how I feel about pumpkin and chocolate. It’s meant to be.

So we decided to double the deliciousness. 2 times the pumpkin and 2 times the chocolate. Now a good thing is like a doubly good thing. Pretty sure I just decided that doubly should be a real word.

You’ll need to make up 2 batches of cake – pumpkin and chocolate. I alternated the batters, starting with pumpkin in some muffin liners and starting with chocolate in others, then I added the other batter to each. To swirl the batters I’d recommend using a butter knife or thin metal spatula. The swirling doesn’t need to look perfect because it will be covered in buttercream.

The way the pumpkin chocolate buttercream turned out is gorgeous! On some of the cupcakes the chocolate buttercream is visible on the edges of the pumpkin buttercream. It reminds me of those roses that have different colored edges than the rest of the flower.

Now for how to swirl the buttercream.. it can seem scary at first because you want to end up with perfectly swirled frosting, but it’s not as difficult as it seems!

Tips for swirling buttercream

1. Take a deep breath and don’t panic :)
2. Start by placing the chocolate buttercream inside the bag, trying your best to keep it on one side on the bag. Then add the pumpkin buttercream, putting it on the other side of the piping bag.
3. Squeeze or shake the frosting down towards the piping tip. Twist the top of the bag closed. I use clear piping bags so I am able to see if the frosting is equally divided. If there looks like there is too much chocolate frosting towards the tip, squeeze it out until you see both frostings come out together.
4. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. When your frosting runs out, refilling the bag can be more tricky in terms of getting the frosting even and on the right sides, try your best or just use a new piping bag. I like to buy the disposable ones that come in a pack of 100.

We also shared a recipe specifically on how to make pumpkin buttercream!

Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), room temperature
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2.5 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp melted chocolate, cooled

Pumpkin Buttercream

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup veg shortening
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 5-7 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2-2.5 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Pumpkin Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. Line a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners.
  3. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar and butter, beat together using an electric mixer until creamy, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture after each one.
  6. Add in the pumpkin puree and walnuts, mixing by hand with a spatula.
  7. Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients, as if you were sifting in the flour. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything.

Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently mix using a spoon.
  2. In a larger mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla, lightly beat.
  3. Add in the sour cream and melted chocolate, mix by hand using a spatula.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients, as if you were sifting in the flour. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything.
  5. Begin to add the batter into the pan, alternating between chocolate and peanut butter. Fill the cupcake liners almost completely full with batter.
  6. Place the pan in the middle of the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool for about 3 minutes in the pan, then move them to a cooling rack.
  8. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before adding the frosting.

Pumpkin Buttercream

  1. Place room temperature butter and vegetable shortening in a mixing bowl. Beat them together using an electric mixer until smooth, 1 minute.
  2. Add in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Mix using a spatula.
  3. Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing with a spatula at first so the powered sugar doesn’t puff up everywhere. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, beat the buttercream using an electric mixer, 1-2 minutes or until smooth.

Chocolate Buttercream

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and vegetable shortening, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the cocoa powder, and gently mix by hand with a spatula. Begin to add the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, mixing by hand. Continue adding powdered sugar until the frosting no longer looks wet and tastes good to you. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, beat the buttercream using an electric mixer, 1-2 minutes or until smooth.

To frost the cupcakes

  1. In a piping bag fit with a wilton 1M piping tip, do your best to add chocolate buttercream to one side of the bag and peanut butter buttercream to the other. Push the buttercream down into the bag. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, starting on the outside edge and working your way into the center, progressively stacking the frosting as you get to the center.
You will probably have extra buttercream, but I always like to have more than enough!