with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Fact: I’m a pumpkin fanatic. It’s true. I’m the crazy lady who stockpiles giant cans of pumpkin year-round. In my book, pumpkin knows no season. But now that it’s fall, a more socially-acceptable season to embrace that sensational squash, I feel no shame in baking anything and everything with pumpkin. I’ve tried a few pumpkin “cupcake” recipes but, IMHO, a cupcake is not a cupcake without butter. Needless to say, I was very excited when I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes in Martha Stewart’s cupcake book. Martha did not disappoint. These cupcakes are fluffy and perfect and full of rich, pumpkin-y goodness. Don’t blame me if these turn you into a crazy pumpkin-hoarder like me.

Note: I’m no spice pansy. I like my pumpkin baked goods full of spice. I thought the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves needed a boost in this recipe so I indulged my “pumpkin id” and found myself in pumpkin spice heaven. If for some crazy reason you like your spice more subtle, you can halve each of the amounts. I won’t judge you. As a second warning, I prefer my frostings to be just a tad sweet. I find most frosting recipes call for entirely way too much sugar. So if you’re a frosting fiend, you may want to add a lot more confectioners’ sugar (the recipe originally called for 3 cups).

Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart + frosting adapted from Baked Perfection blog

(Makes 15 cupcakes)

Cupcake Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for tins
  • ¼ cup fresh sage leaves, cut into chiffonade (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. If you’re using sage, add it and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown. Skim foam from top, and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to stop the cooking, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, both sugars, eggs, and brown-butter mixture. Add the flour mixture, and whisk until just combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  5. Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low.
  6. Add sugar, bit by bit, and then cinnamon and vanilla; mix until smooth.
  7. Spread frosting over cupcakes and enjoy!

To make these little monsters, I cut up jumbo marshmallows and regular marshmallows and sprinkled a little black sugar on the jumbo marshmallows to make monster “eyes.”