Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache and Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

October 23, 2011

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So, do I have you drooling yet? Simply put, these are by far the best fall cupcake! I keep seeing all these pumpkin cupcake recipes popping up everywhere but they all seem to be just about the same, slightly lacking something. Don’t get me wrong I do love the traditional pumpkin cream cheese cupcake but I think it’s time to fancy things up a bit. Hence, I developed this ultimate fall cupcake: the light fluffy moist pumpkin cupcake, smothered in thick chocolate ganache, piped with creamy spiced cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with crunchy pecans.

There you have it! Falls best cupcake! Please do not attempt to throw in a different cupcake recipe in place of this one! It is so light and delicate, so if you were to use one of those heavy dense pumpkin cupcakes in it’s place things just wouldn’t be the same. If you are looking to impress friends, colleagues, a loved one, your grandma =), and even yourself please make these cupcakes! You will not be disappointed! I fell in love with just one bite! They will leave you speechless!

5 from 2 votes

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache and Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft and fluffy pumpkin cupcakes finished with rich chocolate and sweet tangy cream cheese frosting.
Servings: 24
Prep40 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 recipe Thick Chocolate Ganache , recipe follows
  • 1 recipe Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting , recipe follows
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Thick Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese , softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg


  • Preheat oven to 350degrees. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt, set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, combine vegetable oil, applesauce, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and stir until combine. Stir in pumpkin puree and buttermilk and stir until well combine. Slowly add dry ingredients. Stir until no longer lumpy about 1 - 2 minutes. Pour about 1/4 cup mixture into buttered muffin cups or paper lined muffin cups and bake 20 - 23 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool 5 minutes in muffin tin. Remove to a wire rack and let cool 30 minutes.

Thick Chocolate Ganache

  • Place chocolate chips in a medium mixing bowl, set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring whipping cream just to a boil. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Spoon 1 tsp ganache over each cooled cupcake and spread near edges, allow to cool. Meanwhile make spiced cream cheese frosting.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, whip together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla, salt, powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and whip until smooth and fluffy. Pipe cream cheese frosting over cooled chocolate ganache covered cupcakes and sprinkle cupcakes with chopped pecans.