Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream

I’m generally not the biggest cupcake eater, but once this idea popped into my head I simply couldn’t get it out! At my school, we were having a bake sale for Unified Sports, and being a member of the club, I wanted to bake something. It was slightly Halloween themed, hence the black and orange, but I would have made these anyway. For me, cupcakes tend to be over-the-top sweet with the frosting, and the cupcakes a little bit dry (maybe that’s why I like muffins so much!), but these cupcakes are a clear exception.

They were wonderfully chocolatey and moist, and the pumpkin buttercream wasn’t too too sweet, rather it was the perfect balance between the powdered sugar and the warmth of the pumpkin. These would be a great twist to have on your Thanksgiving table (maybe a chocolate cake with pumpkin buttercream? Yum!) and a nice change from the classic pumpkin pie. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream

Adapted From Martha Stewart and Petit Chef– Makes 18 Cupcakes

Ingredients- For the Cupcake

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 18 muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder until combined.
  3. Add in the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  4. Divide the batter evenly and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Buttercream

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg (maybe 1/8 teaspoon?)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar (more or less)


  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter, pumpkin and the spices. Slowly add the sugar until the pumpkin is no longer separated by the pumpkin.

How could you pass up something that is so easy to make and is so gosh darn delicious? I know I couldn’t 😉

-Rayna 🙂


Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream

When you have an aunt that LOVES coconut and happens to live in the same town, you can be sure that there’s no shortage of coconut desserts around my place. If I had made these correctly (A.K.A. read the directions…) then the cupcakes would have turned out better. However, the coconut buttercream was top notch, due to the help from my soon-to-be-chef mom. 🙂

My best friend Deanna certainly knows that my family is not one that lacks for…unusual ingredients, let’s say. We’ll have date paste and dried chrysanthemum flowers, but a stick of butter is no where to be found. This leads to me choosing the wrong type of coconut (*rolls eyes*) and instead of the sweetened coconut, I chose the dried unsweetened coconut, which resulted in the cupcakes not quite having the texture I was looking for. Meh.

These tasty delights were modified from Martha Stewart’s website:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, and 2 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions: (Makes 21)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour and baking powder.
  2. With and electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until smooth.
  3. Once smooth, add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and coconut milk.
  4. Reduce the speed of the mixer, and slowly add in the dry ingredients.
  5. Once fully mixed, add in the sweetened shredded coconut.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Completely cool before applying frosting, about 30 minutes.

Coconut Buttercream

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) ROOM TEMPERATURE unsalted butter
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Up to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions: (Makes 2 1/2 cups)

  1. Beat butter with electric mixer until nice ‘n’ creamy. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar with the mixer on low until the sugar mixes in with the butter.
  2. Add vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons heavy cream slowly. If your frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon of heavy cream and mix, and if needed, another one. If too thin, add powdered sugar by 1/4 of a cup.
  3. Mix in the sweetened shredded coconut.

TA DA. There’s a coconuty-creamy-fatty-delicious cupcake to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. My soon-to-be chef mother suggests toasting some coconut and sticking it on top of these delicious delights in order to furthermore enhance the coconutyness of it all. Enjoy!