I promised you Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes this week and here they are. From next week I’ll be embracing the warmer weather we’re having here but right now, I need to get these pumpkin desserts out of my system.

A half eaten Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake on a gray towel.

I’m always amazed when I bake with pumpkin that the pumpkin flavour always remains subtle but there. Do you know what I mean? You know there is pumpkin in it but, for such a unique flavour, it never seems to overpower. I also can’t seem to stray from chocolate for too long so it seemed totally reasonable to combine pumpkin and chocolate. It totally is. These Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes are so delicious.

How to make pumpkin cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes are basically just a vanilla cupcake with pumpkin puree added. These come together like most other delicious cupcakes except we’re just adding some pumpkin puree. To make these work, I had to experiment with different liquid levels in these but the final result is a lovely pumpkiny cupcake.

The chocolate comes in, in the form of cocoa added to half of the pumpkin cupcake batter. The two batters are then marbled together to create these gorgeous pumpkin and chocolate filled cupcakes. Yes, by the way, I do find it hilarious that the side I decided to cut into was the chocolateyist part of the whole cupcake but I promise they are marbled and you can see slight touch of that on the right here (and probably on the whole other side).

These are a little different to my favourite chocolate cupcake and vanilla cupcake recipes  in that the butter and sugar are creamed together as is quite traditional with cupcakes (my favourites actually use melted butter and no creaming necessary but I always love to change things up so that I don’t get stuck in one groove, you know. It’s good to try all kinds of methods and recipes. You’ll always have your faves but at least you know how good all the rest are too.

7 Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes scattered on a gray background on top a gray towel with yellow stitching.

I just about always use dutched processed cocoa. That’s not to say it works in every situation as it reacts differently with different ingredients, but I always tend to create my recipes around dutched processed cocoa as I just love the intense colour. It’s best not to substitute plain cocoa in this recipe.

The Pumpkin Spice Frosting

This stuff should be illegal, it’s so good. Creamy and light but sweet and the perfect texture to top the cupcakes. This is your everyday simple frosting recipe but transformed with the addition of pumpkin puree and some all spice (or pumpkin spice). Make sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. In some places it is available in cans but if you can’t get it here’s how you make pumpkin puree from scratch.

  • Boil pumpkin chunks until soft
  • Drain, then return them to the saucepan over low heat, shaking for 30 seconds to remove excess moisture.
  • Puree the soft pumpkin flesh in a blender

You could also roast your pumpkin and puree.

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A Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake on a gray surface, more in the background.

I implore you to get these Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with their glorious Pumpkin Spice Frosting onto your list of pumpkin desserts. Grab a nice latte to have on the side and a comfy chair and enjoy.

More delicious Autumn/Winter treats

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes are easy cupcakes, from scratch. Filled with chocolate, pumpkin and topped with a pumpkin spice frosting this is one of those pumpkin desserts you need in your repertoire.
4.1 from 23 ratings
Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes are easy cupcakes, from scratch. Filled with chocolate, pumpkin and topped with a pumpkin spice frosting this is one of those pumpkin desserts you need in your repertoire.


For the Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 130 g / 1 cup plain (all-purp) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 113 g / 1 stick / 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup / 100g / 3.5oz superfine sugar
  • 1/2 cup / 100g / 3.5oz dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup / 250ml / 8.5 fl oz pumpkin purée (notes)
  • 1/2 cup / 125ml / 4.2 fl oz buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons dutched processed cocoa (notes)

For the Pumpkin Spice Frosting

  • 226 g / 1 cup / 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 1/2 cups icing (confectioners / powdered) sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (or pumpkin spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided


For the Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line 12 holes of a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix together with a fork, then set aside.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until lightened and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl every now and then.
  • Add the vanilla and pumpkin and mix through to combine.
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mix and stir through until just combined. Follow with half the buttermilk and mix through. Repeat this process until all the flour and buttermilk. Make sure not to overmix at this point or the cupcakes may turn out dense.
  • Split the batter into 2 bowls. Add the cocoa to one of them and gently stir through to combine.
  • Now add the plain pumpkin batter back to the chocolate batter and just turn it over once or twice with the spoon to start to marble it.
  • Divide the batter up amongst the 12 cupcake liners.
  • Bake for around 20 minutes, turning the trays half way through so they bake evenly. A toothpick should come out with just a crumb or two clinging to it when they are done.
  • Pour half batter into a separate bowl, add cocoa and mix through

For the Pumpkin Spice Frosting

  • Beat the butter well for about 5 minutes until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time.
  • Add the pumpkin puree and mix through well.
  • With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar 1 spoonful at a time until it is all incorporated. Add the spices and the cream then beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.


  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. You can make pumpkin puree from scratch by simply roasting, steaming or boiling pumpkins until soft. If you boil them, make sure to return them to the heat for about a minute after draining to remove extra water. In some places, it is more common to purchase pumpkin puree in cans. This is perfectly fine but make sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
  3. For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).


Have you tried this recipe?Don't forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.

3 Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes, one has a bite taken out of it.