Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes w/ Pumpkin Swiss Meringue Buttercream


Today, we are celebrating my husband, Ben’s birthday!  What better reason than to make cupcakes!


I won’t turn this post into a long, mushy, confess my deepest feelings for my husband sort of post. I do however, want to take a minute to tell you, that not only is Ben my best friend, my teammate, the absolute love of my life, etc., my list is endless, but he has been the biggest supporter in the creation of this blog. Ben is the most patient person I know. I just want to express, how grateful I am to him, and for all of his help and support with getting this blog up and running. He has encouraged me to get my voice out there, which has turned my inspiration switch on to a whole new level. So Ben, if you are reading this, thank you for everything my love!

For this recipe, I did not do a lineup of ingredients, as you may have seen I’ve done in previous posts. The cake itself calls for so many ingredients, that I figure you would get the list in the recipe list of ingredients down below anyway. I eventually want to keep the posts consistent in appearance, so you can come here and know what to expect, but for now, while I am finding my groove, you might see different styles of blog posts.

chocolate7In a large bowl, beat the sour cream, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract until well combined.

chocolate3Add the pumpkin and sugars to the same bowl and stir until combined.

chocolate5Stir in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until combined. The batter will be VERY thick. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full of batter, bake 20-22 minutes.

chocolate2Real life. I swear I must use every spatula, spoon, measuring cup I own every time! I secretly love these kind of messes 😉

chocolate9Let cool in muffin tin about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. While cupcakes are cooling, is a good time to prepare your buttercream!

chocolate4When buttercream is ready (see directions below), pipe onto your cupcakes however you like! I used a medium-large round piping tip, but you can use any tip, as Swiss meringue buttercream is a very piping-friendly frosting as I like to call it. Meaning it holds it’s shape very well. You can also snip the corner of a ziplock bag to achieve a similar look as the round tip.

chocolate8The buttercream…. ooooh the buttercream! Might be one of my new favorite flavors!

chocolate13Time to celebrate! Let’s light those candles and party! Happy birthday my amazing husband! I love you!

Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes w/ Pumpkin Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Makes 16-18 cupcakes



1/2 cup light sour cream

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup pumpkin puree (such as Libby’s canned pumpkin)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder (not dutch processed) – I used Ghirardelli Natural Unsweetened Cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


5 egg whites

1 & 1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 & 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), almost room temp but still slightly cool

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice bakery emulsion

pinch of salt

*It is important to have a candy thermometer on hand when making this buttercream to ensure your egg whites reach an edible/safe temperature.



  • Preheat oven to 350° and put 16-18 cupcake liners in muffin tins.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer on low until combined.
  • In same bowl, stir in pumpkin, granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined.
  • Stir in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until well combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full of batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack until completely cool.


  • Cut your butter into cubes, set aside.
  • Make a double boiler with either a heat safe bowl or a stand mixer bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add egg whites and granulated sugar, whisking constantly but gently, until sugar has completely dissolved and your candy thermometer reaches between 150° and 160°.
  • With the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the meringue on high speed for about ten minutes until the meringue is thick and glossy. The bottom of the bowl should feel neutral, not warm. If your meringue is ready, but the bowl feels a bit warm still, place your bowl of meringue in the freezer for about 2 minutes.
  • With the paddle attachment, and mixer on low speed, add the butter cubes one at a time until incorporated. Once all the butter cubes are added, mix on medium speed until you have achieved a silky, smooth texture. If you see curdles, don’t panic, just keep mixing until it looks smooth.
  • On low speed, add vanilla extract, pumpkin spice emulsion, salt, then the pumpkin puree and continue beating on low speed until well combined.
  • Fill your piping bag with your choice of piping tip and pipe those cupcakes!


Cake recipe adapted from Picky Palate


4 thoughts on “Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes w/ Pumpkin Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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