Pumpkin Brownie Bottom Chocolate Cupcake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

A marriage of pumpkin brownie and chocolate cake plus salted caramel…

Pumpkin Brownie Bottom Chocolate Cupcake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

…equals a happily ever after.

One of the many reasons why I love fall is because its the start of pumpkin spice season. Now is the time of the year that I get to satisfy every last bit of my pumpkin cravings after the season is over.

The best part about this cupcake is that the mixture of the chocolate, pumpkin and salted caramel come together perfectly…

Pumpkin Brownie Bottom Chocolate Cupcake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Top View


For Pumpkin Brownie Bottom:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 13 tablespoons, unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For Chocolate Cupcake:

  • 1 cup boiling hot water with 1 teaspoon King Arthur Flour Espresso powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Valrhona 100% cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 granulated white sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature

For Fluffy Salted Caramel Buttercream:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (warmer than room temperature)
  • 290 grams confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce (see recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


For Pumpkin Brownie:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set on side.
  • With paddle attachment to standing mixer, combine melted butter, sugar and vanilla extract and stir on low (KitchenAid mixer speed 2) until fully combined.
  • Add in eggs one at a time into mixing bowl.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture and continue to mix until fully incorporated.
  • Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to mixture.
  • Once mixed together, set on side and make the cake batter.

For Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place liners in muffin tin pan or grease up with butter.
  • In medium bowl, whisk together the boiling espresso and cocoa powder until dissolved and smooth mixture.
    • Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract.
    • Set cocoa mixture on side.
  • In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and set flour mixture on the side.
  • In the bowl with mixer with paddle attachment, mix the butter, white and dark brown sugar together at medium speed until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture.
    • Lightly beat each egg in small bowl and add to mixture one at a time (make sure each egg is fully incorporated into mixture before adding the next).
    • Mix in flour and cocoa mixture – alternating in three separate batches. Start mixing in the flour mixture first, then cocoa mixture, then flour mixture and so on (make sure to end on flour mixture).
  • Once completely incorporated, start filling the muffin tins with the pumpkin brownie batter.
    • Fill the tin about 1/3 of the way and then top off with chocolate cake batter until 3/4 of the way full
  • Bake in oven for about 18-20 minutes.
    • Test with toothpick to make sure the cupcake is done.

For Fluffy Salted Caramel Buttercream:

  • With paddle attachment on standing mixer, combine unsalted butter and confectioner’s sugar on low speed (KitchenAid mixer speed 2) for approximately two minutes.
  • Add pure vanilla extract and continue to mix for another two minutes.
  • Add heavy whipping cream and pinch of salt and increase mixer speed to medium-high (KitchenAid mixer speed 6) for another two minutes.
  • Add salted caramel sauce and continue to mix on medium-high speed for 30 seconds.
  • Stop the mixer and scrap down the sides of the bowl and mix on high (KitchenAid speed 8) for a few seconds.
  • Ready to be used immediately or can be stored in air tight container at room temperature for up to three days (The buttercream can be stored in refrigerator, but will take time to reach room temperature before it can be used).

Pumpkin Brownie Bottom Chocolate Cupcake


  • Use a serrated knife to cut off the top of each muffin.
  • Drizzle caramel bottom
  • Use a piping bag with desired decorating tip and fill bag with salted caramel buttercream.
    • Pipe one layer of buttercream on the bottom layer of the muffin.
  • Place the top of the muffin on top of the buttercream.
  • Finishing touches with a small amount of buttercream on top.



5 thoughts on “Pumpkin Brownie Bottom Chocolate Cupcake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

    1. Thank you so much Cher!! The combination of the pumpkin and chocolate came together perfectly and topped with salted caramel was just out of this world! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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