(Copycat) Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

I see delicious food everywhere. The really awesome thing is even though I “can't have it” the chances are pretty high that I can actually recreate it and make it into something I can have, plus it will actually be healthy and made from real food!

Please be aware that this post contains affiliate links to Amazon and Tropical Traditions. Tropical Traditions links indicated by an asterisk (*). If you are a new to Tropical Traditions and purchase after clicking through one of my links, I will receive a discount coupon and you will receive a copy of their book Virgin Coconut Oil: How It Has Changed Lives and How It Can Change Yours.

The latest inspiration comes from Duncan Hines. Right now they have a box mix called Limited Edition Decadent Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes (Amazon Affiliate Link). On the box you see a cupcake split down the middle with frosting in the center of the cupcake.

I knew I had to recreate these cupcakes. But of course my recipe is GAPS legal and surprise, surprise, my frosting isn't orange. And, mine don't look exactly like the cupcakes on the Duncan Hines box.  However, I can assure you these did turn out amazingly delicious!

I am so fortunate to have willing taste testers at my job. These cupcakes were devoured within minutes!  Several people commented that the frosting was amazing and they loved that it was so fluffy and lightly sweet. My boss insisted that I bring these cupcakes to work at our yearly staff potluck in December so I am planning on making two dozen.

By the way, these freeze perfectly and once thawed you would never know they were frozen. Be sure to let them completely come to room temperature or the frosting will be hard, instead of fluffy and soft.

This recipe makes 1 dozen cupcakes. I highly recommend using silicone baking cups, they are fabulous and magical!  In the past, cupcakes made with paper cupcake inserts were a huge disaster, with a good portion of the muffin or cupcakes glued to the paper, but these cupcakes slid right out of the silicone inserts. Awesome!  Less food waste! I am totally sold on these!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Be sure oven is preheated to the correct temperature.
  2. If you don't have the silicone baking cups, grease the cupcake tins well and dust with coconut flour.
  3. If you do have the silicone baking cups, very lightly grease them with butter or coconut.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, squash, coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and baking soda.
  5. With an electric mixer, mix at low speed until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  6. To measure the coconut flour, pack firmly into the cup measurement and use the back of a straight knife to level the flour even with the top edge of the measuring cup.
  7. To ensure there are no lumps, sift flour.
  8. Begin by adding half of the coconut flour into the ingredients. Blend until well mixed and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Add remaining coconut flour to achieve a thick batter.  It's better to add flour in small amounts until you find the correct texture than to compensate by adding more liquids and fats.
  9. Allow to sit for 2 minutes to allow the coconut flour to absorb liquids. The batter for this loaf will be somewhat thick, but still easy to mix with a spoon.
  10. Add apple cider vinegar and mix together quickly.
  11. Spoon batter immediately into cupcake tin.
  12. Place in a preheated oven. Bake 20-35 minutes.
  13. Cupcakes will feel firm to the touch when done.

For this batch, I simply used a knife to carve out a hole in the middle of the cupcake. It worked out great, but for future batches I've invested in this Cuisipro Cupcake Corer. It is on its way from Amazon so I'll let you know what I think of it as soon as I get a chance to try it!

Watch the video above if you are interested in a demonstration of the process of making buttercream frosting.

Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

Makes about 2-12 cups

 

  1. Remove butter from wrappers and place in a bowl nearby so it's ready for when you need it. Have a spoon handy as well.
  2. Measure out the spices and place in a bowl nearby. Beat eggs and yolks until they are forming soft peaks (this is best accomplished by using a stand mixer. While the eggs are beating, heat honey to 240°F in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Try to use a pan that has a lip on the edge as I find that easier to hold in place while pouring the honey slowly into the eggs.
  3. I also like to use a digital thermometer that has a probe. I set it to sound an alarm at 238°F so that I can attend to it and watch for it to reach 240°F so I can take the pan off the burner immediately.
  4. With mixer on medium high setting, dribble the honey down the edge (now you'll see why the pan with the lip comes in handy) of the mixer bowl. The reason you want to dribble the honey on the edge of the bowl is because it will cool just slightly which will keep the eggs from curdling. The eggs will be slightly cooked from the hot honey but not enough to pasteurize them so if you are worried about raw eggs, be sure to use eggs from a farmer you trust.
  5. Once all the honey is dribbled into the mixture, continue to beat until the egg and honey has cooled to room temperature.  I've made the mistake of adding the butter too soon, it will just melt in the hot eggs and honey and will never emulsify without some fast action from someone who really knows what they are doing.[My son cooked in a commercial kitchen when he was a teenager and the time I almost ruined the buttercream frosting he knew to quickly add pieces of cold butter].
  6. With the mixer on a medium setting, add butter one spoonful (about two tablespoons) at a time.
  7. The mixture will turn soupy, but just keep adding butter in one spoonful at a time and as you near the last spoonfuls the mixture will emulsify into buttercream frosting!
  8. Add vanilla and mix well. Add spices, mix well. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, take a sharp knife and cut a circle in the middle of the cupcake. Use the tip of the knife to dig out the center, leaving the bottom of the cupcake intact. Pipe frosting into the center of the cupcake, then decorate the top of the cupcake.
  9. Crumble the cupcake inserts and sprinkle over the top of the piped on frosting for decoration!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

5.0 from 1 reviews
Grain-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
 
Pumpkin Cupcakes which are filled in the middle with spiced buttercream frosting. These grain-free, gluten-free, honey sweetened cupcakes were inspired by Duncan Hines Limited Edition Decadent Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes.
Ingredients
  • 6 large whole eggs (293 grams)
  • ½ cup butternut squash, winter squash or pumpkin
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ cup coconut flour, packed (87 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • FROSTING
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • ½ pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Be sure oven is preheated to the correct temperature.
  2. I recommend using Silicone Baking Cups, they are magic when it comes to releasing cupcakes or muffins!
  3. I don't recommend using regular paper cupcake liners as the cupcakes will stick terribly. If you don't have the silicone baking cups, grease the cupcake tins well and dust with coconut flour. If you do have silicone cupcake liners, grease them very lightly with butter or coconut oil.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, squash, coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and baking soda.
  5. With an electric mixer, mix at low speed until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  6. To measure the coconut flour, pack firmly into the cup measurement and use the back of a straight knife to level the flour even with the top edge of the measuring cup.
  7. To ensure there are no lumps, sift flour.
  8. Begin by adding half of the coconut flour into the ingredients. Blend until well mixed and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Add remaining coconut flour to achieve a thick batter. It's better to add flour in small amounts until you find the correct texture than to compensate by adding more liquids and fats.
  9. Allow to sit for 2 minutes to allow the coconut flour to absorb liquids. The batter for this loaf will be somewhat thick, but still easy to mix with a spoon.
  10. Add apple cider vinegar and mix together quickly.
  11. Spoon batter immediately into cupcake tin.
  12. Place in a preheated oven. Bake 20-35 minutes.
  13. Cupcakes will feel firm to the touch when done.
  14. FROSTING INSTRUCTIONS
  15. Remove butter from wrappers and place in a bowl nearby so it's ready for when you need it. Have a spoon handy as well.
  16. Measure out the spices and place in a bowl nearby.
  17. Beat eggs and yolks until they are forming soft peaks (this is best accomplished by using a stand mixer). While the eggs are beating, heat honey to 240°F in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Try to use a pan that has a lip on the edge as I find that easier to hold in place while pouring the honey slowly into the eggs.
  18. I also like to use a digital thermometer that has a probe. I set it to sound an alarm at 238°F so that I can attend to it and watch for it to reach 240°F so I can take the pan off the burner immediately.
  19. With mixer on medium high setting, dribble the honey down the edge (now you'll see why the pan with the lip comes in handy) of the mixer bowl. The reason you want to dribble the honey on the edge of the bowl is because it will cool just slightly which will keep the eggs from curdling. The eggs will be slightly cooked from the hot honey but not enough to pasteurize them so if you are worried about raw eggs, be sure to use eggs from a farmer you trust.
  20. Once all the honey is dribbled into the mixture, continue to beat until the egg and honey has cooled to room temperature. I've made the mistake of adding the butter too soon, it will just melt in the hot eggs and honey and will never emulsify without some fast action from someone who really knows what they are doing.[My son cooked in a commercial kitchen when he was a teenager and the time I almost ruined the buttercream frosting he knew to quickly add pieces of cold butter].
  21. With the mixer on a medium setting, add butter one spoonful (about two tablespoons) at a time.
  22. The mixture will turn soupy, but just keep adding butter in one spoonful at a time and as you near the last spoonfuls the mixture will emulsify into buttercream frosting!
  23. Add vanilla and mix well.
  24. Add spices, mix well.
  25. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, take a sharp knife and cut a circle in the middle of the cupcake. Use the tip of the knife to dig out the center, leaving the bottom of the cupcake intact.
  26. Pipe frosting into the center of the cupcake, then decorate the top of the cupcake.
  27. Crumble the cupcake inserts and sprinkle over the top of the piped on frosting for decoration!

If you love desserts like this, I have two cookbooks you really need to check out ASAP! Naturally Sweetened Treats for gluten-free dessert needs and Baker's Dozen 2 Pumpkin Treats.
GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

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8 comments to (Copycat) Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

  • Jennifer

    Your recipes always look and sound so wonderful! I recently found I should not have casein. Can ghee be substituted for the butter? (I just don’t think coconut oil is a tasty substitution for butter). Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Jennifer, it would definitely be an experiment to see if ghee would work. You could try making a half batch of the frosting so that you don’t end up using a lot of precious, expensive ingredient (in case it doesn’t work out). Instead of ghee, you might want to try palm shortening. I haven’t used it to make buttercream frosting, but some frostings use shortening, so it might work. This is my affiliate link to Tropical Traditions’ brand: http://gapsdietjourney.com/tropical-traditions-palm-shortening

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Oh, and I was also going to say that coconut oil won’t produce the same kind of frosting. I have tried it, and have a recipe for it in my e-book Beyond Grain & Dairy. It is a very loose and drippy type frosting, as opposed to “butter” cream which holds up well enough to decorate with.

    [Reply]

  • Jennifer

    Thank you for the suggestions. I love the flavor of butter and really miss dairy. I certainly hope ghee will work. I have never used palm shortening, although I have seen a number of recipes using it.

    [Reply]

  • Liesl

    These taste great!! Made them for me and my boyfriend (who loves junk food) and he loved it. They do burn easily, 20 min was enough baking time.

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Liesl, thank you for the feedback, I have adjusted the recipe to say 20-35 minutes just in case others experience the same short baking time as you did. Best, Starlene

    [Reply]

  • Shani

    This recipe looks delish! Do you think it would work in a mini-muffin pan instead of the regular sized cupcakes?

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Shani, yes it would work but of course you’d end up with double the amount and you’d need to watch the baking time which would be less.

    [Reply]

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