These chocolate pumpkin cupcakes are topped with creamy vanilla buttercream icing and can be decorated with leftover Halloween candy for an extra special treat. Using special dark cocoa ensures maximum chocolate flavor. The addition of pumpkin adds a very subtle background taste even pumpkin haters might not discern, but it gives these cupcakes super moisture and creates a tender crumb.
Back in the good old days, Brach’s candies were displayed in an open case in many stores with a big Pick-A-Mix sign. You helped yourself to a bag and filled it with your choice of candies, paying by the weight. Often these cases were near the front of the store, just by the lines for the cashiers.
My grandmother was a real character and, while she had a generous heart where her grandchildren were concerned, she did not tolerate laziness or ineptitude well, even in us. If the store had long lines at the cashier and only one or two lanes open, Gram would instruct us each to choose a candy from the Pick-A-Mix. She considered that well-deserved compensation for a lengthy wait in line. As a child I was mortified to comply, but one did not argue with my grandmother! My favorites were the cinnamon or the butterscotch hard candies.
Nowadays it’s a rare store that still has a Pick-A-Mix case, but one can buy those Brach’s candies in bags, some with seasonal variations like the autumn mix, the party mix and the old-fashioned holiday mix with red, white and green hard candies.
Can I confess that I’m not a huge fan of the autumn candy mix for eating? I do love them for decorating though! Nothing cheers up a cake, cookie or cupcake like a few candy corns or tiny pumpkins scattered about. Those instantly say autumn to me. Halloween is here AND Thanksgiving’s coming! With that in mind, I’ve baked you some wonderful dark chocolate pumpkin cupcakes, just so I could decorate the top with the little leftover autumn mix pumpkins I happen to have on hand. Wouldn’t they be perfect as one of the desserts on your Thanksgiving table?
- 2 1/2 cups or 315g all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup or 30g extra dark special cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups or 355g canned pumpkin – not pie filling
- 1 1/2 cups or 300g granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup or 120ml whole milk
- 1/4 cup or 57g butter melted and cooled
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 lbs or 675g confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup or 226g butter softened
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6-8 tablespoons milk
- Ground cinnamon
- Sparkly decorative sugar
- Leftover Halloween candy
Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your cupcakes pans by greasing them with butter or lining them with paper cupcake liners.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
Using your stand mixer or electric beaters, beat together the pumpkin, sugar, milk and butter.
Add eggs in one by one, mixing well with each addition.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet as you mix. Mix until well combined.
Spoon batter into cupcake cups and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool completely before you top them with frosting.
Beat the frosting ingredients together, using only 6 tablespoons milk, in a mixer until smooth and creamy.
Add the extra milk a little at a time, if needed, to get a good spreadable consistency.
Use a piping bag and a large tip to decorate the cooled cupcakes with frosting.
From high above the cupcakes, sprinkle a small pinch of cinnamon on each cupcake, along with some sparkly sugar, if desired.
Top each with a tiny pumpkin or other leftover Halloween candy
This week our Sunday Supper tastemakers are sharing recipes to help you use up all of your leftover Halloween candy, so you don’t have to just eat it. If you don’t happen to have any leftover tiny pumpkins, by all means, top your frosted dark chocolate pumpkin cupcakes with another type of candy.
Leftover Halloween Candy Recipes
- Candy Bar Blondies by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Gluten Free Seven Layer Candy Bar by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Halloween Hangover Blondies by Cricket’s Confections
- Leftover Candy Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars by Books n’ Cooks
- Gooey Candy Bar Brownie Cups by Desserts Required
- Leftover Candy Stuffed Brownies by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes by Sunday Supper Movement
- Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Cake by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Pumpkin Chocolate Cake by NinjaBaker
- Candy Bar Truffles by The Crumby Cupcake
- Candy Toffee by Family Foodie
- Candy Filled Lollipops by The Freshman Cook
- Nutty Candy Bar Fudge by And She Cooks
- Butterfinger Biscotti by The Redhead Baker
- Candy Bar Oatmeal Cookies by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Full of Secrets Chocolate Chip Cookies by What Smells So Good?
- Candy Popcorn Balls by Palatable Pastime
- Inside Out Caramel Apple Muffins by Caroline’s Cooking
- Under the Sea Snack Mix by Pies and Plots
- Lemon Drop Chicken Chow Mein by Mindy’s Cooking Obsession
- Snickapplebutterway Salad by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
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