As if moist pumpkin cupcakes weren’t enough, I filled them with a luscious caramelized white chocolate ganache and topped them with caramelized white chocolate buttercream.
These cupcakes are easily one of my favorite recipe creations in the entire life of the blog. I’m not the biggest cupcake lover (I’d rather have layer cake), so when I have cupcakes, they have to be extra special.
These Pumpkin Cupcakes do not disappoint. They are flavorful and extremely moist. And thanks to the caramelized white chocolate (hello new favorite ingredient!), they are unique, over-the-top and pumpkin-neutral-husband approved.
Before you scroll down for the recipe, I’m going to warn you; they are time consuming. The recipe is, to put it lightly, lengthy. You have to make caramelized white chocolate, cupcakes, ganache filling and buttercream. For someone who spends all of their time in the kitchen, they took me a few hours from start to finish (so for most people they are likely an all-day project). It was baking therapy at its finest, though, and the result was hands down worth every second of baking and dishwashing.
Just look at the inside of the cupcakes! The cake actually absorbs the liquid gold caramelized white chocolate ganache so the cupcakes completely melt in your mouth. This is not a dessert for the faint of heart. I recommend saving them for a quiet day in the kitchen and then serving them as the keynote dessert at your dinner party. They are certainly worthy of a spot on the Thanksgiving table as well.
- 1 batch Pumpkin Cupcakes (recipe below)
- 1 batch Caramelized White Chocolate made with 12 ounces good quality white chocolate (see note below)
- 1 batch Caramelized White Chocolate Ganache (recipe below)
- 1 batch Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream (recipe below)
- Prepare caramelized white chocolate; upon completion, immediately use ½ cup to make Caramelized White Chocolate Ganache; set aside to cool and make cupcakes
- Bake Pumpkin Cupcakes as directed below; allow to cool for one hour
- When cupcakes are completely cool, use a small paring knife to cut about one teaspoon out of top center of cupcake
- Fill whole of cupcake with a teaspoon of ganache and repeat with remaining cupcakes (refer to this blog post on stuffing cupcakes for tips and photos)
- Prepare Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream as directed below; pipe or spread buttercream over suffed cupcakes
- Store cupcakes in a covered container up to three days (best within 24 hours of making)
The cupcakes are moist enough that they don’t quite need a filling, so if you want to leave the ganache out they will still be delicious, just not AS delicious
*Directions on how to make Caramelized White Chocolate can be found here and here. For the full cupcake recipe, use 12 ounces of white chocolate and ½ teaspoon of sea salt
Matt thought these cupcakes could use a bit of crunch. I really liked that perfect melt-in-your mouth bite of cupcake, but if you want to add a little something something, may I suggest this Ginger Cookie Pecan Brittle?
Make ahead tips:
You can bake the Pumpkin Cupcakes up to one month ahead of time, just freeze them until a couple of hours before stuffing with ganache
*Caramelized white chocolate can be made ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container at room temperature up to one month; roughly chop what you will use for the ganache and then follow ganache instructions above
Buttercream can also be made and frozen for up to one month; just defrost in refrigerator for several hours until ready to use; it may need to be re-whipped for best results
- 4 ¼ ounces (~1⅛ cups) cake flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces (10 tablespoons / 1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 4⅛ ounces (~½ cup packed) brown sugar
- 3 ¾ ounces (~½ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 x-large egg + 1 x-large egg white OR 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line regular-sized cupcake tins with cupcake wrappers; set aside
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and salt; set aside
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until light and fluffy
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition on medium speed
- Add pumpkin and vanilla and mix on medium speed until well combined
- Carefully add flour with mixer on low speed, mix just until combined; do not overmix
- Evenly distribute batter into 18 prepared cupcakes, filling about ⅔ of each cup
- Bake 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of cupcakes
- Set aside to cool
- ½ cup prepared caramelized white chocolate* out of the oven
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- Place caramelized white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl
- In a small heavy-duty saucepan, bring cream to a boil over medium-high heat; allow to boil for thirty seconds (entire surface will start to bubble)
- Remove from heat and pour over caramelized white chocolate; allow to sit for thirty seconds to one minute
- Whisk ganache ingredients until caramelized white chocolate has melted and ganache is smoothe
- Allow to cool at room temperature for about an hour before filling cupcakes
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup prepared caramelized white chocolate (at room temperature; can be prepared ahead of time)
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat butter on medium high speed until creamy (one or two minutes)
- Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed for one minute; scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix on medium-high speed for two minutes
- Add caramelized white chocolate and beat on medium-high speed for three minutes or until buttercream is very creamy and light
Stay tuned for an upcoming post with more caramelized white chocolate love.
You had me at white chocolate. Yum, so glad I found your blog – how delicious!
Thanks so much, Ali!
These sound absolutely incredible Lauren!
These are nothing short of amazing!!! Oh my goodness, I WISH I was having these for breakfast!
Thanks, Kate! Me too, me too…
Oh wow, these do look absolutely divine. I’m sure we’d all love them over here. Maybe my husband could clean up after? ;)
Now that is a good plan!
Oh those look wonderful!
these sound amazing. the white chocolate ganache and buttercream frosting–wow!
These sound absolutely incredible!! That frosting is so dang fluffy!
Thanks so much, Megan!
I definitely had no idea that one could caramelized white chocolate. I mean…it kind of makes sense. But it’s kind of crazy awesome. I’m so in awe of these.
I’m a closet white chocolate fiend! I’ll take it any day over regular chocolate. Plus pumpkin? Sign.me.up!
Stumbled by your blog today and I know you don’t know me, but, I have a solution for your recipe being “too long and time consuming” and that is that you send me whatever extra cupcakes that you just might happen to have lying around? deal?
Seriously – these look devine – the frosting looks so droolworthy!
oh my lordy!! cupcakes!!!!!
You’ve definitely made pumpkin cupcakes even better with the filling and the buttercream! These look divine. I wish I had one right now – for breakfast! :)
I love white chocolate and pumpkin together! I’m seriously gonna be head over heals in love with these!!
These look like awesome cupcakes! I need to try caramelized white chocolate. I would not at all mind spending a day in the kitchen making these!
You will have to let me know if you try them, Laura!
These sound over the top decadently delicious with white chocolate truffle!
I made the cupcakes last night without the white chocolate, they still tasted great. I added some chopped pecans for extra texture.