Easy pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin ale and a maple fudge frosting.
FOR THE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES:
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup pumpkin ale
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (coconut oil in its liquid form – you can also use canola/vegetable oil or melted butter)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1.75 cups flour (measured correctly by scooping and leveling)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
FOR THE MAPLE FROSTING:
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tablespoons pumpkin ale (optional)
- 1 tsp. maple extract
- 3.5 cups powdered sugar (you may use a little more or a little less)
- Pinch of salt (I use kosher salt)
- 1/4 cup hot (nearly boiling!) water (you may not use it all)
FOR THE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES:
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F and line two muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine pumpkin puree, pumpkin ale, melted coconut oil, eggs, and sugar.
- Add the rest of your cupcake ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla. Mix until ingredients are just combined.
- Use a cookie scoop (I like this one) to scoop batter into cupcake liners. (If you don’t have a scoop, put 3-4 Tablespoons of batter into each liner, until they’re about 2/3 of the way full).
- Bake cupcakes at 375 for 15-17 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove cooked cupcakes to a cooling rack and let cool completely (usually 30 minutes or so) then top with Maple Pumpkin Ale Frosting (recipe below!)
FOR THE MAPLE FROSTING (MAKE THIS ONCE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES HAVE COOLED):
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the melted butter, pumpkin ale (optional), and maple extract.
- Stir in the powdered sugar and a pinch of salt. The sugar will quickly absorb the liquid and will begin to clump – this is what you want!
- Add hot water (I heat it in my electric tea kettle – the hot water will help keep the butter nice and melty so you can stir everything together) a Tablespoon at a time, stirring in between each addition, until frosting reaches a fudge-like consistency. If you add a little too much water, don’t worry – just add a bit more powdered sugar to even it out. The frosting will thicken as it cools, so it’s best to work quickly here.
- Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes. To make the swirls like you see in these photos, spoon a dollop of frosting onto your cupcake and use the back of a spoon to gently swirl it into shape, applying more pressure at the center to create an indent. We also topped these cupcakes with some extra cupcake we crumbled up.
Use a pumpkin beer that you like drinking! We used a Southern Tier Pumking here. Something deep and rich will lend the most flavor to these cupcakes.
If you’d like to omit the beer, you can certainly leave it out and make some adjustments like increasing coconut oil and reducing flour, but the texture will vary and they may not taste as good – so if you’re looking for plain pumpkin cupcakes, I recommend checking out some of the great beer-free recipes available online!
If your frosting thickens too quickly, zap it in the microwave for a few seconds or stir in a splash more hot water to bring it back to a spreadable consistency. The frosting will thicken as it cools, resulting in a rich and fudgy topping.
These cupcakes are also great with cream cheese frosting or vanilla (or maple!) buttercream.
LINKS TO SPECIAL INGREDIENTS/EQUIPMENT:
- Calories: 266