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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

This post is sponsored in conjunction with PumpkinWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the PumpkinWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Moist and lightly sweet pumpkin cupcakes are topped with a creamy maple-flavored Swiss meringue buttercream. They're a quintessential fall dessert!

Two pumpkin cupcakes on a white cakestand

It's Day 4 of #PumpkinWeek!

Today I'm sharing pumpkin cupcakes with maple buttercream. I really, really like these cupcakes. They're light and fluffly, like cupcakes should be. They also not overly sweet.

An overhead shot of three pumpkin cupcakes

You can make these cupcakes up to two days ahead of time and store them, unfrosted, at room temperature. Cupcakes tend to lose moisture when stored unfrosted in the refrigerator.

But let's talk about my favorite part: the frosting. The frosting is a maple-flavored Swiss meringue buttercream. I love the flavor and smooth, creamy texture of this buttercream. Swiss buttercream is also easier to make than French or Italian because it doesn't involve cooking the sugar into a syrup.

A straight-on view of three pumpkin cupcakes

Obviously, from the name, this is a meringue-based buttercream, so as with all meringues, you need to ensure you start with a clean, dry bowl. Meringue will not whip up if it comes into contact with even a trace of fat. Before I start any meringue, I wash my bowl with hot, soapy water, dry it thoroughly, then wipe it down with a paper towel dampened with white vinegar.

Some tips for Swiss buttercream success: once you've whipped your egg white/sugar mixture to soft peaks, make sure they are room temperature before starting to add the butter. Warm meringue will melt the butter. It won't ruin your buttercream, but it will make the process take longer.

If, once you've added all the butter, your mixture looks separated, watery, or curdled, just keep whipping on medium-high speed. Walk away for about five minutes. You'll probably come back to luxuriously creamy buttercream. If not, chill your bowl for about 10 minutes, then continue whipping.

A close-up shot of a pumpkin cupcake with maple syrup dripping down the frosting

A close-up shot of a pumpkin cupcake with maple syrup dripping down the frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

Yield: 18 cupcakes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Moist and lightly sweet pumpkin cupcakes are topped with a creamy maple-flavored Swiss meringue buttercream. They’re a quintessential fall dessert!


For the cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup (120ml) canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the buttercream

  • 1 lb nsalted butter, softend but still slightly cold
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)


Make the cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with 18 paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin puree and vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir together just until combined (the batter will be very thick).
  5. Use a large scoop to portion the batter evenly into the prepared baking tins. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the buttercream

  1. Bring about an inch of water in a deep saucepan to a boil.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar. Place the mixing bowl over the saucepan of boiling water (don't let the mixing bowl touch the boiling water) and whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove the mixing bowl from the double boiler and place on the stand mixer with the whip attachment. Beat at medium-high speed until medium-soft peaks form (tips form but the tops fall over when the beater is raised). If the meringue reaches this point, and the bottom of the mixing bowl still feels hot the touch, turn the speed to medium-low until the bottom of the bowl feels barely warm to the touch.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment. Begin to add the butter while mixing on low speed, a tablespoon at a time at first, letting the butter be incorporated before adding more. Be patient, this will take some time.
  5. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the buttercream becomes fluffy.
  6. Microwave the maple syrup in 30-second bursts until it is hot but not boiling. Slowly drizzle the maple syrup into the buttercream and mix on low speed until it is fully incorporated.
  7. Beat another 3 to 5 minutes or until the frosting is fluffy and spreadable.


  1. Fit a piping bag with a large open star tip. Fill halfway with buttercream. Pipe a generous swirl of frosting on top of each cooled cupcake.
  2. Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 cupcakes Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 384Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 326mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 3g

I am not a certified nutritionist. This nutrition information is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only.

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Check out more PumpkinWeek Recipes


Pumpkin Hot Chocolate from Sweet Beginnings


Pumpkin Alfredo Stuffed Shells from The Crumby Kitchen
Pumpkin Joes from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Roasted Pumpkin Queso from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Spicy Pumpkin Soup from Cindy's Recipes and Writings

Baked Goods & Desserts:

No Churn Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream from Daily Dish Recipes
Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cookie Butter Filling from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Pumpkin Cheddar Biscuits from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins from Family Around the Table
Pumpkin Crumb Bread from The Nifty Foodie
Pumpkin Pudding with Sour Cream Vanilla Topping from Karen's Kitchen Stories
Pumpkin Spice Dessert Hummus from For the Love of Food
Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Recipe from April Golightly

Disclaimer: Thank you PumpkinWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, and Eggland’s Best for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for PumpkinWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The PumpkinWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Three (3) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The PumpkinWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the PumpkinWeek posts or entry.

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Monday 24th of May 2021

You should probably put what the temperature should reach when mixing the egg whites and sugar (140-160 or until the sugar is completely dissolved) for novice bakers. Just a suggestion!


Thursday 1st of November 2018

Oh my goodness! These cupcakes look amazing!

Feel free to share your recipes on my website - Kitchen Thyme. We share each recipe on social media, weekly meal plans, newsletters and recipe round ups. I hope you join us!

Wendy Klik

Thursday 20th of September 2018

Love the photo with the drizzle of maple syrup. Made my tummy grumble.

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