Pumpkin-Cranberry Cupcakes with Maple-Brown Sugar Frosting

By: Marge Perry & David Bonom

  • Yield: 12 Servings
  • Cuisine: American
  • Course: Dessert


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Maple-Brown Sugar Frosting

  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
  • 4 ounces Neufchatel cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl in between each addition. Add the pumpkin and vanilla; beat on medium speed until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Fold in the cranberries with a spatula.
  3. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake until the top springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 24-26 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. When cool spread the top of each cupcake with frosting (recipe follows).
  4. Maple-Brown Sugar Frosting: Combine the confectioners’ sugar, brown sugar, butter, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  5. While the mixer is on add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and maple extract. Increase speed to high and beat in Neufchatel cheese.
  6. Continue beating until light and fluffy. Refrigerate until ready to use.