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Crazy for Crust

Oct 24

Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes

I have a confession to make: these cupcakes were almost purchased from the store instead of made by me.

Let me rewind. Here’s the story:

I’m kind of a yes-mom.

Can you take my kid home from school? Yes, no problem!

Can you be the food chair of Bingo night? Sure, why not?

Can you help me create an online blog conference? Of course! (<– actually…I’m kind of glad I said yes to that one.)

Can you make cupcakes for the cake walk on the same day that you host the teacher luncheon while you’re also getting ready for your online blog conference? Yes, of course I-

Wait, what? When?

{Everything always seems to bunchupclosetogether, doesn’t it? Nothing can ever spread the heck out.}

So anyway, last week was the carnival at school. I’ve been waiting for 2 years to get to a grade level that involved baked goods. (Kindergarten it was son-cones. First grade? Selling water and juice boxes. Boring!) Second grade? The cake walk. Perfect!

At the end of the day last Wednesday, the last thing I wanted to do was bake cupcakes. I really was going to stop by Safeway and pick up a dozen. Really.

But…but…I’m a food blogger. People look at me and expect homemade goodies. It felt like…I was going against my ethics or something to buy cupcakes.

So, of course, I made some.

And I’m kinda glad I did.

Because they were sooooo good.

I used a cake mix. But I added pumpkin. Now, full disclosure…you couldn’t taste the pumpkin. But these were incredibly moist and delicious.

And the frosting! This is my favorite frosting. It’s such a basic recipe, but it’s so good. I add heavy whipping cream and it gives it a little…something extra.

And, of course, the Halloween sprinkles. Gotta have those! These cupcakes would be a great last-minute addition to your class Halloween party.

Because you know you’re going to be asked to bring treats for your class Halloween party, like, on the 30th, right?

And now you can say yes!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 box Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix (or Devil’s Food)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Food Coloring and sprinkles, if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners. (I got 18 cupcakes.)
  2. Mix cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large bowl with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes. Add pumpkin and mix until combined. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full (I use an ice cream scoop for this).
  3. Bake 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick insterted comes out with just a few little crumbs sticking to it. Cool completely before frosting.
  4. To make your frosting, beat butter with mixer (hand or stand, your choice) until creamy. Slowly beat in powdered sugar (1 cup at a time). Beat in vanilla. Add 1 tablespoon of cream and mix, then add more cream as necessary to get the consistency you want. Tint with food coloring, if desired.
  5. Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with (or dip in) sprinkles. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from this recipe.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

35 comments on “Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Confession: I did some poor planning concerning my classroom Halloween party. We have 7 kids bringing cupcakes, 1 bringing pie, 1 bringing caramel apples, and a few bringing cookies.


    • crazyforcrust replied on October 24th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      Oh my! Can I come to your classroom?


  2. I’m totally a “yes” person too. I’m glad you made these though because they look delicious! I may just have to add pumpkin to my next batch of cupcakes to help make them moist. =)


    • crazyforcrust replied on October 24th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      It totally does. Thanks Jill!


  3. Yum!

    I know EXACTLY what you mean about not being able to buy store-bought baked goods. Lately, I feel guilty if I go anywhere social and don’t make something. It’s hard to shake the rep!

    (And I’m a yes girl too. And WHAT is it with things never evening out??!!? Feast or famine!)


    • crazyforcrust replied on October 24th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      Tell me about it!! 🙂 Thanks So much Mindy!


  4. mmm, love using whipping cream in frosting!!! The cupcakes turned out cute! Way to go “yes, mom”


  5. I’m totally a “yes mom”, also. I volunteered to bring the Halloween treats next week in the middle of a huge work project/deadline…and I have to admit, I’ve been toying with the idea of just purchasing something. But that sort of seems wrong somehow? I could totally do these cupcakes, though–so cute, and I bet so yummy moist from the pumpkin! Good pics, too!


  6. I’m envious, our elementary and preschool no longer celebrate holidays at school so no goodies to send 🙁 And I love to bake! So I’ll be making some for us here at home. Thanks for posting this, can’t wait to try them with the pumpkin 🙂


    • crazyforcrust replied on October 25th, 2012 at 6:13 am

      I can’t believe that; some of the schools in our district don’t do Halloween! What??? Sad. Thank you!


  7. hello – I am a HUGE “yes” person
    so much so that my son often tells me “mom, you know it’s okay to say no sometimes”
    advice from a 12 year old 🙂

    these cupcakes didn’t perhaps make a blog con appearance?
    great pic


    • crazyforcrust replied on October 25th, 2012 at 6:12 am

      LOL!!! Sounds like something Jordan would say. Thanks Heather!


  8. These are super cute and the pictures are fantastic!
    I don’t love pumpkin either but this sounds more like chocolate with superyummyfrosting. Mmmmm
    Thanks for being a yes person- we all loved OBC 🙂


    • crazyforcrust replied on October 25th, 2012 at 6:12 am

      Oh, it totally tastes like chocolate. I was a little bummed I didn’t taste the pumpkin – but they were so moist and good it didn’t matter! 🙂 And thanks!


  9. I (along with many of the gals here, I’m sure!) am precisely the same way–could I buy some peanut butter and bring it to the potluck as a spread for some amazing homemade bread? Probably. Will I skimp out on the ten minutes I really can’t spare to make it at home instead as I’m rushing out the door? Um, no. I’d really rather run the risk of running ridiculously late *and* possibly tripping over my own feet in my haste to get to the potluck in time than buy it from the store. Moral: I hear you, Dorothy–c’est les woes of being the officially-recognized kitchen fairy!


  10. I used to say yes to everything, but lately I have learned that saying no to some things really isn’t a bad idea. Last night we had a neighborhood meeting over at our church and they had asked me Tuesday to bake cookies…now usually I can’t say no to baking…but this week has been crazy busy. And you know what, saying no felt good. Kind of. After seeing these awesome looking cupcakes and OBC, I’m glad you haven’t learned how to say no. Pumpkin and chocolate is such a great combo, and whipping cream in frosting? Makes it so light and fluffy. YUM!


    • crazyforcrust replied on October 25th, 2012 at 6:00 am

      Thanks Jocelyn. I’m trying really to be better. Like, today. I wish I’d said “no” to working in Jordan’s class for 2 hours, lol! Have a great day!


  11. OHHHH! I am a yes mom too, and multiply that times my 6 children and I could kick myself sometimes. The worst I remember is offering to make enough oreo spider cookies for an entire grade level…..ummm, what the heck was I thinking? Haven’t made them since. These look pretty yummy! I’m glad you made them. Im also very glad you said yes to the conference…..AWESOME!


    • crazyforcrust replied on October 25th, 2012 at 5:58 am

      6??? Wow. Just…you’re my hero! Thanks Lara!


  12. Me: Hm, Dorothy, can you please host this gigantic online conference and be prepared to do most of the work?
    Dorothy: Sure! Of course!


    These look great!!


  13. I am so glad you did the conference! A great experience!
    I have made chocolate cake with nothing BUT the pumpkin. It was wonderful. 🙂


  14. I have such a hard time saying no too, but these look like it was worth the yes:)


  15. I’m glad you said, yes! I love using pumpkin in cake mix and that frosting sounds fantastic!


  16. I only WISH i would be asked to make treats for my kiddo’s classroom, but his school has a strict “no homemade treats” rule that I absolutely hate.
    But these look so cute that I could probably make them, throw them in a store-like container and fool everyone 🙂 YUM-O!


  17. I’m glad you said yes! To OBC and to these cupcakes which look phenom! And now that I know your photography secret, photographed phenom too 😉 I hear ya–it sucks being a yes woman all the time, but I agree with Jocelyn–saying no sometimes can be oh so satisfying. Try it out on Jordan haha. 🙂


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  19. They look delicious but wow…how in the world do you have time to blog on top of everything else you do?


  20. These are sooooo cute and I like the addition of the pumpkin. 🙂 I use cream in all my frostings and it does really add something pretty special. Have a great Halloween and congrats on the success of BlogCon!!


  21. You have no idea how jealous I am that your school district allows homemade treats.

    Seriously, making food for my kids classes was supposed to be the crowning achievement of my life. Instead I will be purchasing stale Walmart cookies.

    Can I move to your neighborhood?


    • crazyforcrust replied on October 27th, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      I wish! 🙂 That totally sucks you can’t make treats. I don’t get that!


  22. Chandra@The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen Reply

    I love that the cupcakes must have been the same day you were writing your fantastic post on photography for OBC!!! That was a great post by the way. I think these cupcakes sound delicious!!! They could even go to a thanksgiving party!!!


    • crazyforcrust replied on October 27th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Thanks Chandra, that means a lot!


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