Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcakes {Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting}

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcake with Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

What did I tell you? Cupcakes & Salads.

These cupcakes jumped to the front of the line because if I don’t share them with you, I will positively burst with excitement!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcake with Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

I’d like to say these cupcakes are all about the brown sugar toasted pecan crumble because it is heavenly, but that would be doing a huge injustice to the soft, perfectly spiced pumpkin cake, pecan pie filling and brown sugar bourbon frosting!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcake with Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

I got a little out of control with these Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcakes, so let me break it down:

A soft, moist, buttermilk pumpkin cake is lightly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mace and ginger;
Topped with a brown sugar toasted pecan crumble prior to baking;
Filled with a pecan pie filling;
And frosted with a creamy brown sugar bourbon cream cheese frosting!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcake with Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

It sounds like there is a lot going on but all the flavors come together perfectly into a sweet, brown sugar pumpkin dessert!

This pumpkin spice cake absolutely melts in your mouth: Soft and delicate but not too fluffy! The perfect balance of pumpkin and spice.

The smooth, creamy cream cheese frosting contrasts beautifully with a little crunch from the crumble topping and toasted pecans.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcake with Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s like a pumpkin, brown sugar pecan dream that you never want to end.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcake with Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

I could bring myself to give them all away. I just couldn’t. The additional punishing hours on the treadmill will totally be worth it.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcakes {Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting}

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 14 Cupcakes

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Cupcakes {Bourbon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting}

A soft, moist pumpkin cake is lightly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mace and ginger; topped with a brown sugar toasted pecan crumble prior to baking; filled with a pecan pie filling; and frosted with a brown sugar bourbon cream cheese frosting!


    For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (slightly rounded)
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon mace
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted*
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • For the Crumble:
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • For the Pecan Pie Filling:
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • For the Bourbon Brown Sugar Frosting:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (not whipped, not light, and the best you can find)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 teaspoons Bourbon (to taste)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


    Make the Crumble:
  1. Stir the vanilla into the melted butter. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir with a fork until all the ingredients are equally moistened. They should hold together and then break into crumbles when squeezed in your hand. If it is still too dry you can add melted butter 1 teaspoon at a time, but be careful not to make it too moist or it will be greasy and not crunchy/soft like it should be.
  2. Also note that if you chop your pecans too big, they will impede the crumbles from forming.
  3. Make the Cupcakes:
  4. Preheat the oven to 350° and line 14 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners. I use two standard paper liners per cupcake.
  5. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and all spices; set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, beat sugars and melted butter together with a hand mixer until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla after the last egg.
  7. Add the pumpkin and mix on medium until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.
  8. Alternately add flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. I add a third of the flour then half of the buttermilk and repeat. Fold the last flour addition in by hand to avoid over mixing.
  9. Scoop into prepared tins, filling almost to the top of the cup. Add some crumble to the top of each cupcake. Bake in preheated oven 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few clinging crumbs. Mine took 18 minutes.
  10. Remove immediately from muffin tins to cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. Make the Pecan Pie Filling:
  12. Mix all pecan pie filling ingredients together and cook in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for a minute. Remove from heat and cool. If you continue to cook the filling, it will continue to thicken up. I got distracted and so mine boiled about 3 minutes before I took it off the heat.
  13. Make the Frosting:
  14. Cream together cream cheese, butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.
  15. Add the bourbon to taste and then add the powdered sugar and cornstarch, mixing well with a hand mixer. To further thicken the frosting, add more powdered sugar. This will obviously alter the taste if you add a lot more sugar. You can also refrigerate the frosting to thicken it a little as well. I did not refrigerate nor did I add any additional powdered sugar to mine before I piped it.
  16. Assemble the Cupcakes:
  17. Once cupcakes are cool, cut a hole in the center of each cupcake with a pairing knife. Remove the cut-away piece and cut the bottom off, leaving some cake and the crumble; eat the cut off cake for quality control; place a dollop of the pecan pie filling in the center of each cake; and replace the crumble coated center piece, pressing down slightly. The centers will be slightly elevated, but this doesn’t matter because you are going to frost them!
  18. Frost with your favorite piping tip! There will be more frosting than you need for all the cupcakes. I’m sure you’ll figure out something to do with the remaining 1/3 cup!


*Melting Butter: I melt my butter in the microwave in 10 second intervals on 50% power until almost all the butter has melted. At this point I remove it from the microwave and stir or swirl the bowl until all the butter has melted. I do not like when the cream separates from the butter.

Sifting: If your powdered sugar is lumpy, feel free to sift the powdered sugar and cornstarch into the frosting before beating. I did not do this and I was right in the world, but your sugar may need a good sift.


Because I know you love cupcakes as much as I do!

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Peach Crisp Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream!

Peach Crisp Cupcakes filled with peach compote and topped with Swiss meringue buttercream

Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Cherry Mascarpone Frosting

Double Chocolate Cupcakes Cherry Mascarpone Frosting

German Chocolate Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

Copycat Sprinkles Triple Cinnamon Cupcakes


Copycat Sprinkles Triple Cinnamon Cupcakes

Copycat Sprinkles Vanilla Cupcakes

Sprinkles Copycat Vanilla Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Stuffed Double Chocolate Banana Cupcakes!

Peanut Butter Stuffed Double Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Double Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Easter Double Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream and Salted Caramel Filling


This recipe is linked to: Inspiration Monday, Merry Monday, Munching Monday, Two Cup Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Party Time, Moonlight & Mason Jars, Gluten Free Friday, Foodie Friday, Flashback Friday, Saturday Night Fever, Sweet and Savoury Sundays


  1. says

    Oh heavens – these are unreal!!! Look at them…I can barely concentrate on anything else…what day is it…did I eat breakfast…what’s my name…these cupcakes have me mesmerized! BTW – Sharing is caring – just saying 🙂

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      LMAO! I would be been more than happy to share…but sadly they are GONE. No worries…I’ll try to time our meet up with a fabulous cupcake baking day 🙂 Hooray! Cupcakes for everyone!

  2. larisa says

    These look amazing & I’m thinking about whipping some up for a party, but I just wanted to confirm: there is only 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin puree?

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Hi Larisa. Oh my goodness! That is not even close to right! I don’t know what I was thinking. It is 1/2 cup pumpkin puree. I changed the recipe above and I’m going to double check all the other ingredients as well. I am so sorry about that. Thank you so so much for asking.

  3. says

    You have officially earned the title of Cupcake Queen of the Interwebs. Seriously. These cupcakes are insanely awesome…and I want to eat one right now. I’ll gladly take the punishment at the gym tomorrow for a cupcake today. 🙂
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Butter Pecan Pound CakeMy Profile

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thanks for the pin and the share! You should definitely make it! Fortunately the recipe makes more than needed to frost the cupcakes so there is plenty left over for eating with a spoon!

  4. says

    These look heavenly, you have really gone all out on these. I think I would be to lazy to make them, so can you just post me one instead? 🙂 Pretty please?

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thanks, Sophia! LOL I would love to send you one if it wouldn’t be as hard as a rock once you got it!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thanks, Renee! The frosting was delicious! I ate some with a spoon…and my husband ate some out of the piping bag!! lol

  5. says

    These look and sound amazing!!! My husband did the Bourbon Chase this past weekend (a relay race covering the entire 200 mile bourbon trail in Kentucky) and he came home with lots of bourbon 🙂 Pinned!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      200 miles!!! My goodness! I would need a drink after that or probably just pizza and a nap! I bet you have some fabulous Bourbon to bake with! I have been slightly obsessed with it lately.

  6. says

    I am in love with all your cupcakes, but I think that pecan pie filling and bourbon frosting might make this one my favorite! What great flavors!
    [email protected] recently posted…Sweet Potato RollsMy Profile

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I could have guessed you would go for the Bourbon and pecan pie filling! You are a Southern girl through and through! 🙂

  7. says

    Visiting from Merry Making Monday. These cupcakes look great, I can only imagine how yummy they must be. I co-host Sweet and Savoury Sunday and would love for you to stop by and share this and other recipes with us. Have a great day!
    [email protected] in Pyjamas recently posted…Sweet and Savoury Sundays #86My Profile

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thanks for visiting! I’ll mark my calendar to stop by to your link-up too 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!

  8. Alma says

    These were wonderful!!! My only question is…I had a lot of crumble left over. A lot. I put a spoonful on each cupcake. Does it normally make more than needed?

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I’m so glad you liked them, Alma! I didn’t have that much left over, but I can get a little carried away with crumble. 🙂 May I suggest you make these mini apple pecan crumble pies? It’s the same crumble in both recipes 🙂 Depending on how much crumble you have left, you might have enough for a half recipe.

  9. Christie says

    Can you tell me what lens you use on your camera? I have a 50mm I use for food shots, but I cannot get as close up as your amazing pictures! Thanks a bunch!!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Hi Christie! These are all shot with a 50 mm! I have a Canon T3i. I also crop further in Lightroom most of the time.

      • Christie says

        Great! Thank you!! I have Photoshop and another photo editing software. I’m going to experiment on a few of my recent pics.

        • AmericanCooking22 says

          Good luck! On the closest ones, I literally get as close to the food as my lens will allow. If it won’t focus, I back up my tripod a fraction of an inch & try again until it will focus 🙂

  10. says

    Thanks for stopping by our party. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!
    [email protected] in Pyjamas recently posted…Sweet & Savoury Sundays #88My Profile

  11. Shane says

    I’m about to make these but I do t have mace. Is there a substitute for that or is it imperative? Also, would homemade buttermilk be sufficient?

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Shane! You can definitely leave out the mace – no big deal. And homemade buttermilk is perfectly fine – just make sure to use at least 2% milk. 🙂 Happy baking!

  12. Christine says

    I made these for my works Christmas party last year, and to this day, everyone says it is the best cupcake they ever had and they’re scared to eat another cupcake in fear that it won’t be as good as this one! I have a quick question, last time I made these, I made them all in one day. If I make them the night before, will they be good for the next day. Thank you so much!

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Christine! That is so wonderful to hear!!! They will still be good the next day but they are best the day they are made. The cake just begins to dry out. Fortunately this cake is super moist from the pumpkin. Happy baking!


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