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Pumpkin Butterscotch Cupcakes

Pumpkin puree, butterscotch, and pie spice make this treat a moist and delicious addition to your next Halloween or Thanksgiving party.  And they couldn't be easier to make.  Includes regular and high-altitude instructions.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time33 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Halloween Recipes, Pumpkin Butterscotch Cupcakes, Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Author: Don Herman


  • 1 2/3 cups Butterscotch morsels I used Guittard (which does contain some artificial color, darn it.)
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 3/4 cups Sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (Or use whatever your favorite pie recipe calls for.)
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree (Use puree, not pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 lg Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese (At room temp)
  • 4 tbsp Butter (At room temp)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla (Or be creative - some use a touch of cinnamon)
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Milk or Cream, if necessary (Just to bring the frosting to consistency)


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Line two muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.  (I used aluminum liners and they came out perfectly clean.)
  • Melt butterscotch morsels over double-boiler or in microwave for about 30 seconds, stirring and heating again until JUST melted.
  • In one large bowl, combine the Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Spice and Salt.  Whisk together until blended.
  • In a mixing bowl, lightly blend the pumpkin and vegetable oil.  
  • Add the melted butterscotch chips and vanilla and blend just for a minute. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.  
  • Add the flour mixture in 4 portions, blending just until moistened.  Beat at medium for two minutes.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. (I use an ice-cream scoop.)  Make sure all the liners are well-seated in the tin and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into an inner cupcake comes out clean.
  • Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from tin and cool completely

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat together the cream cheese and butter until blended and smooth.
  • Add vanilla and blend.
  • Beat in the powdered sugar.  I put ALL the sugar in the mixing bowl and drape a large, very light tea towel over the whole thing.  This keeps the sugar from floating all over the kitchen and spares me from mixing it in batches.
  • If the frosting is too thick for spreading or piping, add a few DROPS of milk or cream and mix again.  I usually never have to.