Pumpkin-Brown Butter Cupcakes

. Put it in the books ladies and gents.

The Foamers ended the season with a perfect record of...7-0.

I know, you were expecting some double-digit win column, but give us a break.  It was our first year, the league isn't very big, whatcha gonna do about it?!  Regardless, my little railroaders were elated after the victory, cementing an undefeated season (and coming off of a win-less soccer season probably had something to do with it...!).

So for our very last game, I had to bring something uber special.  Yes, uber.  And, of course, a Fall-ey treat.  Which brought me to a recipe that I've had for quite awhile actually, recommended by my lovely cousin, Jillian.  As a side note, I've personally dubbed Jillian the Cupcake Queen.  She doesn't bake many other things, but cupcakes seem to be her thing.  And her decorating?  Far surpasses anything I've ever done.  She'll occasionally send me pictures of her goodies and I'm always thoroughly impressed.  And no, I'm not just being nice because she's family.  Only honesty in my little corner of the world wide web ☺

These are Jillian's pictures from when she made the Pumpkin Cupcakes.  Pretty, huh?!

But back to her suggested recipe: Pumpkin-Brown Butter Cupcakes.  Whew, these are fabulous!  Another hit pumpkin recipe for the Fall, most definitely.  Jillian knew what she was talking about when she absolutely raved about these little cakies.  The cupcakes themselves are ridiculously moist and have that most-wonderful spiced pumpkin flavor.  What makes them extra special is the generous dose of browned butter added into the mix.  Now, I will say that the cupcakes would be divine by themselves but this brown butter frosting I've briefly mentioned?  To .  Die.  For.  I'm experiencing what we call a 'brain fart' right now, otherwise I would add in a number of little phrases to truly express how addictingly yummy this frosting is.  If you've never experienced the flavors of brown butter, well you haven't started living yet.  Seriously.  Browning butter completely revolutionizes the flavor, it brings out this hidden nuttiness that is unlike anything I've tasted thus far.  Convinced?  Better be.

Make this cupcake for the Halloween weekend, it'll be the ultimate trick-or-treat sweet! .

My Notes:
  • The original recipe yields about 15 cupcakes; however, I felt like making some mini cupcakes as well, so I ended up with a dozen each of regular- and mini-sized cupcakes.
From Jillian Perry


3/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1-2/3 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs

Brown Butter Frosting:
1/2 c. unsalted butter
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. milk


1.  Heat oven to 325°F.  Spray regular-sized muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.  For the cupcakes, melt butter in medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat.  Cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown.  Skim foam from top and remove from heat.  Transfer to bowl, leaving any burnt sediment behind.  Set aside.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  In another bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, light brown sugar, sugar, eggs, and brown butter.

3.  Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and whisk together until combined.

4.  Pour batter into muffin cups, filling just about 3/4 full.  Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.  Let cupcakes cool in pan for a couple of minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

5.  For frosting, melt butter in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until nut-brown in color (about 10 minutes).  Pour butter into bowl, leaving any burnt sediment behind.

6.  Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk and stir until smooth.

7.  Dip tops of cupcakes into frosting and place on wire rack to let frosting set.  

Yield: 15 cupcakes


  1. The browned butter must give these luscious little cakes the most wonderful flavor. My grandmother used to make a browned butter frosting that is very similar to yours. I remember how delicious it was. Thanks for the recipe

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving that sweet comment! These cupcakes look wonderful...I can imagine pumpkin and brown butter is a match made in heaven!

  3. Aunt Dee Dee10/29/2011 9:42 AM

    Kelli located this for me, I am going to enjoy reading your blog. The cupcakes make me hungary!!

    Aunt Dee Dee

  4. Looks delish!

    We'd love for you to share your recipes with us at

    Simply Delish Saturday

  5. Wow! The brown butter frosting definitely makes these. :)

  6. You say this recipe is from Jillian Perry, but it's ripped off from the Martha Stewart cupcake cookbook.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It was superb! The cupcake was so moist and the brown butter added an amazing flavor. Don't even get me started on the brown butter frosting. It was all to die for. Thank you thank you!

    Also to the "Anonymous" person above, she never said the recipe was Jillian's, she simply stated it was a recommended recipe from her. It may very well be from a Martha Stewart cookbook, regardless I thank her for sharing it!

  8. These were soooo perfect! I made these for the first time over the weekend and they were a HIT with my work staff. Thanks for sharing the reciepe

  9. Anonymous ... Who really cares ... Who this or anything else on pinterest comes from ... Bake the damn cupcakes and shove them in ur pie hole!!!
    These are DEE LISH!!!

  10. I just made this for a party tomorrow. I made the icing while the muffins were cooking. I must say that I really did not care for the icing and had to make another one from a different recipe. After I let the muffins cool I decided to a test muffin and found that it has a bitter taste that I did not expect and do not like. Maybe I am not a fan of brown butter. I will not be taking this dish to the party nor will I use this recipe again.

  11. What's up i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere, when i read this article i thought i could also make comment due to this sensible article.
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  12. This may be a stupid question, but is pumpkin puree the pumpkin pie mix or just straight-up pumpkin? Thanks!

  13. @anonymous the pumkin is just plain pumkin in a can. :)

  14. I know this is an old post, but I made these this morning for our Thanksgiving dinner... OH.MY.GOSH. Yum!!! I'm not a pumpkin fan, but these are delicious. I think I will decrease the nutmeg and increase the cinnamon next time, though. Thanks for the recipe!


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