Rating: 3 stars
42 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 16
  • 2 star values: 12
  • 1 star values: 3
  • 42 Ratings

If you’ve never had pumpkin and chocolate together before you’re in for a real treat. These cupcakes stay moist and tender not only due to the pumpkin puree but thanks to the addition of sour cream in the batter. And don’t be intimidated by that pretty swirl; all it takes is a toothpick or a narrow paring knife to marble the pumpkin and chocolate batters together. The frosting is a riff on one or our all-time favorite, super-simple cream cheese frosting recipes. The cream cheese offers just the right tang to offset the sweetness and richness of the chocolate.

Deb Wise


Credit: Max Kelly

Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr 10 mins
Serves 12


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners. Beat butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl on medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Starting and ending with flour, add flour mixture and sour cream in 5 additions, beating just until combined after each addition. Scoop half of batter into a separate bowl. Stir pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice into 1 bowl of batter; stir cocoa and milk into the second bowl.

  • Layer pumpkin and chocolate batters alternately to fill prepared muffin cups; swirl each with a wooden pick. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

  • While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the Icing: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Add cocoa, milk, vanilla, and salt and beat on low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. If icing is too thick, beat in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach desired consistency. Top cooled cupcakes with icing.