Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with White Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with White Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting

Happy first day of fall, everyone! I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the start of a new season than with these cupcakes. As they bake, your home will be filled with the wonderful, warm smells of the season — or at least pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg. Even those of us who live in climates where the epitome of fall, in all its colorful-foliage and crisp-weather glory, doesn’t ever seem to arrive (at least not until December) can get into the autumnal spirit with a batch of these around to enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with White Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting

(frosting adapted from How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking)

Preparation Time: 30-45 minutes (including frosting), plus cooling time

Baking Time: 20 – 22 minutes

Makes: 1 dozen


Dry Ingredients:

  • 37 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) Millet Flour
  • 37 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) Garbanzo Fava Bean Flour
  • 48 grams (1/4 cup) Potato Starch
  • 19 grams (2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) Arrowroot Starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 2 tablespoons (yes, tablespoons) Pumpkin Pie Spice¹
  • 96 grams (1/2 cup) Evaporated Cane Juice

Wet Ingredients:

  • 122 grams (1/2 cup) canned Pumpkin Purée (not Pumpkin Pie Mix)
  • 42 grams (2 tablespoons) Molasses
  • 57 grams (1/4 cup) Canola Oil
  • 57 grams (1/4 cup) Buttermilk
  • 2 large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

White Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting:

  • 6 ounces White Chocolate², melted
  • 57 grams (1/4 cup) cold, unsalted Butter
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) Sour Cream
  • 270 grams (2 1/4 cups) Confectioner’s Sugar, sift after measuring
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice, for sprinkling


Prepare and Cool Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tin with a dozen paper liners, set aside.

Place dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, whisk together until well blended. Mix together wet ingredients (pumpkin purée through vanilla extract) in a separate bowl. Pour the wet mixture into dry ingredients; whisk until smooth and lump-free.

Divide the batter among 12 lined muffin cups (about a scant 1/4 cup in each). Bake for 20 – 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for several minutes in the pans before removing to cooling racks.

Make Frosting and Ice Cupcakes:

Once cupcakes are cooled completely, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine white chocolate through butter; blend on medium speed until combined. Add sour cream, beat til well mixed. Add confectioner’s sugar, beat for several minutes, until slightly fluffy. Place frosting in the fridge for about 15 minutes, stirring every couple minutes (to prevent any uneven hardening), or until the frosting is firmed up enough to frost the cupcakes (too firm and it will tear up the cupcakes as you spread it and too soft it will slide off the tops).

Frost cupcakes as desired (I typically divide it amongst the cupcakes and swirl it on using a small, thin spatula – straight or offset). Once frosted, sprinkle tops with a tiny amount of pumpkin pie spice.

Place frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator until frosting is firm before covering with plastic wrap. Allow cupcakes to come to room temp for about 30 minutes before serving.


¹ I use Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice — besides the usual ingredients, it also includes some citrus peel and cardamom. Not a huge deal if you can’t find it, just use your favorite blend!

² Avoid using melted white chocolate chips, they tend to be runnier than melted bar-form white chocolate (same deal with any kind of chocolate, but I digress…) and it’ll be very difficult to get the right consistency for the frosting without altering the flavor. I use one by Callebaut, purchased in a 1 pound block from Whole Foods (they hide it by the cheese in “my” store, not down the baking aisle).

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  • Reply
    September 21, 2011 at 11:01 am

    These cupcakes look lovely. Baking gluten free I know can be difficult and expensive, but I am sure that after tasting these those concerns slip away. Great post.

  • Reply
    heather sage
    September 21, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Thank you, Tina!

    It’s definitely more expensive than using all-purpose flour ( I hate to think of how cheap a 5 pound bag is….). However, since I use the same four flours (millet, gar-fava, potato starch, arrowroot starch) in my baking, I can buy them in bulk which helps lower the price. I try to keep in mind that the ingredients used cost about as much as a single cupcake purchased from a bakery, and this way [baking from scratch] I get to have exactly what I’m craving — be it a cake, tart, eclair, etc — while also sharing a tried-and-true recipe with others!

    Please forgive my rambling, and thank you, as always, for reading!

  • Reply
    September 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    This cupcake sounds and looks so good. I really need to stock my pantry with gluten free baking items so I can make things a little easier. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kim Bee
    September 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Congrats on top 9. These are so beautiful!

  • Reply
    heather sage
    September 23, 2011 at 7:03 am

    S.V.: Thank you :). It really helps make life a lot easier … that and a kitchen scale (do you already use/own one?)! If you need help locating some of the ingredients called for, in the right column, under “where to?” there is a link to a list of my favorite gluten-free product sources (flours, extracts and more).

    Kim Bee: Thank you!

  • Reply
    Christine's Pantry
    September 23, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9!

  • Reply
    Heather Sage (A Sage Amalgam)
    September 24, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Thank you, Christine!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Good heavens these look amazing!

  • Reply
    Jen at The Three Little Piglets
    September 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Yum! I’d be perfectly happy with a bowl of that frosting!

  • Reply
    Part Time House Wife
    October 23, 2012 at 5:55 am

    These sound way more dangerous to scent the house with then the creamy nutmeg air fresheners from Bath and Body works… but i’ll take ’em anyway! Love a good sourcream frosting! Yummm . Thanks for linking up to the All things pumpkin!

  • Reply
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