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Cupcakes for Thanksgiving

Courtesy of That Cupcake Site

This Thanksgiving, Turn Your Pie Into a Cupcake!

Tired of eating pie on Thanksgiving? Sick of mainstream Thanksgiving desserts? Not feeling the crust to filling ratio? Ready for an innovative spin on the holiday meal? Here are some suggestions for ways to transform the classic flavors from Thanksgiving pies into cupcakes!


Pumpkin Cupcakes With Maple Buttercream Frosting

24 cupcakes

Courtesy of Real Simple

Courtesy of Real Simple


Pumpkin Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

Maple Buttercream Frosting

8 ounce bar cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt


  1. Make the cupcakes: Heat oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, eggs, granulated sugar, and oil until uniform in color. Add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined (do not overmix).
  3. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.
  4. Make the frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, and salt on high until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Frost the cupcakes.


Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting

18 cupcakes


Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest

Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest


Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup bourbon*

1 cup canola oil

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 large eggs

2/3 cup greek yogurt

Pecan Pie Filling

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup corn syrup

3 eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons bourbon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Butter Pecan Frosting

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 cup + 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

2 tablespoons bourbon

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cup finely chopped raw pecans + 18 whole pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 18 liners.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the bourbon, canola oil and cocoa powder until smooth and creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and greek yogurt with an electric mixer. Slowly add bourbon and cocoa mixture. Combine on medium speed until silky and smooth. Beat in the sugar.
  4. Slowly add flour, salt and baking soda, combining on low speed until just incorporated.
  5. Fill baking cups three-fourths full. Bake for about 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling, at least 2 hours or covered overnight.
  6. Meanwhile make the pecan pie filling. Combine 1/4 cup cold water with 2 tablespoons cornstarch, whisk until smooth. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, salt and corn starch mixture to a sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking consistently for about 5 minutes. Do not stop whisking the mixture, especially in the beginning or you will end up with scrambled eggs. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the pecans, bourbon and vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool a few minutes and then transfer to the fridge for at least one hour or until completely cooled and thickened.
  7. To make the frosting. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat.
  8. In a medium sauce pan, melt together 1/4 cup butter, cream, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl in the freezer (or fridge for longer) for 15-20 minutes or until cool.
  9. In a bowl whisk together the bourbon, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon. Add pecans and stir to coat evenly. Transfer nuts to prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until toasted. Remove and toss the pecans with 1 tablespoon butter. Allow to cool 10 minutes, set aside.
  10. Now grab the cooled butter mixture and add the remaining 1/2 cup room temperature butter, vanilla and powdered sugar to the bowl and beat together until well combined. MIx in about 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans. If the frosting is not stiff enough to frost the cupcakes place it in the fridge for 30 20-30 minutes or the freezer for 5-15 minutes. The remove and whip it for a few second to get everything smooth again.
  11. To assemble the cupcakes: Use a small paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece from the center of each cupcake. Fill the hole with the cooled pecan pie filling. Add the frosting (if you want to pipe the frosting on use a circular tip, double the frosting recipe and swirl the frosting on in a circular motion) and sprinkle each cupcake with the remaining pecans. If desired top with 1 whole pecan.


*If you do not want to use a whole cup of bourbon you can do 1/2 cup coffee + 1/2 cup bourbon.


Sweet Potato Cider Cupcake with Marshmallow Frosting

Courtesy of Food Network

Courtesy of Food Network

24 cupcakes


Sweet Potato Cider Cupcakes

8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

16 ounces canned sweet potatoes, drained and mashed

2/3 cup apple cider

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

Caramel Cider Sauce

4 cups apple cider

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

2 ounces salted butter (1/2 stick)

1/2 cup light brown sugar

Marshmallow Frosting

16 ounces unsalted butter (4 sticks)

12 tablespoons Cider Caramel Reduction

16 ounces marshmallow creme (recommended: Marshmallow Fluff)

Toasted Salted Pecans

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons salted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line regular sized cupcake pans with 24 liners.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. In a food processor, combine the sweet potatoes, apple cider, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Put aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine flour with remaining dry ingredients. Whisk until blended. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, alternating with the sweet potato mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
  4. Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter. Bake until golden brown, 22 to 24 minutes. Remove from the pan immediately. Cool completely.
  5. For the cider reduction: In a medium saucepan, bring the cider to a boil, add the vanilla bean, and cook until the cider reduces to about 2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the butter and sugar. Cook until the cider reduces to about 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to glass bowl. Cover. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until reduction is cooled completely. Can be made up to 3 days in advance. Reserve half for the Marshmallow Cream Frosting and half for assembling the cupcakes.
  6. For the marshmallow frosting: In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, scraping down the bowl occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add the Caramel Cider Reduction and beat until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the marshmallow creme until incorporated.
  7. For the pecans: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave. Coat the chopped pecan with butter. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt while warm and toss. Cool completely.
  9. To assemble: Drizzle a small amount of Caramel Cider Reduction over the top of each cupcake. Generously frost each cupcake with Marshmallow Frosting and sprinkle with Toasted Salted Pecans.


Apple-Cinnamon Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

12 cupcakes


Courtesy of Tracey's Culinary Adventures

Courtesy of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

Apple-Cinnamon Cupcakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 Granny Smith apples (about 1 lb), peeled, cored, and shredded

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

1 lb confectioners’ sugar, sifted and divided

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and both sugars until smooth and well combined, making sure to break up any clumps of brown sugar. Add the oil and vanilla and whisk until completely incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir just until everything comes together. Fold in the apples until evenly distributed.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed with your finger and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting: Add 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar to a small nonstick skillet. Try to sprinkle in an even layer. Set the pan over medium heat and let the sugar sit untouched until it melts – it’ll seem like it takes forever to start melting, but once it gets going, it goes fast. Continue cooking until the sugar turns an amber color, stirring occasionally – keep an eye on it, it can burn quickly. Add 1/2 cup of the cream, the vanilla and salt (carefully, the mixture will bubble up!). Stir until any hardened bits of caramel melt. Add the remaining tablespoon of cream and stir to incorporate. Strain the caramel into a heatproof bowl and set aside to cool.
  5. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the remaining confectioners’ sugar, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Once all the sugar has been added, mix in the cooled caramel. Beat the frosting on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Cover the chill until the frosting is firm enough to pipe (about an hour).
  6. To assemble the cupcakes: Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a tip. Pipe frosting into a swirl on each cupcake. Garnish with toasted pecans, more caramel sauce, or both!


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