Pumpkin Espresso Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

If you enjoy pumpkin spiced lattes with salted caramel then, you’ll enjoy these Pumpkin Espresso Cupcakes! Packed with pumpkin spice flavor, having a tender crumb and are highly addicting.

Pumpkin Espresso Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting | URBAN BAKES

The base of these pumpkin cupcakes originated from this pumpkin s’mores cake made a few years back. Since then, I’ve made the recipe a handful of times looking for ways to elevate its flavor and texture into a cupcake form. While doing so, I’ve also unintentionally increased my caffeine intake when it dawned on me that by adding a single ingredient, I could make these into a flavor similar to a latte.

If you guessed espresso as the single ingredient, you’re right! Two teaspoons is enough to give it a latte flavor without overwhelming the main feature of pumpkin and all of its wonderful spices.

Pumpkin Espresso Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting | URBAN BAKES

With the sponge cake portion of the pumpkin cupcakes, I immediately fell in love. The first bite took me straight to those moments when I take that first swig of my pumpkin spiced lattes in the mornings. The euphoric hit I get; it’s like I feel it in my veins!

I continued with the pumpkin latte trend by pairing it with salted caramel. This is the season when salted caramel goes hand-in-hand with pumpkin so why not run with it, right? Besides, saving this frosting recipe to use at a later time with either apple, banana and even chocolate cakes, can pair together perfectly!

Pumpkin Espresso Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting | URBAN BAKES

The frosting is made by first creating a caramel sauce (butter, brown sugar and heavy cream). If you’re looking to drizzle your cupcakes as I have in the photos, reserve about 1/2 cup of caramel. In this recipe, I chose to not salt the reserved caramel for two reasons. First, because the frosting will be salted and didn’t want the salt factor to be overpowering. Second, any leftover caramel could be used as a dip for snacking on apples.

The rest of the cooled caramel is mixed with powdered sugar and Kosher salt. The flaked sea salt in the recipe card is only optional as a “garnish.” And that’s it! It’s not tricky at all and instead, is rather quite easy to make. I’ve made this frosting a handful of times as seen in this cake and in these cupcakes and will continue to use it because everyone loves it!

Pumpkin Espresso Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting | URBAN BAKES

If you enjoyed this recipe, consider commenting & rating below. I love to see your feedback and help answer any questions. Don’t forget to check below for related recipes.

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Pumpkin Espresso Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting URBAN BAKES 2.1

Pumpkin Espresso Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

  • Author: URBAN BAKES
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian



If you enjoy pumpkin spiced lattes with salted caramel then, you’ll enjoy these Pumpkin Espresso Cupcakes! Packed with pumpkin spice flavor, having a tender crumb and are highly addicting.




  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (3 grams) espresso powder or instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (183 grams) pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) vegetable oil


  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (440 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) heavy cream
  • 4 cups (460 grams) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) flaked sea salt (optional)



  1. PUMPKIN CUPCAKES: Heat oven to 350°F (175°C).  Line 12 cupcake wells with a cupcake liner; set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, salt, cloves and nutmeg; set aside. 
  2. In a bowl fitted to an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat on medium to high speed eggs while gradually adding granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla until just combined. 
  3. While the electric mixer is ON, slowly add in the flour mixture alternating with oil beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Continue to mix on low to medium speed until just combined.  Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full which is about 1/4 cup of batter. 
  4. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs. Let cupcakes rest in the pan for 1 minute before carefully removing them onto a wire rack to cool to room temperature.   
  5. SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING:  Meanwhile, in a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and boil for 1 minute, whisking continuously. Decrease heat to medium, add heavy cream and continue to whisk for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and reserve 1/2 cup caramel in a small bowl; set aside. This will be used to drizzle the cupcakes.  Transfer the remaining caramel to a large bowl fitted to an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Allow caramel to cool until room temperature. Caramel will thicken which is normal.
  7. Once cooled, mix in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt on low to medium speed.  Mix in more powdered sugar until frosting has thickened and is smooth and spreadable.  Add remaining Kosher salt if needed.
  8. ASSEMBLY: In a large piping bag fitted with a closed star tip (I used Wilton 2D), fill the bag about 3/4 full, twist the wide-end opening of the bag to push down and seal in the frosting.  Pipe swirls clockwise or counterclockwise beginning toward the outer edge of the cupcake and working inward toward the center at each layer of the swirl. Drizzle caramel sauce over the frosting and sprinkle with sea salt. 
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin spiced cupcakes, salted caramel frosting, salted caramel buttercream, pumpkin espresso

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