Pumpkin Cupcakes with Dulce de leche filling

If you read the blog regularly, you know by now that I love fall. And what flavor is more quintessentially fall than pumpkin? None, I’d say. Todd and I recently started attending a group at church for newly married couples and I signed up to bring snacks as soon as they announced they needed volunteers. An excuse to bake? Yes, please!

Since I was feeling creative I decided to dream up the most autumnal, decadent cupcakes I could think of – pumpkin cupcakes with dulce de leche filling. Whoa, mama.

To top it off I made homemade cream cheese frosting. Oh yeah, they were as good as they sound. Honestly, I’ve never heard so many compliments on one of my baked goods. Plus, I was asked for the recipe, always a good sign. Of course, pumpkin recipes abound in the blog world so it was the dulce de leche filling that really made these puppies unique. Of course, I used Catarina dulce de leche to fill them. I’ve raved about this stuff before and I don’t plan to stop any time soon.

The best part? This post is my very first giveaway post! That means that YOU could be the next lucky person to try Catarina dulce de leche. I am so excited to be hosting my first giveaway and am so grateful to Mary-Catheryn, the heart and soul behind Catarina for offering up these treats for my readers! More about the giveaway after the recipe. You need to know how to make these, right?
pumpkin cupcakes with dulce de leche filling

cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cups canned pumpkin

cream cheese frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

filling:
2-3 ounces Catarina dulce de leche
yield: 12 cupcakes
adapted from the joy of baking
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Alternately add the dry ingredients and pumpkin in three stages, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Fill the muffin cups evenly with the batter using an ice cream scoop. Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes until cooked through. Cool completely.

When cupcakes are completely cooled, cut out a small cone shape from the top of each one and remove the cone from each cupcake and cut off the pointy tip of the cake cones leaving a flat piece of cake behind. Fill a plastic bag with dulce de leche and make sure it is well sealed. Cut the tip off of one corner of the bag and fill the space once filled by the cake cones with dulce de leche. After the cupcakes are filled, replace the cake tops to close up the cupcakes.

Beat together the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter and beat until incorporated and smooth. Add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Pipe or spread frosting on the cupcakes.

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