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Make-a-Cake Series: Thanksgiving Day Cupcakes

Mmmmmmm, this Make-a-Cake series always makes me so hungry.

Brittany always creates the most delicious things.

But this one has me thinking of how I can justify making them this weekend…………
………and then again next week for Thanksgiving.  Yum.
Thanks Brittany!

Multi Tasking. 
I love making food that will multi-task for me, especially when it helps me with the busy holidays.
This thanksgiving I will have a dessert that will do three jobs:
  •  Act as a festive name card on the table.
  • A really delicious  treat to share with all attending.
  •  Saves time by not needing to dish up dessert after dinner.

This thanksgiving we are having….

Caramel Soaked Pumpkin Cupcakes 
with Cream Cheese Frosting and Toasted Walnuts. 

I have a favorite Thanksgiving dessert. It’s pumpkin cheesecake with caramel sauce. I enjoy it every year but its always hard to serve and takes a long time to make.  It’s worth it, but I decided that by turning those similar flavors into cupcakes this year, it would save me some time ……….and they’re cute too!

After I put the cupcakes all together, I took a bite and all the flavors of my favorite dessert came together.
In that moment, I decided they were even better in cupcake form!

I think I have a new favorite Thanksgiving dessert!
Maybe you’ll love it too……especially all of those delicious fall flavors.  The pumpkin, walnuts, caramel and cream cheese all rolled into a fantastic cupcake, will not disappoint.

Now onto the part where you can make your own.

Name Cards
I used the cupcakes as name cards.  You can do first initials like I did or whole names.  It’s up to you.

**Cut your letters from fondant and let them dry for 24 hours on a cornstarch coated sheet pan.
I made mine orange and white. You can do any colors you’d like.

To make the cupcakes, I used a regular french vanilla cake mix and added to it. 
I baked them in cupcake liners but you can skip that step and bake then in a greased muffin pan. 
Makes 20-22 cupcakes
Mix together:
1 cake mix (french vanilla or white)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree 
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk
Fill your greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. 
After the cupcakes cool, put each cupcake into a glass sauce dish. 
**I think these are pretty common. I am pretty sure you can pick some up at Walmart.
Using a melon baller or small spoon, make a small hole in the top of your cupcake.
Then, pour a 1/2 tablespoon of caramel topping into the hole. 
(I just bought Smuckers brand caramel. Use your favorite brand or homemade.  Mmmm.)
The caramel will soak down into the cupcake over the next hour. 
You can continue to decorate as this happens.

Make the cream cheese frosting from this post.

Color it with your choice of colors, and put it into piping bags.

How much frosting you need will depend on how many cupcakes you made.

1 batch of frosting will frost 20-22 cupcakes.

Cut the end of your piping bags off and pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake. 
Continue with all your colors until all your cupcakes are frosted. 
Toast some walnuts, break them into small pieces, and sprinkle them on top of your cupcakes.
To decorate the cupcakes with some fall decor I bought some edible leaves. 
They are made of rice paper and edible ink. HERE is where I bought them.
Add your dry letters to each cupcake. Press the letters into the frosting to make them stick. 
They are all ready for your table.
Set one at each place. 
Your guests will appreciate the time you took to make them their own personal dessert. 
But give them a extra fork for dessert. These cupcakes definitely need a fork!
I hope you all have a fun and delicious Thanksgiving!
Happy Decorating!
Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Jenny! says:

    oh, and i accidentally bought pecans instead is this ok???

  2. Jenny! says:

    I GOT ALLL THE INGREDiENTS! Im so excited to do this for tomorrow despite not doing a dress rehearsal lol.
    Is it better to complete these tonight or before I head out?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi, it's me again.. I made them without the eggs ( o; ..everyone gobbled them up at not a disaster! I will make a note on my recipe.. thanks for replying..Happy Holidays!

  4. Rockstargirlz says:

    These look yummy. Thanks for all your great how tos.

  5. Rachel says:

    These look sooooooo beautiful. When I make these I may have to stare at them for a while before tasting them! Thanks for the great recipe.

  6. Laurel says:

    YUM! I can't wait to make these! Will they keep overnight if I make them ahead of time?

  7. Ashley says:

    Anonymous – I'm so sorry about that the eggs being left out in the recipe. Brittany is out of town but I got a hold of her to ask her and I fixed the recipe. It should read 2 eggs. I hope that didn't mess you up too much!


  8. Anonymous says:

    These look so good!.They are in my oven now.. I hope I did this eggs? ok and they looked like they needed to bake a little longer…Anything with caramel and cream cheese frosting has to be great! Love your blog.

  9. Susan Krauss says:

    I would use the machine to decorate my less than exciting laundry room walls! lol

  10. Cynthia says:

    Being able to design my own designs for decorating my bags is wonderful. Finally not being dictated by precuts.

  11. Chic Cookies says:

    Love it! And they look so yummy. I spotted on One Pretty Thing and I linked, too ( Hope that's OK :)

  12. Denise says:

    I made these last night and they are totally yummy!!! The recipe for the frosting made enough for two batches of cupcakes so I made another set today. Soooooo Good : )

  13. Amy says:

    I need a good buttercream frosting recipe to frost my cake before I put fondant on it. Any suggestions?

  14. Kristen says:

    OK, I've never seen cupcakes in little glass cups, but they're adorable like that! And they sound delicious.

  15. NatalieJean says:

    Caramel in a cupcake? I need these in my belly!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Of course I see this today, when I was looking for a yummy pumpkin cupcake recipe for the hubby's birthday yesterday! Can't wait to try these out! They sound AMAZING!

  17. Tigress says:

    I cannot wait to try these this weekend! Cupcakes are my favorite things to bring to any gathering and these couldn't be anymore perfect for the Thanksgiving Holiday and other gatherings!!! Thanks so much!

    P.S. I am a new follower and I have found so many things that I LOVE on your site, you have fabulous ideas!!!!!

  18. Aly says:

    Thank you! I needed a fantastic cupcake idea for this weekend. This is perfect!

  19. Nicki says:

    These are so cute! What a great idea!

  20. Emily says:

    That sounds delicious :) Thanks for posting

  21. Chelsea says:

    These are absolutely adorable! And caramel soaked anything is awesome. This is the first year my family is hosting Thanksgiving and I'm going a bit crazy with it so this will be a perfect addition :)

  22. Heidi says:

    Oh, these look so yummy! Next month I'm making dinosaur cakes for my twin boy's birthday. I did them last year and I'm going to try this year with fondant. I wondered if you could give me any tips or knew where I could find a cute pattern at. Thanks, Heidi

  23. Emily says:

    ok…these look amazing! i can't wait to try them out!

  24. very merry vintage style says:

    Oh these are so cute and look like they taste pretty yummy! Love the clear glass touch.

  25. alexandra says:

    those look SO delicious! I'm going to have to bookmark this idea!

  26. Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife says:

    These are soo cute! I was JUST looking at cupcakes and cake pops, decided what I'm going to make for Thanksgiving this year!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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