pumpkin spice cupcakes with orange meringue buttercream

i was so excited about the gingerbread cupcake with mango meringue buttercream i made last month that i was looking for an excuse to make the meringue buttercream again. when i saw this recipe for this pumpkin spice cupcake, i had to try it.

the original recipe called for an orange sour cream frosting so i substituted it for an orange meringue buttercream.

again, the buttercream was ridiculously good – it was hard to resist licking off all of the buttercream on each cupcake! but the orange flavor did go hand-in-hand with the pumpkin spice cupcake. yum!


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 3 cups 100% whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup organic unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar ~try palm sugar
  • 6 large eggs whites
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup molasses – or –
    1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cloves. Beat apple sauce, oil and the sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the pumpkin and the sugar. Slow down mixing speed and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups (about 1/4 cup each) and bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.



Meringue Buttercream Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted whipped butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
  • zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice – or – cinnamon

Meringue Buttercream Preparation

Place the egg whites and sugar into a metal bowl and set over a pan filled with about 2 inches of simmering water. Heat, stirring frequently, until the temperature of the egg whites reaches 140 degrees. They will feel very hot to the touch.

Transfer the heated egg whites and sugar to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Mix at high speed (or as high as you can go without egg flying out of the bowl) until they have reached their maximum volume, 5 to 10 minutes. Mix on medium or medium-high speed while pinching off small pieces of butter and throwing them in.

Mix in orange juice concentrate and orange zest. The buttercream may look like it is breaking down, but keep on mixing and it will come back together.



Frost each pumpkin spice cupcake with the orange meringue buttercream. Sprinkle pumpkin spice or cinnamon on top of the buttercream.

original recipe from Woman’s Day: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Orange Sour Cream Frosting Recipe

original meringue recipe from allrecipes.com: Easiest, Most Delicious Meringue Buttercream


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