Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate and Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

Yes I know we're already one week into November, but I still wanted to share the batch of cupcakes I made for Halloween because they are the perfect treat all Fall season long.  Moist pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes topped with two different frostings: a cinnamon buttercream for those who love a pumpkin spice taste and chocolate buttercream for chocoholics. Who says you need to stick with boring old pumpkin pie, there's tons of other pumpkin treats that will just as quickly become a cult classic in your home...starting with these cupcakes.
One of my all time favorite pumpkin desserts is pumpkin chocolate chip cookies so I thought it would be fun to transform that into my favorite dessert of all time: a cupcake. I'm all about anything pumpkin flavored in the fall and I'm ALWAYS all about anything chocolate so put them together and you have a match made in heaven!
Even sans frosting, these cupcakes are amazing. The canned pumpkin makes the cupcakes moister than an ordinary cake batter so you don't even really need the frosting. But naturally after tasting a cupcake, I decided to make not one but TWO different frostings. I mean c'mon now, what would a cupcake be without frosting.
I love how both the chocolate and cinnamon buttercream frostings were a cinch to make plus they created a perfect natural fall color palette without any artificial food dyes. That's what its all about, letting the flavors speak for themselves. Nothing says fall like spicy cinnamon, rich chocolate, and sweet pumpkin. 

If you only have time to make one frosting, I would personally recommend the Cinnamon Buttercream because you still get your chocolate fix from the chocolate chips in the cake but the cinnamon in the frosting really helped bring out all the other fall spice flavors mixed into the batter (nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon).
But let's face it, everyone loves their chocolate. I brought these cupcakes into work on Halloween and the ones with the chocolate buttercream disappeared first and were most people's favorite. So I really suggest making both frostings...that way you get pretty presentation and cupcakes everyone will love!
The cupcakes are pretty on their own, but I was lucky enough to receive an awesome care package in the mail from my amazing Mom with Halloween cupcake liners, stencils, and toppers so I was able to make my cupcakes extra festive. These cupcakes would be a great dessert for Thanksgiving as well, just make sure to sub out the spooky decorations :)

Not only did these cupcakes provide me with a new favorite pumpkin dessert and lots of new friends at work...they were also the perfect accessory for my Stepford Wife Halloween costume. Hope everyone had a safe, spooky, and sweet Halloween!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate and Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup buttermilk

15 ounces pure pumpkin

4 eggs

1 teaspoon  vanilla

1 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder & salt.
In a large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs & vanilla until fully incorporated.  Reduce mixer speed to low and add in flour mixture a little at a time until just incorporated.  Gently stir in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
Spoon batter into the cupcake liners, filling each one 2/3 full.  Bake for approximately 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Once completely cool, top with cinnamon and chocolate buttercream frostings.

Cinnamon Buttercream

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

1/2 teaspoon milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a bowl, add the butter and confectioner’s sugar.  Beat for several minutes until creamy.  Add in milk, vanilla, cinnamon & salt and continue to beat until frosting is light and fluffy and spreadable consistency. Spread icing on top of cooled cupcakes.

Chocolate Buttercream
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioner sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

In a bowl, cream butter for a few minutes until fluffy. Add confectioner sugar and cocoa powder slowly on lowest speed until its completely mixed in. Increase mixer speed to medium, and add vanilla, salt, and milk and beat for a couple of minutes until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Spread icing on top of cooled cupcakes.

adapted from Macaroni and Cheesecake