Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes filled with Cranberry Curd and topped with a Molasses Buttercream Frosting

Well that went by fast! 30 days of new pumpkin recipes. It may seem absolutely ridiculous to some, but I am so incredibly proud of myself tonight. I have a tendency to think up these blog ideas, and then when the time comes around to actually DO it... I never follow through. Or I start, and then stop just days or weeks into it. I actually created 30 brand new recipes and blogged for 30 straight days!

For those of you who blog regularly and develop new recipes, you know what kind of work it entails to test recipes, photograph them, write about them, and then promote them through social media. THIRTY straight days of that while taking care of the husband and kids! I'm tired.

But a good kind of tired. I'm pretty excited about the content I've put out there for you all. These were not your traditional pumpkin recipes, I worked hard on putting new twists on classics and then even creating some brand new ideas. To be honest my brain started to hurt after awhile because I was thinking so hard trying to create new and exciting recipes.

Because of all of this blogging, writing, photographing and recipe development. I feel like I have improved my skills and my fan base has grown considerably. It may have seemed like a silly project to some, but it was good for me personally and professionally!

I figured to end the challenge I needed to end with a celebratory cake of sorts. So here is my final #30DaysOfPumpkin recipe to share. A rich Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake filled with Cranberry Curd and topped with a spiced Molasses Buttercream. For those who are not big fans of cranberry, you can omit the curd completely or maybe even sub it for an orange curd.

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes filled with Cranberry Curd and topped with Molasses Buttercream

For the cakes:
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  •  1/2 tbs baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
For the cranberry curd:
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 tbs corn starch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
For the frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
To prepare your cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line cupcake pans with 18-24 liners
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter , both types of sugar together until it is lightly and fluffy.
  4. Mix in each egg one at a time. 
  5. Mix in pumpkin puree, vanilla and buttermilk.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice together.
  7. With your mixer on medium/low, slowly pour in your flour mixture.
  8. Once Incorporated, remove from mixer and pour into cupcake liners. Do not fill more than 3/4 of the way.
  9. Bake for about 22-25 minutes or until a tooth pick is inserted and comes out clean. 
To prepare your filling:
  1. In a sauce pan over medium heat, add orange juice, water, cranberries and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until all of the berries have popped and it has begun to thicken.
  2. Remove from heat, discard cinnamon stick. 
  3. Pour/push mixture through a fine sieve into a separate sauce pan. Discard skin/pulp.
  4. Add egg yolks, both types of sugar and salt into the pan with the cranberry mixture. Whisk constantly over low heat.
  5. Slowly pour in corn starch. Continue whisking.
  6. Whisk the mixture until it is lump free and it has thickened to the constancy of pudding.
  7. Add in butter and stir until melted. 
  8. Pour into a heat proof container and refrigerate until cold.  
To prepare your frosting:
  1. In the bowl of your electric mixer using your whisk attachment, cream butter and salt until fluffy. 
  2. Mix in molasses.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. 
  4. Once combined, while mixer is on medium speed. Mix in heavy cream 1 tbs at a time until the mixture is lightly and fluffy. If it appears to be too thick go ahead and add a few drops of cream to thin it to your likings. 
To assemble:
  1. Cut a small circle in the top of each cooled cupcake. About a 1/2 inch around.
  2. Fill a piping back with cranberry curd, and pipe 1-2tsp of filling into each center.
  3. Add frosting to a clean piping bag, and dollop frosting over the tops of each cake covering the curd.  


  1. 30 days of pumpkin - that's pretty impressive. Now you can wait until next year to eat pumpkin again! haha

  2. Wow!! Beautiful photos and this recipe sounds incredible! Great job lady!!

  3. Thanks for doing this challenge. I truly enjoyed seeing all the recipes you came up with. This final recipe is divine combining so many fall flavors in one. Congrats Carrie!

  4. I have found- while making lemon curd- that if you mix the cornstarch with your sugars prior to adding it to your cooking mixture, it will eliminate having lumps in your curd...it has always worked for me anyways..

  5. That molasses cake looks so delicious! Congrats on sticking with the challenge. Blogging for that many days straight with a new recipe everyday is certainly a challenge!

  6. I have been seriously impressed by your 30 days of pumpkin, I'm exhausted just thinking about it! All of your recipes were so creative. You should definitely be celebrating with you family and sleep:-)

  7. I love chocolate and pumpkin together, and then the molasses buttercream! I'm a little skeptical about the filling, but I am sure I would be won over if I tried it!

  8. My favorite part…. the cranberry curd. You totally had me with that!

  9. Sigh, looking at your beautiful photos of these cupcakes makes me so happy (although I'd be even happier if I had a batch in front of me to eat!). I love that you made a cranberry curd! I'd never have thought of that. This sounds like the perfect mix of flavours, Carrie.

  10. very festive flavors! they look yummy!

  11. The directions for the curd mention butter, but in the ingredient list no butter is listed for the curd. How much do you use in the curd?