California Avocado Pumpkin Cupcakes with Avocado Caramel Buttercream Frosting

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 California Avocado Pumpkin Cupcakes with Avocado Caramel Buttercream Frosting

These heavenly pumpkin cupcakes are the perfect treat for a Fall get-together. Mashed avocado replaces part of the butter and adds wonderful moistness. Pumpkin and warm spices give these cupcakes quintessential Autumn flavor. Be sure to make extra copies of the recipe, you’ll need them! This fabulous buttercream is silky smooth and pipes beautifully. Healthy avocado replaces some of the butter found in traditional buttercream.


Serves: 24
2 1/3  cups  all-purpose flour
tsp.  baking powder
1/4  tsp.  baking soda
1/2  tsp.  salt
tsp.  pumpkin pie spice*
1/2  cup  pureed avocado from 1 large, ripe California Avocado**
Tbsp.  butter, at room temperature
cup  light brown sugar
2/3  cup  white granulated sugar
  large egg
  egg yolk, from 1 large egg (save white for another purpose or discard)
2/3  cup  pumpkin puree
tsp.  vanilla extract
2/3  cup  milk
    Frosting Ingredients
Tbsp.  melted butter
2/3  cup  dark brown sugar
Tbsp.  milk, more if needed (see step 6, below)
  Pinch of salt
tsp.  vanilla extract
1/2  cup  mashed avocado from 1 large, ripe California Avocado*
Tbsp.  butter, at room temperature
5 1/2  cups  powdered sugar, more if needed (see step 6, below)

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.  Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a medium-size bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the pureed avocado and butter. Beat on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the brown and white sugar and continue beating on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add egg, egg yolks and pumpkin puree. Beat for another minute, stopping half way to scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.
  6. With mixer on low speed. add flour mixture (about 1/4 at a time) and milk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until dry ingredients are incorporated. After all ingredients are added, scrape down sides of bowl, increase speed to medium and beat for another 15 seconds.
  7. Scoop batter into prepared pans, filling each cup about 3/4 full. You may have a bit of extra batter but don’t try to over fill the cups.
  8. Bake 26-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven and cool in pans for 15 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
  10. When completely cool, frost with California Avocado Caramel Buttercream.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with ice cold milk, hot tea or coffee.

•   * Pumpkin pie spice is available in the spice section of larger grocery stores.

•    ** Baking is an exact science. 1 large avocado is approximately 1/2 cup. Be sure to measure. If you have a bit of extra avocado reserve it for another use (it makes a wonderful sandwich spread).

•    For this recipe, you’ll want the avocado puree to be very smooth and cream. Use a food processor, blender or immersion blender to obtain best results.

California Avocado Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Prep time:  20 minutes (30 minute cooling time not included)
Total time:  50 minutes with cooling time included

  1. Combine melted butter, brown sugar, 3 tablespoons milk and salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Place in microwave and cook on high power for 1 minute. Stir well and return to microwave cooking another 1 minute on high. Mixture will vigorously bubble. Watch carefully to make sure it does not boil over sides of bowl
  3. Remove from microwave and set aside to cool for 30 minutes, then proceed with recipe.
  4. Place mashed avocado, softened butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Start with mixer on low speed and beat for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and mix for another minute.
  5. Add vanilla and cooled brown sugar/butter mixture and 1 tablespoon milk.  Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula every minute or so.
  6. Icing should be creamy and spreadable. If it’s too stiff, add more milk and conversely, if too runny add powdered sugar, a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Serving Suggestion: Spread or pipe** caramel buttercream on top of California Avocado Pumpkin Cupcakes.


*1 large avocado is approximately 1/2 cup. You may have a bit extra. Reserve it for another use (mashed avocado makes a wonderful sandwich spread).
** A large drop flower decorating tip was used to swirl the icing on the cupcakes in the picture. You want a fairly stiff icing for swirling so add a little more powdered sugar if consistency is too thin. To swirl, place buttercream in a decorating bag fitted with a large drop flower (2D) tip. With decorating tip held at a 90 degree angle to the top of the cupcake, squeeze out a star in the center. Without releasing pressure, swirl around the star, working your way to the outer edges and back in again to the center in two or three concentric circles. When you get back to the center, release the pressure and pull tip away.

Chris Scheuer

Chris Scheuer, Café Sucre Farine

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