These Pumpkin Blueberry Crumb Cake Cupcakes are perfect treats to transition into the autumn season! Ripe August Blueberries are folded into a lightly spiced pumpkin cupcake. The cupcakes have a crumb cake crust, crumb cake topping, and crumb cake cookie dough filling, and are garnished with more crumb cake crumbles. Better yet, these Pumpkin Blueberry Crumb Cake Cupcakes are topped with a fluffy swirl of cream cheese frosting.
I know it is mid-September and I am just conceding to the reality of autumn. Trust me, I love the fall. The cooler nights pair with the warm sunny days. Leaves deepen into a dark mossy green, while early turning tree explode like colorful fireworks. After a long summer’s heat, produce are ripe and sweet, plump for the harvest.
These Pumpkin Blueberry Crumb Cake Cupcakes are a mouthful, not only to say, but to describe. There are a lot of things going on in one thing cupcake.
First the crumb cake component. Crumb cake crumbs are pressed into the bottom of the cupcake liners and partially baked before the batter is scooped into the liners. Other crumbs bake on top of the cupcake batter. This topping recreates the classic crumb cake taste.
Some of the raw crumb cake dough nestles into the cored center of the cupcake, providing a good balance of textures. You may think that raw crumb cake dough is excessive, but it’s basically an eggless cookie dough. Who can go wrong with eggless cookie dough? Don’t answer that, that was a rhetorical question.
Next the cupcake. Generally I cook pumpkin puree to develop and deepen the pumpkin’s flavor. This cooking process mirrors the effects of browning butter, with creates notes of rich caramel flavors. But, for once, I wanted to keep that young pumpkin flavor. Since September is the entrance month for the autumn, I wanted to start the season with fresh pumpkin flavor.
To get an even bite of pumpkin to blueberries, I scooped the pumpkin batter into the liners and then I placed 3 to 5 blueberries into each liner. This insured that each cupcake has consistent.
Finally the frosting, it may seem kind of boring to do just cream cheese frosting. However remember the name of these cupcakes: Pumpkin Blueberry Crumb Cake Cupcakes. There are a lot of flavors— brown sugar cinnamon, pumpkin, and blueberry—all of which needed a neutral ‘glue.’
Lightly tinted a pale blue color, this cream cheese frosting is a classic pairing that doesn’t overwhelm the cupcake with any sort of heavy sweetness.
As you’ll see in the directions, I made this batter without a stand mixer. Since oil was the primary fat (instead of the classic butter based cake), there is no need for creaming and aerating the fat with sugars. Filling the cupcake ¾ of the way up will ensure a good cupcake dome.
Get your autumn on with this perfect transitional cupcake!
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup blueberries
- ½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 3 to 4 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- blue-purple food gel coloring
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Double line the cupcake pans with tow liners per cupcake. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set both aside.
- Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour in the melted butter, mixing with a rubber spatula (but your hands are the best tool for this sort of mixing) until loose crumbles form.
- Use your fingers to press ⅓rd of the crumb cake mixture into the bottom of each cupcake. Scatter ⅓rd of the mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Reserve the remaining unbaked crumb mixture for later.
- Bake the cupcake crust for 10 minutes. Bake the crumbs for 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, set aside.
- In a separate bowl whisk the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Mix in the oil. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla.
- Switch to a rubber spatula and combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use an ice cream scoop to evenly divide the batter among the cupcake pans, scoop each cupcake with ¾rd way full. Press 3 to 5 blueberries into each cupcake and bake for 20 to 24 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on a medium speed until smooth, fluffy, and lump free, about 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl down and add the vanilla and salt.
- With the mixer's speed on low, slowly add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Tint the frosting to the desired shade of blue and beat on medium-high for 20 to 25 seconds.
- Use a cupcake corer to removed some of the center. Fill the hole with the raw crumb cake dough. Use a pastry bag fitted with a round tip to pipe the frosting. Garnish the rim of the cupcakes with crumbled crumb cake crumbs.