Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream

My Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes are so moist and delicious on their own, but the maple swiss meringue buttercream sends them into overdrive!    

gf pumpkin cupcakes on live edge wood cake board with orange cloth napkin

I love pumpkin goodies as much as the next guy (or gal, rather), but I like things with actual pumpkin, not just pumpkin spice. Real pumpkin makes baked goods super moist and these cupcakes are no exception.  They deliver on both flavor and texture while eliminating the gluten.  I could eat a cupcake all by itself, with no frosting.  They’re so moist and yet fluffy and light at the same time.

The Ingredients You’ll Need for These Cupcakes

The Cake

  • Kim’s gluten free flour blend–a store bought blend may be used, but hasn’t been tested
  • Cornstarch–adding this to the gf flour blend makes it similar to cake flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Eggs

The Frosting

  • Egg whites
  • Maple sugar–maple sugar is just maple syrup that’s been boiled down until it crystallizes. The maple sugar I used is from Primal Palate.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt–you can skip this if you’re using salted butter. Of note, I always use salted butter in all of my recipes, unless otherwise indicated. I personally like salted butter better than unsalted.

The Process for Making Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

Cupcakes

  1. Sift or whisk the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Alternate dry and wet ingredients, beginning and ending with dry.
  6. Scrape sides of bowl and let the batter sit for 15 minutes.
  7. Right before scooping into cupcake liners, briefly re-mix batter on low.
  8. Scoop into cupcake liners and bake at 350 for 22-28 minutes.

Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Fill a small saucepan with about one inch of water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Place egg whites and sugars into the bowl of your stand mixer and set the bowl over the simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water.
  3. Whisk the mixture every 30 seconds or so to distribute the heat evenly and melt the sugar. If you don’t whisk regularly, you could potentially scramble the egg whites.
  4. Once you no longer feel sugar crystals in a small amount between your fingers (or the eggs reach 110 degrees F on a candy thermometer), remove the bowl from the stove.
  5. With the whisk attachment, whisk the egg white mixture on high until you reach stiff, glossy peaks. The bottom of the bowl should be only lukewarm or cool to the touch.
  6. Begin adding the butter into the meringue, about two tablespoons at a time, until all the butter has been added.
  7. Add in the vanilla extract and salt (if using).
  8. Switch to the paddle attachment and blend on low for 10-15 minutes to remove air bubbles.
piping swiss meringue buttercream onto cupcake

Pumpkin Cupcake FAQs

Can Maple Syrup be Used Instead of Maple Sugar?

Unfortunately, you won’t get the same results because there will be too much liquid to obtain a proper sugar syrup. If you can’t obtain maple sugar, you can substitute it with granulated sugar and then add a combination of 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 1/4-1/2 tsp of real maple extract at the end (when adding the vanilla extract).

Why do I Have to Let the Cupcake Batter Sit for 15 Minutes?

Letting the cupcake batter sit for a number of minutes allows the gluten free flour to properly hydrate before the cupcakes are baked. This creates more evenly baked cupcakes with a better texture.

How are These Cupcakes Stored?

The finished, frosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature, well covered, for two days. Frosted cupcakes can then be frozen (yes, you can freeze whole, frosted cupcakes!). Place cupcakes on a baking sheet and freeze just until firm enough to wrap, about 30 minutes. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in a large ziptop bag or container with a lid. Place in freezer. To thaw, remove from freezer and let thaw on counter, unwrapped. When completely thawed, carefully remove the wrap and enjoy!

More Pumpkin Recipes

bite taken out of pumpkin cupcake

It’s fall and it’s all everything pumpkin, and these Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream are just the thing to satisfy your pumpkin cravings!

gf pumpkin cupcakes on live edge wood cake board with orange cloth napkin

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream

My Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes are so moist and delicious on their own, but the maple swiss meringue buttercream sends them into overdrive!   
Print Recipe
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Keywordcupcakes, Gluten Free, maple, pumpkin, swiss meringue buttercream
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time22 minutes
Resting Time15 minutes
Total Time57 minutes
Servings24 cupcakes
AuthorKim

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • cups (350 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend a store bought blend may be substituted, but hasn't been tested
  • ¼ cup (35 g) cornstarch
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 15-oz () can pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup plus 6 tbsp (198 g) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

Buttercream

  • 8 oz (227 g) egg whites (about 8 large), at room temperature
  • 10.6 oz (300 g) maple sugar
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • lbs (678 g) salted butter, at room temperature

Instructions

Make and Bake the Cupcakes

  • Sift or whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Combine the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla in a measuring cup and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding dry and wet, beginning and ending with dry.  
  • Scrape sides of bowl and let batter sit for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Turn mixer on low and briefly mix batter again (no more than 20 seconds or so).
  • Scoop batter into muffin pan lined with cupcake liners. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.
  • Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and place on wire racks to finish cooling.

Make the Maple Buttercream

  • Fill a small saucepan with about one inch of water and begin simmering. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg whites and both sugars. Place the bowl over the simmering water (the bottom should not touch the water) and whisk every 30 seconds or so. Continue whisking until the sugars have melted and you don't feel any granules of sugar when rubbing the mixture between your fingers (this will be to at least 110° F on a thermometer).
  • Remove bowl from simmering water and place it on mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip over high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. This will take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Slowly add the butter in two tablespoon chunks until all the butter has been added. The buttercream may look soupy at this point, but just keep whipping and it will transform into a smooth, luscious frosting.
  • Switch to the paddle attachment and stir on low to knock out any air bubbles for 10-15 minutes. This is optional, but helps with piping or decorating.
  • Cupcakes can be stored at room temperature, covered, for two days.


6 thoughts on “Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream”

    • No, I don’t think it would Suzanne. However, I do plan on posting a pumpkin roll on the blog very soon, if all goes well. Keep on the lookout 🙂

  • These are SO delicious! I made them for my Bible study group, but served with honey butter instead of the buttercream, as we had them as a morning snack.
    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes. They are my “go to” recipes as I know they will work beautifully and taste divine.

    • Awe, thanks so much, Deb!!! By the way, I do have a pumpkin bread recipe that can be easily made into muffins, too, if that’s something more up your alley 😊

  • Could I use prepackaged egg whites? I have heard that you cannot whip the egg whites that come in a carton, but I don’t know if that’s true after they are heated.

    • I’ve also heard that it doesn’t work to whip egg whites from a carton. You can always try it I guess, but I would personally rather just use regular egg whites. There are many recipes that use a lot of egg yolks on my site, such as creme brulee, brioche, pastry cream, etc. so if you’re worried about the egg yolks, I can give you links to them 🙂

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