Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Cupcakes

I just love cooking for people so when a dear friend of mine called and suggested that we do dinner, I was more than happy to have her and her boyfriend over to our apartment. This dear friend I should mention, happens to be lactose intolerant. I have found cooking without dairy to be pretty easy so the dinner part was a cinch. Where I was stuck was dessert. I just wasn’t sure how I was going to jump that hurdle. After reviewing my Pumpkin Cake recipe, I realized I could use that for a base and add a few more ingredients. After a quick call to my friend to verify that she could eat a couple of things, I headed straight for the kitchen and baked these super-moist, super chocolaty dairy free Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes.

I do have a bit of a confession to make. My grocery store did not have soy butter nor did they have a small container of soy milk so I was out of luck when it came to the frosting. Or so I thought. To my surprise, when I called my friend to confirm a few things she told me that there are a few brands of frosting out there that actually do not have any dairy in them such as Pillsbury.  Surprising I know. But anywho, that is the frosting that I used for these cupcakes. Now if you are not concerned with dairy simply make or purchase your favorite frosting. The frosting that I use on my Chocolate Egg Stuffed Cupcakes would be delicious on these.

Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe

Makes 18 - 24 Prep Time: Cook Time:


  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon iodized salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • store bought vanilla frosting
  • orange sugar crystals



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners and set aside.


Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and baking powder.


In another bowl whisk together eggs, vanilla, sugar and oil.


Slowly whisk dry ingredients into into sugar mixture. Fold in pureed pumpkin.


Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in cupcake tin for 5 minutes.


Remove from cupcake tin and place on cooling rack to cool completely. Frost and sprinkle with sugar crystals.


Now if only I could figure out how to make dairy-free Reese's Peanut Buttercup Cheesecake for my friend. Oh well, until then at least we can enjoy these and I hope you do too. Enjoy!

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    December 13, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Hey! This is so awesome; I’m going to make this for one of my lactose-intolerant friend in an upcoming party! I was so excited when I stumbled upon this!

    I just wanted to double-check. The cocoa powder is it Dutch-processed cocoa powder? I’m thinking it probably is Dutch-processed and not the unsweetened kind but I just want to make sure?
    Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      December 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Jen- The dark chocolate cocoa powder that I used was Hershey’s and is a dutch-processed cocoa powder. Hope this helps and I hope you enjoy them! :)

  • Reply
    November 25, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Hey! Just wanted to let you know that I based my thanksgiving dessert on your recipe! The cupcakes came out excellent! Thank you so much for the idea!

    • Reply
      November 26, 2009 at 10:12 am

      Thank you Astrid! I am happy to hear that you enjoyed them. Happy Thanksgiving! :)

  • Reply
    October 29, 2009 at 6:39 am

    I have 3 huge cans of Libby’s pumpkin puree in my pantry just waiting to be used up! I can’t wait to try these out, they sound absolutely delicious!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2009 at 5:03 am

    WoW…that’s a scrumptious looking combo!


  • Reply
    October 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Amy J- I actually found them at Fred Meyer, its a northwest chain but I’m sure other grocery stores have them. I was looking for Halloween cupcake liners but alas they already had their Christmas stuff out and no Halloween stuff to be found. I found these in a back with bright pink, purple and blue, right next to all the other birthday liners.
    Christian- You guys are welcome any time but especially when there is Rainer and Christmas Advent calendars involved.

  • Reply
    Christian Nossum
    October 28, 2009 at 9:28 am

    That boyfriend of your dear friend is a pretty cool guy, and these cupcakes were the most moist cupcakes I’ve ever had! They were fantastic! Thanks again Des for having us over. We are lucky to have such a great friend that’s such an amazing cook!

  • Reply
    Amy J in SC
    October 28, 2009 at 8:48 am

    These look perfect for the fall, chocolate craving nights. Love the green cupcake liners. Where did you find them?