Pumpkin-Pecan Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin-Pecan Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting are a nutty, sweet autumn treat. Moist spiced cake is topped by a rich (and slightly boozy) cream cheese frosting. These are perfect little treats for tricksters of any age!

Pumpkin-Pecan Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting,

I often wish I was better organized sometimes. With certain things, I am extremely particular, and keep things orderly.

My food magazines are that way. All lined up, in chronological order, each one in its own section of my cookbook shelves.

My desk on the other hand is a dusty cluttered mess, though I can tell you where everything is, at any given time. Random piles are everywhere, but I know what is in each one, believe it or not.

My blog props are haphazardly relegated to a shelf in the kitchen, and a shelf underneath the cookbooks in the dining room. I dream of one day having a house big enough for my own blogging office/studio, where I can collect and store all my props in one location. 

I have stuff for almost every holiday (except maybe the 4th of July), including St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween (my two favorite holidays).

When I made these Pumpkin-Pecan Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting, I waffled between shooting the photos with more of a Fall theme, or a Halloween theme. After digging around and coming across these spider cupcake holders my mom sent me, I chose Halloween.

I did forget to grab the plastic skull off my desk.

I’d bought it last year with the idea that I’d use it for a Halloween costume. Friends of ours throw one every year, and I’d mistakenly gotten the impression they were doing a Shakespeare theme. My idea was to go as Hamlet, and the skull would be Yorick.

But in the end, I went as your basic Halloween hag.

Pumpkin-Pecan Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting

These cupcakes were just a random project. I felt like making pumpkin cupcakes, and I wanted them to have Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting. I found some Espresso Crème Baileys when I went on my liquor-purchasing spree, and debating on using it or just using regular Baileys.

Pumpkin-Pecan Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting

After having a derpy lightbulb moment, I realized that espresso and pumpkin pair just fine in the ever-popular PSLs, and it would pair just as well if I used Espresso Crème Baileys with these cupcakes.

Pumpkin-Pecan Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting

I’m making chocolate cupcakes next, and I think this would be the perfect frosting to top them with.

Yield: 24-32

Pumpkin-Pecan Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin-Pecan Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


For the Cupcakes:

  • 2 1/3 C flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 C sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 15oz. can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1/2 C chopped pecan pieces

For the Frosting:

  • 1 8oz. block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 7 C powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 50ml bottle Baileys Irish Cream, Espresso Creme flavor
  • Halloween or Pumpkin candies, for decoration (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until well-combined. Add the can of pumpkin, as well as the vanilla, and mix until well-combined.
  3. Remove 1 Tbsp. of the flour mixture, and toss with the pecans. Set aside. Alternately add the rest of the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until combined. Fold in the pecans.
  4. Using a large (3-Tbsp. scoop), portion the batter out into the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of several cupcakes comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before removing and cooling completely on wire racks.
  5. Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the frosting. Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla, and 4 cups of powdered sugar. Add in half the Baileys, and the remaining powdered sugar. The frosting will be rather thick at this point. Add the remaining Baileys. Whip the frosting on high speed for 1-2 minutes, then decorate the cupcakes as desired. Top with Halloween-themed candies.


Recipe Source: Betty Crocker's The Big Book of Cupcakes

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