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this is where you’ll find my favorite recipes, what we’re up to behind the scenes, and adventures in starting a new business. click on “mdj marketing” for more info on the latter.


This easy recipe comes from the kitchen of my Grandma Carol! It's a great one for those of you that don't have a lot of time on your hands or don't feel comfortable making stuff entirely from scratch. These take under 30 minutes, start to finish. 


chocolate pumpkin cupcakes with caramel

Here's what you need:
chocolate cake mix of your choice—I used chocolate fudge
can of pure pumpkin
caramels OR mini chocolate chips

chocolate-pumpkin cupcake ingredients
chocolate cake mix and pumpkin

You won't be adding the egg, oil, or water to the cake mix—just the pumpkin! Combine the mix and pumpkin in a medium-sized bowl and combine with a hand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. You can also beat vigorously with a whisk. If you're using chocolate chips instead of caramel, incorporate those here.

mixing cupcake batter
chocolate-pumpkin cupcake batter

The fun part here is that there's no raw egg...so you can lick the spatula! ;) 

cupcake prep

Spoon about 3 tbsp of batter into each of your muffin tins, and then press a caramel into each. Cover the caramel with a bit more batter, then toss in the oven for 16-18 minutes at 350° (or 375° if you're using a light-colored pan). Let cool for 3 or so minutes in the pan, but then you'll want to set them on a cooling rack. 

cooling cupcakes

So, here's the recipe all in one place.

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 can pumpkin
1 bag caramels OR mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350° (or 375° if using a light-colored pan)
2. Combine cake mix and pumpkin in mixing bowl, using hand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
3. If you're using chocolate chips, incorporate those at this time.
4. Spoon about 3 tbsp batter into each cupcake liner.
5. If using caramels, press one into each tin, then cover with more batter
6. Bake for about 16-18 minutes.
7. OPTIONAL: frost with a chocolate or cream cheese frosting.

pumpkin chocolate cupcake

The faster you try one, the more ooey-gooey the caramel will be. Just saying!

Happy baking!