Helloooo, gorgeous! These Pumpkin Spice Hi-Hat Cupcakes are filled with salted caramel, topped with a towering swirl of pumpkin spice frosting, and dipped in the most gorgeous glossy chocolate topping!
Fill 24 cupcake cavities with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Combine all the ingredients for the cupcakes and mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, then scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl well. Scoop the batter into the cupcake pans, filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake the cupcakes for 20-22 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Cool completely before decorating.
To Make the Pumpkin Spice Frosting:
Combine the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix them together on low speed, then gradually raise the speed to medium and beat it for 4 minutes, until the mixture is white and fluffy.
Add the salt, creamer, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed until the liquids are incorporated. It is normal for the mixture to look separated (and, frankly, weird and chunky) at this stage. Once the liquid is mixed in, gradually raise the speed to medium and beat for another 4 minutes, until the frosting has come together, is smooth and glossy, and holds firm peaks.
Mix in a few drops each of orange and yellow food coloring, until you get a pumpkin color you are happy with. Transfer some of the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
Use a sharp paring knife to cut a cone-shaped hole out of the top of the cupcakes. Scoop a spoonful of salted caramel sauce into the hole, coming almost all the way to the top. Cut the bottom off of the cupcake cone, and replace the top of the cupcake on top of the caramel.
Once all of the cupcakes are filled, pipe the frosting on top in one big decorative swirl. I like to do about four loops but you can make your swirls bigger or smaller. When all of the cupcakes are frosted, place them on a baking sheet and freeze them for 20 minutes, or refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes. You just need the frosting to be very, very firm when dipping!
While you wait for the frosting to chill, make the chocolate glaze. Combine the chopped semi-sweet chocolate and the vegetable oil in a medium bowl, and microwave in 30-second increments until melted. Whisk until smooth. Allow to cool until the glaze is barely warm to the touch, but still very fluid.
Transfer some of the glaze to a tall, narrow glass—a measuring cup works well for this purpose. Hold a chilled cupcake by the base and dunk it in the chocolate glaze, making sure that the chocolate covers all of the frosting on top. Lift it out of the glaze and hold it over the cup, letting the excess glaze drip back into the cup.
While the glaze is still wet, add sprinkles to the top if desired. Once all of the cupcakes are dipped, refrigerate them to set the glaze. The chocolate glaze will get soft and tacky at room temperature, so it’s recommended that you keep them in the refrigerator until shortly before serving. I do like to let them sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving, so the frosting isn’t quite so cold. Enjoy!
If you’re not a caramel fan, you can omit the salted caramel filling, or use chocolate ganache or hot fudge sauce instead.
For the chocolate glaze, I highly recommend using chopped chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are much thicker when they melt, so the glaze won’t be as thin and pretty. If you need to use chips, keep an eye on the texture, and add a bit of extra oil if needed to get a good dipping consistency.