Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting.…pecan pie, but in cupcake form and so good. Extra chocolatey cupcakes made with warming bourbon and generously stuffed with gooey pecan pie “filling”. Each cake is frosted with the most delicious creamy brown sugar frosting and finished off with a sprinkling of cinnamon-spiced brown sugar pecans. Sooo much to love here! You can’t beat these cute little bite-size pecan pie cupcakes. They’ll be the hit of your Thanksgiving desserts!
Happy last Friday before Thanksgiving guys!! This week was a lot, and of course, took some unexpected turns. But the good news is that we have so much to look forward to in the coming days. And the best cupcakes to bake up this weekend.
I’m excited, and looking forward to a very low key holiday and a good amount of pie. Or pie cupcakes actually!
So…pecan pie? How do you guys feel about it? Do you love it or would you prefer pumpkin pie? With my family, any kind of chocolate pie is much preferred. We do have a few oddballs that love a pumpkin pie. But the majority of the fam always go for the chocolate.
Personally, I am a pecan pie lover all the way. It’s what I grew up on, and also what I look forward to every holiday season. My mom never did pumpkin pie, but I’ve always said that her chocolate bourbon pecan pie is one of my all-time favorites. It’s all about that gooey filling and sweet chocolate. Gets me every time.
And that brings me to these cupcakes. They’re everything I love about my mom’s pecan pie, but in the form of a cute chocolate cupcake.
The history on these cupcakes…
This is a recipe I shared a long, long time ago. It’s been a favorite ever since, but I hadn’t made them in a while. Actually, since 2013, so quite a longggg while.
With things being so crazy this holiday season, I wanted to make our Thanksgiving extra special and really pull out all the stops. Somehow that lead me back to these cupcakes. Once I had the idea to make these, I knew I needed to get the recipe perfect before sharing. I spent a few days testing and retesting and I’m pretty excited to share the final product with you guys.
These cupcakes are GOOD. The kind you’ll have a hard time not going back and grabbing a second. They’re made rich and flavorful with a good splash of bourbon, the pecan pie filling is gooey, and swirled with toasted pecans, and the brown sugar frosting? Well, it definitely seals the deal.
I’m going to get this out there, these cupcakes require some time to prepare and do have a few steps. But they’re no harder than baking up your own pie. So while the recipe is longer, don’t let that scare you. You can easily make these!
I like to start with the pecan pie filling. Basically, this is pecan pie filling, but instead of it being in pie crust, it’s in the cupcake. Making it is kind of like making pudding. Just mix eggs with cornstarch, add brown sugar and maple syrup, then thicken it up on the stove. Then stir in cinnamon-spiced bourbon pecans and now you have your pecan pie “filling”. Also known as pecan pie, cooked on the stove, and minus the pie crust.
Once you have the filling made, bake the cupcakes. And guys? These are extra special cupcakes. It’s all about the bourbon which really helps to highlight the rich, sweet chocolate. Originally, I used a full cup of bourbon, but I felt that it was just a smidge overpowering. So I took the bourbon down a bit and came out with the perfect chocolate cupcake that has subtle notes of bourbon. So delicious.
Each cupcake is incredibly moist, so soft, and perfectly sweetened. The flavor truly comes from the bourbon.
The bourbon pecan pie filling is so gooey and delicious. Over time the filling begins to seep into the cupcake and create the moistest, most flavorful chocolate cupcake with a pecan center. They’re roll your eyes back delicious!
On to the butter pecan frosting…
This frosting is everything and has to be one of my favorites. I drew inspiration from a few of my older recipes, but especially from these sweet brown sugar cookies, and also these butter pecan frosted fudge brownies. And more recently, my chai pumpkin cupcakes.
There are two simple secrets to this frosting…
One, use a mix of brown sugar and powdered sugar. Powdered sugar adds practically zero flavor. The brown sugar adds hints of warm molasses and really deepens the flavor to create a frosting that’s perfectly rich and sweet.
The second secret…vanilla, and sweet cinnamon bourbon spiced pecans swirled throughout. SO GOOD. Think creamy, buttery, and hinted with brown sugar, vanilla, and filled with nutty pecans. Honestly? you’ll want to slather on more than you think your cupcakes will actually need. You may even want to think about doubling that frosting.
Now, stuff, frost, decorate…and eat.
I didn’t do anything fancy here. I stuffed the pecan pie filling into the center of each cupcake. Then simply dolloped a generous swirl of the brown sugar frosting overtop. Then I finished with those yummy toasted pecans.
And that’s it. Not the simplest, but worth every bit of extra effort. And so very good. Each bite is filled with sweet chocolate cupcake, gooey pecan pie filling, light, fluffy frosting, and bourbon-glazed pecans.
Oh my gooosssh, SO amazing.
These will make the perfect Thanksgiving cupcakes! My best advice is to bake these up this weekend. You’ll need to test out the recipe before Thanksgiving Day. Then take the extras to neighbors to share and make again for Thanksgiving next week. By the second round, you’ll have the process perfected and plenty of delicious cupcakes to enjoy!
Looking for other Thanksgiving desserts?? Here are my favorites:
Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
Brown Sugar Maple Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
Lastly, if you make these Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting.
Calories Per Serving: 487 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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Pecan Pie Filling
- 3 cups raw pecans
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup real maple syrup
Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup bourbon (see notes)
- 1/2 cup strong black coffee or water
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup plain greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Butter Pecan Frosting:
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) salted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1. To make the pecan pie filling. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On the baking sheet, combine the pecans, 2 tablespoons bourbon, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and the cinnamon. Bake 8-10 minutes, until toasted. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roughly chop the pecans, reserving 22 whole pecans for topping.2. In a large pot, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water until fully combined. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, the maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a heat proof bowl. Stir in about 1 cup of the chopped pecans and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and chill in the fridge until set, about 1 hour. 3. Meanwhile, make the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 20-22 cupcake molds with paper liners.4. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand-held mixer) beat together the coconut oil, bourbon, coffee/water, eggs, yogurt, and sugar until combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until smooth and no lumps remain in the batter.4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pan. Transfer to the oven and bake 18-22 minutes, until the tops are just set, and no longer wiggly in the center. Remove and let cool.5. To make the frosting, melt together 4 tablespoons butter, the cream, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute or until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl in the freezer (or fridge for longer) for 15-20 minutes or until cool to touch.6. Grab the cooled butter mixture from the freezer and add the remaining 12 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and the powdered sugar to the bowl. Beat together until well combined. Stir in 1/2-1 cup of the finely chopped toasted pecans. 7. Using a paring knife, cut a cone-shaped piece from the center of each cupcake. Fill the hole with the cooled pecan pie filling. Frost each cupcake and sprinkle with the remaining pecans. Top each with the reserved whole pecans.
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For an Intense Bourbon Flavor: If you want a cupcake that really tastes like a good shot of bourbon, use 1 cup bourbon and omit the coffee. This is an especially delicious cupcake with strong hints of bourbon. For a Mild Bourbon Flavor: For less bourbon, use 1/4 cup bourbon and 3/4 cup coffee/water. Can You Serve These To Kids? Yes the alcohol cooks out while baking. Asher loves these! If baking with 1 cup of bourbon, however, I would not serve to kids as they will taste the bourbon.
So this recipe does take some work but it is great! I actually made it for a baking contest at work and I won! So many different and yummy flavors.
Happy Sunday!😃 Thanks so much for trying this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it was enjoyed:) xT
I am kind of confused. I made these many years ago at Christmas and they were a big hit. I printed the recipe and it is the same author, same website, same name. There is no maple syrup, it has corn syrup. No coconut oil, instead canola oil. Looking at all of it, it has changed considerably. So was the recipe revamped? I’m not even sure what year we made them, only that they were amazing and everyone was commenting on how good they were. Fingers crossed, I’ve already committed to making them for my husband’s boss for his birthday and I’m hoping the old recipe is as good as the new.
Yes, I revamped this recipe with some “better for you” ingredients. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx
I’m making these for Christmas. I’ll be making them Gluten Free as my husband is celiac, and I’m wondering if I can get away with making them the night before? Keep them out at room temp or put in fridge? I can definitely make the frosting Christmas morning to keep that fresh, but what about preparing the cupcakes and filling them on Christmas Eve and waiting to frost until Christmas Day?
Sure, you can use an equal amount of gluten free flour and then fill them ahead of time and just keep in an airtight container on the counter. Let me know how this recipe turns out, I hope you love it! xT
These sound amazing! I know it’s not ideal, but can these be made ahead and frozen?
Yes, that will work for you, but I would make the frosting fresh, don’t freeze that:) I hope you love the recipe! xx
What great cupcakes!
Honestly, I forgot to add the cocoa powder to the batter (newborn baby lack of sleep brain), but that fortunately did not affect the amazing consistency of the cupcake and the flavor was a mild spice flavor. Everyone in the household loved the icing and how it enhanced the flavor of the cupcakes.
Thanks for the recipe!
Happy Tuesday!! Thanks a lot for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it turned out tasty for you! xT
Amazing! Took some time but well worth it! The frosting is next level delicious. 🤯 Thank you for another fantastic recipe, Tieghan.
Thank you so much!! So glad to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks a lot for making it! xT