Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

There’s no crazy like 8th-grade-with-7-days-of-school-left crazy.  These kids are wired.  I wish I could share their enthusiasm, but it’s hard to get excited about summer when it never gets above 65 degrees, and summer means thick fog all day and every day.  I’m soooo over it.

Fortunately, I have friends in sunnier places, and those friends like to throw dessert potlucks.

Or technically, dessert plus taco dip potlucks.  Things like that totally save my sanity.

I agonized over what to make for this little get-together and finally settled on these cupcakes.  They are nice and buttery and make the perfect base for a swirl of cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tsp milk


    To make the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line 24 cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Stir the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together
  3. Beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl and mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add half the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined. Add the buttermilk and mix on low. Stir in the remaining flour, being careful not to overmix.
  5. Divide the batter among the cupcake pans and bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. To make the frosting:
  8. Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
  9. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla and mix well. Add milk, 1/2 tsp at a time, just until the frosting reaches a smooth, spreadable consistency.

(cupcakes from Joy the Baker/, frosting adapted from Cafe Mom)

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