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autumn fairy cupcakes | movita beaucoup

Welcome back to the Ballerina Bakeshop! Today’s special? Cinderella-inspired pumpkin cupcakes topped with a brown sugar cream cheese frosting. Get it? Because the Fairy Godmother turns a pumpkin into Cinderella’s carriage? That kind of tie-in is art, people. And just in case you’re confused, that little ballerina on top of the cupcake is the Autumn Fairy. Now, I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard the story of Cinderella, but you might not be as familiar with the Autumn Fairy. That’s because in the ballet version of any story, we like to throw in extra (random) characters. Mostly fairies – we really like to throw those in. So, in Cinderella, you’ll find the Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter fairies. Frankly, in many versions of the ballet, the Autumn Fairy has a crap-ass costume. So, she’s pretty forgettable.

I’m not going to tell you the story of Cinderella. I’ll leave that sort of storytelling for ballets you might not be as familiar with – the ones with weird names and stuff. But I will tell you that the step-sisters in this ballet are usually played by dudes (en travestie, or in parody). When you’re casting your own version of the ballet, you might want to cast girls in the roles – and then tell them that you chose them because they “look enough like men to pull it off.”

autumn fairy cupcakes | movita beaucoup

I think you’re going to like these cupcakes. We’re talkin’ brown butter, friends. These fairy cakes are moist and gently spiced, and the brown butter adds some depth and nuttiness to the mix. (If you’re not sure how to brown butter, click here or here or watch this video – it’s easier than cramming your foot into a glass slipper.) The cream cheese frosting isn’t overly sweet – and the brown sugar plays well with the pumpkin in the cupcake. Both recipes are super easy to throw together – you could bake ’em, hook up with Prince Charming at a ball, and still make it home before midnight.

autumn fairy cupcakes | movita beaucoup

FYI, in some versions of Cinderella, it is the Autumn Fairy who turns the pumpkin into a gorgeous carriage for Cinderella. See how I did that again? Autumn Fairy? Fall colours? Pumpkin? PUMPKIN CUPCAKES? This stuff freakin’ writes itself.

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Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes {Autumn Fairy Cupcakes} – adapted in the barest of ways from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes – print and bake

Yields about 16 cupcakes.

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line standard sized tins with cupcake liners.

Begin by browning the butter. Skim foam from the top and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to stop the cooking, leaving any burned sediment behind. Set aside and let cool.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, both sugars, eggs and the browned butter. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake wells, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean. After about five minutes, remove cupcakes from tins and allow to cool completely on wire racks.

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Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting {Autumn Fairy Frosting} – from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes –  print and make

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

With an electric/stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days in an airtight container before using. (If using post refrigeration, bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)


  1. rockandwool on October 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    with all your growling:::::::the truth is:::::::you are super SWEET*

  2. Chocolate Chilli Mango® on October 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Ah, you are precious! I demand you make the Ballerina Bakeshop a serious concern (I’m sure you are planning to do that).

    Gorgeous cupcakes .. nothing better than browned butter cupcakes and cream cheese frosting. My fave kind.

    I’m sure that millions of would be ballerinas across the globe will require lifetimes of therapy on the basis that they “look enough like men to pull it off” …. 😛


  3. bocafrau on October 21, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    These sound delicious and I love the little fairies on top. I’m into all things cupcake right now and constantly look for new recipes. This one is going on top of the pile!!! 🙂

  4. Melissa on October 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Honestly, I don’t like anything pumpkin, and I’m not even much of a baker, but I’m all for anything that has sequins on it!
    Sequins on cupcakes–fashion meets baking!

  5. msginge on October 21, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    mmmm… nothing is better than a spicy cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
    Except maybe one with a sparkly fairy-ballerina on top.

  6. cravingsofalunatic on October 21, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    You danced your fairy butt right into my heart with these.

  7. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen on October 22, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Ahhh.. this is my kind of post.. fairies, fairytales, step-sisters, and brown butter. It seems like an excellent combination!! xx

  8. thekalechronicles on October 22, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Yum! Using browned butter in pumpkin cupcakes just made them better! And I like this autumn fairy’s costume.

  9. Juls on October 22, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Nothing like a fairytale and a pumpkin cupcake to make me happy at seven in the morning!

  10. Stacy on October 22, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Beautiful cupcakes! I love your stories. You only think they write themselves because you are so talented. True story.

  11. musingmar on October 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Hmm, if I hooked up with Prince Charming at the ball, I might want to get home after midnight. (That’s cause we’d be hanging out, eating these delicious cupcakes and having a deep discussion about all the seasonal fairies. Or something)

  12. emma on October 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Crap. I still need to procure a pumpkin.

  13. shannon on October 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    in all the pumpkin-palooza hubbub, i forgot to tell you how much i love these cupcakes. i mean, brown butter AND pumpkin in a cupcake? With a sparkly ballerina on top? Yes. I will have one of those.

  14. wendy@chezchloe on November 10, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Warm delicious fall. yum.

  15. movita beaucoup on December 27, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in October 2012.