Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcakes liners; set aside.In a large bowl whisk together combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.In a separate bowl, whisk eggs. Add in pumpkin puree. Brew a hot cup of coffee and measure out 1/4 cup coffee. Add instant coffee to 1/4 cup coffee then stir to dissolve. Add half and half or milk/cream to coffee. Pour mixture into pumpkin mixture. Add in vegetable oil to wet ingredients. Whisk everything until thoroughly combined. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until everything is combined.Add 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) pumpkin batter to each cupcake liner. Bake in oven 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting.To make the frosting - 1. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a bowl fit with a mixer, beat butter, powdered confectioner's sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Once smooth, turn mixer up to medium and beat in chunks of cream cheese and shortening. Mix frosting until smooth.2. Fill pastry bag with a cupcake tip and frost each cupcake. Frosting may need to be chilled in pastry bag to create same design as photos. Also, I used a Russian Ball Tip to frost each cupcake. See notes on where to buy, otherwise, any cupcake tip will do.3. Top each cupcake with a gingersnap cookie, straw, and drizzle with caramel sauce.5. Cupcakes need to be chilled until 30 minutes before serving.
If cupcake sticks to liner, place them in a ziplock bag for a few hours. Alternatively, you can spray a little vegetable oil on the liners to prevent sticking.