1/2 c finely chopped pecans
3 T sugar
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
1 c (from 15-oz can) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 container Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy cream cheese frosting
Heat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
In heavy 8-inch nonstick skillet, cook pecans and 2 tablespoons of the sugar over low heat about 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted. Spoon and spread pecans onto sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar; toss.
In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about 2/3 full).
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Frost cupcakes with frosting. Sprinkle edge of frosted cupcakes with pecans; press lightly into frosting.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Make 30 cupcakes