Pumpkin Cupcakes are easy to make and have the perfect balance of sweetness and spice. Top them with my cream cheese frosting for the best fall dessert.
Pumpkin Cupcakes are the new muffin in my house. My family kept referring to this great recipe as a muffin. And I can’t decide if it was to push my buttons or if it was so that my kids could justify eating these for breakfast. Either way, these were a huge hit in my house.
I just know that you are going to love these pumpkin cupcakes as much as my crew does. These are easy to make, and come together with the perfect amount of spice and sweetness.
How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes
Here is a brief overview of how to make pumpkin spice cupcakes. For the full recipe including all measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Combine dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl.
- Mix wet ingredients. Mix together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, and sugar in a small bowl.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until smooth.
- Bake the cupcakes. Pour the batter 2/3 of the way full in the cupcake liners and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Frost the cupcakes. Let the cupcakes cool completely and frost.
Muffin Pan For Cupcakes
Pumpkin Puree vs. Pumpkin Pie Filling
This recipe for pumpkin cupcakes uses pumpkin puree which is different than pumpkin pie filling. While they both come in cans and are found in the baking aisle of grocery stores in the United States, they are not the same thing.
Pumpkin puree is made by baking pumpkins and contains 100% pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling is more of a pudding consistency and contains added ingredients like sugar and spices. Double check which can you pick up for ultimate success with this recipe.
If you are unable to find canned pumpkin or want to make your own, this Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe is easy and can be made in your oven, crockpot, or instant pot.
Using Pumpkin Spice
This pumpkin cupcake recipe is made with the four spices that make up the Pumpkin Spice blend that is delicious in so many of my favorite fall recipes, including my Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Cold Brew. While the ratio is slightly different in this recipe, you could use one tablespoon of pumpkin spice to replace the cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger.
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting is delicious on top of pumpkin spice cupcakes. You can also use maple frosting. Here is a brief overview of how to make cream cheese frosting. Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full list of measurements and steps.
- Beat together butter and cream cheese.
- Add in the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth then add the vanilla.
- Smooth the frosting over the cupcakes with an offset spatula.
Frosting Pumpkin Cupcakes
The amount of frosting that this recipe makes is perfect for spreading a nice layer of frosting over each cupcake. If you would like to pipe frosting onto your cupcakes like you see in the photos, you will want to double the frosting recipe. You might also want to get this great piping set.
Tips and Tricks
- Measure your flour correctly. I share more on this important step below.
- Use fresh baking powder and baking soda. Both baking powder and baking soda should be replaced every six months so that they are fresh for baking recipes. To test your baking powder, mix a little bit with some water. It should bubble right away. Mix a little baking soda with vinegar. If they don’t bubble right away, replace them.
- Use room-temperature cream cheese and butter for the frosting. This will give you the nice light and whipped frosting that you see in the photos. Let them sit on the counter to achieve room temperature and resist the urge to microwave them.
- Make sure your cupcakes are cooled before frosting. This will prevent the top of the cupcake from ripping and the frosting from melting.
Measuring flour incorrectly can ruin a baking recipe. Flour can pack down which will result in more flour than what the recipe calls for and a cake or cookie that is dense and dry. Follow these simple three steps to measure your flour perfectly every time.
- Whisk the flour in the container or bag it’s stored in.
- Use a spoon to scoop the flour from its container into a dry measuring cup.
- Use the flat edge of a spatula to level off.
Storing Pumpkin Cupcakes
Since cream cheese frosting contains both cream cheese and butter, it should be refrigerated. If you are making these cupcakes ahead of time, I would wait to frost them until you are ready to serve. Store the unfrosted cupcakes on the counter.
These can be stored in the freezer for up to three months, unfrosted. Place them in a single layer in your freezer for a few hours and then transfer them to an air tight container and return them to the freezer.
If you try these pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting or any of my other recipes, please leave a comment and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (8 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (6 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt (9 grams)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil (177 ml)
- 2 cups granulated sugar (396 grams)
For Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese (226 grams) room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (56.5 grams) room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar (227 grams) scooped into the measuring cup with a spoon and leveled off
- 1 – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (to taste)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon table salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- In a smaller bowl, mix together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, and sugar. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until completely smooth.15 ounces pumpkin puree, 4 eggs, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 2 cups granulated sugar
- Pour in the prepared cupcake liners and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until fully combined. Then beat in the vanilla.8 ounces cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Smooth the frosting over the cupcakes with an offset spatula. Serve and enjoy! (Please note that if you would like enough frosting to pipe like in the photos, you will need to double the recipe. Please read more about that here.)