Pumpkin Cupcakes

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The ultimate BEST EVER pumpkin cupcakes with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Everyone goes crazy for these cupcakes! via chelseasmessyapron.com

Make the BEST spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with flavor-packed cinnamon-cream cheese frosting, real pumpkin, and an incredible blend of seasonal spices.

Looking for more delicious pumpkin treats? Be sure to try this Pumpkin Cake or these Pumpkin Cookies next!

Ready to eat delicious pumpkin cupcake with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

I first tasted these Pumpkin Cupcakes at a party years ago and was immediately smitten. My friend had modified the recipe from Taste of Home magazine. Despite trying various other recipes, none matched hers. With a few personal tweaks, these cupcakes have become unbeatable favorites.

Featuring perfect pumpkin spice seasoning, an ideal texture, and a delicious cinnamon-cream cheese frosting, they are a delight.

Ideal for those who prefer simplicity over making a layered cake, these easy-to-make Pumpkin Cupcakes are a perfect treat for the fall season and are sure to be a hit wherever served.

Butter and sugar being beaten until smooth for the recipe.

Ingredients In Pumpkin Cupcakes


  • Butter: Makes the cupcakes moist and rich.
  • White and Brown Sugar: Make the cupcakes sweet. Brown sugar also makes them more moist.
  • Eggs: Hold everything together and make the cupcakes rich.
  • Cooked Pumpkin: Gives the pumpkin flavor and keeps the cupcakes moist.
  • Buttermilk or Milk with Vinegar: Makes the cupcakes soft and helps them rise.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds extra flavor.
  • Flour: Is the main ingredient that forms the cupcakes.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice, Cinnamon, Ginger: Give the pumpkin spice flavor.
  • Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt: Help the cupcakes rise and taste better.


  • Cream Cheese: Makes the frosting creamy and a bit tangy.
  • Powdered Sugar: Makes the frosting sweet and thick.
  • Cinnamon: Adds flavor to the frosting that goes well with the cupcakes.


Choose the correct pumpkin type: For this recipe, use pure canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie blend. The pie blend includes milk, spices, and sugar, and is meant for pies. Look for canned pumpkin that contains only pumpkin. 

Mixing egg, butter, and sugar with an electric hand mixer.

How To Make Pumpkin Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the Oven: Heat to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Mix Butter and Sugars: Cream softened butter with white and brown sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add Wet Ingredients: Beat in the eggs one at a time, then mix in pumpkin, a bit of buttermilk (or milk and vinegar mix), and vanilla.
  4. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures: Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet, alternating with buttermilk.
  6. Fill and Bake: Spoon batter into liners, filling them 3/4 full, and bake until a toothpick comes out clean or with few crumbs.
  7. Cool: Let cupcakes cool in the pan briefly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. Make Frosting: Beat together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, and beat until smooth.
  2. Frost Cupcakes: Once cooled, spread or pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.

Canned pumpkin being added to the batter mixture.


Can I Use This Batter In A Cake?

While you can, I think it would be easiest to use this Pumpkin Carrot Cake recipe instead. The two recipes are similar, and both have a cream cheese frosting. 

Can You freeze Pumpkin Cupcakes?

Yes, you can freeze the cake part of the cupcakes, but not the frosted ones, as the dairy-based cream cheese frosting doesn’t freeze well. Prepare and freeze the cupcake base ahead of time.

To freeze, put completely cooled cupcakes on a sheet pan, freeze for 30 minutes, then store in an airtight container, labeled and dated, for up to 3 months. Thaw first in the fridge, then at room temperature until completely thawed.

What Is The Secret To Fluffy Cupcakes?

The secret to fluffy cupcakes is to not overmix the batter, use room temperature ingredients, and make sure to measure the flour correctly. Additionally, creaming the butter and sugar well to incorporate air can also help achieve a fluffy texture.

Finished moist pumpkin cupcake with a generous amount of frosting, delicious and ready to be enjoyed.

More Amazing Pumpkin Treats

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 12 votes
The best-ever Pumpkin Cupcakes with a delicious and easy cinnamon-cream cheese frosting.
Ready to eat delicious pumpkin cupcake with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Print Recipe

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting

Ready to eat delicious pumpkin cupcake with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
5 from 12 votes
The best-ever Pumpkin Cupcakes with a delicious and easy cinnamon-cream cheese frosting.
Course Dessert, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword pumpkin cupcakes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Chelsea Lords
Calories 324kcal



  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, but not melted
  • 1 and 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cooked pumpkin (make sure it's not watery; I recommend Libby's)
  • 1 cup buttermilk divided; or 1 cup regular milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/3 cups white all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 package (8 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream the softened butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. 
  • Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add in the pumpkin, 1/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla extract
  • In another bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three parts, alternating each addition with 1/4 cup buttermilk (to use up the  remaining 3/4 cup buttermilk).
  • Fill the prepared muffin tin liners 3/4 full (this batter makes exactly enough for 24 cupcakes). Bake 20-25 minutes, in the center of the oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. 
  • Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon; beat until completely smooth. 
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes. Best within 2-3 days.


Recipe Notes

Note 1: Flour 
  • When measuring the flour, be sure to spoon and level the measuring cup so you aren’t adding in too much or too little flour. Too much flour and you’ll get dense cupcakes, and too little flour and these cupcakes will likely sink and be too wet.
  • Mix the dry and wet ingredients until just combined. Over-mixing will result in dense cupcakes.
  • For the perfect frosting, make sure the cream cheese and butter are softened at room temperature. I leave both at room temperature on the counter for 1-2 hours before making the frosting. Avoid rushing the softening of the cream cheese and butter, or you'll end up with grainy and/or clumpy frosting.
Note 2:Source: Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 24cupcakes | Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 3110IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

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5 from 12 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Uuu, They look delicious and amazing! No wonder Toddler has eaten three of them ?? Ha-ha. Nice work! The boys must be so happy to have a mom like you ?

  2. 5 stars
    I love the cinnamon cream cheese frosting!! The only thing I changed was that I increased the cream cheese by 1 block, for a total of 2 blocks. I also use this frosting on my Carrot Cake. It was a HUGE hit!! Thank you!!

    1. Yes! It’s definitely just what you would prefer for taste! Let me know how you like them! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Hi!! I’m making these today for thanksgiving and was wondering, if you substitute the buttermilk for milk and vinegar, what kind of vinegar would you use?

  4. 5 stars
    I made these for a halloween party with cream cheese icing and they were a hit. Everyone loved them. Definitely saving this recipe and will make again! Thanks!!

    1. I’m sorry I’m not sure; I am not very familiar with baking with gluten free flour. I wish I could be of more help!

  5. Really wanted to use fresh cooked pumpkin though most recipes for cupcakes, muffins say fresh not recommended…why not ???

  6. I’d like to make these with the cream cheese frosting but I’m worried it’ll be too soft and I want to be able to pipe and decorate the cupcakes. I’ve seen people online say to beat the butter and sugar first, then add in cream cheese to make it more stable and pipeable. Do you think this would work for this recipe? Or have you tried this method before?

  7. 5 stars
    I just made these. They were a huge hit. I think adding more salt to the dough would of made them even better. They are literally the best pumpkin cupcakes ever!

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