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!

Image of the ready-to-eat Pumpkin Cupcake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting on it.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

I first had a version of these pumpkin cupcakes at a party several years ago and fell in love with them. My friend had adapted her recipe from a Taste of Home magazine recipe. I’ve tried several other pumpkin cupcakes over the years, and nothing has ever come close to her recipe. A few minor tweaks of my own, and these cupcakes are the absolute best; everyone raves about them!

These cupcakes are perfectly pumpkin spiced, have the best texture, and the luscious cinnamon cream cheese frosting complements the cake beautifully.

If you don’t want to go to all the effort of making a layered and frosted cake, these are the perfect fall-time treat. These easy Pumpkin Cupcakes are sure to be a hit wherever you serve them.

Image of the butter and sugar for these pumpkin pie cupcakes being beaten.

Pumpkin Cupcake tips

  • 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.
  • Bring all ingredients to room temperature before starting; this ensures even dispersion of ingredients for an overall better end texture.
  • Mix the dry and wet ingredients until just combined. Overmixing will result in dense cupcakes.
  • For the perfect frosting, make sure the cream cheese and butter are both at temperature. Avoid trying to rush the softening of the cream cheese and butter or you’ll end up with grainy and/or clumpy frosting.
  • Position the cupcakes in the center of your oven for even baking.

Image of the egg being mixed in with the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer.

Pumpkin Cupcake FAQs

Can I make this into a layer 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 I freeze these cupcakes?

Yes, but only freeze the cake part. I don’t recommend freezing the frosted cupcakes because the (dairy filled) cream cheese frosting doesn’t freeze and thaw very well. You can, however, prepare the cupcake base in advance and freeze them without the frosting.

To freeze: Place the completely cooled cupcakes on a sheet pan and freeze uncovered for 30 minutes. Then transfer to an airtight container, label and date; freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge for several hours and then on the countertop at room temperature until they are completely thawed.

Can I make mini Pumpkin Cupcakes?

Definitely! Line a miniature muffin tin and fill 3/4ths the way full with batter. Bake the mini cupcakes around 10-15 minutes, checking for doneness at 10 minutes. To test for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean (or with just a few moist crumbs) they are done; if the toothpick comes out wet, you add a few minutes.

Image of the cooked pumpkin being added to the mixture.

Pumpkin Cupcake variations

  • Healthy Pumpkin Cupcakes: I would recommend trying these healthy pumpkin muffins and topping them with a little cream cheese frosting for a healthier treat.
  • Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes: These cupcakes make the perfect base to jazz up and decorate for Halloween. Use this Halloween cupcakes post for cupcake decorating inspiration! You could also simply add a pumpkin candy corn (not sponsored) on top of the frosting for a fun Halloween decoration.
  • Pumpkin Cupcakes with buttercream frosting: If you’d like to replace the cinnamon cream cheese frosting with a buttercream, swap this frosting recipe for the cream cheese one.
  • Pumpkin Cupcakes with maple frosting: Use this maple frosting recipe in place of the cream cheese one.

Up-close image of these moist Pumpkin Cupcakes.

More amazing pumpkin treats

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

4.19 from 11 votes
The best-ever Pumpkin Cupcakes with a delicious and easy cinnamon-cream cheese frosting.
Print Recipe

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

4.19 from 11 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
Calories 266kcal

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 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 (or 1 cup regular milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar), divided
  • 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

Frosting

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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 part with adding in 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.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: 
  • When measuring the flour, be sure to spoon and level the measuring cups 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. Overmixing 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 trying to rush the softening of the cream cheese and butter, or you'll end up with grainy and/or clumpy frosting.
Note 2: Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 24cupcakes | Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.1g | Protein: 3.2g | Fat: 12.9g | Cholesterol: 48.8mg | Sodium: 117.3mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 30.7g

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Recipe Rating




27 Comments

  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!!

  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!

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