These delightful Pumpkin Cupcakes are moist and tender and topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting. Made with pumpkin puree and a medley of warm spices for a burst of fall flavor in every bite. The luscious cream cheese frosting is the perfect finish to this delicious pumpkin cupcake recipe!
Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe
These delectable pumpkin cupcakes have a beautifully tender crumb that just melts in your mouth. The cupcakes are moist, but not dense, and are bursting with pumpkin and warm autumnal flavors. The luscious cream cheese frosting is a delightful finish to this sweetly satisfying fall treat. Leave the cupcakes plain or top with your choice of sprinkles or candy pumpkins!
This is truly the perfect pumpkin cupcake recipe. Made with pumpkin puree, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, each bite is a burst of fall flavors. The pumpkin flavor really shines through and is enhanced with warm spices and vanilla extract. Enjoy with a pumpkin spice latte, serve at a seasonal party or add to your holiday dessert table, these cupcakes are perfect for any occasion!
Fall is the perfect time to indulge in all things pumpkin, but honestly, these cupcakes are so delectable, you’ll want to make them year-round.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
These cupcakes are delicious on their own but when paired with luscious, creamy cream cheese frosting, they are truly irresistible. Pumpkin desserts are often paired with cream cheese frosting because those flavors are a match made in heaven and these cupcakes are no exception. The frosting can be made in advance but once chilled, it will need to set out at room temperature for a bit before it will be pipable again.
I used an open round tip to frost these cupcakes but any tip will work.
Why You’ll Love These Cupcakes
This delicious pumpkin cupcake recipe will be enjoyed by all and is the perfect addition to any party! The cream cheese frosting is soft, buttery and rich – the perfect companion to the pumpkin spice cupcakes. Decorate with fondant pumpkins, sprinkles, or candy pumpkins for an extra festive touch, and watch them disappear from the plate!
- Tender and Moist. Thanks to the pumpkin puree and vegetable oil, these cupcakes are extra tender and moist.
- Irresistible Frosting. Creamy, buttery, silky cream cheese frosting is an extra luxurious finish to these cupcakes.
- Perfect Pumpkin Flavor. The pumpkin puree is perfectly enhanced with ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice giving these cupcakes their rich pumpkin flavor.
What You’ll Need
This easy recipe for pumpkin cupcakes is the best way to enjoy the season! Made with real pumpkin puree and a medley of spices, each bite promises a burst of fall flavors. As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need…
For the Pumpkin Cupcakes
- all purpose flour – Provides the structure for the cupcakes. Spoon and level the flour for accurate measurement.
- baking powder and baking soda – Acts as the leavening agents in this recipe.
- salt – Balances the sweetness and enhances the other flavors.
- pumpkin pie spice and ground cinnamon – Give a warm, aromatic flavor to the cupcakes. I used my homemade pumpkin pie spice but store bought will work too.
- pumpkin puree – Gives these cupcakes their awesome pumpkin flavor. Make sure to grab pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling!
- eggs – You’ll need two large eggs at room temperature.
- vegetable oil – Any other neutral oil such as canola oil will also work.
- granulated sugar and brown sugar – Gives these cupcakes their lovely sweetness.
- vanilla extract – The perfect complement to the pumpkin and spices. Adds warmth and flavor.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- unsalted butter – Adds buttery richness to the frosting. Make sure it as at room temperature.
- cream cheese – Creates a super creamy frosting that pairs perfectly with the pumpkin cupcakes.
- powdered sugar – Adds structure and sweetness to the cupcakes. Sift the powdered sugar to avoid any lumps.
- vanilla extract – Gives warmth and adds flavor to the frosting.
- salt – Balances the sweetness and enhances the the other flavors.
To Decorate (Optional)
- fondant pumpkins – you can find really fancy ones on Etsy (search fondant pumpkins) or at your local bakery.
- sprinkles – Cute pumpkin sprinkles, jimmies, anything you want.
- mellowcreme pumpkins – or other candy pumpkins
How To Make Pumpkin Cupcakes
For the Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Prep. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Dry Ingredients. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon and pumpkin spice in a large bowl.
- Wet Ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until smooth and combined.
- Combine. Fold the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients until no streaks of flour remain being careful not to overmix.
- Bake. Evenly divide the batter between the liners and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. An inserted toothpick should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs. The cupcakes should spring back when touched. Let cool on a wire rack.
How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat. Beat room temperature butter and cream cheese together in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Sugar and Vanilla. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt and beat until smooth and creamy. The frosting should be thick enough to hold its shape when piped onto the cupcakes so add additional powdered sugar, ¼ cup a time, until desired thickness is achieved.
- Frost Cupcakes. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a round open tip (or your preferred tip.) Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Decorate as desired.
Frosted cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. If storing separately, cupcakes can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days and the cream cheese frosting can be stored in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To freeze, transfer unfrosted cupcakes to freezer safe ziploc bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature and then frost as directed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sure but just make sure to adjust the baking time accordingly, checking for doneness around the 10 to 12 minute mark.
Insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs, the cupcakes are ready. If not, bake for an additional minute or two and check again.
This recipe would be delicious with chocolate chips or caramel bits in the batter. You could also add some spice to the cream cheese frosting.
You can make your own! Use my homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe.
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
- Make sure that the eggs, butter and cream cheese are all at room temperature before mixing. This ensures a smooth batter and frosting.
- Do not overmix the cupcake batter. Mix just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. This will keep your cupcakes nice and tender with a delicate crumb.
- Use a cookie scoop to evenly divide the batter between the cupcake liners.
- Have fun with decorating! You can find really fancy fondant pumpkins on Etsy (search fondant pumpkins) or at your local baker, pumpkin sprinkles, jimmies, mellowcreme pumpkins. Drizzle on some Caramel Sauce or dust with pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon.
- If your frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar one to two tablespoons at a time, until desired thickness is achieved.
- Use festive cupcake liners or toppers for a fun flair.
More Pumpkin Desserts You’ll Love
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil or other neutral oil such as canola oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 3 ½ to 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- fondant pumpkins you can find really fancy ones on Etsy
- mellowcreme pumpkins or other candy pumpkins
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon and pumpkin spice. Set aside.
- In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until smooth and combined.
- Fold the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients until no streaks of flour remain. Do not overmix.
- Evenly divide the batter between the liners. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the center of the oven or until the cupcakes have risen and spring back when touched. An inserted toothpick should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Combine room temperature butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add 3 cups of powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt and beat until smooth and creamy. You want the frosting to be thick enough to hold its shape when piped onto the cupcakes so add additional powdered sugar, ¼ cup a time, until desired thickness is achieved.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a round open tip (or your preferred tip.) Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Decorate as desired.
- Serve and enjoy!