Pumpkin Cupcakes: the best autumn cupcake recipe to make right now

Total time: 50 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

These decadent pumpkin cupcakes are the perfect way to usher in fall, especially if you're a fan of pumpkin. They're lightly spiced with pumpkin pie mix, cinnamon, and ginger. These sweet, fluffy cupcakes are moist but not greasy on the inside, then topped with tangy-sweet cream cheese frosting.

Just like a classic pumpkin cake, they're a great dessert to make for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or anytime during the fall when you're in the mood for a delicious, easy-to-make dessert.

Pumpkin Cupcake Ingredients

You don't need any fancy ingredients to make these gorgeous, ultra-fluffy cupcakes. Pumpkin puree is a must.

To give the cupcakes their signature fall flavor, you'll need pumpkin pie spice, ginger, and cinnamon.

Brown sugar adds sweetness and a richer flavor, while oil and eggs help keep the cupcakes moist.

Baking soda and baking powder leaven the cupcakes and make them soft and fluffy, and of course, you need flour.

For the cream cheese frosting, all you need is cream cheese and butter (make sure they're softened to room temperature), plus powdered sugar and some vanilla for flavor.


How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes

These homemade pumpkin cupcakes are easy and quick to make. Start by lining your muffin tins with cupcake liners and heating your oven to 350F. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a second bowl, beat the pumpkin, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Beat the flour mixture into the pumpkin one until just combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter!

Pour batter into each cupcake liner to about 3/4 full. Bake your cupcakes for about 20 minutes, then take the muffin trays out of the oven. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tins for several minutes, then take them out and put them on a rack to cool down to room temperature.

While the cupcakes are cooling, beat the butter until smooth, then add the cream cheese. Beat until combined. Add the vanilla extract and salt, then gradually add the powdered sugar. Once you've reached your preferred consistency, put the frosting into a piping bag. Decorate your cupcakes, then serve and enjoy!

Tips for the Best Pumpkin Cupcakes

Your cupcakes are done baking when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and crumb-free.

You can make your pumpkin cupcakes up to three days in advance. The frosting can be made up to four days in advance.

Use your favorite gluten-free flour to make gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes.

Not a fan of cream cheese? Use buttercream instead of cream cheese frosting.

Make vegan pumpkin cupcakes by substituting the eggs for flax eggs, applesauce, or silken tofu. Use margarine and vegan cream cheese to make the frosting.


How to Store Pumpkin Cupcakes

Keep your pumpkin cupcakes unfrosted in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Frosted pumpkin cupcakes will last up to one day in an airtight container at room temperature. For longer storage, pop them in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can You Freeze Pumpkin Cupcakes?

You can definitely make these pumpkin cupcakes ahead of time and then freeze them to enjoy later. However, if you decide to freeze your pumpkin cupcakes, do so without the frosting – cream cheese frosting doesn't freeze well. Frozen pumpkin cupcakes will last for 2 months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge. The next day, decorate them with the frosting and serve.

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for the pumpkin cupcake batter
All-purpose flour
2 cups
Baking powder
2 tsp
Baking soda
1 tsp
3/4 tsp
pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp
Ground ginger
2 tsp
Ground cinnamon
1 tsp
pureed pumpkin
1 can
Vegetable Oil
1 cup
packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups
pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp
for the cream cheese frosting
salted butter, softened
2/3 cup
Cream Cheese at room temperature
8 ounces
pure vanilla extract
1 tsp
Powdered sugar
4 cups


For the batter 

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line two standard muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a bowl.

In a second bowl, combine pumpkin, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Mix well.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners to ¾ full.

Bake for 20 minutes, then take the tins out of the oven and let them cool for several minutes.

Take them out of the muffin pans and set them on a rack to cool.

For the frosting

Beat the butter until smooth.

Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add in vanilla extract and salt. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved.

Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and decorate the cupcakes.

Sprinkle cinnamon powder on top.

Serve and enjoy!


For the softest, fluffiest cupcakes, use room temperature ingredients.

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