These Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting have an ultra-fluffy texture with a tender, moist, and velvety crumb that will melt in your mouth. They will blow your mind!
These pumpkin cupcakes is a cupcake version of the pumpkin cake from Sugar Spun Run, with slight changes to the flavorings. The crumb is ultra soft and plush!
It’s a straightforward recipe that anyone can perfect. The ingredients are easy to find, and the frosting is customizable based on your level of sweetness.
Prepping the cupcake batter is similar to my lemon drizzle cupcakes. Make sure you have 2 mixing bowls one for the dry and another for the wet.
If you'd like to use fresh pumpkin instead of canned, then it's fairly easy to make at home. Choose smaller pumpkin which are more flavorful when it comes to baking, like the ones commonly used for Jack-O-Lanterns. They typically weigh between 4 to 8 pounds and are also known as sugar pumpkins.
Why you'll love this?
- Flavor - These pumpkin cupcakes are loaded with flavor thanks to a generous amount of pumpkin puree. I add cinnamon in addition to pumpkin pie spices like ground ginger, clove and nutmeg. The tangy cream cheese frosting perfectly compliments the fall flavors like in eggless carrot cake.
- Texture - Soft and fluffy, with a plush velvety crumb.
- Sweetness - The cupcake is mildly sweet, like the pumpkin mug cake and makes a perfect base for the sweet frosting.
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Flour - Use all purpose flour because of the thick and wet batter.
- Pumpkin - Use canned 100% pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. You can use fresh pumpkin in a pinch, but I prefer the flavor and texture of the cupcake when using canned ( I like this detailed article on how to make pumpkin puree using fresh pumpkin). And bonus points for ease like in pumpkin waffles.
- Leavening - Both baking powder and baking soda allow for better control over the leavening process and help achieve the desired lift and texture.
- Flavoring - Use a combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. These spices are essential for almost all pumpkin desserts. You can also use premade pumpkin spice mix instead.
- Eggs - Eggs provide structure like in almond flour cake.
- Fat - Using a combination of butter and oil keeps it flavorful and moist.
- Sugar - These pumpkin cupcakes are sweetened with both brown sugar and granulated sugar and then I use confectioners sugar for the cream cheese frosting. Brown sugar adds moisture and compliments the fall spices like in carrot walnut cake and white sugar adds necessary sweetness.
- Milk - Just 2 tablespoons of whole milk to get the right consistency.
- Cream cheese - Use brick-style, full-fat cream cheese for your frosting.
Tip: Use full-fat cream cheese and not the spreadable type from a tub. The full-fat will give the frosting a perfectly creamy consistency. Also make sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature, so it whips up ultra smooth.
How to make pumpkin cupcakes?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
1.Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, clove and nutmeg into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
2. Combine butter and both sugars in the bowl in a large bowl and use an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy (2 to 3 minutes).
3. Add pumpkin puree and vegetable oil and beat until well combined.
4. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Beat in milk and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure ingredients are evenly combined.
Tip: It’s important for the eggs to be at room temperature as they whip better - A key to make the pumpkin cupcakes extraordinarily light and fluffy.
5 & 6. Add the dry ingredients and beat until it just comes together. Don't overmix.
Divide batter evenly into the prepared pan, and bake for 24 to 26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with few moist crumbs or clean. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completey before frosting.
Combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and salt in a medium bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add confectioners sugar and beat until smooth, and light. Spread on top of cupcakes using a flat spatula or pipe using a piping bag. Check out the pumpkin cake recipe for step-by-step photos on how to make the cream cheese frosting.
Pro tip: Add additional confectioners sugar as needed to get the right consistency.
How to store?
Due to the dairy content in cream cheese frosting, it's best to store pumpkin cupcakes in the refrigerator. Place the cupcakes in an airtight container to prevent them from absorbing any odors from the refrigerator and the frosting doesn't dry out.
These are best served at room temperature for the melt-in-your mouth texture. If the pumpkin cupcakes have been refrigerated, you might want to let them sit at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
- I like to use Libby’s brand of pumpkin puree as it is thick with rich color and taste. Different brands may be lighter in color or more watery in consistency.
- Measure your flour correctly. Adding too much flour to the pumpkin cupcakes recipe is the most common mistake that will yield a dry cupcake.
- Use room temperature eggs for fluffier cupcakes. They aerate better when mixed with the butter like in tiramisu tres leches cake.
- Use 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices.
Pro tip: To measure flour, fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off. If you scoop the flour straight from the canister, you overpack the measuring cup.
More fall recipes
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground clove
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg freshly grated, optional
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (½ cup)
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs preferably at room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line a 12-cup standard cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
- Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Combine butter and both sugars in the bowl in a large bowl and use an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy (2 to 3 minutes).
- Add pumpkin puree and vegetable oil and beat until well combined.
- Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Beat in milk and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure ingredients are evenly combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and beat until it just comes together. Don't overmix.
- Divide batter evenly into the prepared pan, and bake for 24 to 26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with few moist crumbs or clean.
- Place pan on a wire rack to cool completey before frosting.
- Combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and salt in a medium bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Tip: Use full-fat cream cheese and not the spreadable type from a tub. The full-fat will give the frosting a perfectly creamy consistency.
- Gradually add confectioners sugar and beat until smooth, and light.Pro tip: Add additional confectioners sugar as needed to get the right consistency.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I used Wilton 1M tip.
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
This pumpkin cupcakes recipe is a cupcake version of the pumpkin cake from Sugar Spun Run.
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