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Pumpkin Cupcakes made from scratch are the perfect fall dessert, especially when you top them with the best cream cheese frosting! They’re soft, moist, and easy to make. Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes are perfect for October and all fall long!

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Multiple pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin candies on top and around bottom
Table of Contents
  1. These are the Best Pumpkin Cupcakes
  2. Easy Pumpkin Cupcake Ingredients
  3. How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes
  4. Best Frosting for Pumpkin Cupcakes
  5. Variations
  6. Other Favorite Pumpkin Recipes
  7. Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe Recipe

These are the Best Pumpkin Cupcakes

It always seems like pumpkin bread gets all the attention during the fall, so I am here today to tell you that pumpkin cupcakes are the thing to make! Don’t get me wrong, I love the bread but cupcakes with cream cheese frosting? Yes, please.

Unlike other recipes, these treats are not masquerading as muffins dressed up like cupcakes. They have a light, fluffy texture with cream cheese frosting!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • They have just the right amount of spices. I use a combination of fall spices that make them taste amazing. Not to mention the aroma while they bake – it’s amazing.
  • These are moist pumpkin cupcakes that are EASY to make!
  • You won’t want to skip the cream cheese frosting! It adds the finishing touch. Cream cheese and pumpkin are so good together.
ingredients in the pumpkin cupcakes laid out and labeled

Easy Pumpkin Cupcake Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil: I know my normal cupcakes call for butter, but I find that using vegetable oil keeps them super moist!
  • Brown sugar: adds a little extra richness for this fall cupcake. I use light brown sugar but dark may be substituted. Granulated sugar completes the mixture.
  • Pumpkin puree – not pumpkin pie mix!
  • Large eggs – always buy large eggs!
  • Vanilla extract – always buy pure vanilla.
  • Baking powder and Baking soda – the combination makes these the most moist pumpkin cupcakes recipe ever.
  • Salt – cuts the sweetness and adds a flavor depth.
  • Pumpkin Spices – A teaspoon cinnamon plus all the other pumpkin spices: nutmeg, ginger, and allspice or you can use pumpkin pie spice if you don’t have all the individual ones, but I like adding them separately.
  • All-purpose flour – be sure it’s measured correctly.
Four photos showing ingredients and process of making pumpkin cupcake batter

How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes

Before you make the batter, line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners (this makes 12 cupcakes).

  • In a small bowl, whisk the teaspoon baking powder, half teaspoon baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and flour.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil, with both sugars.
  • Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
  • Add pumpkin and then gently stir in dry ingredients until just combined.

You can use a whisk to do this by hand, use a hand mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Pumpkin cupcake batter in clear mixing bowl with whisk

Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full with batter. You will have enough batter to make twelve cupcakes. 

Bake them at 350°F for 15-20 minutes total time, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cupcakes. Wait until the cupcakes are completely cooled before you frost them.

Close up of pumpkin cupcake with pumpkin candy on top

Best Frosting for Pumpkin Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting is the PERFECT topping for these cupcakes. It’s creamy, a little tangy, and very easy to make.

Want to make pumpkin cupcakes with no cream cheese? Use vanilla buttercream or chocolate frosting instead.

How to make Cream Cheese Icing

  • Softened cream cheese – make sure it’s room temperature to avoid lumps. Do not use low fat cream cheese!
  • Softened unsalted butter – salted may be substituted
  • Powdered sugar – no need to sift it
  • Vanilla extract – always buy pure vanilla!

Cream the cream cheese and butter together until the mixture is fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until the frosting is smooth.

Decoration and Topping Ideas

Frosting: You can frost the cupcakes by spreading the frosting with a spatula. Or, use a 1M tip and pipe it to create a beautifully frosted treat.

Decorating: You can serve them plain or dress them up by adding a pumpkin candy corn as a decoration. You can also dust the frosting with ground cinnamon.

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Close up of pumpkin cupcake cut in half to show middle

Variations

  • Make pumpkin cupcakes with filling – simply hollow out the center and add more cream cheese frosting or maybe even chocolate cream cheese frosting!
  • Make Mini Cupcakes – this will make approximately 36 mini cupcakes (possibly more).

FAQs

Do Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes need to be refrigerated?

You can keep frosted cupcakes in the fridge for up to three days. 

Can you freeze pumpkin cupcakes?

Yes, you can freeze them! Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, store them in a freezer container (unfrosted) and they will freeze really well.

Can you make the cupcakes ahead of time?

You can make the cupcakes up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate them, frosted or unfrosted. Or freeze the cupcakes and frosting separately then assemble before serving. Leave them at room temperature to thaw.

Can I use pumpkin spice in the batter?

If you don’t have all the spices on hand, use 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.

Can I use this batter to make a cake?

One recipe pumpkin cupcakes should make about one 9-inch cake layer if you choose to convert it to a cake.

Other Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

Close up of pumpkin cupcake with pumpkin candy on top

Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe

5 from 15 votes
EASY Pumpkin Cupcakes with cream cheese icing is one of the best recipes for fall baking. These cupcakes are from scratch and super moist with the best frosting!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 12 cupcakes
Serving Size 1 cupcake

Ingredients
 

Cupcakes:

  • ½ cup (118ml) vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup (150g) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (244g) pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup (124g) all purpose flour

Frosting:

  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (339g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Make the Cupcakes:
  • Note: You can use a hand or a stand mixer for this recipe, or just do it by hand.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cavity cupcake pan with liners.
  • Whisk together baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and flour in a small bowl.
  • Whisk oil, both sugars, and pumpkin until smooth in a large bowl. Whisk in eggs and vanilla, then gently stir in dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Fill cupcake pans 2/3 full, making 12 cupcakes. Bake about 14-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cupcakes. Cool before frosting.
  • Make the Frosting:
  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
  • Slowly add in powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  • Frosting option: use a 1M tip for a beautiful cupcake.
  • Topping suggestions: use a pumpkin candy corn or dust with cinnamon
  • Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cupcakes and frosting can be frozen separately.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 221mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 3707IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Dorothy Kern
Keyword cupcake, pumpkin
Close up of pumpkin cupcake with pumpkin candy on top and recipe title on top of photo

EASY Pumpkin Cupcakes with cream cheese icing is one of the best recipes for fall baking. These cupcakes are from scratch and super moist with the best frosting!

Last Updated on September 29, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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4 Comments

  1. Dorothy who do you keep your muffins from getting soggy on top? I really like so many of your recipes. Thank you

    1. If you mean after they sit, the only way I’ve been able to avoid that is to store them in the refrigerator.

  2. These look delicious! Sounds like a perfect treat for my sons birthday in November. I love the little candy topper. So festive!