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Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes are so moist with a rich chocolate flavor. They’re also so easy to make with just five ingredients! Cake mix is the secret ingredient but no one will ever guess you used it because they taste like they are made completely from scratch. 

chocolate cupcake in purple wrapper with vanilla frosting and colorful sprinkles.


Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate pumpkin cupcakes with cake mix are the cupcake recipe you need for all of the last-minute dessert requests. You know, like at the start of the school year when the demand for baked treats goes off the charts and you find yourself with only a few hours to pull something – anything! – together.

That’s been me many times and more than once I’ve been tempted to just pick up cupcakes at the store, but then I figured out a way to doctor-up cake mix to make the best pumpkin chocolate cupcakes. They are so easy to make. They’re not just for fall either. Yes, they have pumpkin but you don’t really taste it. Instead, the pumpkin puree makes them so moist and delicious. They taste homemade and, unless you feel like spilling the beans, no one will think they were made with cake mix. 

ingredients in pumpkin chocolate cupcakes.

Ingredients Needed

  • Chocolate fudge cake mix or Devil’s food cake mix: Any chocolate flavor cake mix or brand will work
  • Pumpkin puree: Makes the cupcakes super moist – make sure you use puree not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Vanilla Buttercream: For the frosting! You can use my homemade vanilla frosting recipe, or buy store-bought! 

How to Make Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners. (I got 18 cupcakes.)
  • Mix cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large bowl with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes. Add pumpkin and mix until combined. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full (I use an ice cream scoop for this).
  • Bake 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick insterted comes out with just a few little crumbs sticking to it. Cool completely before frosting.
  • To make your frosting, beat butter with mixer (hand or stand, your choice) until creamy. Slowly beat in powdered sugar (1 cup at a time). Beat in vanilla. Add 1 tablespoon of cream and mix, then add more cream as necessary to get the consistency you want. Tint with food coloring, if desired.
  • Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with (or dip in) sprinkles. Enjoy!
chocolate cupcake in colorful wrappers with vanilla frosting and colorful sprinkles.

Expert Tips

  • Since the pumpkin puree is there more for the texture rather than the flavor, you can add spices if you want more of that fall flavor. Check Recipe Notes.
  • Cupcakes are done baking when a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cupcake.
  • Fill your cupcake liners about ⅔ of the way full to get the perfect amount.
  • These are also great with chocolate ganache frosting or chocolate buttercream!

FAQs

Do these taste like pumpkin?

The pumpkin is mostly for moisture and body in these cupcakes – not for flavor. If you want a more fall-like cupcake, add pumpkin pie spice.

How do you know when cupcakes are done baking?

Cupcakes are done baking when a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cupcake.

chocolate cupcake in purple wrapper with vanilla frosting and colorful sprinkles.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

5 from 2 votes
Make Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with cake mix! This easy recipe uses pumpkin and chocolate cake mix to make the best pumpkin cupcakes with buttercream frosting!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 24 cupcakes
Serving Size 1 cupcake

Ingredients
 

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 approx 15 ounce box Chocolate Cake Mix
  • ¾ cup (177ml) water
  • cup (79ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter , softened
  • 4 cups (452g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-3 tablespoons (15-45ml) heavy whipping cream
  • Food Coloring and sprinkles if desired

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners. (I got 18 cupcakes.)
  • Mix cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large bowl with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes. Add pumpkin and mix until combined. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full (I use an ice cream scoop for this).
  • Bake 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick insterted comes out with just a few little crumbs sticking to it. Cool completely before frosting.
  • To make your frosting, beat butter with mixer (hand or stand, your choice) until creamy. Slowly beat in powdered sugar (1 cup at a time). Beat in vanilla. Add 1 tablespoon of cream and mix, then add more cream as necessary to get the consistency you want. Tint with food coloring, if desired.
  • Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with (or dip in) sprinkles. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Want a fall-like cupcake that tastes like pumpkin? Add 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice to the cupcake batter.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1868IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Last Updated on August 12, 2023



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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35 Comments

  1. You have no idea how jealous I am that your school district allows homemade treats.

    Seriously, making food for my kids classes was supposed to be the crowning achievement of my life. Instead I will be purchasing stale Walmart cookies.

    Can I move to your neighborhood?

  2. These are sooooo cute and I like the addition of the pumpkin. 🙂 I use cream in all my frostings and it does really add something pretty special. Have a great Halloween and congrats on the success of BlogCon!!

  3. They look delicious but wow…how in the world do you have time to blog on top of everything else you do?

  4. I’m glad you said yes! To OBC and to these cupcakes which look phenom! And now that I know your photography secret, photographed phenom too 😉 I hear ya–it sucks being a yes woman all the time, but I agree with Jocelyn–saying no sometimes can be oh so satisfying. Try it out on Jordan haha. 🙂

  5. I only WISH i would be asked to make treats for my kiddo’s classroom, but his school has a strict “no homemade treats” rule that I absolutely hate.
    But these look so cute that I could probably make them, throw them in a store-like container and fool everyone 🙂 YUM-O!

  6. I’m glad you said, yes! I love using pumpkin in cake mix and that frosting sounds fantastic!

  7. I am so glad you did the conference! A great experience!
    I have made chocolate cake with nothing BUT the pumpkin. It was wonderful. 🙂

  8. Me: Hm, Dorothy, can you please host this gigantic online conference and be prepared to do most of the work?
    Dorothy: Sure! Of course!

    😉

    These look great!!

  9. OHHHH! I am a yes mom too, and multiply that times my 6 children and I could kick myself sometimes. The worst I remember is offering to make enough oreo spider cookies for an entire grade level…..ummm, what the heck was I thinking? Haven’t made them since. These look pretty yummy! I’m glad you made them. Im also very glad you said yes to the conference…..AWESOME!