These pumpkin cupcakes are super delicious, soft, moist, and topped with an easy homemade cream cheese frosting. Perfect for pumpkin lovers!
One of my favorite things about fall is all of the pumpkin recipes! So today I’m bringing back an old favorite of mine – this homemade pumpkin cupcake recipe.
Originally published in 2015, I’ve updated this cupcake recipe to make it even better! This new and improved version is softer, lighter, and bakes up beautifully. I’ve also included tons of information so that you can easily perfect these cupcakes in your own kitchen.
I topped these cupcakes with a homemade cream cheese frosting, but I’ve included some different frosting options for you to try with them. These would even be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table too!
Ingredients For This Recipe
These pumpkin spice cupcakes can be whipped up at a moment’s notice using ingredients you likely have in your pantry already. Here’s what you’ll need to make the pumpkin cupcake recipe:
- All-Purpose Flour: There’s only 1 cup of flour in this recipe so that the cupcakes are soft and light.
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder: I adjusted the amount of baking soda and baking powder to give these cupcakes the perfect amount of lift – not too much, but not too little.
- Spices & Salt: There’s a mix of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves that really compliment the pumpkin. Plus a little salt to enhance the flavors.
- Pumpkin Puree: The star ingredient of these cupcakes! Just make sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
- Oil: I typically use canola oil in this recipe, but vegetable or melted coconut oil will work fine too.
- Sugar: There’s a mix of brown sugar and granulated sugar in this recipe. The brown sugar adds flavor and moisture to the cupcakes.
- Eggs & Vanilla: The eggs provide structure and the vanilla adds a little extra flavor.
How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes
To make these pumpkin cupcakes, you’ll start by whisking together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
Once you’ve mixed up the dry and wet ingredients, you’ll mix the two together until just combined. It’s best to avoid overmixing the batter because this can lead to denser cupcakes. Then, evenly divide the batter between 12 liners in a muffin pan.
The cupcakes will take about 17 to 22 minutes in the oven. I always check them around the 17-minute mark with a toothpick to see if they’re done. If there’s still a little batter on the toothpick, let them go another 1 to 2 minutes and then check again.
Different Frosting Options
For the frosting on these cupcakes, I stuck with my homemade cream cheese frosting. If you prefer a different frosting option here are some more that would work great!
- Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Vanilla or Caramel Frosting (scroll to the bottom of the post for how to make the caramel version)
- Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
I also used my Wilton 1M tip to frost these cupcakes. I have a full tutorial here showing you exactly how I frost cupcakes to make them look just like these.
Do these cupcakes need to be refrigerated?
If the cupcakes are not frosted, it’s okay to leave them at room temperature in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days. If the cupcakes are frosted, you’ll want to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Can you use pumpkin pie filling in this recipe?
I don’t recommend using pumpkin pie filling because it’s sweetened and has spices added to it. I suggest sticking with pumpkin puree.
Can you use pumpkin pie spice in the batter?
I’ve tested this recipe using 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon in place of all of the spices listed in the recipe. Both options taste great!
Can I freeze these cupcakes?
Yes, these cupcakes freeze great! You can freeze the cupcakes and frosting for up to three months. When you’re ready to prepare them, just thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. I recommend mixing the frosting well before you pipe it on the cupcakes.
- Avoid scooping your flour from the container. Instead, stir the flour around, spoon it into your measuring cup, and level it off with the back of a knife.
- Use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. The only ingredient in pumpkin puree will be pumpkin.
- Use a block of cream cheese and not cream cheese spread in a tub. Cream cheese spread has ingredients added to it to thin it out and will create a runny frosting.
More Pumpkin Dessert Recipes to Try!
- Soft & Chewy Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Roll
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Classic Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the pumpkin cupcakes:
- 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (250 grams) pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar , packed
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 1 (8-ounce) package brick-style cream cheese , softened
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter , softened
- 2 cups (240 grams) confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the pumpkin cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12 count muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fully combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Evenly divide the batter between all 12 cupcake liners and smooth out the tops of each one.
- Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the cream cheese frosting:
- Using a handheld mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired.