Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
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.
Love these pumpkin cupcakes- they look super moist and I love how the sweetness is balanced between the cake and the frosting 🙂
Girl, with cupcakes as gorgeous and droolworthy as these are, you would TOTALLY have the best bakery! I would probably buy you out of everything, so there’s that. 😉 LOL. Seriously though! These cupcakes are amazing, Danielle! Lovin’ how moist they look and pumpkin + cream cheese frosting = my weakness!!
Thank you, Sarah! If I ever do open a bakery, I’ll totally send you free cupcakes 😉
Hurray! Pumpkin baking time is here! How gosh darn pretty are these cupcakes Danielle? They’re perfect! You could definitely own a bakery with pretty cupcakes like this. Can’t wait to make these!
I love pumpkin baking time! Thanks for the kind words, Natalie!
This is my all time favorite treat! I Looooooove pumpkin and the cream cheese frosting sounds perfect! And your photos are so beautiful!
Me too! I’ve always wanted to own a bakery! These cupcakes are so, so pretty too! I’m in love.
It would be so much fun, right? Thanks, Michelle!
I tried to make these and for some reason every time I make cupcakes following the exact same instructions given to me they never taste right. What am I doing wrong ?!
Hi Alexa, What exactly do you mean when you say they never taste right? Is it the sweetness, spices, texture, are they too dense? How are you measuring your flour? I’d love to try to help you figure out what may be going wrong, but I just need a bit more information.
I would love to own a bakery! But first, I have to master the art of frosting, I stink at it haha. Love these cupcakes, Danielle! That cream cheese frosting is just calling my name!
Congrats on finding your winning recipe, Danielle! It’s so exciting when you develop your very own baking recipe, isn’t it? These cupcakes are so gorgeous with those pretty swirls, and I need to try them for sure!
Yes, it’s definitely a great feeling when you create a recipe that you really love! Thanks, Marcie 🙂
These definitely look like bakery-perfect cupcakes!! I’m so glad it’s finally pumpkin season. Time to binge! 🙂
Your pictures look gorgeous! That frosting looks like pure perfection.
I think it would be fun to own a bakery, but so much work too! 🙂 I love that you made pumpkin cupcakes, and that cream cheese frosting looks heavenly! I’d love one of these right now!
Definitely a lot of work, but I almost feel like it wouldn’t feel like work 😉 Thanks, Kristine!
These cupcakes look fantastic, Danielle! Pumpkin cupcakes have been on my must bake list for ages now, definitely going to have to make some! 😀 Love the spiced pumpkin flavour, and the velvety smooth cream cheese frosting! I would love to own a bakery one day too!
Thanks, Jess! I think you could definitely own one, you have such wonderful recipes!
Mmmm, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting look so yummy. And these photos are stunning, Danielle! 🙂
I would definitely buy out all your cupcakes if you had a bakery 🙂 These are so gorgeous, Danielle! I love pumpkin cupcakes and they sound perfect with the pretty swirl of cream cheese frosting!
Thank you, Kelly! That means a lot 🙂
You’d have a totally awesome bakery, Danielle. But then you’d have to get up crazy early and bake. Oh, wait, you probably do that anyway. 🙂 These look absolutely perfect!
I definitely do on the weekends, so it wouldn’t be so bad 😉 Thanks, Mir!
Hi Danielle! well, I hope you pursue your dream to have your own bakery!!! you never know right?! I used to want to own my own coffee shop. . so I could serve coffee and sweet treats and talk with people. 😛 I love these cupcakes! hooray for everything pumpkin!
Thank you for the kind words, Alice! A coffee shop would be such a fun thing to own too. Love that idea!
You should totally do it!! Sometimes I think about a bakery or some sort of food business. It scares me so much I usually stop thinking about it. But maybe some day… 🙂
I feel the same way when I think about it! Maybe one day though 😉 Thanks, Dorothy!
Having your own bakery would be so amazing. Go for it! I would come and buy these cupcakes! They look perfect!
I could totally see you owning your own bakery someday Danielle!
These pumpkin muffins are calling my name…now my greek yogurt for breakfast seems totally bland. lol
Thank you, Mariah! 🙂
These cupcakes are so pretty! You could definitely own a bakery and I’ll probably buy everything from you! Can’t wait to try the recipe! Pinned!
I love all things pumpkin and these cupcakes look fantastic! I agree with you, owning a bakery would just be fun. I would love a job where I could just bake all day, but not have all those sweets sitting in my own kitchen tempting me! 🙂
Yes, that would be the best part! I wouldn’t have them sitting around my house haha 😉
Girl! I am slacking in the cupcake department. I don’t think I have one on my site. I need to fix that ASAP! These look awesome. Cream cheese frosting is THE BEST!
What is it about pumpkin and cream cheese frosting? Such an addicting delicious combination.
I agree, it’s definitely a great combination!
Wow these cupcakes are absolutely beautiful! I’ve never made pumpkin cupcakes before. I will have to give this a try!
Thanks, Kelley! Hope you enjoy them if you give them a try 🙂
Oh how I love cream cheese frosting!! There’s really nothing more delicious out there! These cupcakes have made me so hungry now that I will just HAVE to go whip up a batch! They really look amazing! Yum 🙂
Thank you, Jane! Hope you enjoy them 🙂
Hi I was wondering how much pumpkin puree to put in it just says 1 can I have homemade puree and am not sure how much to use.
Hi Ariana, sorry for any confusion. The recipe calls for 1 cup of pumpkin puree, so you’ll just need 1 cup of your homemade puree.
I made these today and they turned out great! The cupcake was moist, but not too dense! I might add some cool whip to the frosting to make it a little lighter next time, but still a very tasty frosting too! =) I garnished them with the pumpkin shaped candy corns and they look super cute!
So glad to her that you enjoyed the cupcakes, Brittney! Cool whip in the frosting would be so good, especially to cut down on the sweetness and make it lighter. I so need to give that a try! 🙂
These cupcakes are absolutely delicious. I’ve made them twice for two separate venues and everyone loves them. Thanks so much!!!
I’m so glad to hear that, Joanne! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting 🙂
My cream cheese frosting comes doesn’t come out as stiff looking as yours. Once it’s piped it drops and looks melted. Any tips on how I can fix this?
Hi, Amanda! There’s a few reasons it may be softer, over mixing cream cheese frosting could be one cause. If you make it again, try and mix it until it’s just combined. Another reason could be that the butter/cream cheese is too warm. You could also try refrigerating it for a little bit before frosting the cupcakes to help as well.
I didn’t like this recipe. Too much flour. I followed the recipe exactly and they didn’t taste good and they were mushy.
Sorry to hear that you didn’t like the cupcakes, Sabrina. Did you spoon and level your flour as mentioned in this recipe? Or did you happen to scoop it out of the container? The reason I ask is because if you scoop flour out of the container it can become packed into the cup and you can end up with too much flour in your recipe.
Also, you mentioned they were mushy? Did you check them with a toothpick to make sure they were done? I’d love to try to help you figure out what may have happened, I just may need a bit more information.
My 8 yr old daughter asked for pumpkin cupcakes for her birthday. I made them today and they are fantastic! I made her a princess pull apart cupcake cake and these were perfect. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
So glad you enjoyed the cupcakes, Stephanie! The princess pull apart cupcake cake sounds so cute!