Pumpkin is the coziest fall flavor, especially when it comes in cupcake form. These pumpkin cupcakes are so soft and moist, with a hint of classic fall spices like cinnamon. Pair them with a silky, chocolate cream cheese buttercream frosting for the perfect fall dessert.
Dress them up for Halloween by adding ice cream cone witch hats! Find the tutorial here.
But first, let’s get back to some pumpkin cupcake basics. The most important thing to remember is do NOT use pumpkin pie filling or organic canned pumpkin. The texture and taste will not be the same. I specifically compared organic pumpkin to pure pumpkin, and the organic version is runnier and not as flavorful.
I sincerely hope you don’t have as much trouble finding canned pumpkin as I did. I went to four different grocery stores before I found any this year. Thanks for that, 2020!
The cupcake recipe is pretty straightforward. You don’t even need a stand mixer! Just a whisk and two mixing bowls. See details in the recipe below. You can also find more frosting-specific photos and instructions here. Don’t like cream cheese? Pumpkin also pairs well with salted caramel frosting!
Tag me @rosesandwhiskers on Instagram if you try this easy pumpkin cupcake recipe and use the hashtag #rosesandwhiskers. Don’t forget to check out the witch hat tutorial for a little bit of Halloween fun! Happy baking. 🙂
Pumpkin Cupcake Ingredients
- 1 cup gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour or substitute all-purpose flour for gluten-full cupcakes
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- 1 cup canned pure pumpkin room temperature (NOT pie filling or organic)
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 8 oz. cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
- Now whisk the melted butter into the pumpkin mixture.
- Whisk the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just combined and most of the lumps are gone. Be careful not to overmix.
- Divide the batter evenly among the 12 baking cups. They should be about 3/4 full. Gently smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes rest in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
Decorating the Cupcakes
- Make the frosting while the cupcakes are cooling. Let the cream cheese and butter soften for about an hour. Then cream on high speed until smooth and fluffy. Mix in the powdered sugar and cocoa powders on low speed. Once combined, cream on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Decorate as desired. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container, and enjoy!