Super soft and moist Maple Pumpkin Cupcakes with warm spices and hints of maple are topped with a sweet cinnamon cream cheese frosting! All the best parts of Fall served up in cupcake form!
Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
These Maple Pumpkin Cupcakes are based off of my incredibly delicious pumpkin layer cake. I divided the cake recipe down to a third of what it was originally, and halved the frosting. The result was 10 perfect cupcakes!
After that, I added some maple flavor to this pumpkin cake masterpiece and–combined with the sugary sweet cinnamon cream cheese frosting–it’s safe to say that the best parts of fall can be found in this cupcake.
The base of this cupcake is a soft moist pumpkin cake with warm spices and a light hint of maple. The cream cheese frosting is light, sweet and fluffy with hint of cinnamon and maple throughout! You won’t go wrong with these prefect pumpkin cupcakes!
Pumpkin Pie Spice vs. Cinnamon?
You can use pumpkin pie spice (also sometimes shortened to Pumpkin Spice) or you can use cinnamon in this recipe. Either way will give you delicious pumpkin cupcakes!
If you do not have Pumpkin Spice, but would like to make it, below is a simple recipe you can whip up with spices at home:
DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- Mix all ingredients together. This recipe will make a little over 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice.
- You can double or triple the recipe and save it for any other wonderful Fall recipes or even sprinkle it over your morning coffee!
What You’ll Need
Gather up these ingredients to get started:
For the Pumpkin Cupcakes:
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Soda
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: adjust the amount if you want a stronger spiced flavor :)
- Unsalted Butter: make sure you let it soften before you use it.
- Granulated Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Imitation Maple Syrup Extract: optional!
- Pumpkin Puree: not pumpkin pie filling
- Vegetable Oil
- Milk: any kind of milk will work!
For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Cream Cheese: also let this soften before using.
- Unsalted Butter
- Vanilla Extract
- Powdered Sugar
How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Preheat: Preheat oven to 300°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
- Combine: In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.
- Mix: In a large bowl/stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in vanilla, maple, pumpkin and vegetable oil. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk.
- Bake: Divide batter among cupcake tins, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
- Mix: In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla and cinnamon. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until the frosting is smooth.
- Frost: Pipe onto cupcakes with your favorite tip and serve! Optional: for decoration, I sprinkled the tops with cinnamon sugar.
Here are some tips to help you frost your cupcakes:
- The Simplest Route: After the cupcakes have cooled, take a butter knife and spread a layer of frosting over the top of the cupcake.
- Pipe the Frosting On: Using an icing/pastry bag, pipe the frosting onto the cupcake using your favorite piping tip (something like an open star 1M tip).
- Refrigerate the Frosting: Cream cheese frosting is a lot easier to work with when it has chilled in the fridge for a little bit.
- Top with Candy Pumpkins: Because they’re just too cute not to!
How to Make Ahead and Store Pumpkin Cupcakes
You can totally make these cupcakes ahead of time if you want. After they’re done baking, let them cool and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
The frosting can also be made ahead of time, and you’ll want to store that in the fridge too. I would suggest that you put this dessert together within 2 days… if you can wait that long!
These pumpkin cupcakes can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days, and unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in the freezer for 1-2 months. Make sure you thaw them in the fridge overnight before you frost them.
Tips for the Best Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Do not over bake! The worst thing you can do to these cupcakes is over-bake them. They will become dry and hard, not the soft and moist pumpkin cupcakes of your dreams.
- Use some kind of spice! Using pumpkin pie spice or even just cinnamon will take these pumpkin cupcakes over the top. The added spices warm up the cake and make the flavors sing!
- Make sure your butter is softened. You do not want to use hard butter in your cupcake batter or icing. It will not combine smoothly and will leave flecks of butter. In a pinch, to more quickly soften butter, grate it with a cheese grater!
These Maple Pumpkin Cupcakes are a Fall favorite that we make every single year. It’s an easy recipe to whip up and the results are well worth the time spent!
Super soft and moist pumpkin cupcakes with warm spices and hints of maple are topped with a sweet cinnamon cream cheese frosting… Good luck only eating one!
Maple Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl/stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in vanilla, maple, pumpkin and vegetable oil. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk.
- Divide batter among cupcake tins, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
- For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla and cinnamon. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth.
- Pipe onto cupcakes with your favorite tip and serve! Optional: for decoration, I topped them with candy pumpkins, pumpkin seeds and fresh thyme!
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