Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
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Super soft and moist with warm spices and hints of maple, these Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes are topped with a sweet cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Quick and easy to make, they feature the best parts of fall served up in cupcake form!

Why You’ll Love These Pumpkin Cupcakes

If you love pumpkin spice anything, you’re going to LOVE these pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

  • All the best flavors of fall. I added some maple flavor to these pumpkin spice cupcakes and–combined with the sugary sweet cinnamon cream cheese frosting and the pumpkin pie spice–it’s safe to say that the best parts of fall can be found in this cupcake.
  • Irresistible cream cheese frosting. The cream cheese frosting is light, sweet, and fluffy with hint of cinnamon and maple throughout.
  • Easy to make and decorate. These pumpkin spice cupcakes come together in just a few easy steps and decorating them is simple too.

For more irresistible fall desserts, try my pumpkin sheet cake, churro cupcakes, and carrot cake cupcakes.

Pumpkin cupcake ingredients in bowls.

What You’ll Need

Gather up these ingredients to get started. The specific amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

For the Pumpkin Cupcakes:

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice: If you don’t have any on hand, you can make your own with 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter: Make sure you let it soften before you use it.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Imitation Maple Syrup Extract: Optional but adds the maple flavor to the cupcakes.
  • Pumpkin Puree: Be sure to use pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Vegetable Oil: Helps keep the cupcakes extra moist.
  • 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
  • Cinnamon: The cinnamon flavor in the frosting pairs so nicely with the cupcakes.
  • Powdered Sugar: Sweetens the frosting and gives it the smooth, creamy texture.

How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes

These pumpkin spice cupcakes come together in a few easy steps. See the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

  • Make the batter: Combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in an egg followed by the vanilla, maple, pumpkin, and vegetable oil. Slowly beat in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk.
  • Bake: Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Make the frosting: Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and cinnamon, then add in the powdered sugar on low. Once combined beat on high until the frosting is smooth.
  • Frost the cupcakes: Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Enjoy!
Pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Decorating Tips

Here are some tips to help you frost your pumpkin 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!

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.
  • 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!
  • Cool before frosting: It’s important to let the pumpkin cupcakes cool before adding the cream cheese frosting. Otherwise, the frosting will just melt.
Pumpkin cupcake with a bite taken out of it.

Can I Make Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes in Advance?

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!

Proper Storage

  • Fridge. These pumpkin cupcakes can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
  • Freezer. 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.
Pumpkin cupcakes with frosting and fall decorations on top.

More Pumpkin Desserts to Try

Pumpkin cupcakes with frosting and candy pumpkins on top.
4.5 from 50 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 10 cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Super soft and moist Pumpkin Spice 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!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time18 minutes
Total Time38 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon maple extract
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • cup whole milk

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

Instructions 

  • 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 25 to 27 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!

Video

Notes

recipe note: I used imitation maple syrup extract because the flavor is 20X the flavor in a teaspoon of maple syrup. Yes you can use Pure Maple Syrup instead, however it won’t add any maple flavor in the end product.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 490kcal, Carbohydrates: 77g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 194mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 63g

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Love this recipe! I chose to use to browned butter in my frosting and it was delicious! I agree with the others, the cupcakes took 27 minutes to bake 🙂

Do these pumpkin cupcakes REALLY bake at 300 degrees? Seems so low.

If you dont have Maple extract can you use Maple syrup? Also this is alot of sugar added to the frosting….wow

I have the liquid pumpkin pie spice, is that okay to use in the recipe? Or do I have to use the powered pumpkin pie spice?.

Me and my sis made this for a cupcake competition and shes a dummy and added a WHOLE stick of butter so it took longer to cook. she knew this but didn’t tell me when we were stressing that it wouldn’t cook. it didn’t really rise but we put the frosting so it was fine. IT WAS SOOOO SOFT THOOOO. next time im going to add extra butter for the softness but only 5 or 6 tbsp

lol i forgot to say we won still

Jessica, what is the green sprig you used a garnish?

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[…] 13. Maple Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting […]

Obsessed. That is all. 🙂

These were AMAZING! Made them this weekend. Tripled the cupcake recipe to make 24 (with a little left over) and doubled the frosting recipe (but had a lot leftover, probably didn’t need to double it). The cupcakes were so light, and the frosting was just sweet enough. Will definitely make these again! Thank you.

Also how did you do that icing?? Looks adorable!

These were delicious but took 27-28 minutes.  Should I raise the oven temp or leave as is? 
Thanks!

Just made these. Delicious! They are to be my son’s first birthday smash cupcakes. Just wanted to say that mine took 27 minutes to bake before the toothpick came out clean.

These cupcakes took longer than 20 min to bake. They look nothing like the picture shown. I don’t get what I did wrong.

What a delicious combo of flavors! And your frosting always looks SO perfect!

I made these last night for a party and everyone RAVED about them! Thanks for making me look like I know what I am doing in the kitchen. 😉

These are so gorgeous. And I am so craving maple!

Is it bad that I just want to eat all the frosting of each cupcake top?

I miss Halloween candy, too! And my daughter has decided she’s too old for trick or treating now, so I can’t even steal from her. We don’t get trick or treaters at our house, so no left overs. Man, I need a cupcake. I’ll take seven of these.

Love this recipe! Also can’t wait to make your pumpkin cake. it’s been on my list of to-dos for some time!

You frosted these cupcakes PERFECTLY. Seriously, so gorgeous. Love them Jessica!

And candy tax. That is totally happening when (if) I have kids.

I can never pass up a pumpkin cupcake, especially with that decadent frosting!

These are absolutely stunning Jessica! I can’t wait to try them!

I do kind of miss having that huge pumpkin of candy after trick or treating. But adult bonus is definitely that you can make your own treats! And what could be better than pumpkin with cream cheese frosting?!

Thank You For Being Here!

Jessica
For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.