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.
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.
- Unsalted Butter: Make sure you let it soften before you use it.
- Granulated Sugar
- 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!
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.
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!
- 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.
More Pumpkin Desserts to Try
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
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 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!
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