Tender and moist cupcakes that are full of fall flavors and topped with the most luscious cream cheese frosting.
With fall season finally upon us, I’ve been baking up lots of pumpkin dessert recipes. Lately I have shared with you my favorite pumpkin cake, pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin snickerdoodle blondies. There’s something about the crisp chilly fall air, changing leaves and the joy of upcoming holidays that has me crave the warming flavors of pumpkin spices.
THE BEST PUMPKIN CUPCAKES
These pumpkin cupcakes are the mini version of my pumpkin layer cake. The cupcakes are perfect on their own because they have a super soft crumb, beautiful rise, and a delicious pumpkin spice flavor. And when they’re topped with velvety smooth cream cheese frosting, it’s a match made in heaven.
The cupcakes are moist and delicious and have a perfect balance of deep and rich caramel-like flavor thanks to the combination of both light and brown sugars. In this recipe, I also use both baking soda and baking powder, so the cupcakes can rise beautifully and have light and soft crumbs in the texture.
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES
To make these pumpkin cupcakes, you’ll start by whisking together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, pumpkin spice mix and salt until evenly distributed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
You’ll mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients until just combined. It’s best to avoid overmixing the batter because this can cause tougher cupcakes. Then, evenly divide the batter between 12 cupcake liners, filling 3/4 of the way full.
The cupcakes will take about 18 to 20 minutes in the oven at 350°F/175°C. They will be done if the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. If there’s still a little batter on the toothpick, bake them another 1 to 2 minutes and then check again. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
I top each cupcake with a swirl of my favorite cream cheese frosting (you can find the recipe here), which is the perfect complement to the pumpkin flavor. The tangy cream cheese beaten with butter and powdered sugar gives these pumpkin cupcakes a fluffy frosting.
It’s important that you use the block style cream cheese at room temperature. You will need to beat the cream cheese and butter into a light and fluffy mixture, followed by powdered sugar and vanilla extract. The frosting needs to be mixed thoroughly until it is velvety smooth and fluffy. Then use a piping bag fitted with a piping tip (I use Wilton 1M) to frost the tops of the cupcakes in a swirl pattern.
If you make this Pumpkin Cupcakes, let me know by tagging me on Instagram or tell me all about it in the comments section down below. Happy baking 🙂
For Pumpkin Cupcakes
- 1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil (or canola oil)
- 1 cup (225g) canned pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
For Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounce (226g/1) full fat block cream cheese (not cream cheese spread), softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick/113 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 cups (230g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, pumpkin spice mix and salt until evenly distributed. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
- Gently add the wet mixture into the flour mixture using a mixer, a whisk or a rubber spatula and mix just until combined. Don’t overmix.
- Evenly distribute your batter between the cupcake liners, filling 3/4 way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack.
- To Make Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add in sugar and beat well until smooth. Scrape down the bowl, add vanilla extract and salt and beat on high speed until completely smooth.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost the tops of the cupcakes in a swirl pattern. I like to use the Wilton 1M piping tip, but you can use any tip you’d like. Garnish with chopped nut if desired. Frosted cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Bring them to room temperature before serving.