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These classic pumpkin spice cupcakes are bursting with fall flavor. Moist and delicious, these cupcakes are the perfect dessert for this time of year!
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting? Yes please!
These deliciously moist and surprisingly light little cakes come loaded with pumpkin spice. The aroma as they bake to perfection is almost too much to handle!
If you are like me and love everything pumpkin, you can check out these other pumpkin flavored favorites here.
🧾 What You’ll Need
If you are a seasoned baker, you almost certainly have most of what you need on hand already. One of the few things you may need to pick up is the pumpkin puree. Just in case, the following are the ingredients you’ll need for both the cupcakes and the cream cheese frosting. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
For the cupcakes
- Cake flour: If you don’t have cake flour, you can use a combination of all purpose flour and cornstarch (see details in recipe card below).
- Pumpkin pie spice: No pumpkin dessert is complete without the appropriate pumpkin spice blend.
- Ground cinnamon: You can never have enough cinnamon, so make sure you have plenty on hand.
- Milk: I prefer using whole milk, but you can use other varieties if you prefer.
- Canned pumpkin: Be sure to use pure pumpkin puree, rather than pumpkin pie filling. The cans are often next to each other at the store and look very similar.
For the frosting
- Cream cheese:Allow the cream cheese to soften at room temperature before using.
- Unsalted butter: Make sure to use unsalted butter to avoid making the icing too salty.
- Milk: I prefer using milk, but water will work too.
- Vanilla: For a more pure white in the icing, you can use clear vanilla extract.
- Powdered sugar: Do not use granulated sugar because it will be gritty and create an unpleasant texture. For extra spice, you can add a pinch of cinnamon or pumpkin spice seasoning.
You probably have most of the items you’ll need to make the cupcakes and the icing already. Here’s what you’ll need before getting started. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
- Cupcake pan: One of the few things you absolutely need for this is a simple cupcake pan to bake the small cakes.
- Stand mixer: A stand mixer can make mixing batter and icing very easy.
- Piping bag and tips: For a fancier icing job, you can pipe the frosting on top with a fancy tip.
These instructions for making Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes should give you a good idea of what you need to do. For complete instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- As it heats, line a cupcake pan with paper liners and then set it aside for later.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Next, add in the eggs and beat together until it becomes light and fluffy.
- Gradually mix in the flour mixture with the milk, continue mixing for about 30 seconds, and then whisk in the pumpkin. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared liners, filling about ⅔ full or about ¼ cup.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.
For the frosting
- In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla, until it is smooth and creamy. You can use a stand mixer set on medium speed if you prefer.
- Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency for frosting. To create rosettes, or other piping designs, you will want the frosting to be thicker, so it holds the shape.
- Frost the cupcakes when cool and sprinkle with ground cinnamon or nutmeg.
Variety is the pumpkin spice of life! Here are a few ways you can add variety to your cupcakes:
- Use the brown sugar glaze from this Pumpkin Pound Cake.
- Try it with the spiced frosting from Pumpkin Spice High Hat Cupcakes.
- Use a simple vanilla buttercream frosting.
💡 Tips and FAQs
When you make these cupcakes, make sure not to over-bake them. They will only need about 15 to 17 minutes, but you can start checking them sooner if your oven runs hotter.
Make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely before frosting. If they are still warm, the icing will melt right off.
Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions
These cupcakes are the perfect make-ahead dessert for your next get together or any time you are hungry for a sweet treat!
To store, place them in an airtight container and place them in the fridge. They should stay fresh for about 3 to 5 days.
❤️ More Fall Flavored Desserts You’ll Love
- Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate Truffles
- Pumpkin Spice Hi-Hat Cupcakes
- 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Spice Mousse Cups
- Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake
For more inspiration, you can check out these categories too:
Don’t miss the step-by-step tutorial showing how to make Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes – check out the web story here!
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese, (1 package), at room temperature
- 2 oz unsalted butter, (1/4 cup), at room temperature
- 1 TBSP milk, or water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 lb powdered sugar, (4 cups)
- 1 TBSP cinnamon , or nutmeg
To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a cupcake/muffin pan with 24 paper liners, then set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside for a moment.
- Add the butter and sugar to a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat both on medium speed until lightly and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, and mix until fully combined.
- With the mixer running on low speed, add a third of the dry ingredients, then when that is mostly mixed in, add a third of the milk. Continue to alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients until both have been added to the batter.
- Finally, add the pumpkin puree, and mix just until it's incorporated. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl well with a spatula to make sure everything is well-mixed.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared liners, each filling about 2/3 full (about 1/4 cup batter for each one.)
- Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let them cool completely before frosting.
To make the cream cheese frosting:
- Combine the cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat them together until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until it reaches desired consistency for frosting. You may not want to use all of the powdered sugar if you like a looser, creamier frosting. For piped designs, you may want to add a touch more to get it stiffer.
- Frost cupcakes with simple swirls, and then sprinkle with ground cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
About Elizabeth LaBau
I’m Elizabeth, but you can call me SugarHero! I’m a former pastry chef turned blogger, cookbook author, and baking instructor, and I consider myself sugar’s #1 fan. Learn more from my About page, or connect with me on social media: