These easy Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes have a light, fluffy texture and are loaded with pumpkin spice flavor. Top them with cream cheese frosting for the ultimate fall and Thanksgiving dessert.

Three pumpkin spice cupcakes, the one in the front has a bite taken out of it.

🧁Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

When you’re in the mood for a pumpkin dessert but don’t want to commit to a whole pumpkin cake, give these pumpkin cupcakes a try! They’re wonderfully moist (but not at all dense!) and LOADED with pumpkin spice flavor.

One of the best things about baking with pumpkin puree is that it can compensate for small mistakes. Over-mix or over-bake your dessert a bit? Pumpkin puree to the rescue! The moisture in pumpkin puree keeps desserts from drying out and also helps extend their shelf life. Just another reason to love fall baking!

Speaking of fall baking, after you try these cupcakes, keep the pumpkin party going with some of our reader’s favorite recipes, like Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, Pumpkin Chocolate Mousse Cake, and Pumpkin Bread Pudding!

Pumpkin spice cupcake sitting on two stacked square white plates with two cinnamon sticks to the right of it.

Table of Contents

🧾 What You’ll Need

Photo of various ingredients for pumpkin spice cupcakes measured out on a marble counter.


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. Here’s what to keep in mind as you gather ingredients: (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Cake flour: Cake flour helps keep these cupcakes light and fluffy. If you don’t have cake flour, you can use a combination of all purpose flour and cornstarch (see details in the FAQ or recipe card below).
  • Pumpkin pie spice: Pumpkin pie spice is pumpkin’s best friend. This blend of  cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice adds the perfect touch of warmth and coziness to the recipe. See the FAQ below for tips on making you own pumpkin pie spice.
  • 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.
  • Cream cheese:Allow the cream cheese to soften at room temperature before using.
Portrait style photo of pumpkin spice cupcake on white square plate with other cupcakes and fall decor in the background.


All you need are very standard baking tools to make these cupcakes. (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 cupcakes in.
  • Stand mixer: A stand mixer can make mixing batter and icing very easy. A hand mixer can also be used.
  • Piping bag and tips: You can use a plain piping bag and round tip, or get a little fancy with a larger star tip.

📋 Instructions

New to cupcake making? Here’s a step-by-step tutorial to help you through it. For complete printable instructions, see the recipe card below.

Two photo collage showing dry ingredients being sifted.
  • 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, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt, then set aside for a moment.
Two photo collage showing butter added to the sugar and then mixed.
  • In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy.
Two photo collage showing adding eggs to butter mixture and then fully mixed.
  • Next, add in eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
Two photo collage of pumpkin spice mixture, the first with flour added, the second mixed.
  • Gradually mix in the flour mixture with the milk. Continue mixing for about 30 seconds.
Two photo collage of pumpkin spice mixture before it is baked.
  • Whisk in the pumpkin. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to be sure everything is well-mixed.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared liners, filling about ⅔ full.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.
  • Once they’re cool, frost the cupcakes and finish them off with a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg.
A dozen pumpkin Spice Cupcakes on a cooling rack before they are frosted.

💡 Tips and FAQs  

Variety is the pumpkin spice of life! Here are a few variations you can try:

how To Make Cake Flour

If you do not have cake flour on hand, whisk together 1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour with 1/4 cup cornstarch, to replace the 2 cups of cake flour.


Pumpkin pie spice is easy to make at home. To make the 2 tsp this recipe requires, mix together 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, and 1/4 tsp each nutmeg and allspice. If you don’t have all of these spices, I recommend replacing whatever you’re missing with extra cinnamon.


Because these cupcakes are so moist (thanks, pumpkin puree!) they keep well and don’t dry out as soon as other cupcakes. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For the best taste and texture, let them sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes to take the chill off before serving.

Pumpkin spipce cupcake with cinnamon sticks beside it sitting on two stacked white square plates.
Close up of the top of a Pumpkin Spice Hi-Hat Cupcake.

Pumpkin Spice Hi-Hat Cupcakes

Bigger is definitely better when it comes to these towering Pumpkin Hi-Hat Cupcakes! These beauties are filled with salted caramel, topped with a swirl of pumpkin spice frosting, and dipped in the most gorgeous glossy chocolate topping.
View Recipe
Photo of Spice Cupcakes on a wooden tree slice with chocolate feather decorations.

Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

This cheesecake has a graham cracker crust made with cinnamon and sugar and is filled with the most delicious mix of pumpkin and cream cheese.
View Recipe

Don’t miss the step-by-step tutorial showing how to make Pumpkin Spice Cupcakescheck out the web story here!

Leave a Review!

If you make this recipe, let us know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on the recipe below, and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @elabau, or use #sugarhero on IG!

Three pumpkin spice cupcakes, the one in the front has a bite taken out of it.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

5 from 9 votes
These easy Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes have a light, fluffy texture and are loaded with pumpkin spice flavor. Top them with cream cheese frosting for the ultimate fall and Thanksgiving dessert.
Prep20 minutes
Cook18 minutes
Total28 minutes
Yields24 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 12 oz cream cheese, (1.5 packages), at room temperature
  • 3 oz unsalted butter, (6 TBSP), at room temperature
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 24 oz powdered sugar, (6 cups)

Optional toppings:


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, vanilla, and salt 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 your 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.

Recipe Notes

If you do not have cake flour, you can use 1.75 cups all purpose flour with .25 cup cornstarch together to make the 2 cups of cake flour.
This recipe yields 20-24 cupcakes, depending on how full you scoop them.

Measuring Tips

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.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?


Serving: 0g | Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 1817IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and hashtag it #SugarHero. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @elabau.
Collage of four pumpkin desserts in a square grid.

Pumpkin Dessert RECIPES 🎃

We’ve rounded up over 50 deliciously cozy pumpkin dessert recipes to help you make the most of fall baking.  Click here to get all the recipes!

Three pumpkin spice cupcakes, one with a bite missing and the words "Pumpkin Cupcakes" above the photo.

Meet Elizabeth!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

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  1. These pumpkin spice cupcakes are a great alternative to pumpkin pie for a Thanksgiving desert. They are easy to make and my kids love them!!

  2. What a great recipe! These tender cupcakes are filled with the flavors of pumpkin spice and everything nice. The cream cheese frosting is divine! Another winning recipe from Sugar Hero.

  3. These look great and sound delish! I am not a seasoned baker and love that this is easy enough for even me to make!