These homemade pumpkin spice cupcakes are oh-so-tender and bursting with pumpkin flavor, thanks to the fresh pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Add the quintessential cream cheese frosting and you have the perfect fall treat.
I just love this time of year. Not only is fall baking on the rise like for this pumpkin spice cupcakes recipe, but fall breezes are the perfect remedy after our sweltering summers in the south. These pumpkin cupcakes are one of my favorite fall recipes and here are a few reasons why:
- They’re made from scratch. I love a cake mix as much as the next person, but sometimes I put in that little extra effort. Fortunately, you only need the baking essentials to make these homemade cupcakes, like flour, butter, eggs, and sugar.
- These cupcakes are so easy to make. It’s just a matter of combining the dry ingredients and then adding the wet ingredients. That’s it!
- They’re positively bursting with pumpkin flavor! You can use either fresh pumpkin or canned, but this moist addition just makes the cupcakes so much more tender that they’ll practically melt in your mouth. I’m warning you now! We also can’t forget the pumpkin pie spice, either.
- They include cream cheese icing. I mean, can you bake a pumpkin recipe without cream cheese icing? If you look at the recipes on this blog (looking at you, pumpkin bars and pumpkin cake) the answer is no. Spoiler: we also pipe the icing into each pumpkin spice cupcake as well as on top, because it’s proven that cream cheese filling makes everything better.
- Did I mention they taste absolutely delicious? If you love any kind of sweet pumpkin treat, I just know you’ll love these pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Serve them as a pick-me-up with a hot beverage this fall and you won’t know how you survived without this recipe in your life.
Okay, who’s ready to get baking?
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Granulated sugar
- Fresh or canned pumpkin
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Cream cheese (visit this post for our easy homemade cream cheese recipe).
Cream Cheese Icing
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Cream cheese
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
In a large bowl, place your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and sugar.
Mix it up well.
Add your eggs and pumpkin.
Mix that on up until smooth.
Line a muffin tin with muffin papers and evenly fill the 12 muffin cups.
Bake those at 350 for 20 minutes or press the center to see if it springs back when pressed lightly.
Allow to cool completely in the refrigerator or if you just can’t wait (and I don’t blame ya) at room temperature.
How to make the cream cheese frosting
Combine your icing ingredients in a mixing bowl. I am talking about the confectioner’s sugar, butter, cream cheese, and vanilla.
Beat this until smooth and creamy.
Now fill a piping bag (or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off) with icing and seal it shut.
Take the pointed tip and push it into each pumpkin spice cupcake about halfway like in the picture above.
Give it a good squeeze.
Some will have more icing than others but that’s ok.
Place a big dollop of icing on top of each pumpkin cupcake and spread.
Gosh, those are pretty!
I store these in the refrigerator.
Perfect with coffee or tea anytime, a dessert or shoot, have it for breakfast too!
Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze frosted or unfrosted cupcakes for up to 3 months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge before serving.
- To make cinnamon cream cheese frosting instead, add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the frosting.
- Alternatively, if you’d prefer maple cream cheese frosting, add 1 teaspoon of maple extract.
- If you like, substitute the granulated sugar for brown sugar.
- Want to add some fun mix-ins? I’d recommend 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, chopped pecans (bonus points if they’re toasted pecans), or coconut flakes.
- If using canned pumpkin, remember you want pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, as the latter is pre-sweetened.
- Serve your pumpkin cupcakes with a drizzle of caramel sauce, chopped Heath bars, or an additional sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice to take them to the next level.
What to do if I don’t have a piping bag?
You can use a piping bag if you have one but what I do is get a gallon freezer bag and then I place a big piece of tape over one corner of it before snipping off the point. Insert whatever icing tip you can find, preferably one with a point on it, and you’re ready to go.
What is in pumpkin pie spice?
Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger, and sometimes allspice as well. To make homemade pumpkin pie spice, combine 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon with 1/2 teaspoon each of allspice and ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg and cloves.
Can I make mini pumpkin cupcakes?
Yes, this recipe will make approximately 30 mini cupcakes. Just follow the directions and then place the batter in the mini muffin tin instead and bake for about 13 minutes. If you want to pipe the icing into the mini cupcakes, be extra careful.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 heaping tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Place 12 cupcake papers in a 12-cup muffin tin.
- In a mixing bowl, place sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir with a spoon until well combined. Add in eggs and pumpkin. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.1 cup granulated sugar, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 heaping tbsp pumpkin pie spice, 3 eggs, 1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
- Divide evenly among 12 muffin cups.
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until the center springs back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- To make the icing, place butter or margarine, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.8 ounces softened cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla
- To fill cupcakes, place the icing tip or the corner of a freezer-grade zipper seal bag (it is best to enforce the corner of the bag with tape beforehand). Snip off the tip of the bag so that only the very end of the icing tip is sticking out. Fill the bag with half of the icing.
- Press the tip down into the center of each cupcake and give a little squeeze to fill. Repeat with all cupcakes. Spread the remaining icing on top of all cupcakes.
- Store in the refrigerator.