These pumpkin cupcakes are quick and easy to make, perfectly moist and fluffy and flavorful, and topped with the most heavenly cream cheese frosting.
Just going to leave this pumpkin cupcakes recipe riiiight here for you today. ♡
Because after making a few batches this week to share with friends and neighbors, I feel convinced that these pumpkin cupcakes are the perfect sweet treats we all need right about now.
The pumpkin cake batter in this recipe is wonderfully quick and easy to mix up by hand (no mixer required) and rises in the oven to form the most perfectly soft and fluffy cupcakes. It is mixed with the perfect amount of pumpkin spice and vanilla to bring out the best of those warm pumpkin flavors we all love. And it is paired with the dreamiest cream cheese frosting, which I will forever consider pumpkin’s match-made-in-flavor-heaven.
This pumpkin cupcakes recipe is a straight-ahead classic, but one I adore so, so much. So if you love a good pumpkin cupcake as much as I do, give it a try soon because it never disappoints!
Pumpkin Cupcakes Ingredients:
Before we get to the full recipe below, here are a few quite notes about the ingredients you will need to make these pumpkin cupcakes:
Dry ingredients: A basic combination of all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda.
Spices: I seasoned these with pumpkin pie spice (you can use homemade or store-bought), ground cinnamon and fine sea salt.
Pumpkin purée: I used canned pumpkin purée for these cupcakes, but feel free to use homemade pumpkin purée if you prefer. (Just be sure not to accidentally purchase canned pumpkin pie filling, which is a different product altogether.)
Oil: I tested this recipe with butter and oil, and prefer the lighter texture that comes with oil. You could use canola oil, vegetable oil, or any neutral-flavored oil that you prefer.
Sugars: I used half granulated (white) sugar and half light brown sugar.
Vanilla: Just a teaspoon or so to complement all of those delicious pumpkin spice flavors.
Eggs: To bind the batter together.
Cream cheese frosting: I just used my standard cream cheese frosting recipe here, made with room temperature cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
Possible Recipe Variations:
Want to customize this pumpkin cupcake recipe a bit? Feel free to…
Add nuts: Stir 1/4 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts into the batter if you would like. (Or you can sprinkle them on top of the cream cheese frosting.)
Add chocolate chips: Stir 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips into the batter if you would like. (Or you can sprinkle them on top of the cream cheese frosting.)
Use applesauce: If you would like to lighten up the cupcakes, feel free to use 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup oil (instead of 1/2 cup oil).
Add cinnamon to the frosting: Mix 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more/less, to taste) into the frosting, instead of sprinkling a pinch on top.
More Favorite Pumpkin Recipes:
Craving more pumpkin recipes this season? Here are a few of my all-time faves…
Prep the oven and baking pan. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking liners, or lightly grease with cooking spray; set aside.
Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt until combined.
Mix the wet ingredients. In a separate large mixing bowl, stir together the pumpkin purée, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until evenly combined.
Combine wet and dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently stir until the mixture is just evenly combined and no dry streaks remain. (Try to avoid over-mixing.)
Bake. Portion the batter evenly into the 12 baking cups. (I like to do this using a large 3-tablespoon cookie scoop.) Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire cooling rack and let the cupcakes cool completely to room temperature.
Make the frosting. Meanwhile as the cupcakes bake and cool, make your frosting by combining the cream cheese, butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a clean mixing bowl. Use a rubber spatula (or you can use an electric mixer) to stir the frosting until it is completely combined and smooth. If the frosting is too thin, continue adding in more powdered sugar until it reaches your desired consistency.
Frost the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes are room temperature, use either a piping bag (I used a 1M tip) to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, or use a knife to spread it on generously. Feel free to sprinkle a bit of pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon on top of the cupcakes to finish.
Serve. Then serve and enjoy! Leftover cupcakes can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 or 4 days.
Salt: If you only have iodized table salt on hand, use only 1/2 teaspoon.
Oil: Or feel free to use any other neutral-flavored cooking oil that you prefer.
Sifting the powdered sugar: If you would like your frosting to be free of powdered sugar clumps, I recommend sifting the powdered sugar before you add it to the mixing bowl. Or if you use an electric mixer (either a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer), that will also make it easier to reduce the clumps.
Recipe updates and source: Recipe updated in 2020 and slightly adapted from Sweetopia.