This recipe is for moist and fluffy pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Flavored with the perfect amount of pumpkin pie spice, they're the perfect fall treat for every pumpkin spice lover!
If you're looking for other pumpkin recipes check out my pumpkin Bundt cake, baked pumpkin donuts or pumpkin bread!
Why You'll Love these Pumpkin Cupcakes:
They're the perfect fall treat. I mean it doesn't get much more fall esk than pumpkin spice right?! These pumpin cupcakes are full of that classic pumpkin spice flavor.
They're very moist. In my opinion cupcakes have got to be moist and these exceed cupcake texture expectations! They're so soft and fluffy but also incredibly moist from the pumpkin and buttermilk combination. Then along with the cream cheese frosting, each bite melts in your mouth!
They're topped with cream cheese frosting. In my opinion cream cheese frosting is the supreme frosting choice. It compliments pumpkin cake absolutely perfectly.
They're super easy to make. You can whip these up an have a delicious fall treat ready in no time at all.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Cake flour– gives this cake the best, most tender crumb
- Granulated sugar- used to sweeten the cake
- Powdered sugar- used to sweeten the frosting
- Egg- make sure it is room temperature
- Butter-make sure it is softened, will be used in the cupcakes and frosting
- Buttermilk– makes the cupcakes very moist, make sure it is room temperature
- Canned pumpkin- not pumpkin pie filling
- Pumpkin pie ground spice blend- a blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and ginger is used to bring warm fall flavors to these cupcakes
- Vanilla– I recommend vanilla bean paste for the best flavor
- Baking powder & baking soda– leaven the cupcakes and give them their fluffy texture
- Salt– helps to bring out all the flavors
- Cream cheese– used to make the delicious cream cheese frosting
Step by Step Instructions
STEP ONE: Cream softened butter and granulated white sugar together with an electric mixer.
STEP TWO: Add in egg and vanilla and mix on high for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is pale in color and fluffy.
STEP THREE: Mix in canned pumpkin puree.
STEP FOUR: Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
STEP FIVE: Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk a little at a time to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
STEP SIX: Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and fill each cup ¾ of the way full. Bake the cupcakes then let cool completely after baking.
STEP SEVEN: While the cupcakes cool make the frosting. Add softened butter to a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until pale in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in cold cream cheese and mix until combined. Then sift in powdered sugar a little at a time and combine. Lastly mix in pumpkin pie spice. Transfer your frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a decorative tip.
STEP EIGHT: When the cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe a generous amount of cream cheese frosting on to each and serve! Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Do I have to use cake flour? No, you can use all purpose flour. Cake flour will give you the best textured cake "crumb" though. It yields a very soft, fluffy pumpkin cupcake where all purpose flour will leave you with a bit "denser" cupcake. Both will be delicious though! If using all purpose flour, be sure to use 1 cup + 2 tablespoon (141 g).
I don't have pumpkin pie spice, what can I use instead? You can add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice separately to the cupcakes. I've only tested this recipe using preblended pumpkin pie spice so I can't give you exact measurements on using these spices separately.
Can I use pumpkin pie filling in these cupcakes? No, this recipe uses canned pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie filling has added sugar that would hinder the cupcakes from baking properly.
Why did my cupcakes come out dry? This really should not happen because the pumpkin and buttermilk should keep these cupcakes over-the-top moist. However, if they do happen to come out drier than expected, it could be because you're using too much flour. Make sure when you measure your flour you are adding spoonfuls of flour to your measuring cup then swiping the overflow of flour off the measuring cup with the back of a knife. If you simply dig your measuring cup into your flour and then swipe the remaining flour off with a knife I guarantee you will be measuring too much flour.
How long will these cupcakes stay fresh for? They'll stay fresh for up to three days in an airtight container. Store in the fridge then bring to room temperature before enjoying.
Measure your flour properly. This is always my #1 baking tip. Do not ever scoop a measuring cup into your flour. This will always lead to using too much flour. Instead, sprinkle spoonfuls of flour into your measuring cup and swipe excess flour off with the back of a knife. Or better yet, weigh your flour. 1 cup of cake flour equals 112 grams.
Make sure all your wet ingredients for the cupcakes are room temperature. This will yield the best cupcake texture. Cold wet ingredients can make the cupcakes "gummy" or not rise as well.
For the cream cheese frosting make sure your butter is softened, but your cream cheese is cold. This will give you the best cream cheese frosting that will hold it's form much better and won't get "soupy" on you.
If you make these cupcakes please tag me on Instagram @inbloombakery_ . Follow me on Pinterest also for other dessert ideas!
Other desserts to try:
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cupcakes
- 1 ¼ cup (140 g) cake flour, spooned and leveled
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
- 5 tablespoon (70 g) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated white sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup (122 g) canned pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup (60 ml) buttermilk
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- ¾ cup (168 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 6 oz (170 g) cream cheese, cold
- 2 ¼ cups (293 g) powdered sugar
- 1- 1 ½ teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
For the Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with 12 liners.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.1 ¼ cup (140 g) cake flour, spooned and leveled, ¾ teaspoon baking powder, ⅛ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
- In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated white sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.5 tablespoon (70 g) unsalted butter, softened, ¾ cup (150 g) granulated white sugar
- Add in the egg and vanilla and mix for 1-2 minutes on medium speed until pale in color and fluffy.1 egg, room temperature, ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Then mix in the canned pumpkin puree on low speed. Set aside.½ cup (122 g) canned pumpkin puree
- Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk a little at a time to the wet ingredients. Mix until everything is combined.¼ cup (60 ml) buttermilk
- Fill each cupcake liner ¾ of the way full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 17-19 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the centers. Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then trasfer them to a cooling rack to completely cool.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- While the cupcakes cool make the frosting. Add the softened, unsalted butter to a bowl and mix with an electric mixer on high speed until pale in color and fluffy, about five minutes.¾ cup (168 g) unsalted butter, softened
- Add in the cold cream cheese and mix until combined.6 oz (170 g) cream cheese, cold
- Then sift in the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it is all combined.2 ¼ cups (293 g) powdered sugar
- Lastly add in the pumpkin pie spice. (Add 1 teaspoon in at first, and then the extra ½ teaspoon if you want it to be more spiced).1- 1 ½ teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
Frosting the Cupcakes
- When the cupcakes are completely cooled, add the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a decorative piping tip.
- Pipe a generous amount of frosting onto each cupcake and serve!
- Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
What vanilla bean paste do you recommend?
Hi Alie! I use Taylor and Colledge!
Hi Maaike. I've only tested this recipe with canned pumpkin puree so I can't advise on fresh pumpkin puree. If you try it let me know!
Like recipes. Very tasty & unusual.
Amazing recipe! These taste great and I never would have though to put pumpkin spice into cream cheese frosting but it’s amazing and I will do that for more fall desserts in the future!
These were really good and the cake was so fluffy and soft! I actually ended up browning the butter for the icing (weighing out the differences before and after browning, then accommodated the cream cheese because of the loss of weight in the butter). After browning the butter, it elevated the flavor just a bit more and ended up being a 10/10 cupcake. Delicious!
I was looking for a cupcake recipe using cake flour and saw this one on Pinterest. I made them the night before Thanksgiving. I cooled them and then wrapped each in plastic wrap and put them in a covered container. I intended to frost them before serving, but I ran out of time. Everyone loved them unfrosted! They are light and moist and not too sweet and are good with just a squirt of Redi-Whip on top. The only thing I did differently was to use salted butter and to sub cinnamon and freshly ground nutmeg for pumpkin pie spice. This one is a keeper.