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!
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 at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the centers. Let the cupcakes 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!
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.
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.
Other desserts to try:
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cupcakes
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoon cake flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ cup buttermilk
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 6 oz cream cheese, cold
- 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- 1- 1 ½ teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
For the Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Start by creaming together the softened butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer.
- Add in the egg and vanilla and mix for 1-2 minutes until pale in color and fluffy.
- Then mix in canned pumpkin puree. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
- Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk a little at a time to the wet ingredients. Mix until everything is combined.
- Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and fill each cup 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 completely after baking.
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 until pale in color and fluffy, about five minutes.
- Add in the cold cream cheese and mix until combined.
- Then sift in the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it is all combined.
- 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).
Icing 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.