This is the best pumpkin cupcake recipe! These extra moist and fluffy pumpkin cupcakes are flavored with lots of warm fall spices, and are topped with luscious cream cheese frosting. They're the perfect cupcakes for every pumpkin lover!
If you're looking for other pumpkin recipes for pumpkin season, check out my pumpkin cookies, pumpkin poke cake, pumpkin cheesecake bars, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cheesecake cookies or pumpkin blondies!
Why You'll Love these Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes:
They're the perfect fall treat. I mean it doesn't get much more fall-esk than pumpkin spice right?! These pumpkin cupcakes are full of that classic spiced pumpkin flavor.
They're super moist pumpkin cupcakes. 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 the 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 Spice Cupcakes
- Cake Flour– gives the cupcakes the best, most tender crumb
- Granulated Sugar- used to sweeten the cupcakes
- 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 Purée- I highly recommend using Libby's pumpkin puree for the best results
- Pumpkin Pie Ground Spice Blend- a blend of warm spices like ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and ginger is used to bring warm fall flavors to these cupcakes
- Vanilla Extract – adds a sweet note to the cupcakes
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda– used to 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
- Powdered Sugar- used to sweeten the frosting
Step by Step Instructions
Please see recipe card below for complete measurements and baking time.
STEP ONE: In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then set aside the flour mixture.
STEP TWO: 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.
STEP THREE: Add in the egg and vanilla and mix for 1-2 minutes on medium speed until pale in color and fluffy.
STEP FOUR: Then mix in the canned pumpkin puree on low speed.
STEP FIVE: Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk a little at a time to the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed until everything is combined.
STEP SIX: Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Using a large cookie scoop, fill each cup ¾ of the way full. Bake the cupcakes, then let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes after baking. Transfer them to a wire rack to completely cool.
STEP SEVEN: While the cupcakes cool make the frosting. Add the softened butter to a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer on high speed until pale in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in the cold cream cheese and mix on medium speed until combined. Then sift in powdered sugar a little at a time and combine on low speed. Lastly mix in pumpkin pie spice and mix on high speed until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Transfer your frosting to a large piping bag fit with a decorative tip.
STEP EIGHT: When the cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe a generous amount of cream cheese frosting on top of the cupcakes. Then 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 pre-blended 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.
Can I use homemade pumpkin puree? I highly recommend using Libby's canned pumpkin puree. This brand has the most consistent pumpkin puree and will give you the best results!
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.
Other Fall 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 using a large cookie scoop.
- 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 large 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 on medium speed until combined.6 oz (170 g) cream cheese, cold
- Then sift in the powdered sugar, a little at a time, mixing on low speed until it is all combined.2 ¼ cups (293 g) powdered sugar
- Lastly add in the pumpkin pie spice. Mix on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. (Add 1 teaspoon in at first, and then the extra ½ teaspoon if you want more spice).1- 1 ½ teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
- Add the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a decorative piping tip. (My favorite tip for cupcakes is my Wilton 1M.)
Frosting the Cupcakes
- When the cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe a generous amount of frosting onto each cupcake. Then serve!
- Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.