Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting – homemade pumpkin cupcakes, made from scratch using everyday pantry staples like sugar, eggs, and cinnamon but the use of pure pumpkin puree helps to give them incredible moisture and delicious pumpkin flavor. Topped with a sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting, the best pumpkin cupcakes you’ll ever have are just minutes away!
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Calling all pumpkin lovers, this recipe is for you! In fact, for all muffin lovers, this recipe is also for you!
This easy cupcake recipe comes together by mixing the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately and then combining the batter to bake. It couldn’t be easier and the results are a soft moist cupcake with a tender crumb every time.
Then to top them off, we’re making a homemade cream cheese frosting for pumpkin cupcakes that you’ll want to start using for everything! It’s pipeable, spreadable, and want-to-lick-the-spoon-able!
These pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting make a great Thanksgiving dessert, an after-school snack, a great addition to your party trays, and any leftovers, the kids will love to have in their lunchboxes.
So, let’s get to baking! And don’t forget, whatever doesn’t get eaten, feel free to freeze for later on!
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
For the Cupcakes
- Eggs: Using eggs in baked goods helps to bind the ingredients together as well as keep them nice and moist.
- Sugar: We’re using granulated sugar in this recipe, but if you prefer the flavor of brown sugar you can swap it.
- Avocado oil: This type of fat will stay liquid at room temperature. So, unlike butter, it will help to maintain moisture.
- Pumpkin purée: This is what gives these tasty cupcakes the pumpkin flavor. It’s essential to use pure pumpkin, whether from a can or a homemade purée and not pumpkin pie filling!
- All-purpose flour: A great choice for all kinds of bakes. It provides structure and has a mild flavor. Just make sure to measure it properly using a kitchen scale, or the spoon and level method.
- Baking powder & Baking soda: Both of these leavening agents help to give the cupcakes a light and fluffy rise and help prevent them from falling flat.
- Ground cinnamon: A warm cozy spice that screams fall and pairs so well with the flavor of pumpkin.
- Sea salt: Brings out the flavor of all of the other ingredients and enhances the overall taste of the cupcakes.
For the Frosting
- Softened cream cheese & butter: Bring both out to room temperature beforehand so they’re both soft enough to beat into a creamy, fluffy mixture. The cream cheese adds the tang and thickness while the butter brings the buttery, creamy, richness.
- Powdered sugar: Used to sweeten the frosting without leaving behind a grainy texture. It also helps to stabilize the frosting making it great for piping.
- Vanilla extract: A warm flavor that adds a delicious element to this tasty topping!
How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, avocado oil, and pumpkin purée. Whisk to integrate or use an electric hand mixer until fluffy.
Step 2: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Step 3: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and use an electric hand blender on low speed to mix everything until the batter is smooth.
Step 4: Use a trigger-release ice cream or cookie scoop to add the cupcake batter to the prepared cupcake tin. I use a silicone cupcake can with a bit of oil or butter but you can also use a regular muffin tin and cupcake liners.
Step 5: Once the cupcake pan has been filled with each one about ⅔ of the way up, transfer the pan to a preheated 350-degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Step 6: While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting by beating the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth. Switch to low speed and add in the powdered sugar and beat to combine. Then, pour in the vanilla and continue beating until luscious, smooth, and ready to use!
Step 7: Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool completely before frosting. Pipe or spread the frosting on top, then sprinkle with ground cinnamon and a cinnamon stick for a beautiful presentation. Enjoy!
- Make sure to allow the cupcakes to cool all the way. If you add the frosting to a warm cupcake it will melt the frosting to a runny consistency.
- Pipe the cupcakes for special occasions! Use a piping bag and a tip or a ziptop bag with the corner cut.
- You know the cupcakes are ready if a toothpick inserted into the middle of them comes out clean.
- Make the cupcakes and frosting ahead of time and keep them refrigerated overnight until you’re ready to use them. Bring the frosting to room temperature before piping.
- Swap the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice for an even more robust spiced flavor just like pumpkin pie.
Ways to Jazz up your Cupcake Frosting
As much as I love pumpkin cupcakes with a classic cream cheese frosting, there are ways to enhance the flavor for a little twist!
- Add a little maple syrup to the frosting for a maple cream cheese frosting!
- A bit of cinnamon for a cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
- Brown butter frosting
- Marshmallow cream cheese frosting
- A vanilla frosting
- Classic buttercream
- Top with festive sprinkles, coconut flakes, or a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice.
Can I turn these into mini cupcakes?
You can! You can divide the batter into a mini cupcake tin, but you’ll need to account for the decrease in bake time. Since they have a smaller surface area, they will bake faster. Check on them at about 18 minutes.
Is fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin better for pumpkin cupcakes?
You can use either, however, my preference is actually canned pumpkin. It’s less watery, holds better because it’s more concentrated, and has a stronger flavor.
If you are using fresh pumpkin, try as best as you can to get rid of excess moisture by blotting it with paper towels.
Do pumpkin cupcakes need to be refrigerated?
I wouldn’t keep them out longer than about an hour or so after baking them. To keep them nice and moist, you’ll want to store them in a covered container.
If you won’t be serving them right away, don’t frost them yet! That way you can frost them with freshly made frosting just before enjoying them.
Either way, store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
What can I make with leftover pumpkin?
Whether you’re using canned or fresh pumpkin, you will probably have some left to use up. Don’t miss these gluten free pumpkin waffles, dairy free pumpkin muffins, or the best pumpkin spice scones!
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup sugar I like to use organic sugar
- 1 cup avocado oil
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Cupcake Frosting Ingredients
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease silicone cupcake pan with oil/butter or line it up with cupcake liners. Using a mixing bowl combine all of the wet ingredients and whisk with hand blender until fluffy.
- In a different mixing bowl whisk all dry ingredients.
- Now add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and using hand blender mix on low speed until everything is combined and the batter is smooth.
- Add the cupcake batter to the cupcake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake. Let cool all the way before adding frosting.
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
- Using hand blender beat cream cheese with butter until smooth. Next add powdered sugar and beat on very low speed until everything is combined.
- Pour in vanilla extract and beat until combined. Frosting is ready!
- Now add the frosting on top of cooled pumpkin cupcakes using frosting bag. Garnish with ground cinnamon and cinnamon stick. Enjoy!
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