Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting

cupcakes, cream cheese frosting, graham crackers, pumpkin
Hi, I'm Stef! Welcome to my kitchen, home to over 1000 recipes! Join me on my quest to push baking boundaries and live creatively both in and out of the kitchen.
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Pumpkin cupcakes are so overdone. Pumpkin cupcakes are everywhere and if it’s not pumpkin cupcakes, it’s pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, or pumpkin cookies. If it’s Fall, you’d better like pumpkin!

The good news is that most people do love pumpkin. We love it so much that we end up using it as a term of endearment. I regularly call Myles “pumpkin”. Jonathan points out that I used to call our poodle “pumpkin” as well. I’m sure if we had a pet pot bellied pig, he’d be “pumpkin”, too.

(I couldn’t resist another Myles photo.
He’s sucking the pacifier because
he’s too young to eat the pumpkin cupcakes.)

Bride and Groom 3.0 are no exception to the plethora of pumpkin people. They listed pumpkin as one of the flavors they might want for their wedding.

Why Pick This Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe Over Any Other One?

We know from pumpkin pie that pumpkin and graham go well together. These pumpkin cupcakes capitalize on that. They contain graham flour and graham cracker bits. The graham cracker bits soften during the baking process. Rather than adding a crunch, they add a richer, grahamy flavor to the cupcake. The graham flavor does, however, make these treats seem a bit more muffiny than cupcakey (if you don’t like the earthy, graham flavor, you might consider trying my pumpkin cupcakes with rum and maple instead).

My favorite part about these pumpkin cupcakes was the pumpkin cheesecake frosting. Use it to top any Fall dessert and you won’t go wrong.

Bride and Groom 3.0 Review

Bride 3.0 warned me that she wasn’t a big fan of frosting. I thought that perhaps I’d win her over with a cream cheese-based frosting. But, it turns out that she doesn’t like cream cheese frostings (back to the baking board). Groom 3.0 and their roomate, Davin, loved the frosting.

Although Bride 3.0 didn’t like the frosting, she did let me know that she loves sprinkles. She calls them sparkles! How fun! Expect to see more sparkly cupcakes coming soon.

Both Bride and Groom 3.0 found the cupcakes to be a bit too muffiny/breakfasty to be a wedding choice. They also thought that the cupcakes could be somewhat more pumpkiny. This was in contrast to other tasters. One of my tasters, Christina, even said, “Wow… this is so pumpkiny!”

They rated this cupcake three out of five fireworks. They made up the firework system and I dig it!

The Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe

The cupcake recipe contains graham crackers. You can use any store-bought graham crackers or make homemade pumpkin graham crackers.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting

Yield: Makes about 17 cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting


    Cupcake Ingredients
  • 3/4 C graham flour or whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ginger
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t allspice
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 3/4 C pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C cream soda
  • 1 T vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 C smashed graham crackers (pea-sized bits)
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting Ingredients
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 C pumpkin puree
  • 3 C powdered sugar, sifted


    Cupcake Instructions
  1. Whisk together flours, spices, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin, and eggs. Beat until smooth.
  3. Mix the oil, cream soda, and vanilla into the wet ingredients.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Stir in the graham crackers.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  7. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting Instructions
  9. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
  10. Mix in pumpkin puree.
  11. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar. You can add more sugar to make the frosting stiffer, but I think that makes it too sweet.


Top each cupcake with a pumpkin graham cracker.



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43 comments on “Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting”

  1. Emma Louise says:

    He’s adorable!!! :) x

  2. Stephanie says:

    Myles is so cute and the cupcakes look amazing. My husband love pumpkin so I’m sure we will make these this weekend.

  3. Ivy says:

    The little cookies on top are really cute! And Myles is just a cutie *pumpkin* pie. :)

  4. Essie says:

    Wow!! Maybe Im boring i always thought that pumpkin fritters is outside the box but this takes the cupcake cake!! Do you have any suggestions on a grown up version of pink cupcakes??? Would love some suggestions. Also check out my blog on cupcakes http//www.cupcakedecor.blogspot.com
    get free recipes & coffee tips with fun gadgets to have a look at & enjoy!

  5. Em says:

    I love your blog – but you ask for 1/2 cup cream soda in this one. I don’t know what you mean. Is there a way to make cream soda??

  6. Stef says:

    Em – I mean vanilla cream soda like Dr. Browns.

  7. mrsofficer says:

    Ijust bought tons of canned pumpkin tomake some bread and mini tarts, but these cupcakes look yummy and cheesecake frosting ugh i want one now! lol thanks for the recipe

  8. Eliana says:

    these cupcakes ook yummy but not better than your cute lil pumpkin.

  9. Mimi says:

    Your little pumpkin is adroable and the cupcakes look great too.

  10. thereddeer says:

    I made pumpkin cupcakes not to long ago – yum! I love sweet pumpkin baked goods!

  11. Tessa says:

    pumpkin and cream cheese are two of my favorite foods!

  12. I do so love the graham flour idea! This is a super combination! You are always bursting with creative and fun ideas. Thanks! D

  13. Cute! (the cupcakes and Myles)
    Congrats on your Paula Deen Cupcake post. They’re so pretty and festive.

  14. Margarita says:

    can you use pumpkin pie filling? i’m having trouble finding pumpkin puree.

  15. Karly says:

    Myles is adorable and the cupcakes look and sound delicious!

  16. Cakespy says:

    Cuteness and deliciousness…this post is a double threat. Both look good enough to eat, although I think you’d prefer we eat the cupcakes. :-)

  17. Looks delicious. (And adorable too.)

  18. Stef says:

    Margarita – Unfortunatly, pumpkin pie filling won’t work. It’s not the same thing. Sorry. Isn’t this pumpkin shortage awful?!

  19. Patricia says:

    I’m thinking of making of these as an alternative to pumpkin pie this Halloween, for my friends who’ve never had pumpkin before, just as an introduction to the flavours and all. If they don’t like them I guess I’ll eat them all myself :)
    In Ireland and the UK we tend not to have cream cheese icing but stick to what you guys call buttercream icing. I’ve made creamcheese icing once before, which wasn’t a great success and I’m just wondering if I’m doing something wrong, like maybe using the wrong kind of cream cheese. I just used Philedelphia style cheese. Is there a certain kind you’re supposed to use when making icing? Thanks!

  20. Stef says:

    Patricia – Hope your friends like them. Yes, I use Philadelphia style cheese. It may have just been the particular recipe that you used. The pumpkin cheesecake frosting is not very stiff so it will have a very different feel that buttercream frosting. My favorite frosting EVER is chocolate cream cheese frosting. You should definitely give that a try sometime. Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature.

  21. Patricia says:

    Great, thanks! I’ll definitly try the chocolate one aswell, mmm… chocolate… :)

  22. Mama Schoon says:

    I’m so excited; I’m making these for my Halloween party. I LOVE pumpkin. If they go over well with my roomie (which I expect they will), I might make them again for Thanksgiving :D

    Thanks for all the deliciousness

  23. Kim says:

    I made these yesterday for a Halloween party and EVERYONE said they were the best cupcake I’ve ever made!

    The icing was fantastic! I added 1 tsp. of cinnamon to mine – mostly for the speckled look!

    Thank you!!!!

  24. Cindy says:

    I live in Australia and have no idea what Cream Soda is. Could anyone please give me an idea. Here we have a soft drink (soda as you call it in the USA) called creaming soda but it is red flavoured soft drink. I know in the comments it said vanilla cream soda but that doesn’t help me know what it is. Thanks in advance for any answers/clarification.

  25. mcschoon says:

    i just wanted to share that i made these for a party last weekend. they were a HUGE hit :) unfortunately, i messed up the icing so it became a pumpkin dip for the cupcakes and fruit (also a hit). thanks again for this project. keep making the cupcakes; i’ll happily keep borrowing the recipes :D

  26. Stef says:

    Cindy – Hmm.. it’s not red. It’s basically a vanilla soda. You could make it yourself with club soda and vanilla syrup.

  27. Emanprinting says:

    Really great project and this project is informative and helpful thanks for share it.

    Folder printing

  28. Lauren says:

    can you omit the cream soda?

  29. Stef says:

    Lauren – No you can’t. But you can replace it with a different soda or a simple syrup.

  30. I was excited to find your Pumpkin Frosting! How did you get it to stay nicely piped on the cupcake like in the top picture? I made it and saw it wasn’t real thick. I ended up doubling the powdered sugar and it still wasn’t thick enough to pipe on and stay in place! Let me know if you have a special trick!

  31. Stef says:

    Meet – Sorry it didn’t work out for you. It’s tasty, but it’s not a very thick frosting. You’ll see that I have a swirl, but it’s not big and tall. My favorite pumpkin frosting lately is this one. It’s amazing! Another thing that I recently learned is that you can make an actual pumpkin cheesecake (baked in the oven and all) and pipe that on top of cupcakes. Yum!

  32. Thanks for the reply! I think I am going to try your idea of using pumpkin pie! Thanks! – Krista

  33. Lauren Moyer says:

    Mmmm!! That looks delish! I must try that immediately!

  34. I will right away grab your rss feed as I cant find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  35. Jana J says:

    The pumpkin frosting was amazing, especially with a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg added to it, the only unfortunate thing is it just doesn’t stiffen to a normal frosting texture, it’s more of a glaze. I added up to 6 cups of powdered sugar and it didn’t stiffen at all, but otherwise it works great as a glaze for a bunt cake!

  36. Stef says:

    Wydarzania – Just click the subscribe button at the top of the blog.

    Jana – Hmm.. I don’t remember it being quite the liquidy. One thing that you could try is using a recipe for an actual pumpkin cheesecake. Bake it without the crust, and then pipe it on the cupcakes. I’ve done that. It works really well.

  37. Anonymous says:

    To use the pumpkin cheesecake, do you have to cook it? or just put it on the cupcakes?

    I added more pumpkin to it so it would have more of a pumpkin flavour and I can’t get it to thicken at all.
    thank you for the recipe.

  38. Stef says:

    Anon – Bake it first (you don’t need a crust) and then pipe it.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Is it possible to leave out the pumpkin in the cheesecake frosting to just have cheesecake frosting? would i need to change any measurements?

  40. Stef says:

    Anon – Yes, you could leave out the pumpkin in the frosting.

  41. Chi chi del says:

    I just made these a little while ago and they were awesome! And super cute….great recipe!

  42. Chi chi del says:

    I just made these a little while ago and they were awesome! And super cute….great recipe!

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