Best Pumpkin Cupcakes

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

These pumpkin cupcakes are so easy to make and perfect for fall! They’re pumpkin spiced (of course) and also have hints of maple.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

I love to frost them with apple butter caramel icing (pictured above), pumpkin pie frosting, or cream cheese frosting.


Top down shot of all the pumpkin cupcakes ingredients labeled

You’ll need a few special ingredients to make this recipe:

  • Pumpkin puree: You can use either canned or homemade pumpkin puree. If you use canned pumpkin puree, make sure to buy the can that says pumpkin puree or pureed pumpkin. Do not buy pumpkin pie filling; it’s already sweetened and will ruin these cupcakes.
  • Maple syrup: A small touch of maple syrup makes these cupcakes stand out. They won’t have a strong maple flavor; rather, it’s a nice background flavor.
  • Dark rum or apple cider: Using rum or apple cider (if you would rather not use alcohol) enhances the fall flavors of the cupcake. These are not prominent flavors, but they make a big difference from using water or milk as the liquid in the recipe.
  • Pumpkin pie spice:  This is a must! You can buy it pre-made or you can make your own mix using:
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

How It’s Made

Tip: If you’ve never made any cupcakes before, refer to my guide about how to make cupcakes for lots of tips and tricks to help you make them right on the first try!

Start by whisking together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.

Pouring pumpkin pie spice out of a small glass blown into a larger glass bowl with dry ingredients

Next, combine sugar, pumpkin, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat them until smooth.

Adding eggs to pumpkin puree

Mix in the oil, rum (or apple cider), and maple syrup.

Adding maple syrup to kitchen aid mixer with pumpkin cupcake batter in it

Slowly add the flour mixture (dry ingredients) to the pumpkin liquid (wet ingredients) and mix until just combined.

Pumpkin cupcake batter in a kitchenaid mixer with the beater raised.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes. You’ll know that the cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out dry.

Expert Tips and FAQs

Frosting Ideas

One of my favorite ways to frost pumpkin cupcakes is with pumpkin frosting made from pumpkin pie.

You actually bake a pumpkin pie without the crust (or buy a pumpkin pie from the store and remove the crust) and pipe the pie directly on top of the cupcake!

Amazingly, pumpkin pie has the perfect texture for a pipeable frosting.

Tip: To pipe the frosting, I suggest using a Wilton 1A star tip. This tip makes the perfect swirl.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

If you don’t want to make or buy pumpkin pie to frost your pumpkin cupcakes with, apple butter caramel icing goes fabulously with pumpkin cupcakes.

The combination of two of fall’s best flavors (apple and pumpkin) works really well!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

You could always pick a classic like cream cheese frosting, vanilla frosting or chocolate frosting, or pick any one of my many frosting recipes that you think would go best. You really can’t go wrong! 

Here they are with vanilla frosting decked out for a Harry Potter party.

Cupcakes on a white stand with vanilla frosting topped with cookie brooms and sniches


Can I make this as a cake?

You can make this exact pumpkin cupcake recipe as a pumpkin Bundt cake and it comes out amazing!

Can I turn this into mini cupcakes?

Yes! You can convert these to mini cupcakes. You will end up with about twice as many cupcakes, and the bake time should be reduced to about 12 minutes. Always use a cake tester or toothpick to test for doneness!

How long do these cupcakes last?

They last about 3 days at room temperature, up to five days in the refrigerator, and they can be frozen unfrosted for several months.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
Pumpkin Cupcakes
Print Pin
5 from 6 votes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Simple and perfect pumpkin cupcakes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 279kcal
Author Stefani


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 cup sugar
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree a heaping 1 1/2 cups
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dark rum apple cider works as a substitute for the rum
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • pumpkin frosting optional
  • apple butter caramel frosting optional
  • vanilla frosting optional


  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin puree, and eggs. Beat until smooth.
  • Mix in the oil, rum, and maple syrup. Beat until smooth.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Once cool, frost with the frosting of your choice!



To make homemade pumpkin puree:
  1. Start with pie pumpkins. A 2 pound pumpkin will yield enough puree for the cupcakes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  3. Slice the pumpkins in half, vertically through the stem, and scoop out the seeds and strings.
  4. Place halves, cut-side down, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  5. Roast, uncovered, for 40-60 minutes, or until tender.
  6. Puree with a blender or immersion blender.
  7. Drain off any liquid using a cheesecloth.
To make homemade pumpkin pie spice, use a blend of:
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves


Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 2797IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!