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Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin cupcakes are simple and perfect for fall! Learn to make my spiced pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin frosting, plus get tips for some other delicious ways to use pumpkin in your cupcake making!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes with pumpkin frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes

These pumpkin cupcakes are loaded with fall spice and are moist and easy to make:


Canned vs Fresh Pumpkin

Fresh pumpkin

You could totally go to a pumpkin patch (or the grocery store) and buy pumpkins (ideally pie pumpkins – smaller than the kind you see in the photo above) and roast them to use in these cupcakes.

To make your own pumpkin puree:

  1. Start with pie pumpkins. A 3 pound pie pumpkin should give you enough puree for the frosting. You’ll need another 2 pounder 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.

I tend to go for store-bought pumpkin puree. It’s just easier!

Make sure to purchase pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. They are not the same thing!

Spices in Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spices

Pumpkin cupcakes, like pumpkin pie, are typically seasoned with pumpkin pie spice.

You can buy pumpkin pie spice pre-made or you can make your own mix.

The spices in pumpkin pie spice are:

  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • allspice
  • clove

Not everyone loves the taste of clove and it can be overpowering.

My pumpkin cupcakes use my own pumpkin pie spice mix which leaves off the clove, but if you are a clove lover, go ahead and add 1/2 teaspoon of clove to the recipe.

If you don’t have all of these spices on hand, you can replace all of the spices in my recipe with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice.

Other Flavors in Pumpkin Cupcakes

I like to use dark rum and maple syrup in my pumpkin cupcakes.

I love the way the rum and maple enhance the fall flavors.

If you would prefer to not use the rum, you can replace it with apple juice.

Pumpkin Frosting

Turn any cupcake into a pumpkin cupcake with pumpkin frosting

My pumpkin frosting is made using 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.

Pumpkin Pie Frosting

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


The best cupcakes for pumpkin frosting are:

  • My vanilla cupcake recipe – let all of the pumpkin flavor come from the frosting as shown in the photo at the top of this post.
  • Pumpkin cupcakes – double down on pumpkin by baking a pumpkin cupcake (recipe below) and topping with pumpkin frosting!

Pumpkin Cupcake Frosting Variation

Pumpkin Cupcakes

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

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

Or, if you want to make the easiest caramel frosting ever, try topping the cupcakes with dulce de leche.

What Are the Best Cupcake Liners to Use?


Image from Confectionery House

If you prefer to use colored or patterned cupcake liners, I always recommend grease-proof liners.

These are the only cupcake liners that will hold their design and color when baked. Confectionery House makes some of my favorite cupcake liners.

Pumpkin Cupcake

Another option is to use any cupcake liners that you have and wrap the liners with a cupcake wrapper after baking.

Cupcake wrappers are not meant for baking cupcakes in. You wrap the baked cupcake in the wrapper after baking – just for decoration.

If you do that, it doesn’t matter whether the cupcake liners got greasy or not.

Can You Make Pumpkin Cupcakes as Mini Cupcakes or Jumbo Cupcakes?

Yes, you can convert these pumpkin cupcakes to mini cupcakes. You will end up with about twice as many cupcakes. The bake time will reduce to about 10 minutes.

If you make these as jumbo cupcakes, you will make half as many and the bake time will increase to about twenty minutes.

Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

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

You may also want to try the triple chocolate pumpkin cake from A Dash of Sanity! It sounds incredible!

If You Are Looking for Other Fall Cupcakes…

Check out my list of my favorite fall cupcakes and if you want something specifically for Halloween, try my Halloween cupcakes!

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Pumpkin Cupcakes
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4.89 from 9 votes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin cupcakes made with pumpkin frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cupcakes, pumpkin, pumpkin cupcakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 262kcal


Pumpkin Cupcake Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Pumpkin Frosting Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 15 ounces canned pumpkin pure pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk


Pumpkin Cupcake Instructions

  • Whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin, and eggs. Beat until smooth.
  • Mix in the oil, rum, and maple syrup.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes.
  • Pumpkin Frosting Instructions

Pumpkin Frosting Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs.
  • Stir in sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Mix in pumpkin.
  • Mix in evaporated milk.
  • Pour into 9" pie plate (no crust needed).
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 350 F and bake for another 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out dry.
  • Remove from oven and leave on counter for two hours before use.
  • Put the crustless pie in a large mixing bowl and beat it for about thirty seconds to evenly distribute any moisture.
  • Load pumpkin pie "frosting" into a piping bag and spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.



If you prefer, you can use vanilla cupcakes with this pumpkin frosting as shown in the photo.
You can replace all of the spices with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice to save on buying lots of spices.


Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 262 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 45mg15%
Sodium 270mg11%
Potassium 157mg4%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 37g41%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 5235IU105%
Vitamin C 1.7mg2%
Calcium 64mg6%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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