My Favorite Pumpkin Cupcakes.

Super-moist spiced pumpkin cupcakes that double as muffins. We make them all the time – this is a recipe to hold onto!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes - this is a recipe you need. Without frosting, they double as delicious pumpkin muffins. Try frosting them with chocolate frosting too!

Meet my favorite pumpkin cupcake recipe. And guess what? This basic pumpkin cupcake recipe doubles as a pumpkin muffin recipe. Because what’s really the difference between cupcakes and muffins? Sky-high frosting? Streusel? Soft texture? This pumpkin cupcake/muffin recipe can do it all. I call it my “master pumpkin batter.”

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty here. What makes this pumpkin cupcake/muffin recipe my favorite?

  • There is little sugar in the batter. Only 1/2 cup of brown sugar, which leaves enough room for sweet frosting, chocolate chips, streusel, filling, etc.
  • There’s cinnamon – a lot of it!
  • Oil makes them incredibly moist, without tasting greasy.
  • The batter is so easy to make. No mixer required!
  • There are endless possibilities to get creative.

How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes

Here are all of the ways you can enjoy this basic pumpkin recipe. (See NOTES in the recipe below for how to make each.)

(1) Plain, unfrosted, no-frills, moist pumpkin muffins:

My favorite pumpkin cupcake recipe (these can also double as pumpkin muffins). Recipe by


(2) Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins - only 1-2 cup of brown sugar in the whole recipe!


(3) Pumpkin muffins with a cheesecake filling and topped with a brown sugar streusel:

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins by


(4) Pumpkin cupcakes piled high with cream cheese frosting. (The first photos in this post are with cream cheese frosting.)

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


(5) Pumpkin cupcakes topped with cinnamon-swirl frosting:

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Cupcakes

(6) Pumpkin cupcakes with mini chocolate chips and topped with dark chocolate frosting:

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

By taking one simple go-to pumpkin cupcake batter, the possibilities are endless! Get creative. :)

***See NOTES in the recipe below for how to make each of the pictured recipes above using this “master” batter.

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Basic Pumpkin Cupcakes

Super-moist spiced pumpkin cupcakes that double as muffins!

Yield: 14 cupcakes


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (227 grams) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray two 12-count muffin pans with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together until combined. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs together until combined. Add the pumpkin, oil, milk, and vanilla until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do NOT overmix the batter.

Spoon the batter evenly into 14 cups; fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping. Bake for 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

*Instead of these spices, you may use 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice instead.


  1. Leave plain for simple Pumpkin Muffins or Pumpkin Cupcakes - add your personal favorite frosting if desired!
  2. Fold 1/2 cup chocolate chips into the batter to make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.
  3. Fill with cheesecake filling and top with streusel by following this Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffin recipe.
  4. Top with my favorite tangy Cream Cheese Frosting to make Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.
  5. Top with Cinnamon-Swirl Frosting to make Cinnamon-Swirl Pumpkin Cupcakes.
  6. Fold 1/2 cup chocolate chips into the batter and top with dark chocolate frosting by following this exact recipe.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.



We had our engagement photos this week! Here’s a sneak peek from our wedding photographer, Megan Beth.

Engagement Photos


122 Responses to “My Favorite Pumpkin Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Heatherposted September 12, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    nevermind, I found this site to help me out :-) cheers!


  2. #
    Loriposted September 15, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Is there a way to adjust the recipe to use pumpkin pie filling instead of puree?


    • Sallyreplied on September 15th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      I am unsure without testing it myself. Pumpkin pie filling is a little thinner than pumpkin puree, so you’ll likely have to test a bit if you decide to try. I do suggest reducing the amount of spices since filling is already spiced.


  3. #
    Loriposted September 17, 2014 at 10:17 am

    These were wonderful. I tried making pumpkin puree this year, and finding new ways to use it. The cookies were a bust – still can’t find one that works. But these muffins were ideal. We added ‘white’ chips (whatever flavor that is) and they were so yummy. We will be making these again.


  4. #
    Tracey Hposted September 18, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I gotta tell you that I just finished baking these and they have to be the lightest, fluffiest pumpkin anything I’ve ever made! DELISH!!!


  5. #
    Sydney Sunposted September 19, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I love that you showed the many ways to adapt one cupcake recipe :) I made pumpkin spice latte copycat cupcakes the other day and they were so good! Pumpkin & spices are just the epitome of Fall, aren’t they?

    Check out my version here!

    :) Sydney Sun


  6. #
    Lizposted September 23, 2014 at 9:31 am

    You made a lovely bride and a handsome couple. Congrats.


  7. #
    Christinaposted September 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Is this recipe ok to be doubled, Sally?


    • Sallyreplied on September 26th, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Yes, that would be fine.


  8. #
    Monicaposted September 28, 2014 at 12:49 am

    Hi. Can I use this recipe to make a pumpkin cake? In that case, what kind of pan should I use?
    Thank you very much!


    • Sallyreplied on September 28th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Definitely! This recipe would fit into a 9 inch cake pan – but only fill it about halfway. Then, use the leftover batter for a few cupcakes (using all the batter in the 1 9-inch pan will be too much – and this recipe isn’t quite enough to make a larger 9×13 cake). I am unsure of the bake time.


  9. #
    Emilyposted September 28, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Where is the recipe for the cream cheese frosting pictured in (4)?


    • Sallyreplied on September 29th, 2014 at 4:17 am

      See recipe notes


  10. #
    Ericaposted September 29, 2014 at 1:26 am

    Delicious! I just made these, and they’re perfect. I made them into mini-cupcakes and baked them for 14 mins. Thanks for the recipe!


  11. #
    Brandyposted October 4, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I love baking pumpkin stuff, and was looking for a new recipe when I came across this. I never thought about making pumpkin cupcakes :) I love this recipe, sounds delicious and I have all ingredients on hand. Hoping to get my daughters in the kitchen with me today to warm the house up while baking!


  12. #
    Maddieposted October 4, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I don’t have all-purpose flour, can I use self rising flour and omit the baking soda, powder and salt ?


  13. #
    lanaposted October 8, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Hi there :) what does this mean: “fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping” ?? Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on October 12th, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      This recipe makes 14 muffins/cupcakes. If using a 12 count muffin pan, you will have enough batter leftover for 2 extra muffins/cupcakes in a second batch. Fill the cups with the batter and then fill the remaining unfilled cups with water to prevent your muffin pan from warping in the heat.


  14. #
    sandraposted October 8, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Just made the pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. My daughter had a request for pumpkin cupcakes. I can’t wait for school to be over so the kids can try them. I taste tested and they were delicious!!!!!


  15. #
    Tiffanyposted October 12, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    I must say these were Delicious! Thanks for sharing!


  16. #
    TOP | 99999 Wonderful Quotesposted October 14, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I made these for my mom for Mother’s Day. …SO GOOD. And I don’t enjoy pumpkin cupcakes. Mom: So good. They have a depth pumpkin cupcakes don’t. Dad: Awesome. A note, while I was cooking the nougat mixture, after adding the sugar and evaporated milk, it did brown slightly (and evenly, not just in a few places) and I think that’s the depth my mom tastes. Make this!


  17. #
    Annieposted October 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I made these as muffins, (sans frosting), I put 9 butterscotch chips in each muffin after they wee in the pan and pushed them down into the batter. I do it this way so there are no “chipless” muffins! So very good!


  18. #
    Nevaposted October 20, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Made these tonight. I did the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and then I made the cream cheese frosting on the side for whoever wanted it. Oh My Lord, these were moist and incredible! My family thanks you!! :-)


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