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!

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

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 2/3 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.

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

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

Pile it with cream cheese frosting, like I do above. ↑

Or you can enjoy these pumpkin cupcakes with marshmallow frosting! ↓

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with fluffy marshmallow frosting!

Or even as pumpkin muffins with brown sugar cinnamon streusel and a tempting cheesecake filling. (These are definitely a fall favorite!)

Pumpkin muffins filled with cream cheese filling and topped with sweet cinnamon brown sugar streusel!

And they’re amazing with dark chocolate frosting and extra chocolate chips!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting

And, finally, try them with cinnamon swirl frosting and extra festive sprinkles.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Swirl Frosting

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Pumpkin Cupcakes & Pumpkin Muffins

Yield: 14 cupcakes

Print Recipe

Super-moist spiced pumpkin cupcakes that double as muffins!


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice1
  • 2/3 cup (133g) packed dark brown sugar2
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (227g) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners or spray with nonstick spray. This recipe makes 14 cupcakes, so you will have a couple cupcakes to bake in a 2nd batch.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs together until combined. Whisk in 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.
  4. 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. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3 days.
  5. Make ahead tip: Prepare cupcakes 1 day in advance. Keep covered tightly at room temperature. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting and serving.

Additional Notes:

  1. You can make your own 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice by blending 1/8 teaspoon each of ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice. Don't leave out the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon too!
  2. I usually only use 1/2 cup brown sugar, but I find the pumpkin and spice flavor really excels with just a little more brown sugar. So, I prefer 2/3 cup.

See the post above for some frosting ideas and a wonderful pumpkin cheesecake muffin!

Mini pumpkin cupcakes/muffins: For around 30 minis, line mini muffin pans with liners or spray with nonstick spray. Prepare cupcakes as directed. Bake mini cupcakes for 12-13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

© 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

These are my favorite pumpkin cupcakes! Add cream cheese frosting or my recipe for cinnamon swirl frosting!

170 Responses to “My Favorite Pumpkin Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Shelley Andersonposted September 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    We have an apple sensitivity in our family.  What should I use instead of the applesauce?


  2. #
    Lindseyposted October 1, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Did this recipe change? I believe there were exact measurements for cloves and ginger in addition to the cinnamon instead of “pumpkin pie spice”? I have made these several times and they’re fantastic–just want to make sure I keep using the same recipe! Maybe I’m mistaken! :) 


    • Sallyreplied on October 2nd, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Lindsey, I added pumpkin pie spice as the ingredient instead of listing out the spices to make it easier. If you look at my recipe notes (right below) I list out each of the spices for you!


  3. #
    Vickyposted October 4, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    How can I find those pumpkin decorations? Are they of a specific brand? (I live in Greece, but I may be able to buy them from an international e-shop, or make a special order from a domestic one).


    • Sallyreplied on October 5th, 2015 at 10:01 am

      Vicky, they are mellowcreme pumpkins usually coming in a package with candy corn (or sold separately). I love the Brach’s brand.


  4. #
    Amandaposted October 8, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    I can’t wait to make these this weekend! I have a question though, would the recipe still work if sweet potato purée was used in place of the pumpkin purée? 



    • Sallyreplied on October 9th, 2015 at 6:08 am

      Amanda, I’ve never tried it before. I can’t imagine why not. Let me know how it goes.


      • Amandareplied on October 11th, 2015 at 3:28 pm

        They turned out amazing! Super easy substitution. I also used your marshmallow filling from the s’mores cupcakes to fill them. 

        Thanks for the recipe! Love all of your cupcakes!

  5. #
    Robinposted October 10, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Does this recipe need to be tweaked in any way to make a 9×13 Sheet Cake with it??
    Your Recipes are awesome Sally!! I always go to your website first!


    • Sallyreplied on October 10th, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Robin, I would make two batches of this batter for a 9×13 cake. I typically don’t like to double cupcake recipes– too much batter and easy to overmix! So, two batches. Pour together into a greased 9×13. Fill halfway. Any leftover batter can be used to make a couple cupcakes on the side. I am unsure of the bake time.


      • Robinreplied on October 10th, 2015 at 2:46 pm

        Sounds good Sally. Thanks for promptly getting back with me.
        Appreciate you. Blessings!

  6. #
    Tinaposted October 11, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    I just made the pumpkin cupcakes and cinnamon swirl frosting.  You made one huge mistake… should have said to double the recipe!! These are so delicious. I followed the recipe just as you had it and they were perfect! Thank you for sharing! 


  7. #
    Robinposted October 12, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    I have one more question Sally. I’m not a huge fan of Dark Brown Sugar. Could I use half of light and half of dark? Your thoughts on that??



    • Sallyreplied on October 12th, 2015 at 6:33 pm

      You can use light brown– or half light/half dark.


      • Robinreplied on October 20th, 2015 at 12:44 pm

        Thanks Sally!!

  8. #
    Brittanyposted October 19, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    How do you think this would come out as a bundt cake? I want to use this recipe because it’s delicious but I don’t want it to mess up! 


  9. #
    Johanneposted October 23, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    For the pumpkin puree: does it have to be cooked before adding it to the recipe or I can use a fresh carved pumpkin that I pureed (uncooked)?  My first time using fresh pumpkin…  Thanks!


  10. #
    Creeposted October 30, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    I have to admit that these cupcakes have no flavor!!  I followed the recipe, and they are blah!!
    I haven’t iced them yet, so hopefully that will make a difference!

    Don’t think I will make these again!


  11. #
    Rachelposted November 4, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    I made these a while ago and they were the best pumpkin cupcakes/muffins I’ve ever had. The spices were perfect without being too much. I just noticed you replaced the individual spices with the pumpkin spice. I’m worried if I just do a pinch of each, as you noted, that they won’t be the perfect flavor I had before. Could u tell me the measurements you had before?..plz:). I love all of your recipes! Thank you!


    • Sallyreplied on November 5th, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Rachel, in addition to the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon– there was 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice. I find that 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice tastes even better as a sub!


  12. #
    Elleposted November 16, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    In the cupcake batter ingredients, you listed 1/3 cup of milk. I’m lactose intolerant so I was wondering if I could substitute the cow’s milk for either almond milk or rice milk. I’m going to make these for my family’s Thanksgiving dessert!


    • Sallyreplied on November 17th, 2015 at 6:22 am

      I’ve made these with almond milk– I suggest that as an alternative.


      • Ellereplied on November 17th, 2015 at 4:54 pm


  13. #
    Alyssaposted November 23, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Why is there additional ingredients in the directions??


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