Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting.

Perfectly spiced pumpkin cupcakes topped with a generous “cloud” of marshmallow frosting.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting-- these will be your new favorite pumpkin dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Happiest of Novembers to you! I’m holding onto pumpkin pie, harvest candles, apple cider, and ruby red leaves as long as I can. This has been the best fall season.

The month of November comes and goes way too quickly, am I right?! Thanksgiving gets lost in the premature holiday madness. I call this the “christmas creep.” And I’m totally against it this year. That is, until you put a peppermint mocha in front of me.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting-- these will be your new favorite pumpkin dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Anyway, long live the pumpkin! Today we have pumpkin cupcakes topped with a cloud of marshmallow frosting on the menu. These spiced cupcakes remind me of my favorite Thanksgiving side dish: sweet potato casserole. Though I rarely make it with marshmallows on top anymore (um, am I boring or what?), the toasty marshmallow goo was my favorite part when I was young. Shocking. And biting into today’s cupcake evokes pure, sweet nostalgia.

I FREAKIN’ LOVE THESE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES.

Before the frosting comes the cupcake. The pumpkin cupcake recipe I use for these is the pumpkin cupcake recipe I’ve been making since last year. It’s my favorite. The cupcakes are moist, flavorful, soft, and cakey. Simply perfecto.

In this particular post, you’ll see that I’m clearly in love with my pumpkin cupcake recipe. You’ll find a handful of suggested ways to make them. Including topped with cream cheese frosting, topped with cinnamon swirl frosting, and topped with dark chocolate frosting. Why not add one more frosting to the mix? My thoughts exactly as I whipped today’s recipe up a couple weeks ago.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes from scratch-- with tons of pumpkin flavor!

What I love the most about these pumpkin cupcakes is that they aren’t overly sweet.

Oftentimes I find that pumpkin desserts are stripped from their deep, complex pumpkin flavor because they are weighed down with too much sugar. I remember a few years ago, my sister and I were following a recipe for pumpkin bars– I truthfully can’t remember what it was exactly– and the 8×8 pan recipe called for 5 cups of sugar. At that point, why even add any other flavors?? I felt the onset of 7 cavities when I took a bite.

Only 2/3 cup of brown sugar sweetens this batch of cupcakes (brown sugar for a touch of molasses flavor, of course), so the pumpkin and robust spices can really stand out. Now, let me remind you that I’m only talking about the bare cupcakes at this point! Marshmallow anything is obviously just, well, sugar. But that is why I pair this frosting with a flavorful, spiced, and not at all “toothache-y” (technical terms) cupcake. There’s certainly a lot of sweetness going on, but it’s not overdone. The sweet marshmallow frosting compliments the pumpkin cupcake perfectly.

These cupcakes aren’t “toothache-y.” I think that’s my new favorite word.

Marshmallow Frosting

The marshmallow frosting today is inspired the marshmallow filling for my s’mores cupcakes. And, to be honest, it’s my favorite part about that cupcake recipe! The marshmallow frosting is thick and fluffy. Easy to pipe on with your favorite frosting piping tip, or simply slathered on with a knife. I used my trusty Wilton #12 round tip here.

Bake a batch of these pumpkin cupcakes (while sipping some honeycrisp apple sangria perhaps? how festive of you.) and really embrace these few weeks before Thanksgiving.

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

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

Perfectly spiced pumpkin cupcakes topped with a generous "cloud" of marshmallow frosting.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 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 (canned is best here)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Marshmallow Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (120g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme (marshmallow fluff)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream3
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together until combined. Set aside. 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.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake cups. Fill only about 1/2 - 2/3 full. If you have extra batter for 1-2 cupcakes, bake a 2nd batch. Bake for 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Make the frosting: In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, marshmallow creme, vanilla, and cream on medium speed until completely smooth. Add 2 cups confectioners' sugar and the salt slowly with the mixer running on low, then increase the speed to high and beat for 1 minute. If it looks too thin, add 1/4 cup more confectioners' sugar. Frost cooled cupcakes however you'd like. I used a Wilton #12 piping tip.
  5. Make ahead tip: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Decorate/assemble cupcakes immediately before serving. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes:

  1. You can make your own 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice by blending a pinch each of ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice.
  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.
  3. Cream is preferred over milk or half-and-half for the frosting to obtain the creamiest texture and richest taste.

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© 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.

Try my Pumpkin Cake Cheesecake next!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

These simple spiced pumpkin cupcakes are incredible with creamy sweet marshmallow frosting!

102 comments

  1. Hi Sally! My brother’s birthday is coming up and I’d love to use this recipe to make him a cake instead of cupcakes. Is that doable?

  2. Hi Sally
    Quick question… are there other frostings that work just as well instead of the marshmallow one?? Thank you! I think I’ll make these today!

  3. I made these cupcakes yesterday to take along to dinner at a family member’s house. The recipe made 14 cupcakes.  I was a bit confused because the list of ingredients asks for ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice for the spices.  In the directions, it tells me to toss with the flour, etc, the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.  I guessed, correctly, that the nutmeg, cloves and ginger were mentioned if one was making her own pumpkin pie spice.  Yet, in your notes you indicate pumpkin pie spice is made with ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves and ground allspice.  Blog recipes are a land mine of this sort of recipe/direction mistake.  It would be nice if you could edit the recipe to clear this up.

    In any case, I used only the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice for the spices in these cupcakes. I baked them for 17-1/2 minutes and they turned out great.  I only put one pan of cupcakes at a time in the oven, though I predict I could’ve put both in there with the same results.

    I made the frosting as directed, though I almost went with the whisk attachment instead of the paddle.  The paddle worked great.  I topped each cupcakes with a candy corn for a little color and put the finished product in the fridge until it was time to leave for dinner.

    I got many compliments on the cupcakes from my hosts exclaiming the few leftovers weren’t going to make it through the night.  Except for the confusing directions regarding the spices, this is a very easy recipe and one I’ll make again.

  4. Sally, I stalked your website all day lol since I’m sick and thought I’d hunt for some good Christmas cookie recipes to make and freeze now for gifts later and I ended up making these… so good! Although my frosting didn’t hold up as well as it usually does but I blame that on me adding more cream at the end haha… the cupcakes are great! Tastes like pumpkin pie in cupcake form 🙂 I’m thinking next time I might add mini chocolate chips to the batter and top with crushed graham crackers for a pumpkin smores cupcake!

  5. Hi, Sally!

    First of all, I want to tell you that I am a big fan of your recipes, they are absolutely delicious!

    I have a quick question: can I substitute the pumpkin puree on this recipe for sweet potato puree? could that work?

    Thank you! Keep on the amazing job! <3

    Regards from Spain!

  6. Hi, my batter turned out a little thick is that normal? Also I spooned them in and it maintained its spooned in shape so it wasnt very round more pointy but fluffy. Is there anything I can do to change it to where it comes out a rounder surface?

  7. Sally I used the 1tsp of soda and the final product had a very strong soda flavour. Would it still work if I used 1/2 tsp of the soda and also the salt? The cupcake is so fluffy and lovely and the frosting is perfect but the strong soda taste ruins these gems. 

  8. Hi Sally! Do you think the marshmallow frosting would be good to frost a cake with?

  9. I was going to try making the marshmallow frosting for some simple birthday cupcakes. Have you ever tried adding food coloring to this frosting/ do you see any reason for this to be any issue?

  10. Hi Sally, I am new to the blog, but judging by the amount of time I have just spent reading posts and drooling, I think I can say with all honesty that this will frequently be my new ‘home’. Lol You have definitely gained a lifetime follower with me. I just made your Favorite White Cake and was hoping to pair it with a fabulous marshmallow frosting, which is what brought me to this post. Upon reading the ingredients, I am now completely distraught, as I have TONS of leftover marshmallows from making sweet tables for my customers, and NO marshmallow cream! Is there anything you can suggest to make this work?
    Thanks

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