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

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 14 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 2/3 cup (133g) packed dark brown sugar*
  • 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 pure 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.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Pumpkin Pie Spice: 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!
  3. Brown Sugar: 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.
  4. Frosting: See the post above for some frosting ideas and a wonderful pumpkin cheesecake muffin!
  5. Mini 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.
  6. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin muffins

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!


Comments are closed.

  1. Beautiful engagement picture!! I like the way you just snuck it in at the end!

    1. Haha! Thanks Cheryl. I posted that photo on Instagram but not everyone follows me there.

      1. I have to agree . . . I was scrolling down, almost to the end, heading back up and I stopped . . . what?? What was that?? Scrolled back down, and there was the cute couple. 🙂 Very nice. Oh, the the cupcake/muffin looks delicious too. ~smile~

  2. Brittany from CountingMyCupcakes says:

    These are absolutely perfection in every single way. So beautiful! That frosting…..ahhh!!

  3. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    Yay! These cupcake look fabulous – ANNNNNNND so do your photos! I just got my engagement photos and we were so happy with the results!

  4. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen says:

    Love recipes that you can tweak and use in so many different ways. Although, cream cheese frosting is always a winner in my heart!! Then again chocolate is too… haha I would probably make them half and half!! Great engagement photo, saw it on ig the other day. What a stunning background, living in so cal we don’t see those gorgeous autumn leaves 🙁

  5. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate says:

    I love recipes that serve double duty like this! My brownie recipe is like that. I use the same base but love to add a variety of different toppings. Happy weekend!

    1. Did you mean it when you said they are “worthless?” I love having “go-to” recipes!

      1. Oh! Clearly I needed another cup of coffee. I meant priceless, of course. Brienne, thank you!

  6. Sally, your blog is my favorite. I always find your writing to be uplifting and happy, your recipes delicious, and your food always looks PERFECT in pictures. I mean, come on, that frosting?! Could it look any creamier (in my best Chandler Bing voice, of course)? Thank you so much for such wonderful content!!

    1. Sara! I am in love with Friends! I have the entire series on DVD and yes, I still watch them. I’m laughing so loud right now. You brightened my afternoon for sure. 🙂

      Anyway, thanks for all the kind words about my food photos and my writing! I really appreciate it. The frostings in this post are super creamy thanks to heavy cream. I use heavy cream in all my frostings.

  7. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    That picture of you two is AWESOME! I love the colors, the pose, the natural landscape, Sally, just a winner! I bet you guys got some amazing shots! Thanks for sharing!

    And so glad you have a master pumpkin batter that’s your go-to. I know it’s crazy, but I have one too! I have redone it 4 ways. It happens to be vegan because I find that using this combo, there is not need for an egg but I’ve done it as cake, bread, muffins, and cupcakes with various topping from streusel to glazes, to crumbles to choc chips in the batter. I love it when you find a keeper recipe. Everything you make with your master batter looks so soft and moist and fluffy. Pinned!

    1. I was so scared that the leaves would be all brown by the time we had this photoshoot. Since you know it was rescheduled twice! Anyway, thanks for pinning the cupcakes Averie!

  8. Carol Ries-Holzman says:

    I need to purchase a cookie scoop is there a certain brand I want to purchase? I have one now but the dough always sticks even if It is chilled dough. Love your recipes and your photos.

    1. I use OXO brand cookie scoops. The dough never seems to stick.

  9. Yumm-I am having a ladies brunch next week and this might just be the ticket. WE are all recovering from little league football season! My pumpkin bread is good (pretty much the same ingredient ratios) and you slightly cook the pumpkin and it gives it very rich taste. I like the individual serving idea so I may go with yours. BTW that frosting tool looks very professional, not sure my smaller pampered chef will produce that look. Can you comment on baking times if doing as a mini muffin?

    1. Thanks Amy! The frosting in two of the pumpkin cupcake recipes is done with a Wilton 1M piping tip and the chocolate frosting is done with a Wilton 12 tip.

      I’m unsure of the baking time for mini muffins – that’s a great question though. I’d say 10-11 minutes.

  10. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    Your master recipe looks wonderful, I love how versatile it is!

  11. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain says:

    I love me some pumpkin – and cinnamon – and cupcakes! 😀 Pinning these immediately!

  12. Stephanie @ Daisy Bites says:

    I did some investigating and even wrote a blog post about the difference between a cupcake and a muffin. The bottom line: No one really knows. And who really cares anyway? (Clearly, I did, because I looked into it…haha.) But they are both delicious, and that is all that really matters. This recipe is pretty similar to mine – so delicious! It’s a talented cupcake that can be just as tasty with no frosting as it is with all the fixings!

    And beautiful engagement photos – The colors of fall are just incomparable!

    1. Thanks Stephanie! And I have never really found the difference between a muffin and cake. Muffins are a tad heavier, but that’s not the case with them all. I guess frostings make muffins… cupcakes. 🙂

  13. Isn’t pumpkin one of the best ingredients? These look heavenly!

  14. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen says:

    Beautiful engagement photo, Sally! So glad you had some gorgeous fall foliage to make the ‘backdrop’ (love that white picket fence and gate, too) and shot just perfect…even though you had to reschedule the shoot. Love the tree branch hanging down low and the leaves at your feet. It was meant to be! I love the outfit you selected, too…simple and elegant in black and white. Yes…the cupcake and muffin debate. I always enjoy a light cake-like muffin, but denser ones are loved too…especially when hungry in the morning! Your cupcakes look fabulous, girl! Thanks for sharing! xo

    1. Thanks Stacy! Our photographer is a creative genius and she picked out all the best spots for our photos. And thank you about my outfit too! Happy you like the sounds of these cupcake/muffins. Whichever they are!

  15. Heather @ French Press says:

    I just love that photo – such a special time for you both! and those cupcakes/muffins YUM! I would kill for some of that cream cheese frosting right now

  16. jodye @ whole pure recipes says:

    So much pumpkin, so little time! But there is always time for more pumpkin, even as the days are growing shorter and shorter. I’m a big fan of the dark chocolate and pumpkin combination, but I wouldn’t argue with any of these other amazing looking variations. You know I love streusel, too…

    1. Thanks Jodye! And I think the streusel pumpkin muffins are calling your name this morning. 😉

  17. That shot of the two of you is stunning! The leaves and all the colors look gorgeous. You two could not look happier! Thanks for sharing!

    Ok and these cupcakes. I love that you have a master pumpkin cupcake/muffin recipe! I know I say it all the time, but you are a baking/scientist/genius! I only wish I knew as mush about baking as you do! Pinned (like always!)! 🙂

    1. Tieghan, thank you for all the kind words! You do know your fair share about cooking and baking, I am always inspired by your creativity!

  18. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    Awwww, that engagement sneak peek is adorable! I love the autumn leaves!

    And these cupcakes are stunning! That frosting is so perfectly piped!

  19. Just found your site, so many tasty things!!! I can’t wait to try my hand at them. These pumpkin cupcakes look delicious. i can’t wait to make them for Thanksgiving. Thanks for the recipe!

  20. I was wondering where you can buy ‘pure pumpkin’? Do I need to get it fresh out of a pumpkin, or is it a canned product that I can buy? Thanks!

    1. Hi Zahra! Pure pumpkin is available in cans in the US. You can make your own pumpkin puree at home using a pie of sugar pumpkin. I send readers to this post about homemade pumpkin puree:

      1. Thanks Sally! I’ve never made anything with pumpkin before, so this will be a new experience for me!

  21. Mallory @ Total Noms says:

    Beautiful engagement photo! If you want a good laugh, check out this tumblr I found last week:

    I just got married 5 weeks ago so I am now waiting for my wedding photos… AGONIZING to have to wait and see them!

    The cupcakes look so good. I think I’d be ok with just having the naked ones- their cracked rounded tops look so cute and tasty! I was debating a good pumpkin treat to bring to a friends house this coming weekend… Looks like I just found my answer. 🙂

    1. Hahahaha I just laughed for 5 solid minutes at those engagement pictures Mallory. Haha thanks so much for sharing that! I needed a laugh today. I can only imagine the torture of waiting for the wedding photos, Mallory! Just know that they are only taking this long because your photographer is making them perfect just for you. Easier said than done (I have NO patience!). Thanks for the comment on my pumpkin cupcakes too!

  22. Abbie @ Needs Salt says:

    Oh my gosh, these cupcakes are so beautiful! I LOVE them. And with that frosting? <3 amazing. Can I have one?

  23. I love all of choices you gave us. Yum! And what a nice engagement photo 🙂

  24. I love these!!! Plus your nail polish!!! 🙂

  25. That cream cheese icing looks like a soft-serve ice cream cone! So yummy!!!

    That engagement photo is stunning – as are you!!

  26. Your photos captured the happiness, congrats! I have two cans of pumpkin left, thanks for the recipes.

  27. These are in the oven as I type – my 7 year old really enjoyed making these with me! We can’t wait to taste them!
    Love your site Sally, discovered it nearly 2 years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since! Can’t wait for your cookbook! :):)

    PS. Beautiful photos, as always!

  28. Kristie Hoang says:

    Sally, you and your blog are so inspiring! I just started my own baking blog, for English class and your blog-starting tips are great.
    These pumpkin cupcakes look divine, and I can’t wait to make them for Thanksigiving! I’m thinking of doing instead cream cheese, a toasted marshmallow and biscoff frosting on top.

  29. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says:

    I want to marry that cupcake. It’s so pretty and that frosting. MMMMM!

  30. Emily @ Life on Food says:

    Lovely cupcakes! So fun for fall. Your engagement shot is adorable. I love the colors in the background.

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