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. 

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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

Description

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


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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!

196 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!!!!!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!! 🙂

  7. Great recipe! I substituted with coconut oil, Bourbon Barrel Foods Bourbon Vanilla and added an once of KY Bourbon! It was amazing!

    Cream Cheese icing recipe is the best icing recipe that I’ve came across…much appreciated!

  8. I cooked them 10 more minutes than what you suggested, yet they still felt like they were raw after cooling down. Is it normal?
    Thanks for the recipe, they taste great though!

  9. Hi, Made this recipe for boys and huge hit – thank you! My son’s birthday is October 30 and I would like to use the batter in a bundt cake pan to make a pumpkin shaped bday cake. Do you have any idea how long the bake time would be?

    1. absolutely. I actually just made them with fresh last week. Here is how I make my fresh puree: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pumpkin-puree-recipe.html

  10. I have used a few of your recipes and they always taste right. Strangely, my pumpkin cupcakes were not sweet. I just baked the first batch and tasted. I am now contemplating if I should bake the rest or….. Discard remaining batter and try again. They are not sweet… N seems to taste salty. I used brown sugar and not dark brown sugar…. Could it be the reason? Or peehaps my pumpkin purée is not sweet enough. I baked and mashed the pumpkin.

    1. That wouldn’t be the reason. I’m sorry you didn’t find them sweet enough. I make them this way because too often, sugar overpowers pumpkin’s flavor. Especially in pumpkin cupcakes. Feel free to add 1/4 cup more if you try them again.

  11. What a great recipe for the fall season! I added chocolate chips for sweetness and baked them in a silicone tray for bite sized muffins. They turned out amazing and super moist! Thanks 🙂

  12. Hi Sally! I love anything that involves pumpkin and I will be making these cupcakes tomorrow 🙂 Can I use white sugar instead of brown? Or will that make a difference in taste and texture? Thank you!

      1. Thanks you for replying! I’ll take your advice and use the brown sugar 😉 oh, and have a very Happy Halloween!

  13. Hi Sally! I LOVE your recipe’s, have been making a lot recently (funfetti cake, white chocolate / pumpkin snicker doodles, and most recently pumpkin cupcakes- these. I am seriously wondering you get your frosting fluffy and pretty like that? Mine ended up flat and melted… thank you very much! You’re a true inspiration 🙂

  14. Wow, I just made these great cupcakes. I usted pumkin from our “Día de muertos leftover”, made with a touch of orange. They were absolutely fantastic. For the topping I didn’nt have yogurt, so I used Jocoque and it was great, everbody wanted them with extra-double-topping!

  15. Plus, I baked the cupcakes with the electric Sunbeam Cupcake Maker for exactly 15 minutes (I live al 2100 Mt Over Sea Level), and they came out just perfect, fluffy, moist. Than you Very Much for the recepie. I love the introducción!

  16. These turned out pretty flavorless for me. Not very sweet at all, definitely more on the bland side. I definitely remembered to add the sugar, but I think it needs more. Otherwise the texture was really good.

  17. In Britain it is quite hard to find ‘Pumpkin Puree’ for some reason and I’ve been trying to get my hands on it. do you have any suggestions? XXX
    P.S. I absolutely love your bakes!!

    1. perhaps try making it from scratch? here is a good tutorial: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pumpkin-puree-recipe.html

  18. Just made these using carrot and pumpkin puree. Yummy!! Can’t wait until my kids get home from school to try. Thanks from the Bahamas!

  19. I was wondering if they freeze well new to freezing cupcakes do all your cupcake recipes freeze well? Also instead of oil can i use greek yogert?

  20. One more quick question do you have a recipe posted for great sugar cookies iv e made 2 different batches and one was flat the other kinda like sugary biscuits and I tried roll out last year and they worked for decorating but didn’t taste very good. Only ask since any of the recipes I have tried from you are fantastic ! Thanks so much even If you can’t help I love your blog and cookbook.

  21. I know this is a very old recipe, but I have to comment: Muffin recipes and cupcake recipes are not interchangeable. A cupcake is not just a muffin with frosting. They have different ratios of liquid to solids, and they are mixed differently. Muffins are inherently a little tougher, while cupcakes are just that: cakelike. I’m sorry if that sounded harsh, but it bothered me. I still am going to try these for Thanksgiving, but they’ll just be naked cupcakes. Thanks for all the different frosting ideas though!

  22. I have just cooked them: simple and gorgeous!!! Many thanks for the recipe (and the weigths in grams and ml, for us european people!)

  23. Hi Sally, I’m a big fan of your blog. You have the recipes that never fail. Sponge, fluffy and delicious muffins. Thanks from Spain. Regards.

  24. These were great! I used a combination of cake flour and wholewheat flour and added chocolate chips. Definitely making these again in the future.

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