Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Super moist and easy pumpkin spice cupcakes with delicious cream cheese frosting on top! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I figure many of you would want to try my favorite pumpkin cake recipe… as cupcakes!!

While you can bake the cake into about 24 cupcakes, a completely separate blog post dedicated to turning that recipe into cupcakes is definitely needed. Cupcakes cook faster. They’re share-able. And most importantly? Cupcakes are CUTER.

So pumpkin cupcakes deserve their own spotlight, no?

Super moist and easy pumpkin spice cupcakes with delicious cream cheese frosting on top! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here’s the plan. We’ll halve the cake recipe to yield about 12 cupcakes. The spices and vanilla extract aren’t completely cut in two– I kept both on the higher side for plenty of F-L-A-V-O-R. I also cut the white granulated sugar and only used brown. You already know how I feel about brown sugar. ♥

So that’s how the recipe compares to my favorite pumpkin cake. But let’s compare these pumpkin cupcakes to the pumpkin cupcake recipe I shared on my blog a few years ago.

  • Ease: Both pumpkin cupcake recipes are super low maintenance. You don’t need a mixer to make either batter (though you certainly could use one!). And both batters come together in a matter of minutes.
  • Actual recipes: Very similar. Today I cut out the milk and reduced the flour to make up for less liquid. Only 1 cup of flour is needed, so these cupcakes are mega moist! There’s also a little more brown sugar for added flavor.
  • Flavor: Pretty identical, though there’s a slightly heightened spice flavor in today’s version. LOVE that.
  • Texture: This is the real difference. Today’s pumpkin cupcakes are a little less dense. They’re incredible moist and soft, but have more of a cake and cupcake texture– less of a muffin texture. Does that make sense?

As with most of my cupcake recipes, fill the liners only about 2/3 full. This is about 3 full Tablespoons of batter per cupcake. (See 9 more tips for baking the BEST cupcakes!)

How to make pumpkin cupcakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make pumpkin cupcakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Super creamy and thick cream cheese frosting for pumpkin spice cupcakes! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cream cheese frosting is a pumpkin cupcake’s BFF.

Here’s what I love most about the besties: cream cheese frosting doesn’t take away from the pumpkin flavor. Rather, it lets the pumpkin cupcakes shine. Cream cheese frosting is not selfish. That’s a true friend, is it not?! 😉 We’d have a different story with, say, vanilla buttercream. Too sweet, too heavy, too overpowering. We want something light ‘n’ creamy. A frosting that melts on the tongue, a buttery and rich topping that isn’t cloyingly sweet.

This cream cheese frosting will hold a little shape if you pipe it, though a simple swirl with a knife works too. I like to use a round tip for piping, like this Ateco 808 large round. Looks like a big puffy cloud on top!

And like I mentioned in the pumpkin cake the other day: you should try my brown butter cream cheese frosting or cinnamon cream cheese frosting!

Super moist and easy pumpkin spice cupcakes with delicious cream cheese frosting on top! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Super moist and easy pumpkin spice cupcakes with delicious cream cheese frosting on top! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

And if you want adorable little pumpkin toppers: I can’t seem to find the same exact ones I used here, but you can get similar pumpkin toppers here and here. Or these super adorable pumpkin sprinkles. Or use those weirdly delicious mallowcreme pumpkins that come with candy corn!


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This is my favorite recipe for super moist and easy pumpkin spice cupcakes topped with delicious cream cheese frosting.


  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) canola or vegetable oil*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup (225g) canned pumpkin puree*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar, plus an extra 1/4 cup if needed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a large bowl. Set aside. Whisk the oil, eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a mixer or whisk until completely combined. Batter will be thick.
  3. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add 3 confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar (I add it).
  5. Frost cooled cupcakes however you’d like. I used an Ateco 808 large round piping tip for these pictured cupcakes. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Glass Mixing Bowls | Cupcake Liners | Cupcake Pan | Frosting Bags | Frosting Tip Ateco #808 | Tree Slice Cake Stand
  3. Spices: Instead of prepared pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/2 teaspoon each: ground allspice and ground ginger AND 1/4 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg and ground cloves.
  4. Oil: Instead of 1/2 cup of oil, try 1/4 cup (45g) unsweetened applesauce and 1/4 (60ml) cup oil. The cupcakes are just as moist.
  5. Pumpkin: I strongly recommend using canned pumpkin puree over homemade in this recipe, though 1 cup of homemade would work just fine. I found the flavor better with canned. I prefer Libby’s brand.
  6. Mini Cupcakes: For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 12-13 minutes, same oven temperature.
  7. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!
Super moist and easy pumpkin spice cupcakes with delicious cream cheese frosting on top! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com


  1. I made these for my son’s class party. The cupcakes were delicious, and I was asked by several people for the recipe. I served them with a dairy-free chocolate frosting, as there was a dairy allergy in the class, and I think it went over very well!

  2. I made these cupcakes on thanksgiving for a cupcake bake-off (I come from a family of competitive bakers) and they did not disappoint! I have made a bunch of your other recipes and they always come out so delicious! This is by far my favorite baking website and recommend it to all of my friends. I definitely plan on using one of your cookie recipes for a holiday cookie swap in December!

  3. Hi Sally.
    These look delicious. Pu
    Pumpkin pie spice has cinnamon in it already ,
    Why the extra cinnamon ? I really do not want
    An over powering cinnamon flavor in my pumpkin
    Cupcakes or muffins please let me know.

    1. For extra flavor. 🙂 You can leave it out, but I would increase the pumpkin pie spice by a 1/2 teaspoon or so.

  4. This recipe would be a great sprinkled episode .
    Also your moist chocolate cupcakes would be
    another really great sprinkled episode as well.

  5. Hi Sally! I’m going to make these for a friend’s baby shower this weekend. I’m going to double the recipe for 24 cupcakes. Would you recommend any special adjustments for doubling the recipe? If not, I’ll just multiply everything by two!

    1. Hi Heather! My recommendation, for BEST results, is to make the batter twice instead of doubling. So sweet they’ll be a dessert at a baby shower!

  6. Hi Sally!

    Does it matter for the timing for mini cupcakes if I have a 48 mini cupcake pan? Would there be any adjustments in timing for this?

    1. Hi Fasabrun! The bake time for mini cupcakes shouldn’t change in a 48 count mini cupcake pan. If anything, it may be a minute or 2 longer.

  7. I made these today for a get together at our house. They were so delicious Sally! Pumpkin and cream cheese are such a great combo! This is my official start to fall baking!!!

  8. Sally,

    Thank you for the pumpkin cupcake recipe. I just made them and they are the best pumpkin cupcakes I ever had. Super moist and fluffy!

    Thanks again,


  9. Hi Sally, the cupcakes were perfect!
    Another great recipe 🙂 My frosting was a little melty/oily looking. Could that be if the butter had gotten to warm? I’m not sure what else would cause that or what I did wrong. After frosting them should I keep them in the fridge to keep the icing set? Thanks!

  10. Oh my word, I made these this morning and they are AMAZING! I made them for my own birthday (we all make our own cakes, right?!). I added some cinnamon to the frosting just for funs and they are just fabulous. Thank you Sally!

  11. Hi, Sally!

    Do you think the chai buttercream from your chai latte cupcakes would go well with these? A friend requested pumpkin chai cupcakes for her birthday 🙂


  12. I made the cake version last week, and since I have left over frosting, I’m making your cupcake version tomorrow. The cake was a real hit with everyone one who tried it. I don’t like ABC, so I made smbc with orange flavoring and a touch of cloves. Goes so well with the pumpkin taste. Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes. I come to your site often!

  13. I had my doubts because my batter was quite thin. But they came out light and fluffy. Not dense like most pumpkin cupcakes. Taste great, also.

  14. Hi Sally, I made a batch of 12 cupcakes yesterday just to see how it turns out and it was delicious . Now I have signed up to bring this recipe to my son’s school for a fall treat. My son loves these cupcakes. Thank you so much . This is my 5th recipe from your blog. This is the only website I go to for all my baking needs.

  15. Hi! I love the taste of brown butter so I’m interested in using the frosting recipe from your banana cake you linked. I noticed that the frosting recipes here and with the banana cake are almost identical (besides browning of course!) but the linked recipe has more of most ingredients. Is that because you needed more frosting for the cake? Would it work if I used the recipe above and just browned the butter? Either way, I’m very excited to make this for my friends. Thank you!

  16. I made these cupcakes this weekend and they came out perfect!

    I took mine out after 18 and a half minutes and that was just right for me, but I think my oven runs hot. I also added a tiny bit of extra pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon to the cupcakes (not much extra- I just didn’t completely level off my teaspoons), and added a little bit of cinnamon to the frosting. After I piped the frosting (1M tip), I sprinkled my cupcakes with crushed up ginger snap cookies (wawa ginger snaps!) and they looked just like cupcakes from a fancy cupcake shop and they tasted perfect. Thank you!

  17. Could the sugar be reduced a bit? If so, what would your recommendation be for the least amount of sugar but to still have the cupcakes be sweet enough?
    Cant wait to try this recipe for a church function, it sounds amazing!!

    1. Hi Pam! The texture of the pumpkin cupcakes will change without the listed amount of sugar, but you can try using 1/2 cup total.

  18. These were amazing! Next time I think I will add extra pumpkin spice or a maybe even little nutmeg. I used the extra frosting to pipe little orange pumpkins with green leaves and stems.

  19. Hi Sally, I added frozen blueberries (coated in light flour) to this recipe yesterday but my bake time was at least doubled ( I lost track after a while because I kept checking on them and adding 3 minute intervals to bake time). Is this normal? Is it the extra moisture from the fruit that causes them to cook slowly?

  20. Hi Sally,

    If I wanted to bake these as large cupcakes (12 large cupcakes) instead of regular size, what should I do to the batter quantity and bake time? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Danielle! No matter which size cupcake you’re baking, fill the liners about 2/3 full. Bake time depends on size, so larger cupcakes will take a few minutes longer. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.

  21. Hi Sally,
    I always enjoy your recipes ☺️Question, When adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients do I have to whisk when mixing them? Or can I also fold the ingredients together with a silicon spatula

  22. I made these for a work potluck, and WOW. I’ve never received quite so positive a reaction for anything I’ve baked before. One person called them offensively good, another offered to pay me to bake them for her once a week. Safe to say that this recipe is a HUGE winner.

1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Recipes You’ll Love



Sally's Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More

Sally's Cookie Palooza

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

Sally's Pie Week

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally