Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

These pumpkin spice cupcakes with marshmallow frosting use my beloved pumpkin cupcake/muffin recipe as the base. (The same base you’ll see in these pumpkin cheesecake muffins!) Top these flavorful cupcakes with thick & creamy marshmallow frosting that’s made with store-bought marshmallow creme. Pumpkin and marshmallow is a divine flavor duo that elegantly pairs spice and sweet. If desired, swap the marshmallow frosting with the caramel frosting used on apple spice cupcakes or try the cinnamon frosting used on these banana cupcakes.

pumpkin cupcakes with marshmallow frosting on an orange plate

Here’s a pumpkin cupcake & muffin recipe that I love. It’s been popular on my website for years because it produces a pleasantly dense cupcake, which is really perfect as a muffin, and boasts big pumpkin and spice flavors with plenty of moisture. In that post, you’ll find a handful of suggested ways to make them. You can top them with cream cheese frosting, chocolate frosting, cinnamon swirl frosting, or make them as plain pumpkin muffins or pumpkin cheesecake muffins. The choice is yours! But wait – why not add one more frosting option to the mix? My thoughts exactly as I whipped up today’s recipe for the first time. (And many, many times since then.) 

Note: I also have this pumpkin cupcakes recipe, which is exclusively a pumpkin cupcake– they’re soft, light, and cakey– everything you expect from a handheld cake.


Tell Me About These Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

  • Texture: These are moist and soft pumpkin cupcakes with a slightly denser texture. The marshmallow frosting is fluffy, creamy, and wonderfully smooth.
  • Flavor: What my team and I love most about these pumpkin cupcakes is that they aren’t overly sweet. Oftentimes we find that pumpkin desserts are stripped from their deep, complex pumpkin flavor because they are weighed down with too much sugar. Not here because you get the sweetness you need in the marshmallow frosting.
  • Ease: These pumpkin cupcakes with marshmallow frosting sound complex but the recipe is pretty straightforward using common baking ingredients. Decorate however you’d like with a knife or piping tip. In the pictured cupcakes, I used my trusty Wilton #12 round tip.

*If you ever need guidance on decorating with piping tips, here’s my How to Use Piping Tips post & video.

pumpkin cupcakes with marshmallow frosting

Choosing the Right Ingredients

  • Brown sugar: 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. Typical cupcake recipes with the same yield call for 1 or more cups of sugar.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can purchase pumpkin pie spice in the baking aisle. You could also make your own pumpkin pie spice for this particular recipe by blending ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice. See recipe note for details.
  • Heavy Cream: I recommend heavy cream over milk or half-and-half in the marshmallow frosting to obtain the creamiest texture and richest taste.

pumpkin cupcake without frosting

By the way, if you love marshmallow flavor, you could easily swap out this frosting with homemade marshmallow meringue frosting. It’s like marshmallow creme, but can be piped onto cakes and cupcakes.

And if you ever need extra advice or guidance when it comes to cupcake baking, here’s my Tips for Baking the Best Cupcakes page. You can also join my Baking Made Easy email course to receive my best baking tips! It’s completely free and includes my top recipes and plenty of helpful baking lessons.

marshmallow cream filling in a blue bowl

More Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

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pumpkin cupcakes with marshmallow frosting on an orange plate

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 12-14 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (219g) 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 (canned is best here)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Marshmallow Frosting

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing 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. 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.
  2. Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can find pumpkin pie spice in the baking aisle. Or you can make your own. For this particular recipe, blend 1/8 teaspoon each of ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice. Do not leave out the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon that is also called for in this recipe.
  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. Cream: Use heavy cream in this frosting recipe. It’s preferred over milk or half-and-half because it lends the creamiest texture and richest taste.

Keywords: pumpkin cupcakes with marshmallow frosting, spiced pumpkin cupcakes

34 Comments

  1. I made this and it was extremely delicious.

  2. Sally, these are awesome. I made them today, and the recipe was so easy. One bite of the finished product and I knew that I had to make another batch! The frosting is the perfect touch. yummo

  3. I just made these for my family and everyone said they were unbelievable!!!!! Thank you so much for the amazing recipe!

  4. HI Sally, Have you ever made these as mini cupcakes?? If so any idea on how long to bake them as mini cupcakes??

    1. I sure have! About 10-13 minutes, give or take.

  5. These were amazing! I only take the best to friends and neighbors, and I ran these right over for them to try! Loved the sweetness of the icing contrasting with the cupcakes – which were incredibly light, moist and cakey – not at all what I was expecting from a recipe w/ 1 cup of pumpkin. Definitely making again this season…as always, thanks for the recipe, Sally! Love your new Candy Addiction book as well! It will come in handy for holiday treat gift giving 🙂

  6. Yumm. I am baking them right now! I am in-charge for a desert so choose these! But T think you should put the “pinch” of nutmeg, ginger, and cloves up on the ingredient for cupcake!   

  7. I made  this for thanksgiving  dinner- didn’t  use the marshmallow  frosting ,  but instead  used  a lovely  cream cheese  frosting ,  sprinkled  some finely  chopped  pecans  and a caramel  sauce  drizzle . .oh yeah these were delish ! Every recipe  I’ve  tried  from  you has  been a yummy  success – thanks  for this fab  alternative  to traditional  pumpkin  pie .  

  8. 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.

  9. Gina Z. ☺️ says:

    Made this marshmallow frosting for a chocolate cake for Palm Sunday, and it was nothing short of AMAZING!!!! Tasted just like the frosting over Entenmann’s Marshmallow Devil’s Food Cake!!! Thank you for another delicious recipe!!!!

  10. Hi Sally,

    Is this frosting stiff enough to pipe flowers with? Thank you!

    1. It is, yes.

  11. Hi Sally! I’ve made these cupcakes several times and my whole family loves them. I was wondering if the recipe can be doubled though? I’m making them for a birthday party soon and while I’m willing to make two separate batches because they’re totally worth the work, saving time is also pretty awesome. Thanks so much!

    1. Sure can! Though I have better luck just making the batter twice.

  12. Hi Sally,
    I was wondering if these would be possible as a cake?

    1. Hi Mairi! I recommend making my pumpkin cake recipe instead. 🙂

      https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2017/10/11/best-pumpkin-cake/

  13. I am very interested in the marshmallow frosting, but half of my family is allergic to dairy. Normally if there’s milk I would replace it with almond milk, but I see that there’s heavy cream instead. I realise heavy cream gives a different texture than just milk, but I’m not sure how I could replace the heavy cream. To my knowledge, there’s no such thing as non dairy heavy cream. What could I use instead (that wouldn’t change the marshmallow flavor)?

    1. Hi Rachael! Some nondairy readers use canned coconut milk in place of heavy cream. I recommend starting there!

  14. Hi Sally. I just made your marshmallow frosting for the umpteenth time, lol but this time I flavored it raspberry using the freeze dried berry method. I also did the same to your cream cheese frosting. OMGosh, they are both SO amazing!! Only made half the recipe for both because this greatness will be the filling for a sponge roll. Your recipe of course. Thanks again for this recipe. My husband and extended family love it. Happy Holidays to you and yours…. ⛄

  15. I love the frosting. Should I double for two layer cake?? Your recipes never let me down. Thanks.

    1. For a 2 layer cake, I recommend 1.5x the recipe. Doubling may be a little too much unless you want to go heavy on the frosting. 🙂

  16. This is my favorite cupcake recipe! Cupcake and frosting are both delicious!

  17. I use this frosting with a dark chocolate cupcake and then add some toasted marshmallows to it. It adds a nice depth to the flavor. It’s a very smooth frosting that pipes well.

  18. Hi Sally, would food coloring change the way the marshmallow frosting tastes? OR could I add it? I am making your vanilla cupcakes with this frosting and I’d like to add some color.

    1. Hi Marcela, You can definitely add food coloring to your frosting. Enjoy!

  19. I am 8 years old and made this by myself. I loved it so much!

  20. Hi Sally! I want to make this into a 6″ cake. If I want to assemble/frost it on Saturday, and I make it today (Wednesday) should I refrigerate the cake layers or freeze then thaw overnight on Friday? Or would it be simpler for me to freeze/thaw the leftover pumpkin I was going to use for it (which has been in fridge since last Thursday and I think it’ll go bad if I don’t use it in the next day or so)?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lydia, Either way will work! You can freeze your leftover pumpkin and then thaw it out and bake your cake on Saturday for the freshest cake. Or bake the cake today and freeze your cake layers until you are ready to use them. Enjoy!

  21. Hi Sally! Will this frosting travel well? I planned on making mini chocolate cupcakes with a sprinkle of crushed graham crackers over the marshmallow frosting. I don’t have a mini cupcake carrier and am nervous they’ll get smashed while driving.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christine, the frosting is soft, but if they are carefully placed in a flat tupperware container and transported on a flat surface, they should be okay to travel with.

  22. Hi Sally!
    May I replace the milk in the cupcake batter with unsweetened vanilla almond milk or buttermilk??

    1. Absolutely! Same amount.

  23. Hi Sally! I’d love to try this recipe but struggling to find pumpkin puree in the uk. Is this something I can make myself or is there a good substitute you could recommend?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jenny, we haven’t tried it ourselves, but other readers have reported making fresh pumpkin puree this way: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pumpkin-puree-recipe-1922629 Hope you can give these cupcakes a try soon!

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