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.
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.
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.
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.
More Favorite Pumpkin Recipes
- Soft Pumpkin Cookies
- Pumpkin Bars
- No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Donuts
- Brown Butter Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
- Pumpkin Pie
Perfectly spiced pumpkin cupcakes topped with a generous “cloud” of marshmallow frosting.
- 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
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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