Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

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

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting-- these will be your new favorite pumpkin dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Happiest of Novembers to you! I’m holding onto pumpkin pie, harvest candles, apple cider, and ruby red leaves as long as I can. This has been the best fall season.

The month of November comes and goes way too quickly, am I right?! Thanksgiving gets lost in the premature holiday madness. I call this the “christmas creep.” And I’m totally against it this year. That is, until you put a peppermint mocha in front of me.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting-- these will be your new favorite pumpkin dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Anyway, long live the pumpkin! Today we have pumpkin cupcakes topped with a cloud of marshmallow frosting on the menu. These spiced cupcakes remind me of my favorite Thanksgiving side dish: sweet potato casserole. Though I rarely make it with marshmallows on top anymore (um, am I boring or what?), the toasty marshmallow goo was my favorite part when I was young. Shocking. And biting into today’s cupcake evokes pure, sweet nostalgia.

I FREAKIN’ LOVE THESE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES.

Before the frosting comes the cupcake. The pumpkin cupcake recipe I use for these is the pumpkin cupcake recipe I’ve been making since last year. It’s my favorite. The cupcakes are moist, flavorful, soft, and cakey. Simply perfecto.

In this particular post, you’ll see that I’m clearly in love with my pumpkin cupcake recipe. You’ll find a handful of suggested ways to make them. Including topped with cream cheese frosting, topped with cinnamon swirl frosting, and topped with dark chocolate frosting. Why not add one more frosting to the mix? My thoughts exactly as I whipped today’s recipe up a couple weeks ago.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes from scratch-- with tons of pumpkin flavor!

What I love the most about these pumpkin cupcakes is that they aren’t overly sweet.

Oftentimes I find that pumpkin desserts are stripped from their deep, complex pumpkin flavor because they are weighed down with too much sugar. I remember a few years ago, my sister and I were following a recipe for pumpkin bars– I truthfully can’t remember what it was exactly– and the 8×8 pan recipe called for 5 cups of sugar. At that point, why even add any other flavors?? I felt the onset of 7 cavities when I took a bite.

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. Now, let me remind you that I’m only talking about the bare cupcakes at this point! Marshmallow anything is obviously just, well, sugar. But that is why I pair this frosting with a flavorful, spiced, and not at all “toothache-y” (technical terms) cupcake. There’s certainly a lot of sweetness going on, but it’s not overdone. The sweet marshmallow frosting compliments the pumpkin cupcake perfectly.

These cupcakes aren’t “toothache-y.” I think that’s my new favorite word.

Marshmallow Frosting

The marshmallow frosting today is inspired the marshmallow filling for my s’mores cupcakes. And, to be honest, it’s my favorite part about that cupcake recipe! The marshmallow frosting is thick and fluffy. Easy to pipe on with your favorite frosting piping tip, or simply slathered on with a knife. I used my trusty Wilton #12 round tip here.

Bake a batch of these pumpkin cupcakes (while sipping some honeycrisp apple sangria perhaps? how festive of you.) and really embrace these few weeks before Thanksgiving.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Print

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 (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 (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 make your own 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice by blending a pinch each of ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice.
  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: I prefer cream over milk or half-and-half for the frosting to obtain the creamiest texture and richest taste.

Keywords: pumpkin cupcakes with marshmallow frosting, spiced pumpkin cupcakes

These simple spiced pumpkin cupcakes are incredible with creamy sweet marshmallow frosting!

114 Comments

  1. Still loving the pumpkin. Can’t stop won’t stop! Holy marshmallow frosting – what a way to really take these to the next level. I will most certainly have to put this on the Thanksgiving ideas list! Thanks for sharing

  2. This reminds me of pumpkin cupcakes I did a few years ago with marshmallow frosting. I distinctly remember having to get them out of the house before I ate all the frosting right off the tops 🙂 And I would do the same with yours! I mean, how could anyone resist! They look fabulous and pinned of course!

  3. I want the bowl of frosting! And some cupcake for dipping 😉 I’m glad you are persisting with pumpkin, non-Christmas recipes. I love Christmas probably more than almost anyone, but I hate the commercialization and was appalled when I went to buy my mom’s birthday present on November 1 and heard “Rudolph” in the store >:(

    1. Rudolph!!?? Already?? Oh geez. About the only Christmas thing I am OK with right now are christmas scented candles. Lol– I could burn those all year long.

  4. These look divine! I move straight onto bonfire night, then Christmas recipes, but next year I’m taking an autumn leaf from your book and sticking with pumpkin a bit longer!

    I have been planning for the whole of next year too – are you the same? I get so excited about things like halloween that it makes me think of great ideas for next halloween!

    1. Hi Kerry! Yes, I’m the same. I always love planning ahead when it comes to recipes. I am so often inspired that I need to write everything down– and I am already thinking up some summer recipes, Valentine’s Day recipes, etc. My mind is full of dessert. 😉

  5. I’m so much more a pumpkin girl than a pepper in one! I got married in November right before Thanksgiving, so this is one of my favorite times, too. Keep the fall leaves and pumpkin going!
    Love these cupcakes. They really do look like there’s a cloud of frosting on top! And I love the butter-free cake base!

  6. The Peppermint Mocha is what gets me, as well! BUT I try hard not to give into the whole Christmas before Thanksgiving… I also went to Walgreens and bought a wreath, only. 😀

    Let’s keep the pumpkin going for a few more weeks, please! The cupcakes are beautiful!!

  7. THAT FROSTING!! Sorry didn’t mean to scream… it looks so good. I’ve got to try your recipe, the last time I made marshmalow frosting it was thin and didn’t hold the shape well. Thanks for another great recipe, have a fun week, Sally

  8. I have to say I am of the opinion that marshmallow frosting is the best kind of them all! I’m a big fan of the “whipped” frosting, but sometimes I find that kind to be too bland. What’s frosting if it’s not sweet (although there is such thing as TOO sweet)? Team Mallow!

  9. I can’t even imagine a recipe with five cups of sugar! That is way, way too much! These cupcakes look great. I am also trying to not lose Thanksgiving in the rush of Christmas season fun. My family is hosting for the first time, though, so I think it will be a bit more on my mind!

  10. The Christmas creep! Haha, YES. November goes so fast because all of a sudden it’s thanksgiving and then boom, it’s December. I’m already listening to Christmas music…and eating pumpkin treats…why not combine fall goodness and Christmas?! 😀 haven’t wrote on here in a while, but I’m still here Sally! Reading all your posts. Totally have your new red velvet cupcake on my list for what to bake soon…and now this one. The marshmallow frosting sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing!!

  11. Wow! Thanks a lot for this amazing recipe! I just made them (with a little bit less sugar and some maple syrup instead) and they are just awesome! Keep sharing your recipes, Sally, we love them!
    And by the way, thanks too for the gram measurements- it really helped me!

  12. These cupcakes look amazing. 5 cups of sugar for those bars?!? That would keep you buzzing for the whole day! I much prefer a subtly sweet cupcake, just like yours. I love the way how you let the pumpkin flavour shine through with the hint of molasses from the brown sugar. And topped with marshmallow, these look divine, pinned! x

  13. These cupcakes look amazing! I totally hear you about the “christmas creep”. We’re actually doing Thanksgiving with my boyfriend’s family this weekend, and it’s totally throwing off my holiday schedule. We haven’t even taken down our Halloween decorations yet!

    I love the way you shout your love for these cupcakes and I can’t wait to dig into these and hold on to fall as well!!

  14. These look awesome. Pumpkin anything is great, but these cupcakes look just perfect, lots of spices and not too much sweetness. And that cloud of frosting on top is fantastic! Also, can I just say, 5 CUPS of sugar in an 8×8 pan?! Really?! That’s insane.

  15. These look amazing. I’m totally with you – some pumpkin desserts are so sweet you can’t even taste the pumpkin, and I love that you did away with the “over” sweetness. I can’t wait to try them!!

  16. hey Sally, these cupcakes are on my radar but i am chomping at the bit to make the snickerdoodle blondies so they just have to be next.
    so, on Friday i made my 5th!!! batch of “favorite pumpkin oatmeal cookies for my daughter who is now 5 months expectant with my precious granddaughter! my daughter is loving those cookies and i wrote before that i add chia seeds, flax meal, pumpkin seeds, pecans and raisins along with the healthy stuff already in them. we call them pregnancy cookies now. We celebrated her 32nd birthday on Sunday with your brand new pumpkin pie recipe complete with cinnamon sugar leaves, acorns and sugared cranberries. so beautiful. Since my grandson stayed overnight this weekend we decided to use halloween candy butterfingers to make your peanut butter butterfinger cookies. They loved them. so everytime i bake i take something to my co worker Amy and she thinks they are one of the best cookies i ever made. she said are these from your Sally and i said of course! so there you have it, you are “my Sally” now. i hope your own Mom doesn’t mind. lol

    1. Dayna, thank you so much for making my recipes apart of your life! congrats to you and your family for your granddaughter on her way and happy birthday to your daughter! your pregnancy cookies sound pretty fantastic!! And thank you for making my pumpkin pie. I’m so glad you all love it as much as we do.

  17. Pumpkin and mallows <3 <3 <3 You're truly tugging at my heart strings with this one. Haha! And I cannot believe it's already November. The Christmas Creep is a REAL thing considering I haven't even thought about Christmas presents; however, soon enough it'll be the weekend before Christmas and I'll be the customer frantic about finding the right gifts. lol

    … Pass me some sangria.

  18. I just took these out of the oven…OMG even without frosting they are wonderful. This will be a must make for Thanksiving!

  19. And now I know what to do with the marshmallow fluff that has just started appearing on Aussie supermarket shelves 🙂
    I have a perfect gluten free cupcake recipe on my blog, and now I can change up the cream cheese frosting next time I make it for my co-workers 🙂 Thanks Sally!

    1. it’s definitely not something I eat on the regular, but frosting made with marshmallow fluff is incredible Amy. So glad you can get your hands on it now!

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