Pumpkin Spice 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.


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. 


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


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



  • 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


  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.


  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!


  1. These look fantastic, Sally! I have been wanting to give marshmallow frosting a try, I feel like I am missing out!

  2. Pumpkin Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting. That sounds crazy. I am crushing on this delicious recipe! Loving the flavors! I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for all these amazing recipes! BTW, a nice website on chocolate can be found here thecandylandstore.com

  3. Oh wow, drooling!! Your recipe looks amazing, can’t wait to give it a try. I’m sure these cupcakes would be the perfect way to welcome home my boyfriend when he’s back from his business trip this weekend. He spent his childhood in the US and is always nostalgic around Thanksgiving season. We both love your recipes (and we tried a lot thanks to your amazing book!)! Oh and by the way, yesterday I met a blogger in Stockholm in a cafe and of course I did mentioned you like I always do (haha, I’m such a groupie!) and she immediately smiled and said “of course I know Sally!”. I’m going to the biggest food blogging fair in France next week and I’m sure this will happen again and again 🙂 All this to say: you’re the BEST, keep on going!!

    1. Of course I know Sally… WHOA. that’s fan-freaking-tastic. What an honor to be known like that. Thank you so much Del! You’re the best. Hope you both love these cupcakes!

  4. I currently eating one of these topped with cream cheese icing and it is delicious! The recipe was very easy to follow and the cupcakes are moist and airy, just as they should be. I feel like the pumpkin flavor of these cupcakes is more intense on the second day. Thanks so much for sharing!(:

  5. Sally you are fantastic! My go-to site before I start any baking. I read your comment about peppermint mocha and instantly pictured a dark chocolate peppermint mocha thumbprint cookie. Please for the love of all things Christmas perfect this for us! My waistline thanks you 😉

  6. mm mmm mm! These look so good! I’m a cream cheese frosting girl myself but the marshmallow frosting looks so fluffy and inviting. Perfect!

    Sydney Sun
    For the Love of Baking

  7. I need this frosting recipe for a bake sale the problem is it is right after school so it will be out of the refrigerator just about all day. I will take it out at 6am the bake sale is 4 to 7. will it be okay or should I just use marshmallow fluff

  8. I really enjoyed these but found them a bit on the salty side, I think I’ll reduce the salt next time. I loved the frosting but even that was a little too salty. I followed the recipe and waa very careful how I measured, in general I’ve made many of the recipes on your website as well as from the book and I love them.

  9. Hi Sally, I’d like to make these, but we don’t have “marshmallow creme” in France. Can I use real marshmallows and how to introduce/melt them ?
    Thanks in advance !

    1. Unfortunately, no. Melted marshmallows and marshmallow creme do not have the same consistency. How about a marshmallow meringue frosting instead? Like this: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/hot-cocoa-cupcakes-with-marshmallow-frosting

      1. Thanks very much for your time and tips. I think the meringue frosting will do the trick ! Merci beaucoup !

  10. My frosting tasted good but could not pipe it, it was too thin. If I would add any more powdered sugar, it just would have been pure sugar. Anyone have this problem?

  11. Just used the frosting portion of this recipe, and I agree that the salt is too much. Probably 1/4 teaspoon would be better, and that might still be a little too much. It was yummy other than being too far on the salty side.

  12. Hey Sally! So my brother’s wedding is next month, and I am baking all of the cupcakes for the reception. Because it’s a fall wedding, I’ve decided to make your pumpkin spice cupcakes and apple spice cupcakes, as well as your red velvet and death by chocolate cupcakes. 
    1. I am making around 200 cupcakes total, so will they still taste as good if I make some ahead of time and freeze them? 
    2. I really want the frosting to look great and not be too thin and slip of the cupcake or lose it’s swirled look. Are all of the frostings that you pair with your cupcakes thick enough? (marshmallow frosting, cream cheese frosting, dark chocolate frosting, and salted caramel frosting)

    1. What a wonderful round-up for wedding cupcakes, Jamyn! You picked some great flavors. The couple and guests are all very lucky to have all these wonderful cupcakes at the wedding reception. Frozen then thawed cupcakes aren’t quite as tasty as completely fresh but still very, very good of course. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and decorate them the day before. All of the frostings are quite thick, except for the cream cheese frosting. A little more loose and hard to pipe into perfect swirls– and have it stay that shape overnight/all day long. I suggest simply spreading the cream cheese frosting on with a knife. A little more rustic looking but still absolutely delicious. Have fun baking!

      1. Thank you very much for your speedy reply and helpful answers! I first saw your blog a few months ago, but after making a few of your recipes, it’s all I bake from! Such a huge fan and can’t wait to get your new cookbook! Thanks again!

  13. Hi, these look amazing! Two quick questions. Do you think this frosting will color well? I have only colored buttercream so I just wanted to make sure the fluff would be smooth enough. Also, I am wanting to use the grass frosting tip #233 to make monster fur. Is the frosting stiff enough to stand up? I suppose I can add more sugar but I don’t wanna lose the marshmallow flavor. Thank you for your help! I love love love all your recipes!

  14. Sally, I noticed you use Greek yogurt in other cupcake recipes and I bought some pumpkin spice Greek yogurt, can you tell me how I’d be able to encorporate the pumpkin yogurt into your pumpkin cupcake recipe? Pretty please ? 🙂 🙂 love love love all of your recipes !!!!!! 

    1. I suggest using it in a recipe calling for yogurt… preferably one that will compliment the flavor. Here are a ton of them! https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/tag/yogurt/

      1. Thank you for your speedy response, I guess I will just have to make two different kinds of pumpkin cupcakes! Oh well! 🙂 😛 Have a wonderful day, Sally.

  15. 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

  16. 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 🙂

  17. Hey Sally, This recipe looks amazing. I am responsible for desserts for Thanksgiving and can’t decide between two of your recipes. I don’t want to end up with too many desserts. My stomach says there no such thing as too many desserts but my waistline disagrees lol. Do you think I could half this recipe and make mini cupcakes with it? 

      1. Wonderful! I know your cookbook says you have tried the recipes using it..but I wanted to be sure. 🙂  I’ve already used this icing before and it was awesome. Can’t wait to out both together

  18. 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!   

  19. Hi!
    Made this recipe for my German students and they adored it.  Because of transport, I could not do the mash mellow cream, but they demanded your recipe.  So we will be reviewing it for vocabulary in class this week.  Thank you for making me such a success !

    1. Taylor, you would have a VERY thin layered cake if you just used this recipe. I would make two separate batches. You *could* double it, but I always find the texture to be a little different as opposed to just making two batters. You’ll have a lot of batter and could even make a 3 layer cake from all of it.

  20. 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 .  

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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