I love autumn. The weather is perfect. And the pumpkin spice, everywhere. That’s why I decided to whip me up this easy recipe for pumpkin cupcakes … with oh so divine cream cheese frosting. I’m snuggling up with my blankie, drinking a cup of joe, and eating one right now. These cupcakes are an absolute fall delight, guaranteed to make you fall in love with pumpkin spice all over again. The tangy cream cheese frosting beautifully complements the cupcake, creating an irresistible treat.
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- 1 Why I Love This Delightfully Easy Recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 Kitchen Equipment Needed
- 3 Tips for Baking the Perfect Pumpkin Cupcakes
- 4 Tips for Achieving the Ideal Consistency for Cream Cheese Frosting
- 5 Decorating and Serving the Pumpkin Cupcakes
- 6 Variations and Substitutions for Pumpkin Cupcakes
- 7 Storage and Serving Suggestions for Pumpkin Cupcakes
- 8 Healthier Alternatives for Pumpkin Cupcakes
- 9 FAQs
- 10 Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 11 The Final: Easy Recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Why I Love This Delightfully Easy Recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
What I adore most about these cupcakes is their versatility; they’re perfect for a cozy night in, a festive gathering, or even as a thoughtful homemade gift. The warmth of the pumpkin spices intertwined with the pumpkin’s natural sweetness … fall is here, my friends! Baking them fills my kitchen with a scent that’s both comforting and invigorating. This recipe is my go-to when I want to share the joy of the season with friends and family. It’s simple enough that anyone can make it, yet the flavors are complex enough to impress.
Also, did I mention how much I love cream cheese frosting? OMG.
Kitchen Equipment Needed
- Muffin pan
- Cupcake liners
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Toothpick or cake tester
- Wire rack
- Bowl (for frosting, pre-frozen)
- Electric mixer or stand mixer
- Large pastry bag with piping tip
Tips for Baking the Perfect Pumpkin Cupcakes
Baking a pumpkin cupcake that is moist, fluffy, and packed with flavor might seem daunting. Yet, with a few expert tips, you can achieve perfection.
- Quality Ingredients: Always go for fresh or the finest canned pumpkin puree available. Remember, it’s pumpkin puree you want, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Measure Accurately: Baking is a science. Your measuring tools are your best friends. Ensure you’re leveling your measuring cups and spoons for consistent results.
- Oven Calibration: Ovens can be sneaky. Ensure your oven temperature is accurate with an oven thermometer. Preheating is essential.
- Baking Position: Center your cupcakes in the oven to ensure even baking. Rotate the tray halfway for uniformity.
- Moisture Balance: Pumpkin adds moisture. Be wary of over-mixing, which can result in a dense cupcake. Mix until just combined.
Tips for Achieving the Ideal Consistency for Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese frosting is the crowning glory. Here’s how you ensure it’s smooth and spreadable:
- Temperature Matters: Room temperature cream cheese and butter are easier to mix and give a smoother texture.
- Keep It Cold, Though: Speaking of temperature, make sure you keep the bowl (you are using a metal bowl, right?) for the frosting freezing cold. Put the bowl in your freezer for at least 20 minutes to make sure the frosting is whipped right.
- Powdered Sugar Sift: Always sift your powdered sugar to avoid any lumps.
- Mixing Time: Overbeating can cause frosting to be too runny. Aim for 3-5 minutes of mixing for the optimal fluffiness.
- Adjust Consistency: If too thick, a splash of milk helps. If too runny, a little more sifted powdered sugar can save the day.
I totally recommend these bags and tips. They are adorable and easy to use.
Decorating and Serving the Pumpkin Cupcakes
A well-decorated cupcake is a feast for the eyes.
- Frosting Tools: Invest in good piping bags and nozzles. A star nozzle creates beautiful swirls.
- Toppings Galore: Consider sprinkling crushed walnuts, cinnamon, or even caramel drizzles.
- Serve with Style: Think of themed cupcake liners or a beautiful display stand for that extra oomph.
- Pairing: A cup of spiced latte or apple cider complements these cupcakes impeccably. Or a classic cup of joe!
Variations and Substitutions for Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Spice Mix: Swap pumpkin spice for chai spice or cardamom for a unique twist.
- Flour Alternatives: For gluten-free versions, almond flour or oat flour work wonders.
- Add-ins: Consider folding in chocolate chips or raisins for added texture and flavor.
- Toppings: You can put your own spin on this recipe by throwing sprinkles, cinnamon, or any type of little decorative candies on the frosting.
Storage and Serving Suggestions for Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Storing Unfrosted: Before frosting, cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.
- Refrigeration: Frosted cupcakes must be refrigerated and can last up to five days. Always allow them to reach room temperature before serving. I’ve had friends swear that they are almost as fresh as right out of the oven if I fridge them right away!
- Freezing: Freeze unfrosted cupcakes by placing them on a tray, freezing until solid, and then transferring to a zip lock bag. They last up to three months.
Healthier Alternatives for Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Sugar Substitutes: Use maple syrup, honey, or agave for natural sweetness.
- Oil Alternatives: Applesauce or Greek yogurt can replace oil in many recipes.
- Whole Grains: Consider whole wheat flour or spelt for added nutrition.
- Can I use homemade pumpkin puree in this recipe?
Yes, homemade pumpkin puree can be used and is actually recommended for those who prefer a more authentic pumpkin flavor. Just be cautious about the consistency; it should be thick and resemble the canned variety to ensure your cupcakes have the perfect texture.
- Why do my cupcakes sink in the middle after baking?
Cupcakes might sink in the middle for a few reasons, including overmixing the batter, adding too much leavening agent, or not baking them long enough. It’s important to stick closely to the recipe instructions and test for doneness before removing them from the oven to avoid this issue.
- Is it possible to make these cupcakes vegan?
Indeed, converting this recipe to a vegan version is straightforward. You can replace the eggs with either a flax egg or a chia seed and water mixture. For the frosting, opt for a vegan cream cheese to keep the entire dish plant-based.
- What are some egg alternatives for making these cupcakes eggless?
If you’re looking to avoid eggs, there are several substitutes that work well, including applesauce, mashed bananas, or yogurt. These alternatives help in keeping the cupcakes moist and binding the ingredients without the need for eggs.
- My frosting is too runny. What went wrong?
Runny frosting is often a result of overbeating or using ingredients that are too warm. To achieve the right consistency, make sure the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature before you start, but not melted.
- How can I enhance the pumpkin flavor in my cupcakes?
For a more intense pumpkin flavor, ensure you’re using high-quality pumpkin puree and consider adding a bit more pumpkin spice than the recipe calls for. This will amplify the warm, autumnal flavors in your cupcakes.
- Can I adapt this cupcake recipe to make a pumpkin cake?
Yes, you can easily turn this cupcake recipe into a cake. Simply adjust the baking time accordingly and use a cake pan instead of cupcake liners. This might require a longer baking time, so keep an eye on it and test for doneness.
- What’s the secret to moist, not dry, cupcakes?
Avoiding overbaking is key to moist cupcakes. The natural moisture from the pumpkin puree helps, but it’s also crucial not to overmix the batter. Just mix until the ingredients are combined.
- What is the difference between pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin spice?
Pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin spice are very similar and often used interchangeably in recipes. Both typically contain cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, with some blends also including cloves and ginger.
- How can I make these cupcakes gluten-free?
To make gluten-free cupcakes, substitute the regular flour with a gluten-free flour blend or almond flour. Be aware that you may need to adjust other aspects of the recipe for the best results.
- Why is my cupcake batter so dense?
A dense batter can result from overmixing or using an excessive amount of pumpkin puree. Stick to the recipe’s specified amounts and mix just until the ingredients are combined to avoid this issue.
- Can I use buttercream frosting instead of cream cheese frosting?
Yes, buttercream frosting is a great alternative to cream cheese frosting and can complement the pumpkin flavor nicely. Feel free to switch it up depending on your preference.
- How can I make the frosting less sweet?
To make the frosting less sweet, you can reduce the amount of powdered sugar used or add a pinch of salt to cut through the sweetness.
- Can this recipe be used to make mini cupcakes?
Absolutely, this recipe can be adapted to make mini cupcakes. Just remember to reduce the baking time since they will cook faster than standard-sized cupcakes. Keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t overbake.
For the cupcakes
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounces) NOT pumpkin pie puree
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
For the frosting
- 12 ounces cream cheese
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cupcakes
- Preparing a muffin pan with 24 cupcake liners.
- Combine all ingredients, starting with the dry ingredients, until everything is well combined.
- Divide this mixture evenly into the 24 cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 full.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool before frosting.
For the Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat on medium/low speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated.
- Beat on high speed until the frosting is fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
- Transfer the frosting to a large pastry bag and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
Nutrition InformationYield 24 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 341Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 54mgSodium 207mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 1gSugar 27gProtein 3g
Nutrition automatically generated.
The Final: Easy Recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting