These pumpkin cupcakes are filled with pumpkin puree and spices, then baked and topped with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting. The ultimate fall treat that’s perfect for parties and even for Thanksgiving day.

When pumpkin season comes around, I often make a variety of seasonal desserts including pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin dump cake, pumpkin pie cheesecake and these light and fluffy pumpkin cupcakes.

Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe | Pumpkin Cake #cake #cupcakes #pumpkin #frosting #baking #fall #thanksgiving #dinneratthezoo Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe | Pumpkin Cake #cake #cupcakes #pumpkin #frosting #baking #fall #thanksgiving #dinneratthezoo

Pumpkin cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and candy pumpkins.

It’s time for everything pumpkin, and these pumpkin cupcakes definitely do not disappoint. They have the perfect texture, plenty of pumpkin flavor, and are finished off with melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese frosting. How can you go wrong with that?

How do you make pumpkin cupcakes?

These cupcakes rely on pumpkin puree and vegetable oil for their moist and tender texture. Other ingredients include flour, eggs, sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Pour the batter into your muffin tin then bake until the cupcakes are golden brown. Let the cupcakes cool completely, then prepare the cream cheese frosting. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto each cake. Decorate with pumpkin candies, and you’ll be ready to indulge in these fabulous treats.

A bowl of cupcake batter.

Tips for the perfect pumpkin cupcakes

  • Watching your calories? You can substitute unsweetened applesauce for half of the oil.
  • If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice in the house, you can use cinnamon with a pinch of ground ginger, cloves and nutmeg mixed in.
  • You can either use paper cupcake liners, or simply spray the muffin tin with cooking spray before pouring in the batter.
  • I decorated my cupcakes with candy pumpkins which I purchased at my local craft store. You can use any fall candy on top, or even a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin batter inside paper cups in a muffin tin.

Cupcake Variations

  • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cakes: Mix together 8 ounces of softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Place a dollop of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin cup of batter and swirl with a toothpick. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as directed.
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes: Add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the batter, proceed with the rest of the recipe as directed.
  • Pumpkin Nut Cakes: Add 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter, proceed with the rest of the recipe as directed.
  • Banana Pumpkin Cupcakes: Add 1 mashed banana to the batter, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
  • Pumpkin Nutella Cupcakes: Swirl 1 teaspoon of Nutella into each muffin cup of pumpkin batter, then proceed as directed.


This cream cheese frosting is made with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and a little vanilla extract. You can make your cream cheese frosting as thick or as thin as you’d like. Simply add more powdered sugar to make the frosting thicker, or add milk, a teaspoon at a time, to thin out the frosting. Thicker frosting is easier to pipe onto cupcakes, but you want to make sure it’s not too thick so that it doesn’t squeeze out of the piping tip properly.

Baked cupcakes in a muffin tin.

Can you freeze cupcakes?

I recommend freezing these cupcakes before you add the frosting. Thaw the cupcakes at room temperature, then add the frosting and serve. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen in a resealable bag for up to 2 months.

A pumpkin cupcake cut in half, surrounded by fall decorations.

These cupcakes are the absolute best way to celebrate the fall season. They look impressive, yet they’re so easy to make!

More delicious pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Cupcakes Video

5 from 12 votes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

AuthorSara Welch
Pumpkin cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and candy pumpkins.
These pumpkin cupcakes are filled with pumpkin puree and spices, then baked and topped with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting. The ultimate fall treat that's perfect for parties and even for Thanksgiving day.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Serves 12


For the cake

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • cooking spray

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 candy pumpkins optional garnish


For the cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray, or you can use paper liners.
  • Place the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil in a bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and salt to the bowl. Stir until just combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. 
  • Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting

  • Place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer and mix until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time and mix on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla extract and mix for 30 seconds.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add 1 teaspoon of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes, then top each cupcake with a candy pumpkin. Serve.


Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 281mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 3707IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

Learn more about Sara

Related Posts

Free Bonus

5 Secrets to Meal Planning + Free Toolkit!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made these tonight for my boyfriend. He loves pumpkin but I’m not a fan, but had to make something pumpkin for Thanksgiving. He loved them! I did cut back a cup and a half of powdered sugar. 3 cups made it sweet enough.

  2. 5 stars
    I made the cupcakes and they were amazing! I’m curious, if I wanted to make this recipe into a bundt cake, would I follow the same steps? And adjust oven temperature and baking time?

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made these now a few times. First I followed the recipe exactly and they were perfect. Then I tried it with the suggestion of 1/2 applesauce instead of all the oil and it was just as yummy!

  4. 5 stars
    These cupcakes are way too good to only have in the fall! I’m stocking up on pumpkin puree when it goes on sale so I can have these all year long.