Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes (with cream cheese frosting)

These soft pumpkin cupcakes are warmly spiced with pumpkin spice and topped with a creamy cream cheese frosting for a match made in cupcake heaven! The combination of soft pumpkin cupcakes and creamy cream cheese frosting makes a cupcake that my kids and I couldn’t keep away from. In fact, I definitely blew the diet I was planning to adhere to this week, because these cupcakes were so irresistible. These deliciously soft pumpkin cupcakes are perfect for entertaining, potlucks, family gatherings and more. If you love cakes and cupcakes, you may also enjoy Ocean Themed Birthday Cake, Vanilla Sheet cake Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting, or Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes.

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Pumpkin spiced cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes (with cream cheese frosting)

marilynpeight
Soft textured and warmly spiced pumpkin cupcakes are topped with a creamy cream cheese frosting for a match made in cupcake heaven! These cupcakes are perfect for entertaining, holiday gatherings and more.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24

Equipment

  • Muffins tins (linked below)
  • Piping bag (linked below)
  • Mixing bowl (linked below)
  • measuring cups (linked below)
  • Spatula (linked below)

Ingredients
  

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 4 tablepoons butter softened *see note.
  • 1-2 teaspoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups confectioner's sugar

Instructions
 

Preheat oven to 350:

  • Combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, salt and brown sugar in a med-large mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix only until combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
  • Line muffin tins with cupcake wrappers (enough for 24 cupcakes). Fill each lined tin 3/4 full with the pumpkin cupcake batter, then bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • While the cupcakes are baking, mix the cream cheese and softened butter with one teaspoon milk and the vanilla extract. Mix until smooth, then sift and add confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, mixing between each addition. Add the additional teaspoon of milk and confectioner's sugar as needed to get the cream cheese frosting to the right consistency for piping. *see link below to cream cheese frosting recipe for more detailed instructions.
  • Cool the cupcakes completely, then place the cream cheese frosting into a piping bag fitted with a piping tip of your choice (see my preferences for piping tips linked below). Frost the cooled cupcakes, then serve and enjoy immediately or keep refrigerated to enjoy later.

Notes

I prefer to use salted butter in the cream cheese frosting. If using unsalted butter you can add a dash or two of salt to the frosting to help balance the sweetness. 
2 percent milk can also be used in these cupcakes, producing similar results to whole milk. 
For best results, do not overbake or underbake these cupcakes. Once a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean with no crumb, then the cupcakes are ready to cool. 
Additional notes and step by step photos below. 
Keyword Pumpkin Cupcakes, Pumpkin Spice, Cream Cheese Frosting, Easy Cupcakes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Equipment needed for these pumpkin spiced cupcakes with cream cheese frosting:

  • Muffin tins You will need two, 12 capacity muffin tins for the amount of pumpkin spiced cupcakes this recipe makes. Cupcake wrappers are also needed to prevent the cupcakes from sticking to the muffin tins after baked.
  • Piping bag I like to use a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M or Wilton 2D piping tip for piping the cream cheese frosting onto the cupcakes.
  • Mixing bowl A medium mixing bowl is nice to have for mixing up the cream cheese frosting. I also like to have a larger mixing bowl for mixing the pumpkin cupcake batter in.
  • Measuring cups Measuring cups and spoons are needed to ensure you have accurate measurements of the ingredients listed for these pumpkin cupcakes. *Note: Most serving teaspoons and tablespoons differ slightly in measurement from measuring teaspoons and tablespoons.
  • Spatula I like to use a spatula to scrape out the last of the pumpkin puree in the can and also to clean out the cream cheese frosting and pumpkin cupcake batter from the mixing bowls.

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Ingredients needed for these Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes: Vegetable or canola oil, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, flour, milk, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, eggs and baking powder. Ingredients needed for the cream cheese frosting (not shown): Cream cheese, butter, milk, vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar.

The importance of fresh baking soda and baking powder in these pumpkin spiced cupcakes:

Baking soda and baking powder are both used as leavening agents in baked goods, causing the rise and expansion of batters and dough. Over time, baking soda and baking powder can lose some of their potency, which also means the baked goods will not rise as well if the leavening agents are older (and weaker). For best results in your baked goods, keep opened baking soda no longer than 6 months and opened containers of baking powder for no longer than 3 months.

Step 1: Combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, salt and brown sugar in a med-large mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix only until combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.

Why is overmixing the cupcake batter a bad thing?

Muffins and cupcakes are best if not overmixed to prevent the dough from becoming dense, tough or deflated. For the fluffiest cupcakes, give the dry goods a thorough mix first, then add the wet ingredients and gently mix just until the dry goods are moistened and no longer visible.

Step 2: Line muffin tins with cupcake wrappers (enough for 24 cupcakes). Fill each lined tin 3/4 full with the pumpkin cupcake batter, then bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

What is the best way to tell if the pumpkin cupcakes are done?

With these cupcakes, I can bet on them being done at right around 20-23 minutes in my oven, however oven temperatures can vary slightly so you will want to check on the cupcakes at around 20 minutes or even several minutes before. Avoid opening the oven door too much before 20 minutes to prevent the cupcakes from collapsing in the center. To test for doneness, you can insert a toothpick into the center of an outer cupcake (or on the edge of the muffin tin) as well as a cupcake in the center of the muffin tin. If the toothpick comes out clean with no crumb, then the cupcakes are ready to cool. The cupcakes should also dome in the center and crack on the tops when done.

Step 3: While the cupcakes are baking, mix the cream cheese and softened butter with one teaspoon milk and the vanilla extract. Mix until smooth, then sift and add confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time, mixing between each addition. Add the additional teaspoon of milk and confectioner’s sugar as needed to get the cream cheese frosting to the right consistency for piping onto the pumpkin cupcakes.

For more detailed instructions on cream cheese frosting: head over to my cream cheese frosting recipe by clicking on the highlighted link.

Step 4: Cool the cupcakes completely, then place the cream cheese frosting into a piping bag fitted with a piping tip of your choice.

Step 4 continued: Frost the cooled cupcakes, then serve and enjoy immediately or keep refrigerated to enjoy later.

Storage for these pumpkin spiced cupcakes with cream cheese frosting:

Because these cupcakes are made with cream cheese frosting, it is best to keep them at room temperature for no longer than 2 hours. To store the cupcakes for up to a week, they can be refrigerated. If you wish to keep the cupcakes even longer, they can be frozen for up to three months. For maximum freshness, I recommend freezing the cupcakes without the frosting and then thawing and frosting with fresh cream cheese frosting before serving.

Feel free to pin this recipe for later and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram to show off your own creation of this recipe. Thank you for your support!

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