Pumpkin Cupcakes

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These ultra-moist and fluffy Pumpkin Cupcakes are loaded with warming spices and topped with a generous helping of melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese frosting. Garnished with pumpkin candies, they are the perfect dessert for your next fall gathering or Thanksgiving bash.

Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fall is in the air and I have been craving everything pumpkin. These pumpkin spice cupcakes hit the spot. Made with vegetable oil, they are wonderfully moist, perfectly fluffy, and just overflowing with fall flavor. The subtle sweetness of the pumpkin is paired beautifully with warm notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. To top them off, they have a generous dollop of rich cream cheese frosting that just melts in your mouth.

To make things even better, these pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are so easy to make! You won’t need any fancy mixing techniques and you’ll have them in the oven in no time. It’s the perfect quick and easy recipe to whip up for any occasion. Heck, I’ve even made them in the middle of summer just because I felt like it.

Closeup of pumpkin cupcakes on a cake stand.

Why You’ll Love These Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a hit every time. They fly off the serving plate that fast. Here’s what makes them so incredibly crave-able.

  • Super moist. These cupcakes are made with vegetable oil instead of butter which gives them a wonderfully moist, tender texture that is just impossible not to daydream about.
  • Easy to make. The batter for these cupcakes is as easy as it gets. No fancy mixing methods required. Just combine the wet ingredients, combine the dry ingredients, and put it all together.
  • Fall flavors. Each cupcake is filled with a cozy combination of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, which perfectly complements the subtle sweetness of the pumpkin puree. If that doesn’t scream “autumn”, what does?
  • Great for any occasion. Make these delicious cupcakes for your next Halloween party, serve them at the end of Thanksgiving dinner, or make them just because you’re in the mood for a fall treat! Mouths will be watering no matter where you take them.
Ingredients for pumpkin cupcakes.

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make these glorious pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card below for precise measurements.

For the Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • Light brown sugar – This deepens the flavor, bringing out the taste of pumpkin and the fall spices that we all love so much.
  • Vegetable oil – I prefer using oil as opposed to butter in these – it helps keep the cupcakes moister for longer. It’s also why these cupcake have such an easy mixing method.
  • Vanilla extract – I suggest using pure vanilla extract. It provides the best flavor.
  • Eggs – Be sure to use large eggs, not medium or extra large.
  • Pumpkin puree – Use canned pumpkin puree rather than going the homemade route. Homemade pumpkin puree contains a lot more moisture, which can mess with the way these cupcakes bake up.
  • All-purpose flour – I prefer using a food scale, to be sure that I don’t over measure. But you can also use the spoon and level method. The important thing here is to correctly measure your flour.
  • Leavenings – A combination of baking soda and baking powder give you the best texture.
  • Spices – Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves give you the perfect combination of pumpkin spice.
  • Salt – Don’t underestimate the salt. It amplifies all the flavors in the cupcakes. Without it, they’d be a bit bland.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream cheese – The cream cheese should be softened at room temperature before using. Otherwise, it will not mix smoothly with the butter and you’ll find yourself with a lumpy frosting.
  • Butter – Allow the butter to soften at room temperature before you use it. Cold butter will not mix smoothly and evenly with the cream cheese and will likely give you a lumpy frosting.
  • Powdered sugar – This adds volume and affects the consistency of the frosting. If you use too little, your frosting will be very thin and not hold it’s shape.
  • Vanilla extract – Again, I suggest pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.

How To Make Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ready to learn how to make your new favorite fall dessert? Here’s a quick overview of how to do it. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

Make the Cupcakes

  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  • Combine the wet ingredients. Whisk together the oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, and pumpkin puree.
  • Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt.
  • Put it all together. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until smooth.
  • Bake. Fill each cupcake liner ¾ full with the batter and bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • Cool. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place them on a cooling rack to cool.

Make the Frosting & Assemble

  • Make the frosting. Mix together the cream cheese and butter. Mix in half of the powdered sugar followed by the vanilla extract and then the remaining powdered sugar.
  • Frost and decorate the cupcakes. Pipe the frosting onto the tops of the cupcakes and garnish with candy pumpkin.

Tips for Success

This recipe for pumpkin spice cupcakes is about as easy as it gets but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention to the fine print if you want impeccable results. Here come a few simple tips and tricks to point you in the right direction.

  • Use canned pumpkin. Homemade pumpkin puree is great for savory cooking, but not for baking. It is just too inconsistent when it comes to moisture content and sweetness. So go for canned pumpkin here. Trust me.
  • Measure with care. Especially the flour. I suggest using the spoon and level method. So, instead of dipping your measuring cup directly into the flour, spoon it into the measuring cup little by little, then level it off with a butter knife. This will help prevent you from adding too much flour, which can lead to overly dense cupcakes.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter. Only mix the batter until it’s well combined and smooth. If you mix it much beyond that, the glutens in the flour will overdevelop and your cupcakes will come out tough and dense.
  • Room temperature ingredients. Be sure that the butter and the cream cheese in the frosting are at room temperature. Otherwise, they won’t mix together smoothly and you will likely find yourself with a lumpy frosting.
  • Use good cupcake liners. I always recommend using high-quality cupcake liners with some sort of non-stick coating. This way, you’ll have no trouble when it comes time to remove the liners and sink your teeth in.
  • Don’t overfill the liners. Remember that these cupcakes rise a good bit in the oven so don’t fill the cupcake liners more than 3/4 of the way.
  • Cool your cupcakes. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them. Otherwise, your frosting will melt and slide right off.
  • Serve the cupcakes at room temperature. If you’ve stored your cupcakes in the fridge, bring them to about room temperature before chowing down. This softens the frosting to the proper consistency.
Pumpkin cupcakes on a cake stand.

Serving Suggestions

Want to add a little something extra to your pumpkin cupcake experience? Here are some fun ways to serve these tasty treats. Let me know which is your favorite.

  • Fun toppings. Garnish the tops of the cupcakes with candy corn or pumpkin candies. Alternatively, chop up your favorite candy bar, or cookies and sprinkle the pieces on top.
  • Ice cream. Serve these festive cupcakes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some of my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream.
  • Sauce. I have been loving adding a drizzle of Easy Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce and/or Salted Caramel Sauce to the top of the frosting.
  • With apple cider. Serve these pumpkin cupcakes with a steaming mug of my Homemade Apple Cider for an extra cozy fall treat.

How to Store Leftovers

Because these pumpkin spice cupcakes are made with cream cheese frosting, they cannot be stored at room temperature. If you do not anticipate devouring within a couple hours of frosting them, store them properly in the refrigerator or freezer. Here’s how to do it.

  • Refrigerator. Seal the cupcakes in an airtight container (be sure that it is tall enough to accommodate the frosting) and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days. These little pumpkin desserts are best enjoyed at room temperature, so allow them to sit on the countertop for 20 minutes or so before diving in.
  • Freezer. Seal the cupcakes in an airtight container that is tall enough to accommodate the frosting (you can also leave the frosting off and whip up a fresh batch when you are ready to serve). Store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the cupcakes in the fridge and then allow them to come to room temperature before serving. You can also flash freeze them and wrap each cupcake individually.
Pumpkin cupcakes on a cake stand near small pumpkins and pumpkin candies.

More Pumpkin Recipes To Try

Craving more pumpkin desserts? ‘Tis the season. Here are some of my favorites.

Watch How These Pumpkin Cupcakes are Made

Read Transcript

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A pumpkin cupcake with a bite taken out of it.

Perfect Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • Author: Lindsay Conchar
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These fluffy pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are always a favorite during the fall! Make them for a Halloween party, for Thanksgiving dessert, or just because!


For the Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup (168g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (233g) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cups (163g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (86g) butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Add the oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs and pumpkin puree to a mixer bowl and mix until well combined.
  3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth.
  5. Fill each cupcake liner about ¾ full.
  6. Bake pumpkin cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Remove cupcakes from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

Make the Frosting & Assemble

  1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixer bowl and mix until well combined and smooth.
  2.  Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined and smooth.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
  5. Use a large round piping tip to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. To see how to pipe the dome frosting I used, see my cupcake frosting tutorial.
  6. Top the cupcakes with a candy pumpkin, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve and serve at room temperature. Cupcakes are best if eaten within 3-4 days.


  • To store. Since these cupcakes are made with cream cheese frosting, they should be kept in the fridge. Particularly, in an airtight container. Enjoy them within 3-4 days and bring them to room temperature before serving.
  • To freeze. Frozen cupcakes stay good for 2-3 months, with or without the frosting. Just be sure to keep them in a freezer-safe container. Thaw them out in the fridge and bring them to room temperature before enjoying.


  • Serving Size: 1 Cupcake
  • Calories: 388
  • Sugar: 46.3 g
  • Sodium: 290.4 mg
  • Fat: 15.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 59.2 g
  • Protein: 4.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 41.2 mg

Keywords: pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, pumpkins spice cupcakes


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  1. Joann

    I made these the other day. They do not disappoint!
    The only thing I did differently was I used EVOO and store bought vanilla frosting because it was what I had on hand.
    And I added about 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.
    My grandchildren said they’re the best I’ve ever made and I agree!!
    Thanks for a fantastic recipe. I will always use this one!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29