Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes from Scratch

How to make tender and moist pumpkin cupcakes with a simple cream cheese frosting. These perfectly spiced pumpkin cupcakes are hard to beat. Jump to the Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe

How to make tender and moist pumpkin cupcakes with a simple cream cheese frosting. These perfectly spiced pumpkin cupcakes are hard to beat.

How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes from Scratch

We love these simple, fall inspired cupcakes. They are packed with flavor thanks to pumpkin puree, brown sugar, butter and lots of warm spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. You can used canned pumpkin puree or try making your own. Here’s our tutorial for making homemade pumpkin puree, if you want to give it a try.

The moment these cupcakes cool after baking we slather perfectly smooth cream cheese frosting on top and sprinkle with even more spices. You will love them! Everyone we have served these to, has loved them. Adam’s family has even requested them on multiple occasions ?

Easy Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe from Scratch

As I’ve already mentioned, these cupcakes are so simple to make. All you need is a hand blender and a couple of bowls and you are on your way to making them at home.

To make the cupcake batter, whisk or sift dry ingredients together — we use flour, baking powder, baking soda and a mixture of warm fall spices. We make our own spice blend, but you can swap it out for your favorite store-bought pumpkin spice blend.

Making the pumpkin batter

Next, we beat butter with brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, and a whole cup of pumpkin puree. That cup of puree goes a long way to making these cupcakes flavorful and moist inside.

To finish the batter, gently combine the dry ingredients with the pumpkin mixture and you are ready to bake. When they are baked and cooled, we add a simple cream cheese frosting on top. You will love it!

Perfectly baked pumpkin cupcakes

More Pumpkin Recipes

  • Easy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese — How to make extra creamy pumpkin mac and cheese in under 1 hour. The perfect Fall dinner!
  • Homemade Pumpkin Pancakes — We love these pumpkin pancakes: not too sweet with a hint of spice. 
  • Homemade (and easy) Pumpkin Pie — How to make classic, unfussy pumpkin pie from scratch. This is our favorite way to make pumpkin pie. It’s easy, too!
  • Pumpkin Scones — How to make the best spiced pumpkin scones inspired by Starbucks.
  • Chocolate Orange Pumpkin Bread — This quick bread has pumpkin, orange, and is packed with chopped chocolate. Not too sweet, extremely moist and perfect for fall!
    Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte — How to make the best pumpkin spice latte at home with pumpkin puree, coffee, milk, and fall spices. Better than store-bought!

For more cupcake recipes, check out our Double Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes and our Easy Apple Pie Cupcakes Recipe.

Recipe updated, originally posted November 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes from Scratch

  • PREP
  • COOK

For extra flavor, we add lots of spices to this pumpkin cupcake batter. You can use homemade pumpkin puree for this or buy it from the store. When you look for pumpkin puree, don’t use “pumpkin pie mix” (usually a larger can) and instead buy the can that is “pure pumpkin puree”.

The frosting recipe below makes enough for piping the frosting onto the cupcakes (this usually requires a little more frosting). If you do what we did, which was to spread frosting on top of the cupcakes with a knife, you may have some frosting left over.

Makes 12 cupcakes

You Will Need

Spice Mix

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) lightly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup packed pure pumpkin puree, see our homemade pumpkin puree recipe

Cream Cheese Frosting

6 ounces (170 grams) cream cheese at room temperature

8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups (130 grams) powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon milk or orange juice to thin frosting


  • Make Batter
  • Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 12 regular size muffin cups with paper or foil cupcake liners.

    In a small bowl, stir the cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger and nutmeg together.

    Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 2 teaspoons of the spice mix into a medium bowl. Whisk until blended. (Leftover spice mix will be used later to decorate the frosted cupcakes.)

    In a large bowl, use a hand blender on medium speed to beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl then add the eggs, one at time, on medium-low speed until incorporated.

    Turn the mixer to low and beat in the vanilla and half of the pumpkin puree. With the mixer still on low, beat in half of the flour mixture until incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then beat in the rest of the pumpkin puree and finally the remaining flour mixture.

    • Bake Cupcakes
    • Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full – the batter should be just enough for 12 cupcakes.

      Bake cupcakes until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle of a cupcake, 20 to 25 minutes. (Another test is to lightly tap the top of a cupcake. If the cupcake springs back, they are done, if an indent remains, they need a little more time.) Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

      • Frost Cupcakes
      • In a large bowl, use a hand blender to beat cream cheese and the butter until fluffy. Add a third of the powdered sugar, turn the hand blender to low and beat until incorporated. Repeat with another third of powdered sugar, scrap the bowl down then repeat with the final third.

        Add the vanilla extract, almond extract and the milk then use the hand blender on low until frosting is whipped and fluffy, adding more milk to thin out. Frost cooled cupcakes then sprinkle a little of the spice mix from earlier on top of each cupcake.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 cupcake / Calories 401 / Protein 4 g / Carbohydrate 52 g / Dietary Fiber 1 g / Total Sugars 39 g / Total Fat 20 g / Saturated Fat 13 g / Cholesterol 84 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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25 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Miki November 15, 2020, 3:39 pm

    Super moist and sweet but not too sweet. Fluffy and had a good pumpkin seasoning flavor. I’m not a fan of the “pumpkin pie” spice you buy already done in the store so the fact that all spices were what I like was a bonus! I could eat the frosting just by itself Lol. 3rd recipe I’ve tried on this site and all 3 were fantastic! Please come up with a pumpkin cheesecake recipe 😋

  • Rob October 31, 2020, 6:55 pm

    Made these today for Halloween – I didn’t read the instructions very closely at first and ended up putting the entire spice mix in with the flour – they turned out great anyway, and super moist – honestly they don’t need frosting, but the cream cheese frosting complemented them well nonetheless

  • Ana October 3, 2020, 5:29 pm

    Hi, if I use pumpkin pie spice mix, how much would I use since all the spices listed are in this mix?

    • Joanne October 22, 2021, 3:58 pm

      I’d use 2 to 3 teaspoons.

  • Laura April 27, 2020, 9:22 pm

    I only have salted butter right now, will this recipe still work and taste good?

    • Joanne October 22, 2021, 3:57 pm

      Yes, simply leave out the salt called for in the recipe.

  • Moon December 15, 2019, 11:05 am

    OMG, these were heavenly!! I think I may have added too much extra cinnamon into my batch of cupcakes but other than that, this is one of my go-to recipes now. I pureed a pumpkin by roasting it and there’s still plenty more left, and I will be turning them into the second batch of your cupcakes. Thank you so much!

  • Amber Cain October 14, 2019, 4:46 pm

    I made the easy pumpkin cupcakes and they were amazing!! I also made the homemade pumpkin purée recipe you offered. It was super easy and kinda fun to have the pumpkin seeds to roast afterwards.

  • Margaret November 17, 2017, 2:26 pm

    Made this as mini cupcakes – bake for 13 minutes and they’re perfect. And I frosted with a salted bourbon butterscotch swiss meringue buttercream, yum! This recipe makes about 36+ mini cupcakes. Also made it once with ghost chili powder in it with the cream cheese frosting, super delicious.

  • Erin! September 7, 2017, 7:11 pm

    Just made these for my coworkers… but my boyfriend couldn’t keep his paws off of these. Sooo very delicious and perfectly balanced. Definitely gonna make it again so maybe they’ll make it to work!

  • McKenzie September 14, 2014, 3:09 pm

    So, I live at 9600ft. Should I do anything extra to make sure these cupcakes come out amazing?



    • Joanne September 19, 2014, 2:32 pm

      Hi McKenzie, Great question! Here’s a great article from King Arthur Flour about high-altitude baking. I wish we could be more helpful, but it is really hard for us to say what will and won’t work when it comes to higher altitudes.

  • Niko November 18, 2013, 5:10 pm

    One of the best recipes I’ve ever tried. I doubled the proportions and cupcakes came out splendidly. The cupcakes were moist, flavorful and had the right amount of sweet. The batter was delicious on its own but the cream cheese frosting took the cupcakes to a new level. Will definitely bake again.

  • Ellie November 16, 2013, 6:46 pm

    I just made these exactly as directed and they are FANTASTIC!!! Perfect texture, wonderful flavor and the frosting is a delicious complement. I made them for tomorrow but I’m afraid I’m going to have to make another batch – these won’t make it.

    • Joanne November 18, 2013, 11:11 am

      So glad they turned out well for you. These are wonderful in the Fall!

  • Nicole November 13, 2013, 7:25 pm

    Since you do many cupcakes to you what taste better cinnamon or pumpkin spice cupcakes?

  • Angie@Angie's Recipes November 28, 2012, 1:36 pm

    I love pumpkin ANYTHING! These cupcakes look splendid!

  • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake November 25, 2012, 8:57 am

    I’m seeing a lot of pumpkin dishes lately, but it’s now almost summer in Australia…nevertheless, I love pumpkin so these cupcakes look fantastic!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious November 21, 2012, 3:56 am

    Love these cupcakes, and that frosting is to die for! How did you know that cream cheese frosting is my absolute favorite?! 🙂


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