Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Fresh baked Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect treat for harvest parties and fall celebrations. Bake up a dozen today!

cupcake on flowered plate with paper loosened and coffee cup

Some days you just want a little treat. Nothing big. Just a few bites of sweet to top off a meal or to go with a mid-afternoon coffee break.

Homemade is best, of course, but do you really want a big batch of yummy baked goods to tempt you all week long?

One of the best treats recipe makes just enough to satisfy that sweet craving but not too much to have you eating and eating and regretting that you baked in the first place.

These Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are that kind of treat.

Enriched with flavorful pumpkin and spiced with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, this pumpkin cupcake recipe makes just a dozen. Enough to tide you over until your next baking session without tempting you to eat too many.

pumpkins and cupcakes on stands

As you know, I am a big fan of clearance sales at the grocery store, particularly post-holiday clearance sales. I find all kinds of great deals to stretch my grocery dollar.

Organic canned pumpkin for 50 cents a can? I’m all over that.

In fact, I once bought several cases of organic pumpkin. It lasted me quite awhile, even while others were plagued by season pumpkin shortages. As a result, I developed all kinds of pumpkin baked goods.

I had a great time experimenting. One day, I wanted to do some baking and found myself with only one egg. While I know how to bake without eggs, I didn’t have flax seed meal on hand.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Instead, a few tweaks to a number of different recipes and I came up with this recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes. The recipe only makes 12, so you won’t have too many.

I find that’s the perfect number of cupcakes, even while I’m currently cooking and baking for 7. Each of us gets one and the kids get to have seconds. ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you’ve got fewer folks to feed, consider an even smaller batch of cupcakes. My friend Christina has a bunch of small batch cupcakes recipes here.

These pumpkin cupcakes are super simple to pull together — from scratch — and just may disappear before you get them frosted.

But, the cream cheese frosting takes them over the top, so be sure to take a few extra minutes to mix up the frosting.

These cupcakes are the perfect treat to enjoy after a day at the pumpkin patch.

table set with cupcakes and espresso

What do you need for pumpkin cupcakes?

The ingredients list for pumpkin cupcakes is pretty simple:

  • butter
  • sugar
  • an egg
  • vanilla extract
  • canned pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves)
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • flour
  • milk
  • cream cheese
  • powdered sugar

How many cupcakes does this make?

This recipe makes an even dozen cupcakes. It can easily be doubled if you’d like to make cupcakes for a crowd.

Can I freeze these cupcakes?

Cupcakes freeze beautifully. The trick is to be sure not to overbake them. Then be sure to cool them completely on a rack before storing them in an airtight container or tiptop freezer bag.

Store them in the freezer for up to six months in a deep freeze, 6 weeks in a refrigerator freezer. To serve: thaw the cupcakes on the counter before frosting.

You can freeze frosted cupcakes as well. Just be sure to enclose them in a container where the frosting won’t get smushed or smashed.

step by step directions to making cupcakes

How do you make pumpkin cupcakes?

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ยฐ. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners. I love to use parchment liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
  3. In another mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the addition of the milk. Stir to combine.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan, about 1/4 cup of batter per cup.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool on a rack.
  7. To prepare the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and continue to beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until well combined.
  8. Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting. Chill until ready to serve, up to 3 days.

baked cupcakes on cooling rack

How can I make this recipe economically?

This recipe isnโ€™t expensive to make, even from scratch. However, there are things that you can do to make your sweet treat even better.

How I make this recipe easily:

This cupcakes recipe really couldnโ€™t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, Iโ€™ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.

Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

four cupcakes on plate on black table with pumpkins

If you prepare this recipe, be sure to take a picture and hashtag it #GOODCHEAPEATS. I can't wait to see what you cook up!
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four cupcakes on plate on black table with pumpkins
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Fresh baked Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect treat for harvest parties and fall celebrations. Bake up a dozen today!
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcake recipe, cupcakes, pumpkin, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin recipe, spiced pumpkin cake, spiced pumpkin cupcakes
Servings: 12
Calories: 280.32 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
  • 1/4 cup butter 1/2 stick, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree can also use butternut squash puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup milk
For the frosting:
  • 1/4 cup butter 1/2 stick, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Instructions
To bake the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ยฐ. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
  3. In another mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the addition of the milk. Stir to combine.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan, about 1/4 cup of batter per cup.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool on a rack.
To prepare the frosting:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and continue to beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until well combined.

  2. Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting. Chill until ready to serve.
Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 280.32 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15.04g23%
Saturated Fat 8.87g55%
Cholesterol 55.78mg19%
Sodium 188.33mg8%
Potassium 160.16mg5%
Carbohydrates 33.29g11%
Fiber 0.91g4%
Sugar 19.88g22%
Protein 3.77g8%
Vitamin A 2909.54IU58%
Vitamin C 0.64mg1%
Calcium 69.54mg7%
Iron 1.13mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post was originally published in October 2011. It has been updated for clarity and relevance.

 


About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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Comments

  1. Kathy says

    Love that the cake part uses only 1/4 cup butter! Will make some frosting using reduced fat cream cheese, which is thinner, and then put in a pastry tube to make a little squiggle of frosting to further cut fat.

  2. Angie says

    These look delicious! They are going to my pinboard to make VERY soon!!!!

  3. Yum….you’re making me want to go and buy some pumpkin. I did share our favorite “cake” recipe above! I’m envious of your steal of organic pumpkin last year!! I don’t have a stock pile this year like I normally do!

  4. Jill says

    Saw that you were revising recipes due to having just one egg. It made me remember that flaxseed meak can be used as an egg substitute, just read that in the last month. Guessing you already may know that, but wanted to mention in case you haven’t. I haven’t tried it yet, but thought it was interesting.

  5. How did your family of 8 handle only 12 pumpkin cupcakes? Hopefully no one got hurt during the mad dash for the last 4. ๐Ÿ™‚

    This is a great linkup. Pumpkin and squash season is one of my favorite times of the year.

  6. Thanks for hosting. This may be my favorite topic yet! LOVE the pumpkin.

  7. Carrie Phelps says

    I go to the local Farmers Market every Saturday for these! It will be closing shortly & I now of the recipe, thank you!
    Carrie

  8. Cathy says

    http://tipnut.com/egg-substitutes/
    I used to bake without eggs, till my #1 outgrew her egg allergy so I was always looking for egg substitutes. You really cannot tell there are no eggs! This site is just one, I commonly used the vinegar/oil/baking powder. Another site said it was good for up to 3 eggs.

  9. melissa says

    Made these this morning! Yum! I doubled the batch (just used the whole can of pumpkin which was a little over 1.5 cups) and added mini chocolate chips. It made 2 dozen regular size and 1 dozen minis. My cooking time was quite a bit less though–just 16-17 for regular and 10 for mini.

  10. mmmm love Cream Cheese Frosting! Thanks for the linky party!

  11. Ang says

    They look so yummy in the picture! Reminds me of all the pumpkin muffins I ate with my second pregnancy.

  12. Nikki says

    I wish I had some cream cheese so I could make these this afternoon. Since it only makes twelve, that’s a great number for our family of five. Thanks for the recipe!!

    Hmmm. Maybe I could get my husband to pick up some cream cheese on the way home….

  13. I heart pumpkin.

  14. Kristen says

    Yummy! I had some cupcakes like these a while back and have been looking for a recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Oh, these look GOOD> I LOVE pumpkin and especially organic pumpkin. Thanks for the tip about waiting till after the holidays to stock up on this stuff,hopefully on sale ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ I was curious about the post title today. I’ve been away from blogging for awhile now, since Im ove…but the stuff in parantheses (URS: Pumpkin andSquash recipes)…is that part of your recipe filing system? Do you have a link that explains that a bit more? I think it’s interesting and am looking to organize my recipes at some point.
    Love andhugs from the ocean shores, Heather ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jessica Fisher says

      Every week I post an Ultimate Recipe Swap (URS) that is themed. This week is Pumpkin and Squash. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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