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Best Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting could not be more simple! It makes one dozen cupcakes, but can easily be doubled to make two dozen. The tender cake paired with tangy cream cheese frosting is the perfect combination. These moist pumpkin cupcakes are great for any fall party or as an addition to your Thanksgiving dessert spread.

pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on a plate and some on the counter

Ingredients for Pumpkin Cupcakes

Not only are these pumpkin cupcakes super easy to make but I would argue that they are also the best pumpkin cupcakes! Any pumpkin lover is sure to enjoy this easy recipe that is full of fall flavor.

All you need is a handful of simple ingredients and pantry staples and you are ready to mix these cupcakes. For these fluffy pumpkin cupcakes you will need:

  • Unsalted Butter, melted
  • Eggs
  • Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)- you can use canned pumpkin puree or homemade pumpkin puree
  • Sugar
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Cinnamon

See the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe. For best results, do not substitute ingredients.

How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with paper cups. Then, to make the cupcakes, melt the butter in a large mixing bowl. Then, stir in the eggs and pumpkin. Be sure to combine well.

Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients: sugar, flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Divide the cupcake batter into 12 muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I like to use a large cookie scoop for scooping cupcakes and muffins! Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting!

pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on a plate

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting is super easy to make and also the best frosting to pair with pumpkin cake. All you need is a mixing bowl and hand mixer or a stand mixer. The three ingredients you will need are:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Milk

Be sure to use softened cream cheese. To soften cream cheese let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before mixing. Then, whip the cream cheese in the mixer until soft and smooth. Start on a low speed and increase as it softens.

Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix well. Finally, add the milk to adjust the consistency to your liking. For a thicker frosting, add less cream cheese. Use a knife or piping bag to add the frosting to your cupcakes. We like to use a piping bag and round piping tip to make a simple swirl on top of the cupcakes.

Once your frosting is made and your cupcakes are cool top with as much frosting as you desire and then be sure to keep the cupcakes stored in the refrigerator so the cream cheese does not go bad!

pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on a plate and some on the counter from overhead

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I store these cupcakes at room temperature?

Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Once the cupcakes are frosted they should be stored in the refrigerator to keep the cream cheese frosting from spoiling.

My frosting came out lumpy, can I fix it?

The best way to avoid lumpy frosting be sure to use softened cream cheese and whip it until it is sure smooth. Also, sift the powdered sugar so it doesn’t create additional lumps. To help smooth lumpy frosting, continue to whip until lumps are gone. You can also try adding a touch of warm water to encourage the cream cheese to soften. Thankfully, lumpy frosting will still taste delicious and is totally usable.

Can I make mini cupcakes with this recipe?

Of course, this recipe should yield 24-36 mini cupcakes. We recommend using cupcake liners so they are easy to handle and reduce the baking time to 12-15 minutes. For perfect cupcakes, be sure not to overbake. Start on the low end of time and check before baking longer.

Can I use pumpkin pie spice seasoning instead of cinnamon?

Absolutely! This will give you more of the traditional pumpkin flavor we have all come to associate with pumpkin. Pumpkin spice cupcakes will pair perfectly with the cream cheese frosting.

I don’t feel like making frosting, do I have another option?

Yes! Try a store bought cream cheese frosting that you can buy in the baking aisle. Homemade cream cheese frosting isn’t too hard to make but can absolutely be substituted with store bought frosting.

Can I use this recipe to bake a cake instead of cupcakes?

Yes, you can use this recipe to bake a pumpkin cake. We would recommend using a 9×13 pan or 2 8 inch cake rounds for this recipe.

Can I add chocolate chips to this recipe?

Yes, we know the combination of chocolate and pumpkin is delicious! Try adding 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips to the cake batter before baking or sprinkle them on top of the cream cheese frosting.

pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on a plate close up

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Want more dessert recipes? Here are a few to take a peek at: Peanut Butter Reese’s Pieces Cookies, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chickpea Blondies, Nutella Chickpea Brownies, Italian Cookies, Cream Cheese Logs and Apple Pie.

pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on a plate and some on the counter

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

These super light Pumpkin Cupcakes are topped with a delicious and creamy Cream Cheese Frosting. The cupcakes are even delicious on their own without the frosting.


For the cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 can pumpkin 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 

For the frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1-3 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the melted butter with the eggs and pumpkin. Whisk to combine well.
  3. Add sugar, flour, baking soda and cinnamon and stir to combine.
  4. Divide batter into 12 muffin cups.
  5. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let cupcakes cool before frosting!
  7. To make frosting, beat softened cream cheese until smooth. Mix with a hand or stand mixer until creamy.
  8. Add sifted powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add milk until desired consistency is reached. Add less milk for thicker frosting.
  9. Once cupcakes are cool top with frosting. You can use a knife or piping bag to add frosting.
  10. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator once frosted.


Recipe can be doubled to make 24 cupcakes!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 36gProtein: 4g

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