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Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft and irresistibly fluffy pumpkin cupcakes, complete with homemade cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin pie has met its match, with these simple pumpkin cupcakes perfect for any occasion.

Light, fluffy, and ultra soft… Once you see how easy they are to make, and how absolutely delicious they taste, you’ll never want to buy a boxed cake mix again.

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Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes

What Makes These The Best Pumpkin Cupcakes?

The trick to making the best pumpkin cupcake recipe is all about the spices; or more importantly, the amount you use.

In my years of baking, I’ve discovered so many recipes will underutilize spices because people are afraid to use them, and the recipes instead include extra sugar to mask a lack of flavor.

Chances are you’ve probably encountered some of these baked goods in your life. Their taste will be sweet but nondescript, and if someone asked you to pick out any distinct flavor notes, it would be very difficult to do so.

This pumpkin cupcake recipe calls for a full 2 teaspoons of cinnamon plus a 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice for just a cup of flour, which is about double what many pumpkin desserts of similar size will tell you to use.

It’s certainly more than you’d find in a boxed mix. And the difference in flavor is striking. So many people have told me these are the best cupcakes they’ve ever tried, and now you know the reason why!

I’ve always argued that anyone can make food taste good if they use enough sugar, oil, or butter. The real challenge is making food taste good without relying on these ingredients as a crutch.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcake Frosting Options:

Almond Butter

Coconut Butter

Coconut Whipped Cream

Vegan Marshmallow Fluff

Powdered Sugar

Coconut Caramel

Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)

Or you can totally eat the healthy pumpkin cupcakes unfrosted and call them pumpkin muffins instead, perhaps with some mini chocolate chips or raisins thrown into the batter if your heart so desires.

Leftover Canned Pumpkin? Make Pumpkin Oatmeal

Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

There are thousands of recipes for basic cream cheese frosting out there. Below is how I like to make mine, and just use vegan brands of cream cheese and butter (available in many regular grocery stores nowadays) for vegan cream cheese frosting.

8 oz cream cheese

4 oz salted butter

2 cups powdered sugar (or sugar free powdered sugar)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

optional sprinkle of cinnamon or a few drops maple extract

Let cream cheese and butter come to room temperature. Beat all ingredients with either an electric mixer or stand mixer (or by hand, which won’t be as whipped and fluffy but still works). If too thick, very slowly add a little milk of choice; if too thin, add additional powdered sugar.

Spread on the cupcakes with either a knife or piped through an icing bag (I used a 1M icing tip). Cover and refrigerate leftover frosting for up to a week. The recipe makes about 2 cups of frosting.

The Easy Secret Best Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe
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Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

A soft and fluffy homemade pumpkin cupcake recipe, complete with cream cheese frosting.
5/5 (18)
Total Time 18 minutes
Yield 9 cupcakes


  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tsp white or cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp oil or additional pumpkin
  • 1 cup spelt, white, or bob’s gf flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar, unrefined if desired
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or additional cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp each: baking soda and baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt, just over level


  • *While I prefer both the taste and texture of the oil version, many readers have written in to say they love subbing out the oil for additional pumpkin instead. So you can definitely try this substitution at your own risk and might still love the results.
    Preheat oven to 350. Line a cupcake pan with liners. In a large bowl, whisk first 5 ingredients. Don’t forget the vinegar. Let sit at least 10 minutes, and sift remaining ingredients in a separate bowl while you wait. Pour dry into wet, stir just until evenly mixed, and smooth into the liners. Only fill up 2/3 of the way, because they will rise and you don’t want them to burst and then sink (although if that happens, just hide with frosting!). Bake 18-19 minutes on the center rack. Let cool. These taste even better the next day, and the liners peel off easily after a day as well. If desired, frost with the cream cheese frosting recipe listed earlier in this post. Or top with coconut butter or your favorite frosting of choice.
    View Nutrition Facts


The recipe was adapted from my Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes and these Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes.

Have you made this recipe?

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More Healthy Fall Favorites:

Chocolate Banana Snack Cake

Chocolate Banana Snack Cake

healthy chocolate pudding

Healthy Chocolate Pudding

crustless pumpkin pie crop

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

5/5 (18)

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Published on October 15, 2018

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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  1. Joanne says

    Does the nutritional info include the frosting? My data (without oil) worked out to 53 cal per muffin, my data for the frosting was 83 calories per muffin. They are super delicious, just wondered what you used in order to get them so low calorie.

  2. Tracey says

    I made these today and added walnuts and dark chocolate chips… no need for frosting! These are delightful and perfect for Fall weather! Love them!

  3. Raina says

    Katie, curious why you dont use your homemade cream cheese in the cream cheese frosting recipe. Have you tried? I’ve been looking for a stable cream cheese frosting that doesn’t use store bought vegan cream cheese and its seems to be the vegan unicorn of baking.

  4. Tanya says

    These were SO FRICKING GOOD. I did the extra pumpkin instead of oil and they were so moist and soft and delicious, especially with some cream cheese frosting. My family now says it’s their favorite dessert.

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