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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

October 4, 2011

It’s October! I can finally make as many pumpkin treats as my heart desires! And believe me, by the time November rolls around my skin will be orange from all the pumpkin I’ve consumed. Win-win situation, if you ask me.

There are many things I love about Fall… I love Starbucks’ seasonal drinks, the crisp weather, the start of the holidays, and even watching college football (Mostly for this guy)… But I think my favorite thing about Fall is baking with pumpkin. And what better way to welcome Fall than to make Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting— because what’s better than small and cute cupcakes?!

As much as I love cream cheese frosting, I wanted to make sure the pumpkin was the star in this dessert. But there is a fine line between pumpkin bread in muffin form and cupcakes with a subtle pumpkin flavor profile. With a little trial and error, I perfected the pumpkin cupcake.

It is moist, full of pumpkin flavor, and fluffy enough to be excluded from the muffin/bread category.

Have a great Tuesday and celebrate the season with these Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes by the Bite-Sized Baker:

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups cake flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

½ cup buttermilk, room temperature

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 20 liners.
  2. In a stand mixer, or large bowl with a hand mixer beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).  Meanwhile, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time to the mixer until well incporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
  4. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Scoop the batter into the prepared pans—about ¾ full.  Bake for approximately 18 – 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then cool the cupcakes on racks completely.
  5. Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1.  Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time (scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally), and then vanilla; mix until smooth.
12 Comments leave one →
  1. Patti Young permalink
    October 6, 2011 10:38 am

    Claire…these look fantastic and I am going to try and make them. I did not know you were this unbelievable great baker!! Thanks for sharing your creations. Hope you are doing well.

    • October 6, 2011 1:04 pm

      Thank you so much, Patti! I really appreciate your comment! I hope you’re loving being a mother-in-law and Leland is treating you well!

  2. Brittany Ivanco permalink
    October 11, 2011 1:22 pm

    Thank you for this recipe Claire! I have been searching for a pumpkin cupcake recipe! Can not wait to make them!

    • October 11, 2011 2:34 pm

      Thank you, Brittany! You’ll have to let me know how you like them when you make them! Hope all is well with you 🙂

  3. Brea permalink
    October 15, 2011 6:21 pm

    How do you frost the cupcakes to make that pretty rose? I’m not a very experienced baker, as you can ascertain.

  4. October 17, 2011 10:22 am

    is the brown sugar packed or unpacked for this recipe

  5. Mac Harris permalink
    October 23, 2011 11:04 am

    I just baked a batch of these, and they are great. Thanks for sharing the recipe. It will go in my book of favorites.


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