pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Fall flavors have such wonderful elements that evoke feelings of warmth and comfort and, unsurprisingly, when the temperature begins to drop, I often have the urge to bake something. It is the time for hot apple cider, mulled wine, and warm goodies from the oven, like these cupcakes. Their sweetness is not overpowering, and I’ve found that the cream cheese frosting complements the overall flavor quite well. Pumpkin and spices like nutmeg and cloves are particularly homey, which makes these the perfect fall cupcakes!

On certain Fridays, we watch Serbian movies and this was recently the case, and I thought everyone might like a little cupcake snack to go along with the film (well, I knew I would really enjoy eating some cupcakes during the movie and I figured I should find some way to give them away before I ate them all). The cupcakes themselves were so delicious that my husband had eaten one or two of them before I could frost them. I may or may not have eaten one as well.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 3/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground allspice
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 sticks salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
after adding the pumpkin puree, the batter will have a noticeably orange tint


  1. Have all the ingredients at room temperature, position a rack in the lower third of an oven, and preheat to 325°F. Prepare a muffin tin by either greasing and flouring the wells, tapping out extra flour or by putting in cupcake liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the brown and granulated sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree and beat until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
  6. Put the batter in the muffin tin, filling each well two-thirds of the way.
  7. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 17-20 minutes.
If you make these cupcakes and use a different kind of frosting, let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts about additional combinations. Perhaps something with cinnamon… yum!
frosted cupcakes, all set for sharing
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 8 T (1 stick) butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the softened butter and beat until combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Frost cupcakes as desired. Leftover frosting can be refrigerated and used to spread on graham crackers or banana bread or any number of delicious foods.
cream cheese frosting, ready to go on the cupcakes

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s spiced pumpkin cake.


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