The BEST Pumpkin Cupcakes
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Paired with classic sweet n’ tangy cream cheese frosting, these pumpkin cupcakes are incredibly fluffy and soft. Make it in regular or mini sizes!
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love the cupcakes:
Did you notice how pumpkin puree turns anything it touches into ultra-soft and fluffy goodness? And these cupcakes are no exception!
Texture-wise, these pumpkin cupcakes are simply the best: fluffy, moist and super soft!
And it’s incredibly easy to make! If my 5yo can make it, you can too.
The secret to these fluffy cupcakes:
A few things:
- Pumpkin puree, of course! Besides warm autumn flavors, pumpkin puree also adds ton of moisture in the batter!
- A splash of buttermilk makes a huge difference. If you don’t have any one hand, no need to run to the store. Here’re 2 ways to DIY buttermilk at home!
- And lastly, it’s important to whip the butter and sugar sufficiently to trap as much air bubbles in the batter. The key for this step is to have room temperature butter!
Important! Make sure butter, egg, buttermilk and pumpkin puree are all at room temperature. That way, your batter will mix better for ultra-fluffy cupcakes!
Why? Beating the softened butter with sugar, for example, will trap more air bubbles in the batter for fluffier cake, which is impossible with cold butter.
If you forgot to take the eggs out, simply place them in a mug full of hot tap water (not boiling!) for 5 minutes or so.
How to make this recipe:
It’s absolutely the easiest cupcakes ever!! As long as you’re working with ingredients at room temperature (about 30 minutes on the counter), this cupcake recipe is practically foolproof!
- Mix the dry ingredients.
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Then add the remaining wet ingredients.
- And finally combine wet and dry ingredients and bake!
You can find my complete cream cheese frosting tutorial here.
You can make adorable mini pumpkin cupcakes and decorate them as cute little ghosts for Halloween!
Make it special:
So, you want a bit more fancy version, top the whole cupcake with salted caramel sauce! OMG, it’s insanely good!
Well, how would it not be, right?
Store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Unfrosted pumpkin cupcakes freeze well too. Place the cooled cupcakes in a freezer bag and squeeze as much air as possible before freezing.
The BEST Pumpkin Cupcakes
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (55g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- ½ cup (120g) pumpkin puree Note 1
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk at room temperature Note 2
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For cream cheese frosting:
- 4 oz (110g) cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup (130g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Salted caramel sauce optional
- Candy eyes optional
To make cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a mini cupcake pan with 24 cupcake liners, or one regular muffin pan with 10 cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy for 1-2 minutes on a medium high speed.
- Add egg, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and beat for another 2 minutes, or until well combined. and mix until just combined. Don’t overmix to avoid dense and heavy cupcakes.
- Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Then stir in buttermilk, and finally add the remaining flour mixture. Mix the batter just until combined.
- Divide the batter into prepared liners 2/3 way up. (TIP: I like using this medium cookie scoop. 1 scoop per mini cupcake, or 3 scoops per regular cupcake.)
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. To test the doneness, insert a toothick in the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean, it ready. If it comes out with a little bit wet batter, bake for a minute or so more.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make frosting:
- In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy for 1 minute.
- Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed for a minute. Then increase the speed to medium high and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in vanilla extract and salt. Whip again until incorporated, 30 seconds.
To decorate cupcakes:
- To make mini ghost cupcakes, pipe a small dollop, then another smaller one on top. Place two candy eyes, or place two dots using a black icing gel, to decorate, if desired.
- For salted caramel pumpkin cupcakes, pipe cream cheese frosting with a well on top, and then spoon salted caramel sauce in the center.
Tips & Notes
– Store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
– Unfrosted pumpkin cupcakes freeze well too. Place the cooled cupcakes in a freezer bag and squeeze as much air as possible before freezing.
This recipe was originally published on September 8th, 2014.