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+ servings
3 mini pumpkin muffins on a white plate topped with domed cream cheese frosting and candy eyes.

The BEST Pumpkin Cupcakes

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 24 mini cupcakes
Calories: 102kcal
Author: Shinee
Paired with classic sweet n' tangy cream cheese frosting, these pumpkin cupcakes are incredibly fluffy and soft. Make it in regular or mini sizes!
Print Recipe


For 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.
  • Transfer the frosting into a pastry bag with a piping tip (I used Wilton 2A round tip for mini ghost cupcakes and Ateco French star tip for regular cupcakes.)

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.


Yield: This recipe makes 24 mini cupcakes, or 10 regular cupcakes.
Note 1: Be sure to use pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. You can use canned or homemade pumpkin puree. TIP: For homemade pumpkin puree, I prefer a flavorful squash over sugar pumpkins for better taste.
Note 2: 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!
Storing Instructions:
- 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.


Serving: 1frosted mini cupcake | Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 984IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg