Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These moist Pumpkin Cupcakes are topped with cream cheese frosting! They are light, fluffy and full of pumpkin flavor and pumpkin spice! An easy pumpkin recipe made with all brown sugar for flavor that really shines!

Moist Pumpkin Cupcakes decorated

Pumpkin Cupcakes recipe

There are few things that excite me more every year than when pumpkin season comes around. I quickly buy all things pumpkin spice at the store and then end up disappointed from the lack of flavor. For me, the best pumpkin things are ones that are flavored not only with pumpkin spice but also with pumpkin. One might assume that pumpkin spice includes pumpkin flavor, but that’s not always the case and it’s so sad.

But I’m happy to say these cupcakes are flavored with plenty of both pumpkin and pumpkin spice. I have a variety of pumpkin cupcakes on the blog, but none that are as straight forward as these pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheesecake frosting. They are classic, totally necessary and SO good!

The other great thing about these cupcakes is that they are so shareable, which a total necessity this time of year. It’s all about holiday parties and bringing desserts to work and eating your weight in all the delicious flavors of the season. Well these pumpkin cupcakes are here to help you with your holiday goals. 😉

Best Moist Pumpkin Cupcakes recipeFavorite Moist Pumpkin Cupcakes

How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes

So these pumpkin cupcakes are not only delicious, they are also super easy to put together. You are simply combining wet and dry ingredients, then adding your pumpkin puree. It really couldn’t get easier.

To get started, you’ll grab your brown sugar. I love the deep flavor that brown sugar gives desserts and these pumpkin cupcakes are no exception. They deepen the flavor and bring out the pumpkin and spices that we love so much.

Next, you’ll add vegetable oil to the brown sugar. I love the oil in these cupcakes over butter to produce a crazy moist cupcake that stays moist for days. Vanilla and eggs are also added, then everything is combined.

The dry ingredients are up next, which I always like to combine in a separate bowl. It ensures that everything is well combined before adding to the wet ingredients so that you don’t end up with pockets of certain ingredients that don’t get mixed well throughout the batter.

Included with your flour, baking powder and baking soda mixture are your spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. I’ve messed around with adding and subtracting certain ones and using different amounts and these are just as I love them to be with lots of flavor, but not so much that it over powers the pumpkin. Perfection!

And then of course salt. Can’t forget that! It adds flavor too!

And finally – the real star here – the pumpkin. There’s a full cup of pumpkin in these pumpkin cupcakes to ensure lots of moisture and plenty of flavor! Gimme all the pumpkin!

Once the cupcakes are baked, it’s time for the classic cream cheese frosting. It uses a combination of butter and cream cheese with some powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Classic. Simple. Delicious. Perfect for pairing with pumpkin cupcakes.

I finished off my cupcakes with some little pumpkin candies, but you could also used crushed up pecans or something else festive. The bottom line is that no matter how you decorate them, they will be moist, delicious and perfect for fall and the holidays.

Moist Pumpkin Cupcakes displayedVery Best Moist Pumpkin Cupcakes

You might also like these pumpkin dessert ideas:

Pumpkin Sheet Cake
Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Cupcakes
Pumpkin Layer Cake
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Pumpkin Cream Pies

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image of Moist Pumpkin Cupcake with bite taken out

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes, plus cooling time
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These Moist Pumpkin Cupcakes are topped with cream cheese frosting! They are light, fluffy and full of pumpkin flavor and pumpkin spice!



Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (144g) light brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups (163g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (233g) canned pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tbsp (86g) butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
2. Add the oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract and eggs to a mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth.
5. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until well combined.
6. Fill each cupcake liner about ¾ full.
7. Bake pumpkin cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
8. Remove cupcakes from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
9. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter and mix until smooth.
10. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
11. Add the vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
12. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
13. Use a large round piping tip to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. To see how to pipe the dome frosting I used, see my cupcake frosting tutorial.
14. Top the cupcakes with a candy pumpkin, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve and serve at room temperature. Cupcakes are best if eaten within 3-4 days.

Keywords: pumpkin cupcakes, easy pumpkin cupcakes, fluffy pumpkin cupcakes, cream cheese frosting, pumpkin desserts, easy pumpkin cupcakes


collage of Moist Pumpkin Cupcakes

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Recipe rating

  1. Ashleigh Rizzo

    Delicious cupcake, but my tops were so domed, there was no way I could have frosted them. I ended up pushing them down with a dish towel, while still hot and that did the trick. Are these meant to have a big dome? If not, what could have went wrong. Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      It’s hard to say without seeing them if you got unusually high domes, but they do normally have domes on them. I personally prefer having a little dome, rather than flat.

  2. morgan

    Have you made this recipe for a layer cake, if so what would the alterations be?
    i have made a bunch of your recipes and they are all so yummy! thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, they can. You can either make the cupcakes and leave those at room temperature and then add frosting later, or make them completely and refrigerate them. I would serve them a little closer to room temperature though instead of being cold.

    1. Lindsay

      I would say that these are nice and moist without adding buttermilk. You could certainly try adding it, but sometimes adding too much liquid actually makes your cake more dense.

  3. Faith

    I have 2 questions!!!! My first question is what is the best substitute for vanilla extract? I am asking because I have a family member that is allergic to vanilla extract. And can I use fresh pumpkin from a pie pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure what the allergy is to, but would an imitation vanilla extract work? You could also just leave it out. And yes, fresh pumpkin should be fine.

  4. Renee

    I made these over the weekend and they came out delicious. It was a really simple recipe. I didn’t have nutmeg, cloves or ginger, so I subbed those 3 spices for 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice and they definitely still had that pumpkin spice flavor. The next day I ate one straight from the refrigerator without letting it come to room temp and I actually really enjoyed it chilled to. It reminded me of pumpkin rolls my aunt used to make that were eaten chilled. Yum ????. Thanks for the recipe Lindsay!

  5. Lelia

    Made these for my friend birthday and they were the bomb!!! This was the first time I have ever made anything pumpkin and they turned out perfect. My friend asked how I got them so moist. I just smiled!!!lol

  6. Ellen @ Cookware Diary

    It looks delicious and something unique for me to try soon 🙂
    Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  7. Brian

    These are RIDICULOUSLY GOOD. The cupcakes were so moist and dense and perfect. I am not a fan of cream cheese frosting, but I beat this for an extra 2-3 minutes after smooth, and it was so light and airy and creamy, amazing! I’m going to have to make this at least three more times this fall.

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12