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A pumpkin cupcake with a bite taken out of it.

Perfect Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • Author: Lindsay Conchar
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These fluffy pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are always a favorite during the fall! Make them for a Halloween party, for Thanksgiving dessert, or just because!


For the Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup (168g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (233g) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cups (163g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (86g) butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the Cupcakes

  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, eggs and pumpkin puree to a mixer bowl and mix until well combined.
  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. Fill each cupcake liner about ¾ full.
  6. Bake pumpkin cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Remove cupcakes from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

Make the Frosting & Assemble

  1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixer bowl and mix until well combined and smooth.
  2.  Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined and smooth.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.


  • To store. Since these cupcakes are made with cream cheese frosting, they should be kept in the fridge. Particularly, in an airtight container. Enjoy them within 3-4 days and bring them to room temperature before serving.
  • To freeze. Frozen cupcakes stay good for 2-3 months, with or without the frosting. Just be sure to keep them in a freezer-safe container. Thaw them out in the fridge and bring them to room temperature before enjoying.


  • Serving Size: 1 Cupcake
  • Calories: 388
  • Sugar: 46.3 g
  • Sodium: 290.4 mg
  • Fat: 15.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 59.2 g
  • Protein: 4.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 41.2 mg

Keywords: pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, pumpkins spice cupcakes