Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

This easy Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting is perfect for Fall! It’s flavored with pumpkin and lots of spice and great for frosting cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more!

Pumpkin spice buttercream photo Pinterest collage

An Easy Pumpkin Buttercream Recipe

When it comes to American buttercream recipes, they really couldn’t get any simpler to make. There’s no need to cook eggs or anything – just combine your butter (and shortening, if you chose to use it) with your powdered sugar and add your flavorings. Easy peasy!

The trick with buttercream though is to be sure that when you add your flavorings – which often end up being liquid or something similar – to not to add too much. Depending on what you’re using your frosting for, making it too thin can cause it to not hold it’s place or shape. But then making it too thick can make it difficult to pipe or spread, or even cause it to not stick well. So if you aren’t familiar with working with buttercream, it may take a few times to get the “feel” of the consistency you want, but in the meantime, check out my post on getting the right frosting consistency for a little help.

pumpkin spice buttercream frosting in mixer bowlbuttercream on mixer blade

Ingredients Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

So to make this Pumpkin Spice Buttercream, you’ll start with the same base ingredients as my Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

  • Butter
  • Shortening – This can be replaced with additional butter, if you prefer.
  • Powdered Sugar

The shortening can seem a little unusual, but it can always be replaced with additional butter. I just often find that an all-butter buttercream is super buttery, so a little shortening cuts that down a bit. It can also help the frosting stay a little more stable when warm. Even just at room temperature, buttercream made with some shortening just keeps better, in my opinion. But again, if you just really aren’t a fan, go with all butter.

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

Once you’ve combined your butter and shortening, you’ll add about half of the powdered sugar. You don’t want to add it all right away, or it’ll be too thick to stir and clump together.

After the powdered sugar is well mixed in and smooth, it’s time to start adding the flavoring and spices. Start by adding the pumpkin puree. Add three to four tablespoons to start. If you’re looking to have a little thicker buttercream, start with three. If you think you’ll want it a little thinner, you could start with four. Just remember – you can always add more liquid, but once it’s added, you can’t un-add it.

pumpkin frostingpumpkin spice buttercream piping

Stir the pumpkin puree in, along with your spices. Feel free to adjust the spices to your liking, but I personally love the combination of the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

Next, add the remainder of the powdered sugar. I’m often asked about reducing the amount of powdered sugar. I know it can seem like a lot, but in an american buttercream, it’s what gives the frosting it’s volume and helps with consistency. I don’t usually recommend reducing it – you’d end up with less frosting and possibly one that’s too thin – but you can. And in the case of this buttercream, it’s even tricker because if you reduce the powdered sugar, you likely won’t be able to add as much pumpkin puree before the frosting gets too thin. So you end up missing out on flavor. Your call though.

From there, just add more pumpkin puree until you have the consistency you want and your Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting is ready to go!

How to Use Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting

The flavor of this buttercream is delicious! Full of pumpkin and spice and great to add to your favorite desserts. Add it to the top of a pumpkin cupcake, vanilla cupcake or frost a vanilla cake or chocolate cake with it – the options are endless! And if you like, check out my tutorials for how to frost cupcakes and frosting a smooth cake to help you get the perfect look and finish with your buttercream!

pumpkin spice buttercream in container

More great buttercream and topping recipes:

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Homemade Strawberry Frosting – Two Ways
Homemade Whipped Cream

More pumpkin recipes to enjoy:

The BEST Pumpkin Bread
Spice Cake with Pumpkin Mascarpone Buttercream
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Layer Cake
Pumpkin Sheet Cake
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Classic Pumpkin Pie

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Photo of pumpkin buttercream frosting

Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: about 2 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American


This easy Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting is perfect for fall! It’s flavored with pumpkin and lots of spice and great for frosting cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more!



  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (95g) shortening (or additional butter)
  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 45 tbsp pumpkin puree*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • Pinch or two of salt


1. Combine butter and shortening in a large mixer bowl and beat until well combined.
2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
3. Add vanilla extract and 3-4 tablespoons of pumpkin puree and mix until well combined and smooth.
4. Add spices and mix until well combined.
5. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
6. Add additional pumpkin puree until desired consistency is reached. Check out my post on frosting consistency, if needed.


Use canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.

Keywords: pumpkin buttercream frosting, pumpkin spice buttercream frosting, pumpkin frosting, homemade buttercream frosting, how to make buttercream frosting, thanksgiving dessert recipe, thanksgiving dessert idea

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Recipe rating

  1. Marysue

    Hi, thank you for this scrumptious-looking frosting recipe!!  When I make anything that calls for pumpkin, I usually just cook a pumpkin in my Instant Pot, and use the fresh product; but if I should WANT to take advantage of the time-saving option of using can, I have a question: what is the difference in canned pumpkin purée and canned pumpkin pie filling? I hate I sound so stupid, but I really don’t know, and really want to know. 

    1. Lindsay

      The main difference between them is the pumpkin pie filling is already sweetened and has spices and stuff added. Since we’re already adding plenty of sugar and spices to this frosting, pumpkin purée is best because it is just pure pumpkin.

  2. Hannah@butterloveandcowboys.com

    Oh goodness! I need to make something to eat this frosting with STAT! Although, I’m not opposed to eating frosting by the spoonful :).

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!

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