Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes

I’m eating one of these pumpkin cupcakes as I type this post, and I can’t come up with too much to say other than “Yum”! 🙂 I love any and all pumpkin baked goods, and these cupcakes are no exception!

Mike and I both loved these cupcakes and they’re perfect for this time of year. The cupcake part is perfectly light and fluffy with lots of cinnamon-y pumpkin flavor. It’s actually really good all on it’s own!

The cream cheese icing, however, is definitely worth the extra work. It is sweetened with maple syrup and ended up being very soft and fluffy. The cream cheese/maple combination was absolutely perfect when paired with the pumpkin cupcakes.

I made these for a church potluck, and after Mike tasted one, he really had a hard time giving the rest of them away. Lucky for him, there were a few left over and he ended up with a second cupcake. 🙂

If you’re looking for a fun fall dessert, these would be a great choice – just be aware that you may want to keep them all for yourself!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting


1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin

Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup


For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350° (175°C). Line a cupcake pan with 18 liners.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl. Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth. Scoop the batter among the cupcake liners — you’re looking to get them 3/4 full. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely.

For the frosting: In a stand mixer beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat on medium until fluffy.

*This recipe also works beautifully as a layer cake. To make a slightly stiffer frosting that holds up better on a cake, add an extra stick of butter and reduce the cream cheese to 1 1/2 packages.

adapted from Leite's Culinaria, as seen on Smitten Kitchen

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  1. Gorgeous cupcakes! I’m planning on making pumpkin cupcakes for my coworkers for Thanksgiving brunch, can’t wait to try your recipe!

  2. What a beautiful fall dessert!

  3. They look as amazing as your FB post about them 🙂 Wish I could grab one from the screen & enjoy it.

  4. Looks so yummy… we will be trying these soon! Pinning them now!

  5. I’ll take one! Gorgeous swirls 🙂 I’m not quite to the pumpkin foods yet but this looks great.

  6. These are gorgeous! I can only imagine how delicious they are. I have pumpkin on my grocery list, looks like I need to buy more than 1 can!

  7. I was lucky enough to taste one of these (yes, Mike shared with me!) and they are DELICIOUS!!! Can’t wait to make them myself 🙂

  8. Pumpkin cupcakes are so perfect to serve in autumn. Yours look delicious. Thanks Megan for sharing your recipe 🙂

  9. I made roughly the same recipe for the maple cream cheese frosting the other day, but mine didn’t hardly taste like maple- do you have any suggestions?

    • Mine didn’t have an overly strong maple flavor either – it was very subtle. I did notice it got stronger the next day, though. If you want more of a maple flavor, maybe try maple extract?

  10. Good idea, I’ll have to pick some up. Thank you!

  11. These look absolutely perfect!

  12. These pumpkins look amazing! I definitely need to try these. Love that maple frosting too. Perfect for fall!

  13. These cupcakes look amazing! I was wondering if you would mind sharing the number of the icing tip you use to decorate the cupcakes? I’ve tried several of your other cupcake/icing recipes and every single one is absolutely delicious, but mine are never quite as pretty. 🙂

    • I think it was the Ateco 847. I have a set of large Ateco tips that I got off Amazon and I use one or another of them on pretty much every cupcake you see on here. The large tips make icing cupcakes almost effortless 🙂

  14. These look fabulous! 2 of my favorite flavors:-)

  15. Those look wonderful! Great pictures!

  16. These look so wonderful! I can’t wait to try them.

  17. Wow, these look yummy & soooo pretty!

  18. I agree with you Megan. This is an excellent use for canned pumpkin. They look incredible delicious and I wish I had one to chomp down on right now. Have been a bit behind over the last few weeks and just noticed your new design. It looks fantastic!!!!

  19. Oh Megan, these look gooooooood!

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  21. Anything with pumpkin gets two thumbs up from me!

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  23. Do these need to be stored in the fridge?

    • Hi Patricia – sorry for the delayed reply! I read somewhere that cream cheese icing is fine to sit out because of how the cream cheese reacts with the sugar, but I always store it in the fridge anyway, just to be safe. Plus, this icing gets pretty soft so it’s probably better off being kept cold. Just make sure to let the cupcakes come to room tempereature before serving – they will taste better that way. 🙂

  24. I have done a very similar receipe and love these – very nice!

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  28. I hope I didn’t already ask you this…if I did, forgive me. Can you tell me what size tip you used for the frosting? I came down with a cold, but I have to make these tomorrow !

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  30. My daughter has to bring the soccer snack tomorrow and she requested something pumpkin. I made these tonight and had to try one to make sure they were “all right”. Wow. I’m glad there are a couple extra for us to take home after the game 🙂 Delish!

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