Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

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Super cute and super easy mini pumpkin spice cupcakes, with a delicious cream cheese frosting to top. Make the perfect fall treat and holiday dessert!

Mini orange colour cupcakes in a group on autumn leaves

Take a look at these; aren’t they just the cutest little pumpkin spice cupcakes you’ve ever seen? There’s something about cupcakes that stand them apart from regular cakes whilst they are little parcels of cake and frosting all bundled up just for one, no sharing; they’re also just utterly cute in comparison to a cake.

And if you scale them down further to mini cupcake form, they just make me smile… and the best bit? You can pop them in, in one, or just nibble on them slowly. Cupcakes are officially the cutest cakes and if you’ve been following the blog for a while you’ll know that they’re definitely my favourite to bake too!

Ever since I’d made my own homemade pumpkin spice mix last month, I’d been wanting to put it to use and whip up some autumn inspired pumpkin bakes as well as try my own pumpkin spice latte. So with a list of potential ideas I set off to find my ingredients, a list that include pumpkin puree. That shouldn’t be so hard to sort, right?

Wrong! Although I’m convinced that every year from mid-September onwards, the supermarkets here have pumpkin puree everywhere, there was not a can to be found! I searched up and low, near and far, tried every supermarket within an 20 mile radius and must have clocked up a significant number of miles. Still I could not find that elusive ingredient!

A pumpkin spice cupcake with orange buttercream and green sugar decorations

I’m sure you’re asking yourself now, why didn’t she just use normal pumpkin and roast it down? I’ll tell you why, ultimately  I’m not a fan of pumpkin nor butternut squash or any sort of gourd really, even pumpkin soup doesn’t do it for me. So you see, a pumpkin would be a little excessive. I did track down Libby’s Pumpkin Puree on Amazon but I didn’t want a box of it that would then sit in the cupboard never to be touched again.

So I decided to do my own thing… and went with pumpkin spice cupcakes, without any pumpkin in them!

As all the recipes I’ve tried and made before used canned pumpkin puree, this was going to need a little work and experimental; it seemed to work as these mini pumpkin spice cupcakes went down an absolute storm in the office.

A group of pumpkin spice cupcakes on maple leaves

If you’ve got a pumpkin spice cupcake recipe then don’t be fooled into thinking that you just need to remove the pumpkin puree; it’s there for a reason. Not just because it’s pumpkin, but also it gives a richness that carries the spices through the cake.

To give my cupcakes a depth for my pumpkin spice mix, I switched out white caster sugar and replaced it with a soft light brown sugar, and added a tablespoon of sticky dark treacle. With a few little other tweaks here and there to make sure they were still nice and light, and after a couple of attempts, I was happy enough to unleash these onto my colleagues for taste testing. The fact that they didn’t last long, tells me that I got them just right!

To make sure that the spiciness didn’t vanish, I decided that the best way to frost the pumpkin spice cupcakes was with a classic cream cheese frosting! I’m pretty much a convert to cream cheese frosting rather than vanilla at the moment. It has the right balance of sweet and creamy, without the sweetness taking over like vanilla sometimes can.

The tang of the cream cheese cuts and perfectly compliments the pumpkin spice. Once mixed up, all you need to do is pop it in a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe into a big, puffy round on top.  Awww don’t like just look like  mini pumpkins!

A group of pumpkin spice cupcakes on maple leaves

Top tips for small but perfectly formed pumpkin spice cupcakes

Mini cupcakes are the perfect bitesize treat for adults, or just the right size for little ones. They also make fantastic bakey canapes as well! Whilst they’re just a mini version of their regular sized big brother, there’s a few things that will help you get spot-on pumpkin spice cupcakes each and every time.

  • Mini Cupcake Cases – I searched everywhere for a decent sized, mini case. The Wilton ones I found were too small and better suited to truffles or candy. But these ones from Lakeland are practically perfect. They don’t get greasy, they’re sturdy and they fit perfectly in my mini cupcake pan.
  • And on that note – Mini Muffin/Cupcake Pan – make sure you get one that’s deep, so the cupcakes don’t spread too much when they’re baking. The Wilton one has 24 holes and is a great fit in my oven. You’re not judging with small fiddly 12 hole pans either. This is well worth the investment.
  • Don’t overfill your cases – it’s so easy to overfill them because they don’t look full enough. We’re only making mini cupcakes so go easy on the batter – 1.5 teaspoons of batter mix is just about right.
  • Gently bake your mini cupcakes – they will take less time than regular cupcakes. Take a look about 12 minutes and see how they feel. If you get that springy feeling then they’re good to come out. If not, leave them in for a little longer; an extra 3 minutes max should do it.
  • Pumpkin Spice Mix is easy to get hold of in America, or so I believe, but no so easy over here in the UK. You can pick up spice mix online or why not head over and check out my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Mix. I bet you’ve go most of the ingredients in the cupboard.

Looking for more recipe inspiration?

How about taking a look at these other cupcake recipes… Did you know you can half these regular cupcake recipes and make them mini instead!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

5 from 4 votes
Serves : 24 mini cupcakes
Super cute and super easy mini pumpkin spice cupcakes, with a delicious cream cheese frosting to top. Make the perfect fall treat and holiday dessert!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


For the Cupcakes

For the Frosting

To Decorate


  • To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 170C and line a mini cupcake tray with 24 mini cupcake cases.
  • Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until softened. Alternatively, you can make the cake batter, in a large mixing bowl, by hand or with an electric hand whisk.
  • Add the light brown sugar to the softened butter and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the creamed mixture. Beat well between adding each egg. Add the treacle or dark corn syrup, and vanilla extract then mix until well combined.
  • Sift the flour, pumpkin spice mix and baking powder together, and add to the mixture. Gently mix together until the cake batter is soft and smooth.
  • Use 2 teaspoons to divide the batter between the cupcake cases, approximately 1.5 spoons per case.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add half of the icing sugar, vanilla extract and cream cheese. Beat until smooth.
  • Add the orange food gel, remaining icing sugar and cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Be careful not to overbeat the frosting as the cream cheese will slacken and maybe runny when piping.
  • To decorate the cupcakes: Fill a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle with the frosting. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and then finish off with a stem and vine made from the green sugar paste.


  • If you prefer, you can use this recipe to make regular sized cupcakes – this will make 6-8 cupcakes.
  • The cupcakes will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container.


Serving: 1cupcakeCalories: 181kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 2gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 83mgPotassium: 63mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 294IUCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg


The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.

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Hi I’m Lou

… Dessert obsessed baker, busy 9-to-5er, and the recipe developer and photographer behind Crumbs and Corkscrews. Based in the UK, I live in the beautiful Cotswolds. I’m so glad to have you here with me and I can’t wait for you to start trying some of my recipes.

8 thoughts on “Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes”

  1. 5 stars
    I also have pumpkin spice cupcakes on my blog but they are not nearly as lovely as these! A fantastic autumnal treat. Thank you for bringing it to #CookBlogShare:)

    • Thanks Monkia! I’ll head on over and check out your recipe too. They are certainly a fantastic autumn treat, and as they’re mini ones you don’t feel as guilty, hehe!

  2. 5 stars
    These are lovely! I’m so excited that it’s pumpkin spice time!

    • Thanks Donna! I’m excited for pumpkin spice time too; and also gingerbread spice that closely follows it, hehe! Both make me feel so cosy and warm, even when its frosty outside.

  3. These are so cute and just the right size for popping straight in!

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