Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - A perfect fall treat! | browneyedbaker.com

[This recipe was originally posted in November 2009; I have revamped the recipe, as well as taken new photos. These amazing cupcakes deserved an upgrade!]

I first made pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting nearly five years ago, and I have been loving that flavor combination ever since. While I loved the old cupcakes, I thought that they were a bit too heavy on the spices, causing them to overpower the pumpkin, which I wanted to shine. This updated recipe tastes almost like pumpkin pie in cupcake form – a lot of fabulous pumpkin flavor with some subtle spice undertones. Throw a dollop (well, a little more than a dollop) of cream cheese on top, and you have one utterly fantastic fall dessert.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - A perfect fall treat! | browneyedbaker.com

I mentioned it the first time I made pumpkin cupcakes, and it bear repeating – if you’re looking to add another flavor profile to these cupcakes, adding some maple syrup to the frosting would absolutely take them over the top. I used a similar filling for the pumpkin whoopie pies that I made four years ago. The maple is an awesome complement to both pumpkin and cream cheese, so if you’re a fan, go on ahead and throw some syrup (make sure it’s pure maple syrup!) into your frosting. I’d probably use 2 to 3 tablespoons to start, and taste to see if it’s flavored to your liking. If the consistency is a little too soft, add another ½ to 1 cup of powdered sugar.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - A perfect fall treat! | browneyedbaker.com

If you’re a pumpkin fanatic, a cream cheese frosting fanatic, a fall fanatic, a Thanksgiving fanatic, or any combination thereof, you will absolutely, positively, without a doubt adore these cupcakes.

Make sure you have some folks to share them with, or you might just want to eat them all yourself. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - A perfect fall treat! | browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Sweet Onion and Parmesan Dip
Two years ago: Apple Fritter Doughnuts
Three years ago: Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
Four years ago: Homemade Cracker Jack

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 18 to 22 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Slightly-spiced pumpkin cupcakes piled high with cream cheese frosting.


For the Cupcakes:
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
¾ cup canned pumpkin
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar


1. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, both sugars and the vegetable oil until completely combined, making sure to break up any chunks of brown sugar so no lumps remain. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour mixture in two additions, folding with a rubber spatula until no flour pockets remain.

4. Divide the batter between the baking cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

5. Make the Frosting: With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese, vanilla and salt and continue to beat for an additional 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar gradually and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

6. Using a decorating bag and tip (I used the Ateco #827 tip) or an offset spatula, frost the tops of the cupcakes. (If you like the frosting piled high as pictured, this is the perfect amount of frosting. If you prefer less, you can scale the frosting down.) The cupcakes can stay at room temperature for a few hours, but should be refrigerated for longer-term storage up to 4 days.


280 Responses to “Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on November 2, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Oh delish! I love, love, love pumpkin cakes and muffins. I just made some pumpkin cupcakes this wknd, too. I am so embarrassed that they are GONE and I ate them all. My hubby doesn’t do pumpkin. Ooops! Great recipe!! 🙂


  2. sherri on November 2, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    They sound perfect! Simply delicious.


  3. Peterson Patricia on November 2, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Those look so good!!!


  4. Angie on November 2, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Those look so good, great Halloween treat!


  5. Chelsea on November 2, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I love how you are blogging everyday-I am new to your blog and check for updates everyday and now there will be! Yea! So far I have tried your chicken Alfredo, Chili, and chicken and dumplings-we have loved all of them. keep up the good work!


  6. theUngourmet on November 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I have a hard time picking a favorite pumpkin recipe. I love them all! These cupcakes look positively scrumptious and the frosting looks so creamy! Wonderful!!


  7. lululu on November 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    nothing could go wrong with pumpkin baked good plus cream cheese frosting!
    your cupcakes looks so irresistible!


  8. Alicia Louwerse on November 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    I just made the Apple Spice Cupcakes from the same book…now I’ll have to try the Pumpkin ones! The fall flavours are so yummy!


  9. Liz Brooks on November 2, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Love pumpkin cake!


  10. Kerstin on November 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    These do look like the perfect treat to bring to a party! I can’t get enough pumpkin recipes!


  11. stephchows on November 2, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    you are always making me hungry hehe


  12. wasabi prime on November 2, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Adorable! I love candy corn as decoration. We have so much of it leftover from halloween I need to figure out a way to incorporate it into something… other than my afternoon snack!


  13. Julia on November 2, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Your pictures are incredible. They make me want to curl up on the couch with a pumpkin spice latte…and of course a pumpkin cream cheese cupcake.


  14. Christy on November 2, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    LOVE to hear that you’ll be posting everyday! I look forward to seeing all the delicious posts to come! These cupcakes look amazing and I love the frosting…mmmm irresistable.


  15. Pam on November 2, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Wholly yum and beautiful!



  16. Chris on November 2, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Love the candy corn decorations.


  17. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on November 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Cute cupcakes… I love using seasonal candy to decorate cupcakes!


  18. Hanaa on November 2, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Very cute cupcakes!! Great idea on adding maple syrup to the cream cheese frosting next time. I’ll have to try that. I did something similar where I added molasses to my cream cheese frosting. It was great! Highlighted the caramel undertone in my pumpkin cake (http://hanaaskitchen.blogspot.com/2009/11/hcb-pumpkin-cake-with-molasses-flavored.html).


  19. Sarah L on November 2, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    those look delish! i just had a super yummy pumpkin muffin this weekend at a wedding shower… i asked for the recipe and was shocked by how simple they are: a spice cake mix, 1 can pumpkin, 1 bag cinnamon chips… stir together and bake in a muffin tin… not sure how long… so.good.


  20. Jackie on November 3, 2009 at 1:49 am


    How much maple syrup to add to cream cheese frosting and what grade of maple syrup Grade A, Grade B etc.


  21. Michelle on November 3, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Hi Jackie,

    I would use 3-4 Tablespoons of maple syrup – Grade A.


  22. Steph on November 3, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Your decorating skills are amazing. I love the way you did your swirl.


  23. Michelle on November 3, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Thank you Steph! 🙂


    • Hillery on July 7th, 2010 at 1:49 am

      What tip # did you use to get that swirl? Thanks


  24. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite on November 3, 2009 at 11:34 am

    These look amazing and I bet they taste pretty good too!


  25. Alta on November 3, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I too am jealous of your decorating skills! These look wonderful, and I can imagine the smell of pumpkin and spice now!


  26. Bibiana Bailey on November 3, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    These look and sound absolutely delicious.

    I didn’t care for pumpkin muffins till I had one at Starbucks few months ago and I was hooked.


  27. Rachel on November 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Great pictures! I’ll have to try these.


  28. bridget {bake at 350} on November 3, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Can’t.Get.Enough.Pumpkin! These look scrumptious!


  29. Tracey on November 3, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I made these recently too and loved them! I could easily eat that cream cheese frosting with a spoon – yum!! Yours look wonderful. I love that you decorated them in a couple of different ways.


  30. Lydia on November 4, 2009 at 8:07 am

    These look wonderful. They’re making me hungry!


  31. Carol on November 4, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Wow! Those look yummy! I just froze 5 pounds of pumpkin that I steamed so I’m looking for some good recipes.

    One of my favorites that always gets raves is Butterscotch Pumpkin Pie. It’s a little involved but completely worth it!! I do cheat on the crust though… http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pumpkin-Butterscotch-Pie-350490


  32. Jessica on November 4, 2009 at 9:42 am

    I love pumpkin, but a lot of recipes, such as this, calls for buttermilk. Can I substitute whole milk?


  33. Ali on November 4, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Adorable! And I love the cute decor!

    I made some pumpkin cupcakes last weekend, and added some cinnamon to the cream cheese frosting. Definitely a fun fall dessert! 🙂 http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/pumpkin-cupcakes-with-cinnamon-cream-cheese-frosting/


  34. Kris on November 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I made these cupcakes but found that in the recipe it did not mention where to incorporate the flour & spice mixture…


  35. Michelle on November 5, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Kris – Thanks for catching that! I left out the words “flour & spice mixture” but it is added at the end, with the buttermilk, before the pumpkin. I have edited the recipe so that it is now correct.


    • Rachel on October 1st, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      I don’t see buttermilk anywhere in ingredients or instructions. How much?


  36. Mr. P on November 6, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    They look amazing. You are very good with a piping bag, I have to say. Mine always look rubbish!

    I love the Martha book by the way. I have Cookies as well, and think she gives great inspiration.

    I’ll be back. I love the blog. Nice design and great content. A+!!


  37. Patricia on November 6, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Two Girls Cooking loves your website. We love your photos and your food always looks amazing. We have a little something posted on our site we’d like for you to stop by and get!
    Let us know when you have seen it.
    Two Girls Cooking


  38. Michelle on November 9, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Hi Jessica,

    You could use whole milk, but if you don’t want to buy buttermilk just for the sake of one recipe, you can easily make your own buttermilk. Take 1 Tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice and put into a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to fill it to the 1 cup line. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and then use as much as you need.


  39. Lucy on November 21, 2009 at 1:03 am

    I am trying this recipe for thanksgiving, can’t wait! One clarification, am I supposed to use 1.5 cups of pumpkin purée or 1.5 cans? If it’s cans, what size can (ie 14 ounces)? Thanks!


  40. Jaylene on November 22, 2009 at 7:55 am

    if i wanted to add the maple syrup to the frosting do i still add the vanilla extract as well?


  41. Michelle on November 23, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Hi Lucy,

    You will just love these, they are fabulous! You will want to use 1.5 cups of pumpkin (pumpkin puree) – not 1.5 cans. Enjoy!!


  42. Michelle on November 23, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Hi Jaylene,

    Yes, I would still include the vanilla extract in addition to the maple syrup. Enjoy the cupcakes!


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  46. Courtney (Pancakes and Postcards) on September 16, 2010 at 2:59 am

    omg. pancake batter cupcakes? i am making this immediately!!!


  47. Dorothy on September 29, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I live in Alaska, bush Alaska, so our stores don’t have any cake flour. Will it turn out if I use all-purpose flour? Thank you, I will order my cake flour from King Arthur soon but I can’t wait until then! 🙂


    • Michelle on September 29th, 2010 at 8:42 pm

      Hi Dorothy, You can actually make your own cake flour in a pinch! Combine 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (sift it if you can) and 2 tablespoons cornstarch for every 1 cup of cake flour called for.


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  49. Karen @ Planet Books on October 2, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I am totally digging your blog! It looks great, your writing is fun and wonderful and the pics make me want to dive right into the screen and eat, eat, EAT. Re: the frosting for these cupcakes and your idea of adding maple syrup to the buttercream next time; how much syrup would you add to not make the buttercream too sticky but just get a hint of maple flavor? Thanks in advance!


    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2010 at 10:59 am

      Hi Karen, You’re so sweet! I’m so happy to hear how much you’re loving the site! Thank you! Now about that frosting – anywhere from 2 to 5 tablespoons of maple syrup. I would add 2, then taste, see what you think, and add more a tablespoon at a time until you get the taste you want. It won’t get sticky with those quantities.


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  51. Liz N on October 15, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Michelle! I am singing your praises today (and Martha Stewart) for this amazing cupcake recipe. SO MOIST, SO DELICIOUS, SO PERFECT! Also, they made 32 perfect cupcakes with no batter to spare. I love when I use up everything. I am frosting them this afternoon before a baby shower. I will add maple syrup to the frosting. This recipe rocks!


    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 10:54 pm

      Yay for awesome cupcakes! So glad you loved these Liz, they are one of my absolute favorites!


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  53. ashley on October 18, 2010 at 10:31 am

    for all of you out there…which it sounds like a lot that dont fancy cake as much as other desserts, try making your cake/cupcakes in a muffin top pan-less thick cakeyness and more surface area for FROSTING!!


  54. nicole on October 19, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Love your site!!
    Please forgive my ignorance, but I just want to make sure this is correct….
    for *this* recipe, I would use 3 cups all purpose flour and 8 tbsp of cornstarch in place of the cake flour?
    Love to make now and want to make sure I have the ratio correct! 🙂
    Thanks in advance for the reply.

    PS- Love that you are a hockey fan! I am also, however….GO KINGS!


    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 3:13 pm

      Hi Nicole, Yes, you are correct! Enjoy the cupcakes!

      Kings are a great team, love watching them play when I catch them on TV!


  55. Breanna on October 21, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    This recipe was a hit! I made these cupcakes for my Mom’s birthday and she loved them. Next time though I might try a less sweet cream cheese frosting- I found this one a little too sweet for my taste. Thanks for sharing all of your great recipes and ideas, I love checking in to see what you’re baking.


    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

      Hi Breanna, Thanks so much for stopping back to share! So happy you enjoyed these, and happy belated birthday to your mom!


  56. Amy Gorney on October 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I just made these for a party I went to lastnight and they were a big hit! People who hate pumpkin things loved these cupcakes! =]


    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

      Yay! Always fantastic when you can convert supposed pumpkin haters!


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  58. Maddie on October 23, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Oh my goodness! These cupcakes are amazing, the first time i made them, i put the amount of cloves in, but it was too much clove for my taste. I used a little less the next time, and they were spot on!


    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

      Awesome to hear Maddie! Glad you got them perfect to suit your taste!


  59. emily on October 31, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    made these for a church potluck and they were great!! i know i have seen this before, but what number do you use for piping. i thought i bought the right one, but it is still too small!


    • Michelle on November 1st, 2010 at 10:23 pm

      Hi Emily, I use a Wilton 1M for just about all of the cupcakes you see on here (the ones with the swirl).


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  62. Caroline on November 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm


    I made these about a month and they were a hit! I want to make them again for a friend’s birthday that LOVES everything pumpkin. I want to use a mini muffin pan this time instead of a standard one. How long should I bake them for?



    • Michelle on November 19th, 2010 at 8:33 pm

      Hi Caroline, Usually when I do mini muffins or cupcakes, I start checking around 8 minutes just to be safe. You might have to check, put them back in a minute or two, check again, etc. but better than overbaking I think!


  63. eliza on November 24, 2010 at 3:01 am

    Yum! I’ve been wanting to make these all month and finally got around to it. They are so good! I added maple extract to the frosting – it’s got a stronger flavor than syrup and you don’t have to worry about stickiness or getting the frosting too liquidy.
    Thanks for all the great recipes!


    • Michelle on November 24th, 2010 at 8:21 am

      Great idea with the maple extract! I am going to have to pick up some of that!


  64. Jane on November 24, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I tried this recipe last week and they tasted good by themselves, but once you add the cream cheese frosting then they are delicious. I didn’t have all the different spices in my cupboard, but I did have a pumpkin spice mix so then I added 2 Tbsp to my batter. Once out of the oven, you don’t taste the spice as much, but the next day the amount of spice in the cupcakes were just right. I guess the cupcakes needed a day to get the flavor fully infused. Thanks for the recipe.


    • Michelle on November 29th, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      You’re welcome! I love letting cupcakes sit for a day in an airtight container before frosting and serving; they get so moist!


  65. LitashaBabas from GUAM on November 28, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    I made 3 dozen of these cupcakes for Thanksgiving and they turned out GREAT!!! I recommend this recipe to everyone! The cupcakes smelled so good baking in the oven and tasted even better! This is one recipe being added to my Thanksgiving menu! Thank you for sharing! 🙂


    • Michelle on November 29th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

      Yay for Thanksgiving awesomeness! Thanks for the comment, and you are most welcome for the recipe!


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  72. Becky on September 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    My sons birthday is on Halloween and I want to make him these cupcakes for his 1st birthday party. I would like to use fresh pumpkin instead of canned. I have never made anything with an actual pumpkin. What do I need to do? Thank you.


    • Michelle on September 18th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

      Hi Becky, You can use fresh pureed pumpkin, but it will likely be thinner than canned, so you may need to compensate with more flour. Since each instance is different, there is no hard and fast substitution.


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  74. Meghan on October 6, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    I just made these cupcakes, and they are amazing. The clove and pumpkin steal the show and taste absolutely amazing. I’m making them again next week!


  75. Maggie Hebert on October 11, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    I am hosting a lunch for my ladies’ tennis team tomorrow. Six hours ago searched Google for a pumpkin cupcake recipe to make for dessert since I am serving butternut squash soup (wanted to do a fall squash thing). Anyway, I found this recipe. IT IS THE BEST THAT I HAVE EVER TASTED! It is so moist and melts in your mouth. Thanks for such a great recipe! Instead of cupcakes, I decided to pour the batter into my large Sam’s Wholesale Club cookie sheet to make cake squares. I baked it than let it cool. I added the delish cream cheese frosting than cut into perfect cubes. I can not believe how wonderful this is!!! Too bad that I am dieting! shhhhhh!


  76. cate on October 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe! I baked the batter in mason jars for our daughter’s first birthday party. They were so good! The icing was wonderful as well. I will be making these again and again.


  77. Jonathan on October 15, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    An entire tablespoon of ginger? This is a solid recipe, but unless you really love ginger, you may considering reducing the amount to 1/2 or 1 teaspoon. I found the ginger to be too prominent for my tastes.

    Just my thoughts. As always, your mileage may vary. Enjoy!


  78. Barbara on October 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    once frosted, do these HAVE to be refrigerated. I am making them now for a lunch tomorrow, and want to know if i can just keep them covered in tupperware or if they need to go in the frig. thanks, and they smell great!


    • Michelle on October 18th, 2011 at 11:43 pm

      It’s not necessary. I find that refrigerating cupcakes tend to dry them out, so usually I want to frost until the day I serve them, but if you keep them at room temperature overnight you’ll be fine.


  79. Amy on October 19, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I made this last weekend. They were AMAZING! Shared with friends and family, and they were a huge hit! Thanks!! 🙂


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  83. Brandi on October 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I just finished making these and the flavor is wonderful! I can cook/bake, but still learning the techniques to perfection. I have two things – the frosting seems almost frothy instead of creamy and the cupcake was a little crumbly. Did I beat the cream cheese and butter for the frosting too long? And why crumbly cupcake?

    I will try recipe again very soon and want to make them even better…..

    Thank you! I can’t wait to try the red velvet and the lemon!


    • Michelle on October 31st, 2011 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Brandi, The cupcakes may have been overmixed, or baked too long/too high of a temperature. I’m honestly not sure what could have caused the icing to be frothy – if the same measurements were used it should have been creamy.


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  86. sue griffore on November 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Our Great Harvest sells pumpkin muffins that have choc chips in them…….wondered what it would do these?? Do you think they would enhance or compete??? Anxious to give them a try. All of your cupcake recipes I have tried have been very good. Cupcake Wars has nothing on you!!!! Sue


    • Michelle on November 2nd, 2011 at 10:26 am

      Hi Sue, I’ve tried pumpkin bread with chocolate chips before, and just don’t care for the combination myself, so I never make anything with pumpkin and chocolate, but if you like it then by all means give it a try!


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  89. Victoria on November 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I found this recipe (and site) while searching for pumpkin cupcake recipes, and I am so glad I did!
    I used pumpkin pie spice in place of the nutmeg and cloves, and evaporated milk instead of buttermilk because I didn’t have everything on hand, but I followed the rest of the recipe to the letter, and they were perfect! My BF said they were fluffy and light, but deliciously rich at the same time, and I fully agree.
    Thank you so much 🙂
    Now to try some of the other recipes on here…


  90. Carise on November 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    This was a great recipe! Just made these today. The only thing that was a bit much was the tablespoon of ginger, I used less. They are light and moist. Wonderful!


  91. Meena Ishikawa on November 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    These are absolutely amazing! Thank you for posting this recipe. I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.


  92. Heidi on November 23, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Great recipe! I just made these for Thanksgiving tomorrow but did a Maple Cream Cheese Frosting yummy!


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  94. Erin Rigoni on February 14, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I have been looking for a pumpkin cupcake recipe, and this one looks amazing!! I’m going to have to try these!


  95. Rae on February 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I’ve been subscribed via email! <3


  96. Sharon T on March 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I make a Pumpkin Cupcake and bake it in a flat pan and layer it in a pretty bowl with a pumpkin pudding and whipped cream. It is absolutely addictive.


  97. Kelly on April 27, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Made these for a halloween party , and they were so good! So moist and light and fluffy , they weren’t too heavy and they were just perfect 🙂


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  99. Pat on July 2, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Hi! I’m just wondering if there are alternative frosting that can be used with pumpkin cupcakes? Thanks!


    • Michelle on September 16th, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Hi Pat, You could use something different if you prefer (whatever your favorite frosting is), but I think cream cheese goes the best with pumpkin.


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  102. Geri Vogel on August 20, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Question: The recipe calls for 1 T & 1 t. of baking powder…is that a misprint or correct?


    • Michelle on September 16th, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Hi Geri, Not a misprint; that is the correct measurement.


  103. Nadia on September 3, 2012 at 1:29 am

    THIS RECIPE IS AMAZING!!! I just made a batch for my entire family bbq and it was a hit!! Everyone loved how it has the perfect amount of sweetness for those who love sweets, and also for those who don’t usually like sweets. I followed the recipe to the T and the cupcakes (32 of them) turned out amazing! Very moist, soft, bursts of flavor and pumpkin spices! Highly recommend this to everyone who is looking for the perfect fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving or even Christmas holiday treats! I will definitely be making this again for the major holidays!


  104. Jamie on September 5, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Wow! These are so light and fluffy. I just made them and ate three before they even cooled off. 🙂 I haven’t even gotten to the frosting yet – they’re so good already, I can just imagine how amazing they’ll be with the cream cheese frosting. I just found your blog and love it!


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  109. Lauren P on September 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Could I cut the recipe in half and it not mess anything up??


    • Michelle on September 16th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Lauren, Yes, that would work!


  110. Abby on September 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Can I use all-purpose flour instead of the cake flour?


    • Michelle on September 16th, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Abby, I would not make that substitution, as it will substantially alter the texture of the cupcakes.


  111. meryam on September 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    this is a good recipe- the spicy flavor in the cake is really what makes it unique. warning to those who make this though- this yields a LOT of cake!


  112. Stacy on September 18, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Hi Michelle, I made these cupcakes last night and not only were they a huge hit at home, I brought some in to my co-workers today and they loved them as well!!! Thanks so much!


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  119. Jocelyn on October 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    I have a nice recipe for cinnamon frosting…it might work with pumpkin cupcakes…
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
    1 t. vanilla
    1/2 t.cinnamon
    1/8 t. nutmeg
    1 – 2 T. whole or 2% milk

    Beat butter. Beat in sugar, then remaining ingredients. This does not make a lot, so you may want to double.
    Great with a spice cake.


  120. Erica on October 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    These cupcakes were phenomenal! I’m definitely on a pumpkin craze this fall and I must say that these cupcakes were absolutely addicting! I just had to share them with everyone I know before I ate them all myself 😉 Thanks for the awesome recipe!


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  124. Lynne on October 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Hi, I made these last week for a party on Saturday. I followed recipe to a T, and came out with 3 extra cupcakes. I even bought a new cupcake tin so I could do the 36 at once, but of course they all wouldn’t fit on the same shelf, so I had to switch two trays half way through baking. The cupcakes are delicious, light and fluffy. I’m sure that the cake flour helps them not to come out like muffins vs. cupcakes.

    For the frosting, I used 16oz brick of cream cheese because I hate to have leftover cream cheese and not confident of my scale, etc., plus, I always seem to run out of frosting, so having more would help. I just added more sugar (but not more butter – 1 cup seems like more than enough! 🙂 I substituted pumpkin liquor for the vanilla. The frosting was very runny. I found I had to refrigerate the cupcakes after frosting and before party so they wouldn’t melt. I know I could have added more sugar, but they it would have been too sweet. This recipe made just enough to cover the 39 cupcakes with the swirls, which tend to use a lot of frosting.


  125. Becca on October 26, 2012 at 8:11 am

    These were one of the most loved cupcakes I have made. They were perfectly moist – a crowd pleasuer!!!


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  137. Alloe on September 2, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Not to necropost, but I just made these today and holy jesus they are amazing.


  138. Tyler on September 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Why not pumpkin pir filling what would the repercussions be ?


    • Michelle on September 23rd, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Hi Tyler, Because pumpkin pie filling is not pure pumpkin; the pie filling includes added sugar and spices, which we are adding in the recipe.


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  140. Kim on September 29, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I just made some pumpkin cupcakes this past week but I was comparing ingredients with your recipe and yours looks better! I top mine with crushed Score candy bars (chocolate covered toffee) Great treat!


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  142. Samantha on October 7, 2013 at 7:50 am

    I make these cupcakes every year and not just in the fall they are amazing! we are having a small family birthday this weekend and they requested a pumpkin cake obviously my first thought is to use this recipe. how long do you suggest that I bake the cakes for if I’m doing Two 8 inch round cake pans?


    • Michelle on October 10th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Samantha, I haven’t converted these to a cake, so I don’t have an exact time for you, but you will definitely need to increase it, maybe around 35 to 40 minutes?


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  145. Kathleen on October 17, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I made these cupcakes this week and they turned out great! The batter was enough to make 24 regular sized cupcakes plus 24 mini cupcakes. The frosting was the EXACT amount…I was afraid I was going to run out at first but it was perfect not to mention delicious! I topped them with small fondant pumpkins I made ahead of time. Great recipe!


  146. Karen D on October 19, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I was wondering if I could substitute jarred ground nutmeg for freshly grated nutmeg, and would the jarred be 1 tsp too? Having a halloween party next weekend , I’m sooo gonna make these. I do have maple extract and gonna try that in frosting.


    • Michelle on October 22nd, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Hi Karen, Yes, you could use jarred ground nutmeg; you would use the same amount.


  147. SusieQ on October 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    These are delicious! I took BEB’s maple suggestion; but added via maple extract to taste, and it was very very good!
    I made 1/2 recipe of both the cakes and the icing, and the icing came up short. I was completely short for two cakes and a bit skimpy for all of the others. I admit, I like to completely cover the cake. I see this as a fall regular.


  148. Katie - NYC on October 20, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Worst recipe ever. Horrible instructions.


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  151. Cindy Brown on October 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I just made these. The house smells AMAZING and they taste incredible! I am so glad I tried it. I didn’t have all of the spices, so I used pumpkin pie spice and they turned our perfectly. Very airy and great flavor!


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  154. Alex on October 31, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    So delicious! I added some maple whiskey to the icing to make them a little more adult and they were fantastic! The base is so light and fluffy, perfect for a yummy snack even if you forgo the icing. Thanks!


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  156. hannah benke on November 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    i just made these and they look horendous!!! they have large domes in the middle of them and didn’t rise at all except on the edges. i cant figure out where i went wrong!!! i have never made anything that has turned out this bad before! i halved the recipe though so i think maybe something went wrong in my calculations. do you have any idea what went wrong or how i could have done this?


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  158. Amanda S. on November 16, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    I made these this morning for my son’s first birthday party & they were a hit. I halved the recipe of both the cupcake & frosting, then added more buttermilk & pumpkin to the cupcakes because it seemed too thick (like bread batter). Turned out dense but not dry. I also added about 1 t. of maple syrup to the frosting with the vanilla. Delicious. Thank you!


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  162. Kamini on June 6, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Can you use cooked, fresh pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin? I live in Australia and canned pumpkin isn’t something that is readily available.


    • Michelle on June 6th, 2014 at 11:41 am

      Hi Kamini, I would just be very sure that you have a very thick puree substance as close as possible to the canned consistency, or there could be an issue with too much water content.


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  168. My Linh on October 27, 2014 at 5:15 am

    Is it bad I had urges to lick the frosting off my screen…? ^^” This looks amazing. I’m loving the fall-inspired recipes on food blogs lately. PS:
    pumpkin fanatic (check) cream cheese frosting fanatic (double-triple check) fall fanatic (check)


  169. Kate on October 27, 2014 at 6:15 am

    These look fantastic!!! Thanks for the recipe.
    I have a question about cream cheese. I’m a Pgh expat In Switzerland, and we only have access to spreadable Philly cheese (quel horreur!). Can you think of anything I could add to this to make it more substantial or thick so it is like the brick type of cream cheese? (Using the spreadable kind is just not working in any recipes – boo.) I appreciate any thoughts! Thanks for your time and thanks for all of your great recipes.


    • Michelle on October 27th, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Hi Kate, Unfortunately, I don’t know of a way to doctor up spreadable cream cheese to make it suitable for baking 🙁 Maybe someone can ship some of the real stuff to you? 🙂


  170. Roseanna White on October 27, 2014 at 6:21 am

    We’re such huge pumpkin fans in my family! I just made pumpkin cakes/cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday, and we add a little orange extract to the icing, which also pairs SO well with the pumpkin! It’s become the favorite of my extended family, who threatens to disown me if I don’t make it each year. 😉


  171. Kathy on October 27, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Delicious! What tip do you use for piping the icing on? It looks perfect.


  172. Joy on October 27, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Hi Michelle–I’ve been using this recipe for the past two years and it’s always a crowd-pleaser. I can see your point about wanting the pumkin to shine through more. Also, thought I’d let you know that I made a grown up version with this recipe and Halfbakedharvest’s bourbon pecan pie filling and bourbon-infused butter pecan frosting. Both combined beautifully!


  173. Liv @ Healthy Liv on October 27, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Mmm pumpkin and cream cheese frosting is the PERFECT combinations


  174. Sues on October 27, 2014 at 9:07 am

    These are beautiful! They look so moist and festive for fall!


  175. Janneke on October 27, 2014 at 9:37 am

    This looks delicious!



  176. Lauren @ Kale and Cookie Dough on October 27, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Can we call these muffins instead of cupcakes? Because I would love to have them right now! I never make pumpkin cupcakes but I am going to have to start because these look beyond delicious especially with the cream cheese frosting!


    • Michelle on October 27th, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Yes, absolutely we can 🙂


  177. Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy on October 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Classic. Nothing better for Fall than a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting 🙂


  178. Hannah Fedorowicz on October 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Oh no! Where’s the post from Nov 2009? I loved these cupcakes and made them for my daughter every birthday and fall. Was just going to make some this afternoon, but you have this new recipe with oil in! Please can you email me the orignal. We simply loved that one and it was great because in made over 30 cupcakes which makes it awesome to share with my children’s friends


    • Debbie on October 29th, 2014 at 12:38 pm


      I found a pingback for the old recipe – enjoy! Although I will definitely be giving the new and improved version a try 🙂


      • Hannah Fedorowicz on November 3rd, 2014 at 7:20 pm

        Thanks so much Debbie. I just made some using the new recipe. Not bad at all. This recipe definitely brings out the pumpkin. I used the cream cheese frosting recipe too and that we did not like. It had more of a butter flavor and for me when I making a cream cheese frosting I want to defintely taste the name of it and this one didn’t as it has equal parts of butter and cream cheese. Thanks again Hannah


  179. Margaret Smith on October 27, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Hi michelle! I have tried these before and they were a huge success. I have an amazing cream cheese frosting that I think you will love. Nothing beats that tangy sweet aftertaste, and the creamy smoothness, YUM! heres the recipe at cook’s illustrated.


  180. Margaret Smith on October 27, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Sorry, I forgot to post the recipe! Oops! here it is
    16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    3 cups (12 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
    1/3 cup buttermilk powder
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    12 ounces cream cheese, chilled and cut into 12 equal pieces
    Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, sugar, buttermilk powder, vanilla, and salt on low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium-low; add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time; and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes.

    Hope you like it!


  181. Mandy on October 27, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I’m quite disappointed you removed the original post for these cupcakes instead of just creating a new post for improved cupcakes. Guess I’ll be back to my Martha cookbooks instead of here next time I make them!


  182. viktoriya on October 27, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Can these cupcakes be made into mini cupcakes in a mini muffin pan?


    • Michelle on October 27th, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Yes, absolutely!


  183. Jaclyn on October 28, 2014 at 1:40 am

    Cupcake perfection right here! That frosting looks dreamy and so perfectly piped. I wish I had one now!


  184. viktoriya on October 28, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Is it possible to cut this recipe in half? I want to make mini cupcakes but less than this…


    • Michelle on October 29th, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Yes, I think that would work fine.


  185. Sanny on October 28, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Michelle! Great blog filled with even greater recipes! Just wanted to let you know that I have nominated you the One Lovely Blog Award!


  186. MIranda Walker on October 29, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! I just made a dozen and they are the best cupcakes I have ever baked. I used a maple icing, which was a tasty alternative.


  187. Alexandra on October 30, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! Do you have a copy of the old one, though? I went to look it up 2 years later and I missed the old spice 🙂


  188. Kerry on October 31, 2014 at 7:55 am

    I made these for work today and have been a huge success. People could not even wait until the afternoon to devour them. I did find that there was a lot of extra frosting. I made a double back of cupcakes (24) and had around 4 cups of frosting left over.


  189. Erin on October 31, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I made these thismorning for a bake sale and they were sold out within a few hours! They were super delicious! Sort of the pumpkin equivalent of carrot cake. Yum!


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  192. Samantha on November 1, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I’m a bit confused… I see comments referencing buttermilk on the first page, but there is no mention of buttermilk in the recipe. Is that part of the modification that was made? I just want to make sure before I start baking, as I’m making these today! Eek!


    • Michelle on November 2nd, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      Hi Samantha, Yes, the recipe revised and this version does not use buttermilk. Apologies for any confusion!


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  196. elizabeth on November 5, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    i made these cupcakes last friday for halloween get together at our arthritis water class and they were a big hit. everyone was smacking there lips. .. yum. i love your blog and your recipes. .


  197. Kelly C on November 5, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    OMGosh! These are sooooo yummy! I made them gluten-free with King Arthur’s GF Flour and they are perfectly fabulous!!! I’m wishing I made more so I can have more at home since I made these for work. Yum!!!!
    Thanks for such a wonderful recipe! 🙂


  198. Liz Rehrauer on November 9, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Thank you for making this a 12 cupcake recipe. I’ve made this a few times, always halving the recipe. I still end up freezing a dozen. I suppose that’s not really a BAD thing…but I so much prefer making just a dozen recipes. These are my husband’s favorite fall cupcake any time of year. Not hanks again.


  199. Linda on November 17, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    I made these cupcakes this morning for my colleague’s birthday. It was a big hit with the few I shared it with. I swap the eggs for flaxseed eggs to make it vegan-friendly and it still worked beautifully with your recipe. The cupcake was soft with a lot of great flavor. Thank you!


  200. Cindy on November 19, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I just made these cupcakes this evening~OH MY GOD!!!! They are unbelievable!! The only thing I did differently was after adding the dry and wet ingredients together- I didn’t “fold”- I beat the hell out of it with my hand mixer. They did rise beautifully and had a great texture. I also sprinkled Heath Bit ‘o Brickle toffee bits on top- I saw this in another pic. Very, very good!! Thanks so much for this delicious recipe and your wonderful pics~ I can’t wait to share the recipe with others:)


  201. Melanie Rose on November 20, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Can anyone give me the original recipe!? I looked them more, and can’t find it :'(


  202. Victoria on November 23, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Are you able to share the old recipe from 2009? I make those all the time and would love to continue to use the same recipe.


    • Tiffany on November 24th, 2014 at 8:39 pm



  203. Demetra on November 25, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    I made these for a work potluck. They were delicious. Thanks!


  204. Cielo on November 30, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I wanted to make pumpkin cupcakes but I havent seen canned pumpkins before anf dont know where to get it in Manila. Do you have a recipe for a replacement?


    • Michelle on December 2nd, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Hi Cielo, You can cook and puree your own pumpkin; just be sure to drain it REALLY well so there is no excess moisture. There are tons of tutorials online if you do a quick Google search for homemade pumpkin puree.


  205. Kathy on December 5, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I was searching for a cupcake that would be good for Thanksgiving, and these were perfect. I made them twice already for two get-togethers, and making them again today for a friend’s birthday. Everyone loves these and they always get gobbled up. Thank you! And congratulations on your new baby thats on the way!!! 🙂


  206. jason on January 2, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Hey I was just wondering if you could provide the old recipe? Because me and my girlfriend are making the cupcakes and we want them to be the exact same as before and also we still have the same ingredients leftover from making a batch of the old recipe. When we made them before we just went off of the directions and ingredients on your website never thinking that it would be gone when we were ready to make another batch! Thanks 🙂


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  208. Neelu Eldurkar on March 7, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Made these cupcakes for a food photography portfolio! They were so tasty, light and fluffy! I enjoyed making them and photographing them! They were lovely!


  209. Lyzel on May 13, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    This recipe is a keeper!! The flavors with the cream cheese icing are divine.
    I reduced both brown and white sugars to 1/3 cup and added 1/4 tsp of cardamom….. Fantastic 🙂 Will make again very soon.


  210. Lin on May 31, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Dear Brown Eyed Baker-
    I just recently subscribed to your lovely “place”..So many yummy and easy to follow recipes. For a start I just made some Pumpkin Cupcakes with the Cream Cheese frosting…The boys at home gives it a “10” so moist..I love it. Thank you so much for your “inspiring to cook/bake” recipes.



  211. Lin on June 2, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Pumpkin Cupcakes is now a favorite here at home, even though the boys were not so keen when I was preparing them, but hey changed their mind after -they [and me too!!] love…love..love it. So soft and moist and the cream cheese frosting ? Perfect partner with the cupcakes. Thank you Miss Brown Eyed Baker!
    Would you like me to send you a photo of your Pumpkin Cupcakes that I made?


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  216. Katie Norried on October 8, 2015 at 8:32 am

    I love this recipe. I like how it is not too much spice. My husband has devoured the first batch. I am about to make another batch! The is the only recipe I will use from now on. Great Job!!


  217. Brandy on October 10, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    This recipe doesn’t require milk?


  218. Heidelind on October 12, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Amazing! The frosting is perfect with the pumpkin spice of
    the cupcake



  220. Jen on October 19, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Not sure what went wrong but I’m so sad these cupcakes were flat.


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  225. Nadia on November 1, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Hi!! Is there any way you can post the original recipe? I remember there was some type of dairy in the recipe too and I absolutely loved how my cupcakes turned out before.

    Thank you!


  226. Laura @ TheTableBlog on November 1, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    These were great! I used them as the base for my own creation, filled with chocolate ganache and with a pumpkin cream cheese icing. They were delicious and the cupcakes were so easy to whip up, but tasted amazing. Thanks for the great recipes!


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  228. Filipa on November 2, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I tried these, and they came out phenomenal! Perfect for Halloween/Fall-pumpkin-craze. The only thing was that I couldn’t find canned pumpkin purée, so I just boiled some and mashed it with a fork. Thank you for sharing !


  229. Kristyn on November 3, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    I made these for a party, and EVERYONE young, old, and in between, raved about them. My husband can’t stop talking about them (or eating them) and my mom said that these are the best pumpkin dessert she has ever eaten. I will be making these again and again! Also, I substituted half coconut oil and half butter for the vegetable oil since we don’t usually have vegetable oil. So delicious and so amazingly moist and fluffy!! THANK YOU!


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  231. ILOVETO BAKE! on November 16, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    OMG! I made these the other day and they were AMAZING! My dad couldn’t get enough of them!


  232. Mary Ellen on November 17, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Clearly 12 cupcakes will not be enough. Has anyone doubled this recipe successfully? Any alterations required?


  233. dawn on November 23, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Hi! Would you be able to post the original recipe? I searched through the archives and was not able to find it. Everyone loved it when I made it. Thank you!


  234. Frances on November 28, 2015 at 1:23 am

    “Wow! This is good.” Everyone said to me when they had fist bite of it last night, at dessert serving right after Thanksgiving dinner. I doubled the recipe and made two layers, and frosting was just perfect to go with the 10-inch cake. My picky eater children wanted more and none left. So, I made one single layer 8-inch cake with half recipe of cream cheese frosting today….very easy to made and the best pumpkin cake I have ever had. Thank you, Michelle.


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  237. Alyssa on September 17, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    I made these last week and used a 24 count full size tin to bake in I have a double oven and used the bottom oven rack I pulled them out two minutes before time and they were done but half of them were burnt on the bottom making them again this weekend how can I prevent them from burning lower the temp to 340? Baking in the top oven? Raising the Lower oven rack higher?


    • Michelle on September 20th, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Alyssa, I would not recommend baking anything on the bottom oven rack unless the recipe specifically calls for it – always bake on the center rack unless otherwise noted.


  238. Maria on October 1, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I made the pumpkin cupcakes last night for my daughter’s birthday party I also make the cream cheese frosting . I saved the cream cheese frosting in the refrigerator so I could frost them this morning … It came out very solid from the refrigerator so I thought I would beat it up again to soften it … Well the frosting got all “curdled”,
    It’s all separated now and it’s very runny !!
    I tried putting more powder sugar but it took so much of it and it’s still not hardening?!
    Any ideas what I did wrong ?? I guess you can’t beat it up again to soften it …


    • Michelle on October 12th, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Maria, Oh no! Did you mix it on low? The only thing I can think of is that it was beat at too high a speed and it broke it down. It’s also helpful if you let it come to room temperature first.


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