Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting


These individual pumpkin cakes have been a fall standby long before Pumpkin Spice Lattes came on the scene. Indeed, our cupcakes are deliciously moist, bursting with pumpkin flavor, and topped with a creamy icing that’s decadent but not too sweet. Not to mention, we devised a shortcut that makes whipping up these pumpkin cupcakes for a Halloween party or autumn potluck so much simpler: We start with a box of yellow cake mix to eliminate lots of measuring and mixing. The quick batter comes together with pumpkin puree (rather than the water typically called for on the box), for a dense, satisfying cupcake.

Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting
Amp up boxed cake mix with pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree for an easy shortcut dessert that’s tastier than most store-bought pumpkin spiced treats (ahem, lattes). The results are moist and sweet but not cloyingly so. In other words, if there are any leftovers, you can get away with enjoying them for breakfast the next morning. Making them ahead of time? Garnish them with candy corn right before serving because the longer they sit the more likely they are to bleed a tiny bit of orange and yellow into the white icing. Get the recipe: Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting. Photo: John Kernick
Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
24 cupcakes


  • 1 18.5-ounce box yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients called for in the package directions)

  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

  • 2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

  • 24 pieces candy corn


  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the cake mix as directed but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.

  2. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool.

  3. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

210 Calories
9g Fat
30g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 210
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 205mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Protein 3g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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