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Pumpkin Cupcakes

It’s finally October, and I couldn’t resist whipping up some easy pumpkin cupcakes.

Not only are these cupcakes make with pumpkin batter, they’re also decorated to look like cute little pumpkins!

While they may look a bit intimidating, these decorations don’t require any fancy tips or difficult techniques. You will need a bit of gel food coloring though!

I made them using a super moist pumpkin cupcake recipe, and frosted them with a delicious cream cheese buttercream frosting.

Pumpkin Cupcake Batter

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (160 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (4 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (6 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (3 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice (6 grams)
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (170 grams)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (100 grams)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (112 grams)
  • 2 eggs (112 grams)
  • orange gel food coloring (optional)

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 sticks or 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226 grams)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (60 grams)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (750 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream (15 grams)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (6 grams)
  • Orange and green gel food coloring

Additional Supplies:

Bake time: 17 minutes

Yield: 12-14 cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcake Batter

Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Place the flour, sugar, dark brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin spice into a large bowl.

Gently whisk to combine.

Add in the oil and pureed pumpkin, and stir just until the ingredients are incorporated.

Mix in the eggs, then add a squirt of orange gel food coloring if desired.

Stir until the batter is evenly colored.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, and bake for 17 minutes.

Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.

To speed up the cooling process, you can also place the cupcakes in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

While the cupcakes bake, prepare the cream cheese frosting.

Beat the butter and cream cheese on a medium speed for 30 seconds, until smooth.

Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.

Alternate with small splashes of cream.

Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.

If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time).

If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Pumpkin Cupcake Decoration

Color 1/6 of the frosting green, and color the remaining portion orange using gel food coloring.

Place both colors into piping bags.

Trim a 1 cm opening for the orange frosting, and 1/2 centimeter opening for the green frosting.

photo of pumpkin cupcakes frosted with orange cream cheese frosting
Piping orange frosting onto my pumpkin cupcakes, to look like pumpkins

Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, pipe orange panels onto the top of the cupcake.

Cut tootsie rolls in half, and create score marks on the sides of the tootsie rolls using the edge of an offset spatula.

Press them into the top edge of the cupcake, to be the pumpkin stump.

 Image of adding tootsie roll stems to the pumpkin cupcakes
Adding tootsie roll stems to my little pumpkins.

Use the green frosting to pipe vines and leaves around the base on the pumpkin stump.

piping leaves onto the pumpkin cupcakes photo
Piping leaves and vines onto my cupcakes using green buttercream frosting.

I also used this recipe to also make a few other types of spooky Halloween cupcakes!

IMG_0376 (2)

Let Me Know What You Think

Nothing makes me happier than when I get emails or DMs with photos of your amazing creations. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your triumphs, or questions <3

If you try this pumpkin cupcake recipe, please tag me @chelsweets. Also use the #chelsweets so that I can see what your baking!


Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

Hi! I just made these. I used your maple frosting recipe on these! So so good! I made these for Thanksgiving, but we taste tested one tonight. My family said I can only make desserts from your site from now on! I’ve made a couple of your cakes for birthdays and they were a big hit! Thank you for the fabulous recipes and the videos that show how you make them! Can’t wait to try another recipe!


Sunday 27th of November 2022

Hi Janet,

That sounds INCREDIBLE!! I love that so much :) Thank you for sharing, and happy belated Thanksgiving!!


Thursday 21st of November 2019

Can you check your grams on the cream cheese? I have a package in front of me that says 8 oz (226 grams). Your recipe says 4 oz is 60 grams. Wouldn't 4 ounces be 113 grams? I'm making 1.5 batches of the frosting as I type this and when I weighed out 6 oz it is 168 grams. I weigh all my ingredients now so that big of a difference in grams in cream cheese would make a big difference in taste. I love all your recipes and always look forward to you publishing something new.


Monday 28th of October 2019

Hey there I just wanted to see if it’s light or dark brown sugar? Light is in the ingredient list but dark in the directions. Thank you!! ??


Monday 4th of November 2019

Hi Shannon! Sorry for the confusion! either will work, but I prefer the way they look with light brown sugar. Hope that helps, happy baking!


Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

This recipe is so easy and is so so tasty! I actually made it in a loaf pan and baked it for 50mins and it was perfect. I love how the edges carmalized perfectly.


Friday 25th of October 2019

Hi Sofie,

I'm so happy to hear that! And that's wild, thank you so much for sharing! I've never tried that before, but now I really want too :)

Bobbi Jo Ball

Tuesday 3rd of October 2017

Hi Chelsey. Can I use this recipe for a cake? And if not, do you have 1 on your site?

Thank you!


Tuesday 3rd of October 2017

I have a great pumpkin spice cake recipe up, which I would recommend using instead!