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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes are easy to make with a cake mix but taste like you spent hours making them! These easy pumpkin cupcakes are perfect for any fall gathering.

Pumpkin spice cupcake on a white plate, with more cupcakes in the background

I am all about keeping things simple at this time of year.

Instead of cooking at home, we’re ordering pizza and wings for pre-trick-or-treat dinner and I’m whipping up these super simple semi-homemade Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes for dessert. I just plan on topping them with one of those little pumpkin candies you can find near the candy corn to make them a little more festive.

You all know I love my doctored cake mix recipes, and I couldn’t resist giving it a seasonal twist.

The result is these pumpkin spice cupcakes that are so irresistibly moist you can’t stop at just one!

If you love pumpkin bundt cake, you’ll definitely fall for the combo of spice cake mix and pumpkin. The lightly spiced cream cheese frosting makes the cupcakes so special.

Pumpkin spice cupcake ingredients arranged on a countertop

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS PUMPKIN CUPCAKE RECIPE 

This recipe starts out with a box of spice cake mix. Spice cake mix is already going to be soft and tender, but we are going to make it even better!

Gather up your ingredients:

  • Spice cake mix
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix (not ready to cook!)
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Sour cream
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Pure vanilla extract (not vanilla essence)

For the frosting, you’ll also need cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar.

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes, so you’ll also need either two 12-cup muffin pans, a 24-cup muffin pan, or you can bake the cupcakes in batches. 

Pumpkin spice cupcake batter in a white bowl

HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING 

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, and pumpkin pie spice. 

Beat in the pumpkin, sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. You can do this using a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. The batter should be smooth and creamy with no dry bits.

Pour the batter into the muffin cups. I use a large cookie scoop to help make my cupcakes all the same size, but you can use a measuring cup or spoon.

Baked pumpkin spice cupcakes in a muffin tin

Bake the cupcakes until they have risen and the tops spring back when gently touched. A toothpick inserted in the center will also come out clean.

Be sure to let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Cool in the tins for about 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Cream cheese frosting ingredients on a countertop

HOW TO MAKE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING 

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add the butter and beat again. This helps ensure a perfectly creamy result!

If you forgot to set your cream cheese out to soften ahead of time, don’t worry. I have some great tips for how to soften cream cheese quickly.

Spatula stirring cream cheese frosting in a white mixing bowl

Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating until it is all mixed in and smooth. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice, then taste and adjust flavorings if needed.

Keep beating until the frosting is very fluffy, then frost the cupcakes using an offset spatula or piping bag.

Frosted pumpkin spice cupcakes on a wire cooling rack

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER PUMPKIN

Since this recipe only uses 1 cup of pumpkin, you’ll likely have some left over for another dish!

Try a batch of my pumpkin molasses sandwich cookies. If you have leftover frosting, it’s perfect for these cookies.

My soft and tender pumpkin cookies with vanilla glaze are also a great option.

You can even have pumpkin for breakfast if you make pumpkin baked oatmeal!

Three pumpkin spice cupcakes set on a piece of parchment paper

STORAGE TIPS 

Store these cupcakes in an airtight container within the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze them for longer storage.

To freeze cupcakes, wait until they are completely cooled. You can either frost them or leave them plain.

Three pumpkin spice cupcakes, one with a bite taken out of it

Transfer to a freezer-safe container, seal, and freeze for up to 3 months. 

To thaw, let them come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before enjoying.

Of course, these pumpkin spice cupcakes are so good, you won’t need to worry about freezing any leftovers — you won’t have any!

Plated pumpkin spice cupcake with a cup of coffee in the background
Frosted pumpkin spice cupcakes on a wire cooling rack

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes are easy to make with a cake mix but taste like you spent hours making them! These easy pumpkin cupcakes are perfect for any fall gathering.
4.62 from 18 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients 

  • 1 box spice cake mix 15.25 ounces
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix 3.4 ounces
  • 1 ½ teaspoons homemade pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ pound confectioners’ sugar about 2 ½ to 3 cups
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

For the Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, pudding mix, and pumpkin pie spice, then beat in pumpkin, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined.
  • Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the butter and continue beating for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until it is completely incorporated. Add in vanilla and mix until incorporated. Turn off the mixer and check the frosting for taste and texture. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for about 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  • Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and if desired, garnish with festive Fall sprinkles.

Notes

I used Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist cake mix

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1835IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
The default measuring system on My Baking Addiction is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided as a courtesy; please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
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Recipe Rating




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Jan

Monday 13th of November 2023

Thanks so much I made these cupcakes and they were delicious. In the recipe you said us a large cookie scoop could you say what size it was there are many types of large cookie scoops. Also how and how long can the cream cheese frosting keep I had so.e left over. Thanks for all your great recipes. Jan

Jamie

Monday 13th of November 2023

Hi Jan- My large cookie scoop is OXO and holds 3 tablespoons of batter. I hope this helps. Jamie

Linda

Saturday 23rd of September 2023

I was looking for an easy fall recipe for a bake sale. Think I found it! I haven't tasted one yet but they smell amazing in the oven. I always used doctored up recipes and why not? All the dry ingredients are ready for you in the box. Next time, which I know will be soon, I want to try adding chocolate chips. Thank you for this!

Jamie

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your feedback, Linda! Happy baking! Jamie

Nick

Friday 19th of November 2021

Anything that requires a "box mix" is not a recipe. I'll block any recipes on my feed based on this alone. Try making recipes from scratch, its a better recipe everytime.

Lynette Sabol Taylor

Tuesday 14th of December 2021

@Nick, Don't knock it till you try it! I just made a pumpkin bundt cake from scratch and thought it was just so-so. Then I tried these cupcakes. They are outstanding! So light and moist! I will definitely make them again--and I'm also going to try pouring the batter into a bundt cake pan!

Jamie

Friday 19th of November 2021

Thanks for the very helpful tip, Nick. So sorry to hear you'll be blocking my free recipes. I will definitely keep this feedback in mind the next time I dare think of publishing a doctored up box mix recipe on my very own blog. Happy from scratch baking. Kindly, Jamie

marie johson

Sunday 15th of December 2019

These spiced pumpkin cupcakes are my new favorite fall dessert recipe! thanks for sharing <3

Jamie

Sunday 15th of December 2019

Thanks so much for stopping by, Marie! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Happy Baking! -Jamie

Ashli Smith

Sunday 6th of November 2016

Made these and added 1.5 cups of chocolate chips! Amazing!

Jamie

Tuesday 8th of November 2016

Yum! I love pumpkin and chocolate, too, Ashli!

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