These Pumpkin Cupcakes are made with a shortcut cake mix infused with warm spices and pumpkin puree, topped with a creamy and delicious cheesecake frosting for the best ever easy fall dessert!
Fall is already here, Halloween is around the corner and I’m already thinking of Thanksgiving. I hate to say goodbye to summer, but I have to say that I’m a big fan of all things pumpkin and pumpkin spice. So the first thing I had to make this season is these delicious pumpkin cupcakes with warm fall spices, and creamy cheesecake frosting.
I love baking from scratch, but sometimes it’s just easier to grab a box of cake mix and whip up cupcakes or a whole cake in minutes. And that’s exactly how I make these delicious cupcakes! Make them for your family, give them to a friend, or take them to the office. Whoever will try them, will LOVE them!
Looking to make one more pumpkin-themed cupcake? Try these fun Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Easy. You will love how easily and quickly these cupcakes come together! We will start with a boxed cake mix that you can pick up at any grocery store.
- Moist and Soft. You can’t beat a perfectly moist and tender cupcake! And as we’re using boxed cake mix here, we know it’s a foolproof recipe and you’re going to love it.
- Fluffy Frosting. Forget about cream cheese frosting, and try this fluffy cheesecake pudding frosting instead. It’s definitely my favorite, but you can easily change it up by switching the pudding mix flavor to something like vanilla or chocolate.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these easy pumpkin cupcakes:
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
- For the cake: Start with a box of your favorite cake mix, I used the Betty Crocker super moist spice cake mix and love it! Add pumpkin spice pudding, pumpkin pie spice, eggs, milk, and vegetable oil and you’re good to go!
- For the frosting: The base of the frosting is heavy whipping cream whipped together with cheesecake-flavored pudding mix, and powdered sugar for sweetness and texture.
How To Make Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C and line cupcake pan with liners.
- Combine all cupcake ingredients in a large bowl or stand mixer and beat until combined.
- Add batter. I like to use a medium cookie scoop, and add about 3 tablespoons of batter per cupcake (that’s about 2 scoops using a medium scoop).
- Reduce heat to 350°F/180°C.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes clean from the center of a cupcake.
- Cool. Allow the cupcakes to cool down in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and make sure that they have cooled completely before frosting.
- Make frosting. In a large bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer, whip together the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and pudding mix until it’s thick and fluffy. Make sure not to overmix the frosting as it can separate.
- Decorate. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcake bases, and decorate with your favorite sprinkles.
Make sure you’re using pure pumpkin. Which is basically a can of 100% pumpkin puree and nothing else, don’t confuse it with pumpkin pie filling.
Add chocolate chips. To make chocolate pumpkin cupcakes, you can add up to 1 cup of mini chocolate chips to the batter.
Don’t overbake the cupcake bases. There’s nothing worse than dry tough cupcakes, and you really want to keep an eye on the temperature of the oven and the baking time. Don’t walk away! Start checking at 15 minutes, and remove the cupcakes from the oven as soon as a toothpick comes out clean from the center of a cupcake.
If you can’t find cheesecake flavored pudding, substitute with something like vanilla, chocolate, or caramel pudding. If you want to flavor the frosting with pumpkin spice, just add ¼ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.
Be careful not to overwhip the frosting. The base of the frosting is heavy whipping cream, if it’s overwhipped it will separate into buttermilk and butter and you want to avoid that. Stop whipping as soon as the frosting comes together, and has a thick and fluffy consistency.
The best way to store these pumpkin cupcakes is at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days, they are best enjoyed at room temperature. However, if you want to store them in the fridge I recommend storing them for up to 5 days.
Keep in mind that storing the frosted cupcakes in the fridge will dry them out a little.
I LOVE sprinkles and always try to find an excuse to use them for my desserts. Here are a few ideas on how you can decorate your pumpkin cupcakes:
- Sprinkles. Go for fall themed sprinkles with small pumpkins, or for fall colored sprinkles like I’ve used.
- Candy pumpkins. Top your cupcakes with Brach’s candy pumpkins, they’re super cute!
- Pumpkin pie spice. Finish off with a dusting of pumpkin pie spice for extra flavor and elegant presentation.
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to share your experience in the comments section below! I hope that you love these pumpkin cupcakes as much as I do and don’t forget to pin this recipe to easily find it later.
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