Pumpkin Cupcakes

These cupcakes, the third in a series of pumpkin recipes, are really a seasonal treat — they’ll please everyone: On Monday, fearing if I left them in my reach they would disappear as quickly as last week’s apple cake, I dropped the remaining 11 of this batch of 12 off at The Bulletin’s office, and they were a big hit. Unfortunately, I still have about a quart of the cream cheese frosting left in my refrigerator at home … I really hope I don’t return to Philadelphia with an empty stomach.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield = 12 cupcakes

1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1¼ cups sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt

frosting and decorative garnishes (purchased at Fante’s) if desired

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Whisk together the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix only until just combined. Place paper liners in muffin pan or coat with cooking spray. Fill each cup only three-quarters full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz. butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Beat all with an electric mixture until smooth. Chill until ready to serve.


  1. Darcy says

    Ali – I just made the pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for friends coming over tomorrow. They are delicious and my apartment smells amazing. Thanks for another great recipe and I can’t wait to see the pumpkin soup post – it is my favorite.

  2. Kathrin says

    Hey Ali – I had to cater a blood drive at school the other day, relied exclusively on your recipes. Huge success! I made a bunch of chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin cake. The “Best Dessert Ever” apple tart thingy unfortunately never made it there because my roommate and I decimated it… oh my god is that ever amazing!! I, too, have done my share of listening to Liza, but I wish all her advice was this tasty!

    I turned the pumpkin cupcakes into a cake to make the logistics easier, but I left out the baking powder and soda. I know it’s a terribly un-American thing to, but you should try it with this recipe some time… the outcome was dense, moist deliciousness. With frosting obviously =)

    Anyway, we raised more blood than ever before, and given how quickly my cookies and cake went (and there was tough competition!), I think you can take credit for saving just a couple more lives in New York.

    Thank you, as always, for all your amazing inspirations!

    Kathrin (we met last Thanksgiving last year)

  3. Ali says

    Kathrin, I’m going to have to try that — i love dense/moist cakes. i’ve been thinking about your pumpkin ice cream … I definitely need to make a batch of that soon. Have you discovered any more fun flavors?

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