Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Tonight was my mother in law’s birthday and I was asked to bring a non-chocolate dessert. Why? Well, my father in law is allergic to chocolate (so very sad) and my husband, Justin, doesn’t like chocolate (just plain crazy). So, I was thinking lemon, pumpkin or some type of crumb cake. Since we were also celebrating Justin’s birthday, I left it to him to choose.  Not surprisingly, he chose pumpkin cupcakes.  I’ve never made them before homemade and it just so happened that I received The Cupcake Diaries from DC Cupcakes in the mail that morning. Of course, there it was, a pumpkin spice cupcake recipe. Score!  The recipe called for making a maple cream cheese icing, but I didn’t have any real maple syrup and I figured Log Cabin just wouldn’t do.  Justin then asked for my vanilla buttercream or magic frosting as he calls it. But, I just didn’t think buttercream would go as well as cream cheese frosting with pumpkin. a classic combination. So, decided to spice things up a bit and make my favorite cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  Then I remembered a few weeks ago, I came across I Am Baker‘s post on how to make frosting roses, and I wanted to give it a shot. Now was as good a time as any.

As the cupcakes baked, the air was filled with the scent of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Mmmm..such deliciously fall scents.  The cake was really moist and baked pretty flat, which I actually prefer for easier decorating. The cinnamon in the frosting was a perfect complement to the spices in the cake.  The rose decoration was so much easier than I thought. I was surprised to see that I had the 1M tip all along, only I was frosting my cupcakes from the outside border to the middle, instead of the middle to the outside. Just a simple change in direction, and I got gorgeous roses. Who would have thought? The cupcakes were enjoyed by all; even the chocolate lovers saved some room! 😀


Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

Yield: 24 cupcakes


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

16 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp honey

1/3 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 24 paper liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg, and salt onto a large piece of wax paper and set aside. Place the butter into a mixer bowl and beat on medium until fluffy. Stop to add sugar, and beat on medium until all incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl each time. Mix in the pumpkin and the honey. Reduce the speed to low. Alternate 1/3 of flour mixture and 1/3 of the hot water until all is added (3 rounds). Mix slowly until just combined, taking care not to over mix or your cupcakes won’t be light and fluffy.

Use a standard size ice cream scoop to fill the cups to about 2/3s full. Bake 25 to 30 minutes (start checking at 20 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow them to cool before frosting.


1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature (reduced fat recommended, but I used full-fat)

4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp cinnamon- Can adjust according to taste

milk if needed to adjust the desired consistency

In a mixer bowl, blend cream cheese and butter on low until combined, 30 seconds. Stop the mixer, and add  the powdered sugar a little at a time, until well incorporated, 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, and mix until fluffy, about 1 minute.  Add small amounts milk if needed.

Sources: Pumpkin Cupcake from The Cupcake Diaries, the frosting from Cupcakes: From the Cupcake Doctor, and cupcake decorating inspired by I am baker

Helpful Hints:

  • To fill a pastry bag easily, I put the tip and bag together and then put the pastry bag, tip side down into a large glass, pulling the sides of the bag snugly over the outsides rim of the glass. Then you can easily use a spatula to put the frosting into the bag..
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1 Comment

  1. Sara

     /  November 29, 2011

    Looks so yummy. My husband would love these. I might have to try baking this.


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