Sharing a quick and easy cupcake recipe for fall today, these Pumpkin Cupcakes can be made with any type of cupcake batter and decorated to look freshly picked from the patch!
Easy Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe
While I sometimes enjoy more complicated dessert designs (like my recent Halloween Macaron Cake), for the most part I need ideas that are super simple and quick to whip up – and even better if it’s an idea that the kids can help with, too!
These super easy pumpkin cupcakes can be made with any type of cupcake batter. While I shared my recipe for homemade vanilla cupcakes below, feel free to swap that out for your favorite recipe – or even a boxed cupcake recipe! The real difference comes down to the frosting, and while I’m all for that boxed cake mix – I draw the line at canned frosting!
Homemade buttercream frosting makes all of the difference in this recipe and if you’ve never made it, I really encourage you to give it a try. It’s super easy to whip up and it’s worlds away from that goop they sell in the baking aisle.
This is a fun recipe to make for a party – or even let the kids decorate their own at the party!
Personally, I whipped these up as a fun after-nap project for my daycare kids. My non-nappers helped me make the actual cupcakes, and then everyone got a chance to decorate a couple with the frosting, pretzels and jelly beans. The results were cute and delicious, and the kids were so excited to bring a few home with them at the end of the day. (I got several texts that night from parents who were pleasantly surprised with how tasty the cupcakes were, too.)
You can also freeze the unfrosted cupcakes for up to a month if you want to make these for a party. Just freeze in containers or large ziplock bags and let thaw at room temperature for at least 2 hours before you frost them.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cupcakes
- All-purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Butter, softened
- White Sugar
- Vanilla Extract <– you can alternatively use pumpkin spice extract for a different flavor profile
For the vanilla buttercream:
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: swap out the from-scratch vanilla cupcakes for a boxed cupcake mix, if desired.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowl
- Electric mixer <– this is a great hand mixer if you don’t want to make the investment into a stand mixer
- Cupcake tin
- Offset spatula
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Cooling racks <– I have and love these tiered cooling racks, they save so much counter space and are also oven-safe
How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 375F.
Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners.
Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, about 2 minutes; beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add half of the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture, then the milk, then the remaining flour mixture.
Portion out into the cupcake liners, about 1/2 cup each liner.
Bake for 18-22 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
For the buttercream:
Place softened butter into a bowl and beat in 2 cups of icing sugar. Add 2 Tablespoons heavy cream and vanilla.
Add remaining icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Add food colouring until you reach a pumpkin color you like.
Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with no tip or a circular tip.
Swirl the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
Break the large pretzel sticks into 3-4 pieces, insert one piece in the center of each cupcake. Add a jelly bean (or half a jelly bean) for a small “vine” garnish.
Grab your free printable for our super simple pumpkin cupcake recipe:
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the vanilla buttercream:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3-4 cups icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 2-3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- Orange food dye
For the garnish:
- 6 large pretzel sticks
- 12-24 green jelly beans
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners.
- Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, about 2 minutes; beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture, then the milk, then the remaining flour mixture.
- Portion out into the cupcake liners, about 1/2 cup each liner.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- For the buttercream:
- Place softened butter into a bowl and beat in 2 cups of icing sugar. Add 2 Tablespoons heavy cream and vanilla.
- Add remaining icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Add food colouring until you reach a pumpkin color you like.
- Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with no tip or a circular tip.
- Swirl the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
- Break the large pretzel sticks into 3-4 pieces, insert one piece in the center of each cupcake. Add a jelly bean (or half a jelly bean) for a small "vine" garnish.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
PUCKWAY Cake Decorating Angled Icing Spatula Set of 6 8 & 10 Inch Wooden Handle Professional Stainless Steel Offset Frosting Spatulas
Snyder's of Hanover Pretzel Sticks - 16 oz
Watkins Imitation Pumpkin Spice Extract, 2 oz. Bottles, Pack of 6 (Packaging May Vary)
Jelly Belly Green Apple Jelly Beans - 1 Pound (16 Ounces) Resealable Bag - Genuine, Official, Straight from the Source
Wilton Icing Colors, 12-Count Gel-Based Food Color
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 573Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 379mgCarbohydrates: 103gFiber: 1gSugar: 82gProtein: 4g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
This fun pumpkin cupcake recipe can be made using any flavor of cupcake batter, so whether you like pumpkin flavor or just want the look – you’ll love these cupcakes! They are such a fun addition to your fall parties, or make a fun fall treat for the kids to help make.