Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes

With pumpkin puree and a dash of pumpkin pie spice, these Pumpkin cupcakes are so soft, moist, flavorful, and pair perfectly with the delicious Cinnamon cream cheese frosting!

When fall rolls around and you start making pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies, don’t forget about these pumpkin cupcakes!! They’re the only type of cupcake you’ll want to make this season. 😉

Pumpkin Cupcakes topped with frosting and candy pumpkins

easy fall cupcakes

Are you sick of the pumpkin recipes yet? I hope NOT!! Fall is just starting so I’m hoping you’re prepared for the bombardment of pumpkin recipes the next month (pumpkin bread, pumpkin brownies, pumpkin cake – we’ve got it all!).

This next recipe is one that I’ve been wanting to make for years!! I’ve seen recipes for Pumpkin Cupcakes but most required a TON of ingredients and time, and I just wasn’t up for it.

We went to the kitchen and created the perfect easy pumpkin cupcake that we think you will LOVE! We decided that if we’re going to make Pumpkin Cupcakes, we HAVE to make a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting to go with them, which is exactly what I did.

The family all agreed the frosting was their favorite part of the dessert!

Pumpkin cupcake ingredients in bowl

Simple with the help of a box mix

Because these cupcakes are made with the help of a cake mix, they are very simple!

MIX. To make these pumpkin spice cupcakes, combine the cake mix (PLUS ingredients on back, minus the water), pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree. Add vanilla and cinnamon and mix well.

BAKE. Pour the pumpkin cupcake batter into liners in muffin tins and bake for 17-20 minutes. Tip: We like to use our large cookie scoop to put them in the liners the easiest way. Once they come out of the oven, let cool before adding your frosting.

What if I don’t have yellow cake mix? No worries! You can make your own! Just whisk together 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt plus 4 tbsp butter (½ stick). Use a pastry butter to blend in the butter, and you’re set!

Pumpkin cupcake batter in muffin liners

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I think the cinnamon cream cheese frosting could pair well with other types of cakes and cupcakes, but I assure you… It was the PERFECT match for these pumpkin spice cupcakes. Total match made in heaven.

And it’s nothing too fancy, in fact it only takes 5 ingredients!

  • cream cheese
  • butter
  • vanilla
  • powdered sugar
  • cinnamon

All you have to do is combine the ingredients and beat until smooth. Make sure you start with room temperature butter for best results! Otherwise the frosting can look clumpy.

I used a frosting tip to make these pretty swirls, but you can even put the frosting in a Ziploc bag, cut the tip off with scissors (less for fine swirls, more for thick swirls) and pipe the frosting on like that.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting on a wire rack

How to Decorate + Store

Decorations: We added a mallow pumpkin on top, be you can leave those off or even add sprinkles.

Storing: They can stay at room temp for a few hours but need to be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days to last longer. If they have cream cheese frosting on top, they definitely need to be in the fridge!

Close up of Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

My kids have never really been BIG fans of pumpkin recipes, but they absolutely loved these cupcakes. They, too, were slightly obsessed with the frosting and may have licked the bowl clean when it was made.

Glad to have found another “TWO THUMBS UP” pumpkin recipe for the blog.

For more pumpkin recipes, check out:

Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe

4.91 from 20 votes
The secret to these EASY Pumpkin Cupcakes is a box of yellow cake mix. With pumpkin puree and a dash of pumpkin pie spice, these cupcakes are so soft, moist, flavorful, and pair perfectly with the delicious cream cheese frosting!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 175 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix (plus ingredients listed on back minus the water)
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz PHILADELPHIA cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 c butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • candy pumpkins (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Prepare cake mix as directed on box, but add pumpkin pie spice and substitute pumpkin puree for the water. Add vanilla and cinnamon.
  • Pour batter into cupcake liners in muffin tins.
  • Bake for 17-20 minutes.
  • Let cool completely.
  • Combine ingredients for frosting in a medium bowl and beat until smooth.
  • Pipe or spread frosting on and top with a Candy Pumpkin if desired. ENJOY!


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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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  1. 5 stars
    This looks like the perfect way to welcome in Fall and all things pumpkin! I think I may be eating that frosting by the spoon!

  2. You say that if you don’t have a cake mix, you can make your own and you give a substitute recipe. You talk about cutting in the butter, but don’t say how much butter to put in.

  3. Sooo do you substitute pumpkin purée for the water?? So do you only do the amount it says on the back or the whole can of pumpkin?

  4. Lovely recipe. Want to try it using the cake mix substitute u mentioned. It says to cut in the 1/2 cup butter. So do i omit the ‘1/2 cup OIL’ i’m supposed to add to the mix? thanks.

  5. So i made these tonight, and iam not aire why they cooked faster than the Suggested cooking. Ttime, it may have to do woth the fact i used the yellow cake mix that was without butter. Next time i will use that, i did however use one box yellow and one box spiced batter was good cupcake was decent, may jave been more moist if i used that Yellow cake with butter instead of oil. I will make the frosting tom which im sure will be good..

  6. In the paragraph way above it just says too add the cake mix, spices, and puree… Down lower here i read to use all ingredients except the water from the back of the box but i had already made them. They still taste really good but i think they would taste better had i added the eggs and oil. It was slightly confusing to have the directions at the top and bottom of the page with them being different. Thank god they turned out! My husband loved them!

  7. 5 stars
    I received so many compliments from co-workers. They hunted me down to tell me how good this was. I made into a sheet cake. You definitely need to cook for the longest time if not a few minutes more for the sheet cake version.

    1. I personally have not tried, so I can’t honestly tell you how it will turn out. It should be ok 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to make this recipe! It seems perfect for get-togethers since there are 24 cupcakes and not the 12-15 from a cake mix.

  9. 5 stars
    I CHOSE to make the cake part from scratch.. followed the rest of the recipe as written but I’m a lover of really tasting my flavors so I decided to double the pumpkin pie spice & cinnamon both in the batter & frosting…. delicious!!! This recipe is a fall home run & I will be sharing it w/several friends!!! Thanks!!

  10. 5 stars
    Best RECIPE i’ve used, the cupcake HaD a great pUmpkin flavor, i doubled on the pumpkin spice and CINNAMON for mines. But the cupcake was moist and Delicious, everyone Ate Them up within a day.

  11. 5 stars
    I a bit skeptical before trying this,because it seemed too easy to be good. I made these last night for a Halloween party and they were amazing! The only thing I did differently was I added more pumpkin spice seasoning than the recipe said to. I added closer to 1 tbsp, but if you don’t like a lot of the spices, the origional measurements would be good for you. Overall, I would absolutely make these again. very easy and delicious!

  12. Hi, I’m a HUGE fan of yours, Kristyn! I am planning on making these and was wondering if I can make ahead and freeze?Thanks for your help! Steph

  13. 5 stars
    loving these recipe ideas! Can’t wait to start cooking…first up..: pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!

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