Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes

Cakes & Cupcakes · Desserts · Holidays · July 12, 2018

Pumpkin Cupcakes with the most amazing Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting! 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!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cake Mix

Easy Pumpkin 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. I’ve shared a few already the past few weeks and have just a few more for you before baby comes. 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. Call me lazy, but I’ve been on the search for an EASY Pumpkin Cupcakes recipe and finally found THE ONE!

The recipe comes from Real Simple, and I only made a few modifications. I also decided that if you’re going to make Pumpkin Cupcakes, you HAVE to make a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting to go with them, which is exactly what I did. The hubby admitted to having 4 of them on the first night I made them. I also gave some to some friends that stopped by last week. They stopped by again Friday and admitted to eating all 6 cupcakes (there were only two of them) within 24 hours. All agreed that the frosting and the fluffy and moist cupcakes together was a great combo.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

I think the cinnamon cream cheese frosting could pair well with other types of 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 Cupcake Recipe

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:

How to make Pumpkin Cupcakes VIDEO:


Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe

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)


  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Prepare cake mix as directed on box, but add pumpkin pie spice and substitute pumpkin puree for the water. Add vanilla and cinnamon.

  3. Pour batter into cupcake liners in muffin tins.

  4. Bake for 17-20 minutes.

  5. Let cool completely.

  6. Combine ingredients for frosting in a medium bowl and beat until smooth.

  7. Pipe or spread frosting on and top with a Candy Pumpkin if desired. ENJOY!

Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 175 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 205mg 9%
Potassium 59mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 29g 10%
Sugars 20g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 58.9%
Vitamin C 0.9%
Calcium 6.2%
Iron 4.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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    I am definitely not sick of pumpkin recipes! Pinned!


    Did you add the entire can of pumpkin puree or only enough to replace water?


      I’m curious about this as well? The whole 15 oz can or just the amount of water called for in the recipe?

      Lil' Luna

      The entire can. 😉

    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    These are SO pretty!!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted..Payday FudgeMy Profile

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    Yum! These look delicious! Pinning! xo
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    How many does this make?


    How would you alter the recipe to put in a bundt cake pan? I want to make it look like a pumpkin by doubling the recipe

      Lil' Luna

      Hmmmm… I would look on a standard cake mix box and see what the time is for 2 circle pans and work off of that. 😉

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    I love anything pumpkin! These sound amazing! 🙂
    Rebecca+Cooper recently posted..Pumpkin Belgian WafflesMy Profile


    I am going to make these..love pumpkin!!


    I’m making these right now! Bringing them to a birthday party for a friend. I made some full size cupcakes, and some mini cupcakes. They smell delicious!


    My frosting ended up a little runny. Could you suggest something to help?


      You can add more powdered sugar to give it a thicker consistency, just a little at a time until its how you like it. 🙂

      Lil' Luna

      I would add more powdered sugar to stiffen it up a bit. 😉

    Joanie Schwarzbeck

    Am making your cupcakes and am so excited… but, maybe on the top where you say all ingredients on the back… you should note there that you are substituting pumpkin for water! Those of us who have been baking for years don’t tend to read all the recipe before starting! Especially cupcakes! Thank you!

      Lil' Luna

      Thanks for the suggestion – just updated the recipe. I highly recommend reading the whole recipe first though. 😉


    How many does this make?

      Lil' Luna

      I was able to get about 16 cupcakes out of this recipe. 😉


        I made these and got 20. Of course, they didn’t last long! Huge hit at the halloween party and my teenage daughter has requested them for thanksgiving!


    I have made these every weekend for the past 3 weeks. Everyone loves them. I made them for a 6 year old’s birthday, an 8 year old’ s birthday, a treat at my quilt guild, and work. They make they house smell good too!

      Lil' Luna

      Oh, I LOVE to hear that Sandy!! Sounds like they are a hit. And I hope they were easy too! 😀

    Kim {on purpose home}

    I made these yesterday and put a little twist on them: a churro-like topping. They were super yummy! Even my hubby who says he “hates” pumpkin liked them. Great recipe! http://www.onpurposehome.com/2014/11/21/pumpkin-churro-cupcakes/



    i think i did something wrong when do u add the vanilla and cinamon to the cupcakes


      Yes I am getting ready to make these and I have the same question


    these look yummy, bet they would be even better with a boxed spice cake! Definitely going to try yours. Thank you for sharing.


    Mar jeff

    Hi eat,let want to make these but one question…….do I have to sift the powdered sugar before making the frosting?


    Can i use the Libby Pumpkin Puree can? I read on a different site that using this for cupcakes won’t work. Thanks!


    I am a pumpkin lover! Gotta make these little cuppy cakes!!


    Could you make these as mini-cupcakes? How long would you bake them for?

      Lil' Luna

      Of course!! I would start checking them maybe around 12 min and you could always add a min each time. I haven’t made them as mini ones before, so I couldn’t say exactly how long. Hope that helps!!


    What if the yellow box recipe only calls for 3 eggs and 1/2 cup oil? It doesn’t say anything about water. Do I still use entire can of pumpkin along with oil and eggs? It’s pillsbury brand mix. Thanks!

      Lil' Luna

      You make the mix according to the directions on the box, but minus the water and the pumpkin puree with replace that. Hope that helps 🙂 Let me know what you think!


        What if the box doesn’t say water at all? We are making these in school. I’m a teacher 😄


    I made these this weekend and they were delicious yet a big blander than I anticipated. Maybe they couks be pumped up a little but with more pumpkin pie spice?

    Thanks for the recipe!

      Lil' Luna

      You could definitely add more pumpkin spice if you want! Thanks for letting me know and giving them a try!

    Coco Bane

    I too have been in search of an easy pumpkin cupcake and the frosting looks so creamy. Thank you for posting it

      Lil' Luna

      Well, I hope this recipe helps! You are so welcome! Hope you like them!


    Hi if I use spice cake mix instead of yellow cake mix would i still add the pumpkin pie spice or would i just leave it out?

      Kristyn Merkley

      I haven’t tried, but you could make it, see if it’s the taste you want, then maybe add a little more or maybe it would be just enough. Hope that helps!


    These came out so good. This is a great recipe for an easy pumpkin pie cupcake.


    No eggs?

    Diane L Fajbik

    Love your recipes!!!


    If you cannot find pumpkin purée can you use a can of pumpkin?


      I need to bake these on Sunday. Please let me know.

      Kristyn Merkley

      I’m sure it will turn out fine, though I haven’t personally tried. I bet it will taste good, still 🙂


        Do I need to add water to the pumpkin, since it’s not the purée?


    Jenifer Martindale

    Could I substitute white cake mix for the yellow? And can these be made into mini cupcakes?

    Keke Williams

    I’m loving these recipe, can’t wait to try them

    Carina Richardson

    These are basically like a pumpkin roll, but not as much effort. Really good when you feel like something warm and rich with spice in it, in the fall.

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