Fall is here and that means Pumpkin Pie Spice everything!

We have several desserts on repeat this time of year (Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pumpkin Pancakes, etc) along with these Pumpkin Cupcakes.

This recipe is our Pumpkin Cake in cupcake form! The cupcakes are soft, flavorful and simple (it starts with a cake mix box), and the best part is the incredibly delicious Cinnamon Cream cheese frosting. Trust us when we say that the frosting paired with the fluffy cupcakes is the epitome of fall goodness.

Why we love it:

  • Beyond delicious! They’re full of fall flavors and with the addicting frosting, they’re hits at every party.
  • Party perfect. This recipe makes two dozen cupcakes making them perfect for class parties, fall functions and chili cook offs.
  • Make Ahead. With fall comes more craziness, so it’s great that these can be prepped ahead of time for any get together.

Table of Contents



  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box Yellow Cake Mix plus ingredients listed on the back; typically vegetable oil and whole eggs. Do not add water
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin pureenot pumpkin pie filling

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softenedHow to Soften Butter Quickly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • candy pumpkins, (optional)
Pumpkin cupcake batter in bowl.

How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes

  1. PREP. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. BATTER. In a large bowl, prepare 1 (15.25-ounce) box cake mix as directed on the box, but substitute 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree for the water and add ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
    • Pour batter into cupcake liners about ⅔ of the way full.
  3. BAKE. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. FROSTING. Combine ingredients 8 ounces cream cheese, ¼ cup unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1½ teaspoons cinnamon in a medium bowl and beat until smooth.
    • Pipe or spread frosting on the pumpkin cupcakes and top with a Candy Pumpkin if desired or sprinkles.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice

Mix ground 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, and ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg.

Pumpkin cupcakes with mallow pumpkins on top on wire rack.

More Like This

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Pumpkin Cake Recipes


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4.98 from 98 votes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

By: Lil’ Luna
Spiced pumpkin cupcakes are so soft, moist, and flavorful. They pair perfectly with delicious homemade cinnamon cream cheese frosting!
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 17 minutes
Total: 27 minutes


  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box Yellow Cake Mix, (plus ingredients listed on back minus the water)
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • teaspoons cinnamon
  • candy pumpkins, (optional)
Save This Recipe!
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Prepare cake mix as directed on the box, but substitute the pumpkin puree for the water and add pumpkin pie spice. Add vanilla and cinnamon.
  • Pour batter into cupcake liners about ⅔ of the way full.
  • 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!



Calories: 175kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 205mg, Potassium: 59mg, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 2945IU, Vitamin C: 0.7mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 0.7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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Recipe FAQ

  • The box of yellow cake mix can be replaced with a box of white cake mix or spiced cake mix. Use the ingredients listed on the back of the box, but omit the water. If you use a spiced cake mix, you may also wish to reduce or omit the pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. 
  • I used a frosting tip to make these pretty swirls. If you don’t have a piping bag or tips you can make your own. Spoon the frosting into a gallon Ziploc and then cut the corner off. Snip a smaller portion off the tip for fine smooth swirls or cut a larger piece off the tip for thicker smooth swirls.
  • Use this recipe to bake mini cupcakes. Use a mini muffin tin and bake for about 12 minutes.
  • Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store the frosting separately in the fridge for 2 weeks or freezer for 6 months.
  • Frosted cupcakes will keep at room temp for a few hours, but then put them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze frosted cupcakes. Stick the entire cupcake in the freezer until the frosting is solid. Wrap with plastic and freeze for 3-6 months. Unwrap and then thaw. 

About Kristyn

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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4.98 from 98 votes (66 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Rob Williams says:

    They’re in the oven right now. Wasn’t sure if I was supposed to replace the 8 ounces of water in the cake mix with 8 ounces of pumpkin puree or use all 15 ounces of pumpkin puree. I did 8 ounces…fingers crossed.

    1. Nicole says:

      I did the same thing just now. I am hoping they turn out ok.

  2. marie LeMoine says:

    I want to make your pumpkin cupcakes but i only have 398ml of pumpkin your recipe calls for 15oz can. Would i be able to make them with that amount of pumpkin thank you

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Yes, that is about 13.5 ounces, which should still work just fine!

  3. Deborah Engle says:

    5 stars
    The pumpkin cake was excellent and delicious however the cream cheese icing wouldn’t thicken even with a little more power sugar and sticking in the fridge. What else could I do?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Glad to hear you enjoyed the cupcakes. Hmmm, I haven’t had any troubles with the frosting being too thin. You could try adding a little cornstarch to help thicken. It shouldn’t alter the flavor but may help it stiffen a bit.

  4. Elsa says:

    I loved these cupcakes. I made them for a Halloween party. Can this recipe be used in a bundt pan?

  5. Annette says:

    What size cake mix are you using?

  6. Janice A says:

    5 stars
    Added a little more cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to batter. Fantastic!

  7. Kaye Falcone says:

    5 stars
    These cupcakes were delicious but I need to make a gluten free version! If I used a gluten free yellow cake mix, would I need to alter anything in your original recipe? Thanks so much!