Halloween calls for treats and goodies, so here’s a double-delight from me in cupcake form: My pumpkin spice cupcakes, topped with creamy pumpkin frosting and a confetti of varying spooky-season sprinkles! These are fun to eat, fun to make, and fun to share!
This is my second post for #HalloweenTreatsWeek! I received samples from some of the sponsoring companies, but as always, opinions are 100% mine.
Candy-Schmandy: Let’s Make Halloween Cupcakes!
Halloween tends to mean candy in wrappers, stuffed into plastic pumpkins and sacks. But what if we take the flavor and fun of this classic fall holiday and bake up a true treat?
Delicious cupcakes with pumpkin’s color and flavor inside the batter and on top in the frosting? Take it a step further, with delightful Halloween-themed sprinkles to top off these hand-held treats, and we’ve got a treasure to share.
Remember to scroll to the very end, AFTER the recipe, for all the details on the big
for #HalloweenTreatsWeek !
You can make this fun, fancy-but-easy-to-make dessert to share at a Halloween party, school celebration, or as a hand-delivered day-brightener for neighbors and friends.
What Do You Need to Make My Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Pumpkin Frosting?
For these cupcakes, I cut my favorite pumpkin layer cake recipe in half, to make 12 cupcakes. Double it right back if you want more. Spices are my jam so I used lots of different ones.
Remember you can vary the spices, adding cardamom or allspice, upping the ginger or cloves — it’s yours to play with, once you start cooking. Experiment with the spices to come up with what you like.
Light brown sugar adds a deep rich caramel note to these cupcakes, helping the spices deliver their complexity and flavor. Dark brown sugar would work fine, too.
For the recipes in this post, I used brown sugar and granulated sugar for the cupcakes, and confectioner’s sugar for the frosting, all from Dixie Crystals, one of our sponsors for Halloween Treats Week
Since this is a recipe for busy-season baking, you’ll be glad to know that canned pumpkin puree works wonderfully in this recipe. I love it all year round, for its rich color and flavor.
The pumpkins you pick out for carving into jack o’ lanterns would not be a good choice for baking anyway. If you DO decide to make pumpkin puree from scratch this fall, look for smaller pumpkins with thick walls and smaller sizes. They have rich, sweet flesh, color, and density, perfect for cooking and eating.
The ideal jack o’ lantern pumpkin has thin walls and lots of surface area: Great for making faces, but not ideal for creating rich, orange, dense pumpkin puree for baking.
In addition to pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and spices, you’ll need flour, eggs, and vegetable oil to make this handsome batter. These cupcakes are easier than a butter cake, since you’ll use oil instead of butter. Since oil is liquid rather than solid, you just stir it in.
No extended beating to cream butter and sugar together as a first step. Save that time for costumes and carving up those pumpkins! For a final flavor note, you’ll add vanilla just before scooping the batter into the cupcake liners.
I used Adams Best Pure Vanilla Extract, which I received from one of our event sponsors, Adams Extract.
Pan Prep for Cupcake Success
I love using cupcake liners for muffins and cupcakes, since they let me add a pop of color or an accent as in the case of these beauties. I received these soft-golden cupcake liners from Sweets and Treats Shop, one of our sponsors for Halloween Treats Week.
If you don’t have cupcake liners, you can generously grease the inside of each cup before adding the batter. Use softened butter, shortening, or vegetable oil, to ensure that your cupcakes and muffins pop right out after they’ve cooled a little bit.
Cupcake Pan Protocol:
Here are my cupcakes, ready to go into the oven. I fill them about 2/3 full, since I want nice round tops but not over-the-top tops.
If I have extra batter, I make mini-cakes in oven-proof glass baking cups, or ramekins, or mini loaf pans. Lots of fun ways to go with this tasty pumpkin spice cupcake batter!
Here are my cupcakes, hot out of the oven, just the shape and size I like, whether I’m planning to frost them or not. If I’m transporting them to an event, I usually return them to the pan after icing them.
That way they can travel without getting smooshed or sliding around a food container. I place a sheet of parchment or waxed paper gently over the top and then wrap loosely with plastic wrap or top with a kitchen towel. If I plan to pipe them or go fancy and tall, this won’t work, but for simple beauties like these, it works well.
I love this color, and don’t keep it for fall only. Pumpkin to me is like chocolate: A flavor I love and enjoy all year round. But if it’s a seasonal thing for you, that’s okay by me! I seem to have been born with pumpkin fever.
Frosting: The Fun Part!
I love icing cupcakes, and having a pumpkin-on-pumpkin combo for these HalloweenTreatsWeek cupcakes makes me happy: Pumpkin Squared!
Make my pumpkin frosting at least a half hour ahead of time if possible, since the pumpkin in the icing make sit a bit softer than the standard cupcake icing made with butter and confectioner’s sugar.
I used cream cheese for this icing recipe, even though I like variety and don’t always go the cream cheese route. Here I found that adding pumpkin to the butter-sugar base made for a soft-textured icing.
Adding some cream cheese helped the constellation of ingredients come together in a luscious way, so I’m pleased to include it for this scary-season dessert.
One kind of sprinkles would be boring, and so is one design or style, to me. I like to play around with using different shapes, different sizes, and varied colors, so that guests can pick a particular favorite and I can enjoy coming up with ways to play as I decorate my cupcakes.
To save sprinkles for future projects, I like to work over cake pans, with a piece of parchment or waxed paper in each pan. Then I put different sprinkles types in cereal-sized bowls.
I can dip the top of a cupcake into a bowl of the sprinkles to cover it, or roll the edges around in it to leave the center open showing frosting only. For a wilder effect, I set my frosted pumpkin spice cupcakes on a cooling rack, placed over the parchment lined cake pans.
Then I can drizzle on sprinkles, or pour them, or use a stencil — whatever I do, the rack ensures that what falls through and doesn’t go on the cake can be saved for future decorating projects.
I can use the waxed paper lining as a funnel to pour the sprinkles back into a container.
These Halloween cupcakes are showing off seasonally spooky sprinkles from Wilton, one of our sponsors for #HalloweenTreatsWeek.
More Pumpkin Centric Recipes for this Halloween Season
No secret that I love and enjoy pumpkin anything all year round, but for some of you, it’s a seasonal treat. In that case, let’s make the most of it. If you like the idea of these pretty and party-ready pumpkin spice cupcakes, I think you’ll appreciate my Pumpkin Poke Cake with Whipped Cream and Caramel Glaze.
Remember, too, that pumpkin has a secret life as a vegetable. One swift and satisfying way to enjoy pumpkin’s savory side is to make my Easy Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
What about a grown-up party, the day after Halloween or between trick-or-treat and Thanksgiving feasting? My friend Kathy shares her Pumpkin Roll recipe on The Flour Diaries, as always accompanied by a delicious story.
Here’s a little eye-candy, to watch while your cupcakes bake a 350 degree oven. Pumpkin TV!
Happy #HalloweenTreatsWeek from Me and My Foodblogger Frie
Since the first of this week, it’s been a food-blogging marathon of fun and inspired recipes around the #HalloweenTreatsWeek theme. With new posts daily, it’s been a real treat (pun intended), with lots of cool ideas, great baking skills, and quick spooky DIY projects.
One of these trick-or-treat recipe ideas posted here is sure to match your wishes for seasonal fun.
Check out the amazing #HalloweenTreatsWeek recipes from our bloggers today!
- Poison Apple Cupcakes from Big Bear’s Wife
- Apple Cider Jello Shots from Fake Ginger
- Ghost Meringue Cookies from Cookaholic Wife
- Eyeball Monster Cookies from Jen Around the World
- Spooky Eyeball Truffles from Sweet Beginnings
- Halloween Chocolate Cake from Back To My Southern Roots
- Bloody Eyeball Crinkle Cookies from Creative Southern Home
- Day of the Dead Margaritas from The Spiffy Cookie
- Ectoplasm Fluff Salad from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Loaded Bat Bark from Who Needs A Cape?
- Halloween Icebox Cake from Lemon Blossoms
- Creepy Eyeball Popcorn Balls from West Via Midwest
- Purple People Eater Cupcakes from Jonesin’ For Taste
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cheeseballs from Sweet ReciPEAs
- Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes from The Beard and The Baker
- Halloween Chocolate and Caramel Cakesicles from Pint Sized Baker
- Halloween M&M Cookie Bars from Katie’s Cucina
- Witches Midnight Puppy Chow from My Sweet Zepol
- Individual Jack Skellington Cheesecakes from Savory Moments
- Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Sprinkle Frosting from The Baking Fairy
- Halloween Brownie Parfait from Intelligent Domestications
- Bloody Good Fudge from A Blender Mom
- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Pumpkin Frosting and Spooky Sprinkles from Nancie’s Table
- Spooky Shortbread Cookies from Shockingly Delicious
SPONSOR PRODUCTS I USED IN MAKING AND DECORATING THESE HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES WITH PUMPKIN FROSTING
- Adams Extract Adams Best Pure Vanilla Extract
- Dixie Crystals: Light brown sugar, granulated sugar, and confectioner’s sugar
- Sweets & Treats Shop: Gold paper cupcake liners
- Wilton: Halloween sprinkles in trick-or-treat colors
Thank you to all our sponsors!
Don’t forget to scroll past the Pumpkin Spice Cupcake recipe to be able to enter for chances to win one of 6 prize packages from our #Halloween Treats Week sponsors!
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Pumpkin Frosting and Spooky Sprinkles
Pumpkin season is all-year-round for me -- and fall is the very best time to make these delicious cupcake beauties! Lots of spice and sprinkles to delight our eyes and remind us it's Halloween!
- FOR THE CUPCAKES:
- 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg’
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- FOR THE PUMPKIN FROSTING:
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar*
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup cream cheese (4 oz.)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Spooky Sprinkles (in Halloween-season colors)
Make the Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F., and place paper liners in muffin pans. (Or grease muffin pans generously).
Set out the spices and flour, and combine them in a medium bowl. Stir with a fork or a whisk to combine them evenly and well.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter with the brown sugar and white sugar, and beat well to bring butter and sugars together into a creamy fairly smooth mixture.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
Add the oil and beat well, scraping the bowl to keep mixture smooth. Then add the pumpkin and beat to mix it in evenly, until you have a smooth autumn-colored mixture, 3 to 4 minutes in all.
Finally, add the flour-spice mixture, beating at low speed just until the flour disappears and the mixture is smooth, just a minute or two.
Quickly scoop the pumpkin batter into the cupcake liners in the muffin pan, filling each about 2/3 full. Get the pan into the 350 degree F oven as quickly as you can. (If you have extra batter, scoop it into ramekins, oven-proof glass bowls, or small loaf pans and bake as extra treats).
Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees F until puffed up, firm, and dry, but still tender, 18 to 23 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Make the Pumpkin Frosting
Combine the confectioner's sugar with the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir with a fork or a whisk to mix everything well.
Beat cream cheese and butter together, using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer at medium-high speed until smooth and well-combined, about 2 minutes.
Add pumpkin and vanilla and beat until smooth and evenly mixed, about 2 minutes more. Stop to scrape the bowl often.
Add the spiced confectioner's sugar and beat at medium high speed until smooth, well combined and creamy. Use at once, or cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer, to allow frosting to set up more firmly. Keeps refrigerated for 3 days.
Makes enough frosting for 24 cupcakes.
* You may need more confectioner's sugar, so if possible, have an extra cup or two ready, if you want your frosting thicker than it turns out with 4 cups. You can also chill it for an hour or two (longer is fine) so that it thickens up for easy spreading.
Happy Halloween! It’s October which means it’s time for Spooky Season and this year’s #HalloweenTreatsWeek event! #HalloweenTreatsWeek is hosted by Angie from Big Bear’s Wife & its a creepy and haunting week-long event is filled with some amazingly wicked Halloween treats, recipes and some frightfully fun giveaways.
“When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers ‘tis near Halloween.”
Disclaimer: These posts and recipes are part of the week-long event, #HalloweenTreatsWeek but all opinions are 100% mine! We would like to Thank our amazing sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Adam’s Extract, Wilton, Sweets and Treats Shop, Treat Street USA and Litehouse! These wonderful sponsors provided the prize packs for our giveaways and also sent samples and products to the #HalloweenTreatsWeek bloggers to use in their recipes.
Pumpkin cupcakes are so delicious! I’m adding these to my Thanksgiving menu. They look perfectly pumpkny!
I like that : Perfectly Pumpkiny. That they are. Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful in all the ways!
Jaida ~ Sweet Beginnings
Love the color of the frosting and the variety of fun sprinkles!
Amy (Savory Moments)
These look really scrumptious! I love that you added pumpkin puree to the frosting — it must be so good!
Many thanks! I love it, Amy! Its texture is a small challenge. First I added it to my standard confectioner’s sugar and butter frosting, but it was too soft and not quite smooth. So I added cream cheese and that seemed to pull everything together. I’m not a huge cream cheese icing fan — seems like the cream cheese flavor takes over and becomes the only flavor. But this worked really well. Now I want to do a whole cake using it!
I roasted my own pumpkins for the first time last year, and I will never go back to the cans. I can’t wait to try these cupcakes!
Excellent, Dorothy! I’ve been playing with All the Squash/pumpkins — kabocha!Blue hubbard! Butternut! Sugar Pumpkin! Seems like we have more to choose from every year and each has a little different color and flavor.
Julie @ Back To My Southern Roots
These look absolutely divine! I know they would go super fast here!
Making and baking things that disappear on their own is the best feeling. We are magicians, making things disappear, right Julie?
I always love seeing little kids dressed as police or firefighters. It’s just so adorable!
(maybe I always wanted to dress as a cop when I was little and Mom wouldn’t let me?)
I love the kids in costumes, too, especially the little uniforms as you noted, or something from a storybook. I think I enjoy the costumes more than the kids enjoy the candy!