Thursday, October 17, 2013

treat petite: pumpkin spice cupcakes

For Thanksgiving (which we celebrate in October here in Canada), Paul's family always gets together for a big turkey feast. Everyone contributes a little something and we end up with A LOT of food (this year there were 36 of us and that was only a small part of the family!). I decided to bake some cupcakes for the party - and in keeping with the big trend these days (and the fact that Thanksgiving is never complete without something pumpkin), I chose to make some Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes.

As an added bonus, these cupcakes are perfect for my second "Treat Petite" challenge from Stuart (aka Cakeyboi) and Kat (aka The Baking Explorer). The theme for October's challenge, hosted by Stuart, is "Halloween" and Halloween definitely isn't complete without PUMPKINS!

A couple of notes about the recipe below:
  • this batter rises quite a bit. I filled the cupcake liners like I usually do, but the end result was a cupcake that was much taller than my past recipes, so I definitely would fill the liners slightly less than what you're used to (unless you want a taller cupcake, which isn't always a bad thing). I made 24 cupcakes with this batter, but you could easily make 30.
  • I rarely ever make cream cheese frosting, especially since I've had so much success with my go-to buttercream frosting. But I thought cream cheese would work well with the pumpkin spice flavour. The end result was a frosting that didn't "set" as much as I'm used to - it softened quite quickly after piping. It was okay because I kept the cupcakes in the fridge right up until I had to serve them, but if you want a frosting that's going to last longer in a piped look, I'd suggest using a buttercream frosting instead of the cream cheese recipe below. That said though, the flavour of the frosting is absolutely amazing! 
I have to say though, that the cupcakes were a complete success and I'm definitely going to make another batch before the "pumpkin season" is over!  

pumpkin spice cupcakes 
source: adapted from Annie's Eats' Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes
printer-friendly version


2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
15 ounces pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

8 ounces cream cheese
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line two standard cupcake trays with liners. 
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend together the pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar and oil on medium speed until just mixed. 
  5. Add the eggs one at a time to the pumpkin mixture, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  6. Add half of the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Add in the remaining flour mixture and continue mixing on low speed until just blended.
  7. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. 
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes on the middle rack a until cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. 
  9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place them (still in the pan) onto a cooling rack.
  10. After 5 minutes, remove the cupcakes from the pan and place back on cooling rack to cool complete.
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter and beat with the paddle attachment on high speed until smooth (about 3 minutes).
  2. Add the vanilla extract and mix together.
  3. Add the pumpkin pie spice and powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed. Once the spice and sugar has been incorporated with the cream cheese mixer, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until smooth.
yields: 24-30 cupcakes

Thanks to Stuart for hosting this month's Treat Petite challenge!


  1. I love pumpkin and these cupcakes are so adorable and sound incredibly delicious! Thank you so much for entering them into Treat Petite! And Happy Thanksgiving! :)

    1. Thanks Kat! I'm so happy I could do a second Treat Petite in a row! Can't wait to see what the theme is for November!

  2. These look adorable and I love the mini pumpkin decorations =)

    1. Thanks Laura! I know, I love the little pumpkins too. I refused to bake the cupcakes until I had found them in the bulk store! LOL


Thanks for a leaving comment - I love hearing from my readers!