My pumpkin spice cupcakes are an autumnal favourite! Light and fluffy pumpkin cupcakes, packed with delicious warming spices. A swirl of luscious maple pecan buttercream crowns these beauties, and an extra pecan for good measure! Truly, a seasonal triumph!
Pumpkin and spice and all things nice
Autumn is such a wonderful season. From glorious sunny but cool days to kicking up the leaves with the children, there is so much to enjoy. Add to that celebrations such as Halloween, Bonfire Night, Thanksgiving and Diwali, and you have a fun-filled list of events to look forward to!
As far as food goes, it is apple season of course, but also pumpkins! I love the versatility of pumpkins, from cakes and muffins to cookies and pies. Cupcakes are always high on the list though, and these pumpkin cupcakes do not disappoint. Truly, who can really resist anything pumpkin spice?
What ingredients do I need to make pumpkin spice cupcakes
- Flour: I use plain/all purpose flour to make these cupcakes. I prefer adding raising agents separately, as I do with salt, so I can control the rise of each of my bakes.
- Cornflour/corn starch: keeps the cupcakes really light and tender.
- Baking powder/bicarbonate of soda: the raising agents used in these pumpkin cupcakes.
- Salt: enhances the flavour of the bake, but it will not be so much that you taste it in the cupcakes.
- Spices: I use a combination of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger and nutmeg in these pumpkin spice cupcakes for a truly delicious autumnal bake.
- Butter: I prefer using unsalted butter as it means I can control how much salt goes into my bake. Used to make both the cupcakes and the icing.
- Caster sugar: for sweetness in the pumpkin cupcakes.
- Egg: helps with the structure of the cupcakes.
- Vanilla: purely for the delicate sweet flavour.
- Pumpkin puree: essential in these pumpkin spice cupcakes!
- Yogurt: part of the wet ingredients used for the cupcakes. Keeps the cupcakes light, moist and tender.
- Milk: I use whole milk to make up my buttermilk when making these pumpkin cupcakes.
- Icing/powdered sugar: for sweetness in the icing.
- Maple syrup: an essential flavour in the maple pecan buttercream, has a delicious earthy sweet flavour.
- Pecans: the other essential half of flavour in the buttercream. Can be substituted with other nuts if you prefer.
What equipment do I need to make pumpkin spice cupcakes?
- Cupcake tin*: you will need 12 hole cupcake/muffin tin to make these cupcakes in.
- Cupcake cases*: to bake the cupcakes in. I use larger cupcake cases, which are more muffin sized, so I have enough height in them for my bake.
- Digital kitchen scales*: my recommended method of measuring ingredients is to weigh them out using grams rather than cups. I do, however, provide cup measures too, if you prefer working with this method.
- Measuring spoons*: for measuring smaller quantities such as tablespoons (tbsp) and teaspoons (tsp). A set of dedicated measuring spoons are far more accurate than using everyday eating spoons, so is a small investment well worth making.
- Mixing bowl*: used to mix up the cupcake batter in before baking. I like to use a large bowl to give me plenty of room to work with. Also used to make the buttercream icing in once the pumpkin spice cupcakes are done.
- Sieve*: to remove lumps from the dry ingredients, ensuring it all mixes together evenly.
- Electric hand mixer*: this bake can be done entirely by hand, but having an electric mixer makes the job a lot quicker and easier.
- Jug*: to mix together the wet ingredients before combining them with the dry.
- Spatula*: for mixing and smoothing the pumpkin cupcake batter and the buttercream too, plus scraping down the bowl as you mix.
- Ice cream scoop*: useful to scoop out the cupcake mixture evenly into the cases.
- Piping bag*: used for piping the maple pecan buttercream onto the pumpkin spice cupcakes.
- Piping nozzle*: I used a 6B nozzle here, to create a beautiful icing swirl.
How to make this pumpkin cupcakes recipe
These cupcakes are actually really easy to bring together. First, make the light and fluffy pumpkin cupcakes. While they are cooling, make the maple pecan buttercream. Then simply swirl the maple buttercream frosting on the cupcakes before finishing it off with a pecan garnish. As simple as that!
For the cupcakes
Step 1: Line the cupcake tin with cupcake cases then set it aside. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F whilst preparing the cupcake mixture.
Step 2: Into a bowl, sift together the flour, cornflour (corn starch), baking powder, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), salt and spices. Whisk it all together then set this bowl aside.
Step 3: In a jug, mix together the yogurt and milk.
Step 4: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat it all together until the mixture is pale and really light and airy.
Step 5: Add the pumpkin pure to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. If the mixture looks a little curdled, no need to fret, it will all come together in the end.
Step 6: Tip in half the flour mixture into the pumpkin bowl, then mix to combine. Add in all the buttermilk and beat until mixed and smooth, then add the remaining flour mix and beat again until combined. Do not over mix.
Step 7: Spoon or scoop the cupcake mixture evenly between the 12 cases, then bake in the preheated oven for 18 minutes until springy to touch and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Leave them to cool for ten minutes in the tin, then remove the pumpkin spice cupcakes to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.
For the buttercream and decoration
Step 1: Chop the pecans finely. You can do this either by hand or by blitzing in a food processor. Either way, you will need the nuts to be finely chopped, but not a powder. Dry fry the chopped nuts for a few minutes over a medium heat to lightly brown, until they smell toasty and aromatic. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
Step 2: Cream the butter until light, fluffy and really soft. This normally takes me about 4-5 minutes. Your patience will be rewarded, I promise!
Step 3: Add half the sugar to the whipped butter and beat to combine. Then add in the maple syrup, mixing well. Now add in the second half of the sugar and beat again to combine. Beat the buttercream mixture for 3-4 minutes until wonderfully airy and light.
Step 4: Add in the chopped nuts and mix in until just combined. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large nozzle. Pipe swirls of buttercream on the cooled cupcakes, then finish each cupcake off with an extra pecan. Enjoy!
What can I do if I have run out of cupcake cases?
If you have no more cupcake cases left, you can make your own. Find a glass that fits snugly in your cupcake tin. Press a square of parchment around the bottom of the glass to shape it to a size that will fit in the tin. Then place your freshly shaped “cupcake case” in the cupcake tin and continue with filling and baking as per the recipe.
How do I know when my pumpkin spice cupcakes are baked?
These easy pumpkin cupcakes are done when they have risen, are firm on top, and are springy when lightly pressed. You could also use a toothpick or wooden skewer, poked into the middle of the cupcake, to test it. If doing this, you should have nothing come out sticking to the toothpick/skewer if the cupcake is baked. I prefer using a wooden tool as I find crumbs can sometimes slip off a metal skewer, so it does not accurately show me if my cakes are done.
How long do these pumpkin cupcakes last and how do I store them?
These delicious pumpkin spice cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container and will be fine kept at room temperature for 2-3 days. That is, if they last that long!
Can you freeze these pumpkin spice cupcakes?
Absolutely! Most cupcakes freeze well for up to three months. However, I would recommend freezing these pumpkin cupcakes undecorated, and make the buttercream when you are ready to decorate the cupcakes..
How to freeze cupcakes
Remember to freeze these cupcakes before they are decorated. To freeze the cupcakes, first make sure they are completely cool. Wrap each cupcake in cling film and place it in a sturdy airtight container before placing the container in the freezer. I prefer placing the cupcakes in a container as it will help protect the cupcakes from bumps and knocks when in the freezer.
How to thaw pumpkin cupcakes
Cupcakes thaw very quickly. Depending on the temperature of the room, they can normally be completely thawed in just a couple of hours. To thaw these cupcakes, just remove them from the container and unwrap the cling film. Place each cupcake on a cooling rack, brush off any ice crystals on them and cover with a clean tea towel while they defrost.
Additional tips for making this pumpkin spice cupcakes recipe
- Make sure all your tools and ingredients are prepared before you start mixing. Line the cupcake tin with cupcake cases, preheat the oven and get all the ingredients out ready to use. It is so much more enjoyable to bake when there is no stress of forgotten or not enough ingredients!
- Take time to read through the recipe so you are familiar with what steps come next. Another stress buster!
- If you do not have cornflour (corn starch in the US) to hand, simply use the same amount in plain flour. I would highly recommend the addition of cornflour if you have it though, it makes the cupcakes insanely light and beautiful!
- You can use store bought buttermilk, if you do not have yogurt to hand. Use a total of 60ml buttermilk in this case. If you wish, you can also make buttermilk a different way by mixing 1tsp of lemon juice with 60ml of whole milk. Stir this mixture and leave it to stand for 10-15 minutes before using.
- Dry roasting the pecans really bring out the flavour of the nuts. This step is optional, but I would highly recommend not skipping it!
- As a final flamboyance, you could also drizzle each cupcake with a little maple syrup if you wish! This will make these cupcakes a little sweeter, naturally, so go easy with the drizzle!
If you have any other questions about this recipe, please leave me a comment below, I will do my best to help you. And if you do make this recipe for pumpkin spice cupcakes, please do leave me a rating and review below. I would so appreciate your feedback and it is incredibly helpful for others looking for a recipe too. Additionally, you could also post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world. Please do, you know I would love to see it!
More recipes from my blog for you to enjoy
Do check out these other delicious recipes on my blog too:
Pumpkin spice cookies: My pumpkin spice cookies soft and chewy, and are full of delicious pumpkin spice! Perfect autumn baking, plus they are eggless, and easily vegan too! Yummmmm!!
Chocolate fudge cupcakes: My chocolate fudge cupcakes are delicious light and fluffy chocolate cupcakes topped with the most INCREDIBLE chocolate fudge icing and sprinkled with more chocolate to finish. Truly, a chocolate lover’s dream cupcake!
Banoffee cupcakes: if you are a banoffee fan, then this one is for you! A beautiful biscuit base followed by a light and fluffy banana cupcake with a hidden caramel centre. A rich caramel buttercream swirl follows, sprinkled with grated dark chocolate and drizzled with even more delicious caramel. Perfect for banoffee pie lovers everywhere!
That’s it from me for today! Happy baking, my friends! x
Recommended equipment I used *
|Cupcake tin||Cupcake cases|
|Digital kitchen scales||Measuring spoons|
|Electric hand mixer||Jug|
|Spatula||Ice cream scoop|
|Piping bag||Piping nozzle|