These semi homemade pumpkin spice cupcakes are to die for! They are so soft and fluffy and every bite is full of moist and flavorful cupcake and frosting goodness. I am addicted to pumpkin flavored things and these pumpkin cupcakes with cake mix and pudding are one of my favorite treats to make! Making these pumpkin spice cupcakes using cake mix is just another way to get desired results without the extra legwork!
What Are Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting?
These cupcakes are just like you’d expect, but with a fun twist. Instead of making cupcakes from scratch, we use yellow cake mix and canned pumpkin as the starter. This not only reduces our time in the kitchen but helps us to use fewer pantry ingredients! The added canned pumpkin and seasonings help to give us a well flavored and spiced cupcake that we can’t wait to sink our teeth into.
-Boxed Cake Mix: We need 1 box of yellow cake mix to make this recipe. You can use your favorite brand.
-Instant Pudding: We only need 1 box of instant vanilla pudding (just the dry stuff) to make these cupcakes extra moist.
-Canned Pumpkin: Just a small (about 15 ounce) can of pumpkin puree is enough for adding color, moisture, and flavor to these treats. Make sure you grab pumpkin puree and not the canned pumpkin pie filling as there is a difference!
-Baking Soda: Although the cake mix contains leavening agents, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda will help to make these cupcakes extra fluffy.
-Eggs: We need 2 large eggs to help bind these cupcakes together and get us a great crumb.
-Water: Using 3/4 cup of water we can thin down the batter so that it isn’t incredibly thick and paste-like.
-Spices: We will need 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and ground cloves, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger to spice these cupcakes up well.
-Butter: Using 1/2 cup (1 stick) of softened unsalted butter, we can get a rich and flavorful cream cheese frosting that tastes great!
-Cream Cheese: We will need 8 ounces (1 brick) of softened cream cheese.
-Powdered Sugar: 4 cups of powdered sugar will add a thick and sweet creamy texture to the frosting that we need.
-Milk: We will need about 1/4 cup of milk to get the right consistency in the frosting. You can use any dairy/nondairy milk of choice.
-Vanilla: With 1 teaspoon of vanilla we create a flavor base. You can use what you have on hand, but I prefer the high quality stuff because it tastes so much better.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners or grease it well.
Place all of the cupcake ingredients into a mixing bowl and then beat together for 4 minutes.
Fill your cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
Cook at 350°F for about 25 minutes. Test with a toothpick – it should come out clean.
To make them completely irresistible I usually top the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat the softened butter and cream cheese together in a bowl.
Add in the remaining ingredients. Beat again to combine.
Frost your cupcakes as desired.
- 1 box yellow cake mix 15.25 oz
- 1 3.4oz small box instant vanilla pudding
- 15 oz pure pack pumpkin
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ginger
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup salted butter 1 stick, softened
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 350F degrees and line your muffin pan with cupcake liners or grease them with nonstick cooking spray.
- Add all of the ingredients for the cupcakes into a large mixing bowl and beat for 4 minutes.
- Fill your cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.
- Let cool completely and then frost with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and the milk. Beat again. Add more milk ( a little at a time) if needed to help reach the desired consistency.
Can I make a larger pumpkin cake instead of cupcakes?
Absolutely! This cupcake recipe is so versatile it can be made into larger cakes as well. I’ve personally made this cake in a large sheet pan and smaller 9×9’s. For a large cookie sheet cake and 9×9 pans, you’ll need to bake for about 35 minutes. Make sure to let them cool completely before frosting or stacking!
How to store cream cheese frosted pumpkin cupcakes
I recommend storing already frosted cupcakes (and any remaining frosting) in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you plan on eating them the same day, they can remain at room temperature for up to 8 hours.
Yes, you can! After letting your cupcakes cool completely and frosting them as desired, take the cupcakes and place them in an airtight container, then place the container in the freezer. They can last in the freezer for about 3 months. When you want to eat one, simply remove it from the freezer and place it on the counter to thaw for a few minutes before enjoying.
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These Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect semi-homemade recipe for when you want something sweet and delicious. Every bite tastes like Autumn and you can’t help but fall in love with these frosted cupcakes.