Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Swirl Frosting

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Blog readers – get ready for the biggest event of the year. It’s October, which means it is Pumpkin Month! All month, Ellie and I are going to be posting recipes that use pumpkin all month and we are so beyond excited! We ❤ fall. Even though fall in New England is very different from fall in California, I can still pretend that the leaves are changing color and that I need to wear sweaters all the time. 😛 Seriously though, fall is the best time of year.

These cupcakes are incredible. The best recipes come when you’re baking with friends, and this recipe is proof. S, N, and I frosted these together. Don’t you love the swirled, two-color effect (special note to those of you in my English class: not affect)?  We chose purple and orange for Halloween, but you could do this with whatever colors you want. Speaking of amazing fall frosting, one of my fave bakeries posted this on Instagram the other day. Beautiful! So are the flavors in this cupcake. Pumpkin bread is my favorite fall dessert (funnily enough, I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie), and that’s what these cupcakes taste like. The cinnamon frosting tastes like fall itself! There are no words for the combination of cinnamon and pumpkin.

Such exciting things happening right now! Ellie just got a puppy! I have always been a dog person, and I think puppies are God’s gift to the world. Plus Yogi the Schnoodle is absolutely adorable. He gets his own blog too! Yay!

As you can tell, I’m very excited. You will be too, once you try these cupcakes.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Swirl Frosting (cupcakes adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)


  • for the cupcakes:
      • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
      • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or use a pinch each of ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice)
      • 2/3 cup (133g) packed dark brown sugar
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1 cup (227g) pumpkin puree (canned is best here)
      • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
      • 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • For the frosting:
      • 2 sticks of butter, softened
      • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
      • 2 tablespoons milk
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla
      • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
      • Optional: for swirl effect, 2 colors of gel food coloring (I used purple and orange for halloween).

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 12-count full-sized muffin pan with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners.

  1. First, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger into a medium bowl.
  2. In another medium bowl, whisk brown sugar and eggs together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Whisk pumpkin, oil, milk, and vanilla into the brown sugar and eggs.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until combined, being careful to not overmix the batter!
  5. Pour batter into the prepped muffin pan and bake for 17-18 minutes. Allow to cool completely (I’m impatient, so mine go in the fridge) before frosting.

To make the frosting:

  1. In a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth, about 1 minute.
  2. Add powdered sugar and beat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add milk, cinnamon and vanilla and beat until combined, about 1 minute. To frost, use a piping bag and tip (I used a wilton 1M) or a plastic bag with one corner cut off. Or, try the swirl technique below.

For the swirl:

  1. Divide frosting into 2 bowls.
  2. Add one color to each bowl, and mix thoroughly.
  3. Place your piping bag into a tall glass, pulling a “cuff” over the top.
  4. Using a spatula, stuff one color into half the piping bag.
  5. After rinsing your spatula, use it to stuff the other color into the other half of the piping bag. The two colors should be SIDE BY SIDE, not stacked.
  6. Pipe frosting onto your cupcakes and admire the swirled effect!

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One thought on “Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Swirl Frosting

  1. Kaitlin K. says:

    Nice recipe, I really liked making it and eating it! I wish you guys could post more recipes though. I also need a really good apple pie recipe for my mom’s bday and it would be helpful if you could post one. Thanks! 🙂


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