Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Thanksgiving with my family is not Thanksgiving until everyone has had one of these famous cupcakes. I’ve been required to bring these every Thanksgiving for the past 8 years. This year I tried to bring a different & new dessert to Thanksgiving dinner and I was almost disowned! I must admit…these cupcakes are delicious. I normally do not use cake mixes, but the yellow cake mix works well with this recipe; if anything to add a golden “pumpkiny” colour to the cupcakes themselves. The cake itself has a wonderful cinnamon & nutmeg flavour with a subtle hint of pumpkin. However, the frosting is definitely the best part of the dessert. The pumpkin, pumpkin spice, cream cheese and whipped topping make the icing light & fluffy. It is really the best icing I’ve ever tasted. Even if you are not a huge fan of pumpkin, you’ll like these cupcakes. Guaranteed!


  •  1 package (2-layer size) of yellow or golden cake mix
  •  1 can (398ml) of pumpkin puree, divided (not pumpkin pie filling)
  •  ½ cup of milk
  •  1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  •  4 large eggs
  •  1 and ½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, divided
  •  1 package (250g) of cream cheese, softened (Philadelphia Cream Cheese)
  •  1 cup of icing sugar
  •  1 tub (1L) of Cool Whip Whipped topping, thawed
  •  ¼ cup of caramel topping
  •  ½ cup of toasted pecans


1. Preheat the oven to 350’F.

2. Beat the cake mix with 1 cup of pumpkin puree, milk, oil, 4 eggs, and 1 teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.

3. Pour mixture evenly into cups of a muffin tin.

4. Bake according to instructions of cake mix or until a toothpick inserted into the centres comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks.

5. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese in a small bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Be patient, as if you don’t allow the cream cheese to become creamy, you’ll risk getting lumps in your icing.

6. Add icing sugar, remaining pumpkin puree, and remaining ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice; mix well. Stir in whipped topping.

7. Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting & sprinkle each with a pinch of cinnamon or cinnamon sugar.

8. Drizzle with caramel topping and toasted pecans. Store in the fridge.

Source: Courtney Jones


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