Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes are a perfect fall dessert. Tender and moist, full of warm spices, topped with silky smooth latte buttercream and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. A perfect dessert to welcome sweater weather.

As August turns into September, pumpkin spice lattes are all the rage. Call me strange, but I like an iced pumpkin spice latte rather than hot. In my opinion I can taste the flavors more if in the cold beverage.

And that’s one reason why I love these Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes so much. The flavor is spot on delicious, for when you want a little cake and frosting with your PSL.

an unwrapped cupcake with coffee frosting

Why you’ll love these cupcakes:

  • 100% homemade
  • Moist pumpkin cupcake that is perfectly spiced
  • Homemade silky buttercream made with a coffee pudding base
  • Pumpkin desserts freeze well so these are great for making in advance

What does a pumpkin spice latte taste like?

If you’ve never had a pumpkin spice latte, you first of all have to like the taste of coffee. Although it isn’t a strong coffee flavor, there is espresso in a latte. You’ll also taste creamy milk and a slight pumpkin flavor from a pumpkin sauce or syrup. Then there is the pumpkin pie spice, which is made up of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and sometimes cloves or allspice.

How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with 12 paper liners: set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
  • In a large bowl, beat pumpkin puree, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until combined.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients until no flour pockets remain.
  • Divide the batter between the baking cups, filling each about two-thirds full.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to completely cool.

It’s key to let the cupcakes cool before icing them or the icing will slide right off. I find 30 minutes of cooling time is usually enough. Pop them in the fridge for a few minutes to get them to cool more quickly.

Coffee Buttercream

This silky buttercream frosting is just a little bit different than traditional buttercream. It’s more like a swiss meringue buttercream that starts by making a cooked flour and sugar “pudding”. You then cool that cooked mixture and blend it into butter. The frosting ends up not being overly sweet. You’ll love it!

  • In a small saucepan, mix milk, flour, granulated sugar, instant coffee, and salt. Place saucepan over low heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil, whisking continuously. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until thickens.
  • Scrape the “pudding“ into a clean bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto the pudding. This keeps skin from forming. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • In a medium bowl, beat butter until light and creamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooled pudding, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until the buttercream looks thick, smooth, and creamy.
  • Using a rubber spatula, stir the buttercream to get rid of any large air pockets. Small pockets of air are good and keep the frosting light.
pumpkin spice latte cupcakes sitting on a table

What frosting goes with pumpkin cupcakes?

Don’t like a coffee flavored buttercream? Try one of our other frostings instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use gluten free flour?

You cannot switch out the all-purpose flour for almond or coconut flour. However, an all-purpose gluten free flour may work.

Can I use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger?

Yes. I’d use about 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice in place of those spices.

Can I use pumpkin pie filling?

No. Canned pumpkin pie filling has sugar and other ingredients in it that will affect the cupcakes. Use only solid pack pumpkin puree.

Can I freeze pumpkin cupcakes?

Yes! Pumpkin desserts freeze really well.

pumpkin spice latte cupcakes sitting on a wire rack
pumpkin spice latte cupcakes sitting on a wire rack

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes are a perfect fall dessert. Tender and moist, full of warm spices, topped with silky smooth latte buttercream and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. A perfect dessert to welcome sweater weather.
Servings 12
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour spoon & level method
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated preferred
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light or dark brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup oil canola, sunflower, or any neutral tasting oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree

For the buttercream:

  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 3 teaspoons instant coffee powder/granules
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • pinch of salt

Garnish, if desired:

  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

Make the cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with 12 paper liners: set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
  • In a large bowl, beat pumpkin puree, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until combined.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients until no flour pockets remain.
  • Divide the batter between the baking cups, filling each about two-thirds full.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to completely cool.

Make the buttercream:

  • In a small saucepan, mix milk, flour, granulated sugar, instant coffee, and salt. Place saucepan over low heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil, whisking continuously. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until thickens.
  • Scrape the "pudding“ into a clean bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto the pudding. This keeps skin from forming. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • In a medium bowl, beat butter until light and creamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooled pudding, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until the buttercream looks thick, smooth, and creamy.
  • Using a rubber spatula, stir the buttercream to get rid of any large air pockets.

Decorate the cupcakes:

  • Put the buttercream into a piping bag with a star nozzle attached (or whichever you prefer), and pipe it onto the cooled cupcakes.
  • If desired sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe making 12 cupcakes, with 1 serving being 1 cupcake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 121mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 2127IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 442
Keyword pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin spice, thanksgiving dessert

Other Cupcake Recipes

If you love cupcakes, try one of our favorites!

About Julie Clark

You might also like

Join the Discussion

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments