Pumpkin & Cream Cheese Cupcakes Recipe

Staff Writer
Pumpkin & Cream Cheese Cupcakes Recipe
Pumpkin & Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Pumpkin & Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Any time I manage to make a substitution for oil, eggs, or butter in a dessert, it's a happy day for me. Pumpkin purée (which has a similar consistency to applesauce) is actually the perfect ingredient to use as a substitute for oils and fats in baking. The end result is an incredibly moist cupcake that has the fiber and health of pumpkin without the fat and calories of oil. With such a healthy cream cheese cupcake, this recipe allows for a slight splurge on the frosting.

Click here to see The 12 Days of Pumpkin story plus more recipes.

Deliver Ingredients


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-1 ½ cups pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup walnuts, for garnish


  • Cupcake molds
  • Electric mixer


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line cupcake molds with paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.*

Add the pumpkin purée. Depending on the consistency of your pumpkin purée, you may need to add anywhere from 1-1 ½ cups of pumpkin purée. If your purée is fairly watered down, go with slightly less. If you've drained your purée and it is fairly thick, go with more.

Beat in the vanilla extract.

Divide the mixture up evenly, and place in cupcake papers. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, then set aside to cool.

In a clean bowl, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add the butter and mix well, using an electric mixer, for 3-5 minutes. You will likely need to repeatedly scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula during this process.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, spoon the frosting into a piping bag and frost the cupcakes.

Garnish with walnuts and serve.

Pumpkin Shopping Tip

Look for vegetables that are firm and bright in color – avoid those that are wilted or have wrinkled skins, which are signs of age.

Pumpkin Cooking Tip

Vegetable should typically be cooked as quickly as possible, as they can become bland and mushy, and lose vitamins and minerals.