Pumpkin Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

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Today our pumpkin dessert kick continues (Did you see these vegan pumpkin donuts?)  and we’re making pumpkin buttercream cupcakes with the best buttercream frosting you could imagine…pumpkin spice buttercream with a hint of cinnamon! Okay, I’m biased, but buttercream is good.  I added pumpkin spice and cinnamon to this buttercream recipe to pump up the fall flavors and make these full on pumpkin cupcakes.

pumpkin buttercream cupcakes - pumpkin cupcakes with the best buttercream frosting

When October rolls around, pumpkins grab the spotlight. Between jack-o-lantern carving for Halloween and the popularity of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, pumpkins really get 2 months of stardom. And in my family we often have pumpkin pie also at Christmas so pumpkins really get to shine the entire last quarter of the year. That’s a pretty good run. You’d think we’d grow tired of recipes with pumpkin and maybe some do, but I’ll own up to getting sucked into the pumpkin hoopla every year. Maybe it’s the magic of the changing seasons? Whatever the case, by the time fall rolls around I’m over the warm weather and ready for sweatshirts, fall colors, and fall baking.

Fall baking in our house means large batches of mulligatawny soup, butternut squash soup, and our garlic butter pizza. But, of course, I also can’t resist some recipes that feature pumpkin. Sticking with the dessert theme, this time we decided to go for pumpkin buttercream cupcakes. I love the decadent buttercream frosting…I’m a buttercream addict. But buttercream is the perfect for cupcake frosting.


pumpkin buttercream cupcakes - pumpkin cupcakes with the best buttercream frosting

Making Buttercream Frosting

Making buttercream frosting is pretty easy. First, beat the butter in a mixer. Then add in the vanilla plus any extra spices or flavors. As mentioned above, I made a pumpkin spice buttercream so I added in pumpkin spice plus a little cinnamon just for fun. Then add your sifted sugar one cup at a time and mix. Finally, add the milk or cream one tablespoon at a time until your buttercream frosting reaches the desired consistency (nice and smooth, not clumpy). That’s it!

There are other methods you can try out so just experiment and find out what works best for you and your taste! Over on She Knows, cupcake experts Allison and Matt Robicelli–owners of the famous Robicelli’s Bakery in Brooklyn, New York–offer up 6 tips for the perfect buttercream frosting including adding mascarpone cheese. Oooh, interesting! I might have to try that one out.

Of course, once your buttercream is done you’ve gotta figure out how to make your cupcakes pretty. I usually end up watching one of the many youtube videos on buttercream piping techniques which show you how to do lots of cool styles of piping. I love that I can turn to youtube for this sort of instructional video, but they always make it look way easy. It’s not! I usually have at least a few hand-to-forehead moments when my cupcakes come out less than perfect, but in the end they taste the same regardless of whether you make the perfect buttercream rose or not so don’t beat yourself up about it. Just have fun, experiment and get better. I’m sure our kids won’t mind if I make extra batches of cupcakes.



pumpkin buttercream cupcakes - pumpkin cupcakes with the best buttercream frosting

Don’t these pumpkin cupcakes look good? The kids loved them and want to know when we’re going to make cupcakes again. But with all the desserts we’ve been making for the blog lately we might have to wait….well, for a little bit at least. And “no”, you don’t have to eat your cupcake with a fork (pictured above), but did you ever see the below Seinfeld episode where the trend of eating dessert with silverware takes off?

I particularly enjoy during the office meeting when after George is asked why he is cutting up his Snickers bar, he responds in a condescending and derisive tone with, “I am eating my dessert….how do you do it…with your hands?”. 🙂

It’s funny, but who really cares how you eat your dessert so long as you enjoy it, right? Okay, okay, I do care a little how my kids eat it. What parent doesn’t scream, “eat over a plate!” multiple times a day? Hey, once my kids (and husband) learn to vacuum and mop the floor on a regular basis then they can eat things however the want. Until then, they can do it my way! 🙂


pumpkin buttercream cupcakes - pumpkin cupcakes with the best buttercream frosting


pumpkin buttercream cupcakes - pumpkin cupcakes with the best buttercream frosting


Enough talk, let’s get to the pumpkin buttercream cupcakes.  Details below:

pumpkin buttercream cupcakes - pumpkin cupcakes with the best buttercream frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream

Print Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


For the cake:

  • 3/4 c . oats
  • 1 1/4 c . boiling water
  • 1 c . sugar
  • 1 c . brown sugar
  • 1/3 c . oil
  • 1 c . pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c . flour
  • 1 tsp . baking soda
  • 1 tsp . baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp . salt
  • 1 tsp . cinnamon

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 3 c . confectioner sugar , sifted
  • 1/2 tsp . pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp . cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp . vanilla
  • 3-4 T . milk or heavy cream


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Add boiling water to oats.
  • Stir slightly and let stand for 20 minutes.
  • Mix brown sugar, sugar, pumpkin, and oil.
  • Stir in eggs.
  • Add oatmeal mixture and stir.
  • Mix in remaining ingredients.
  • Scoop into lined cupcake pan.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F.

For the frosting:

  • Beat the butter in a stand mixer for 1 minute.
  • Add spices and vanilla and mix.
  • Add sifted sugar one cup at a time and mix.
  • Add milk or cream one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.
  • Piped onto cooled cupcakes.


Serving: 1g

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  • Reply
    October 14, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Whaaaaat!? Oh man, yes please! These cupcakes are exactly what I need, this weekend! I love pumpkin spice buttercream so much!

  • Reply
    Julia (@imagelicious)
    October 14, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Co idea about adding pumpkin flavour to the frosting. For some reason I usually expect buttercream to be vanilla only. And you got me thinking about a life before YouTube videos… how did people learn how to pipe buttercream before YouTube? Right? 🙂

    • Reply
      October 17, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Thanks. A coffee store I went in had pumpkin spice whipped cream and I thought, hey, if they can put it in whipped cream, I can put it in buttercream, right?!? I am horrible at cake decorating, so I have no idea what I would have done before YouTube. It wouldn’t be pretty, that’s for sure.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2016 at 2:02 am

    Pumpkin is just so versatile! these cupcakes look wonderful

  • Reply
    Just Jo
    October 15, 2016 at 2:40 am

    Oh those cupcakes look wonderfully moist. The oats and brown sugar are definitely calling to me, plus the spice and vanilla too of course! Beautiful little cakes 😀

    • Reply
      October 17, 2016 at 8:30 am

      Thanks! I think that’s one of the reasons I like them, the pumpkin keeps them from drying out like some cupcake recipes.

  • Reply
    Natalie | Natalie's Food & Health
    October 15, 2016 at 4:20 am

    Hahaha I loveee that episode with George eating snickers bar with fork and knife 😀 Sooo funny! Maybe you are now setting a new trend here… eating cupcakes with silverware 😉 And speaking of those pumpkin cupcakes… they look absolutely delicious! Fluffy, moist… yummy! Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe. Pinning and sharing! 😉

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