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Easy pumpkin cupcakes that start with a cake mix, topped with a rich brown sugar and cream cheese frosting.

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes | www.tasteandtellblog.com

**Also seen on the Cafe Zupas Blog**

Have you ever had one of those days when you find out that you need a treat, and need it right away? So it couldn’t be an “experiment” – it had to be something failproof.

I had one of those days a few days ago. I got a call from my sister, saying that it was my sister-in-law’s birthday and that we should take her out for lunch. Great idea! But I was not prepared! If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I have been giving cupcakes to the birthday boy/girl in my family over the past 10 months. In my forgetfulness, or absentmindedness – I totally spaced her birthday, so I didn’t have a cupcake recipe planned to take to her. I knew I was going to have to go to the store since I probably didn’t have everything I needed on hand, and I only had a couple of hours before we met, so I knew I needed something I knew would work. I decided to just pick up a cake mix, since yes – they work every time! But I wanted something a little more, and I had remembered seeing a pumpkin cupcake made from a cake mix. After a quick internet search, which brought up lots of recipes, I decided on this one. It worked perfectly, was delicious, and I was right on time for the lunch with cupcakes for my sister-in-law!!

For the frosting, I used a recipe I used for my first blog post on this blog. I think about that frosting a lot because it was so delicious, but have never made it since. So I decided to take this opportunity to make it again, and I’m glad that I did, because it is my new favorite cream cheese frosting!

So if you are scrambling last minute for something to take to that Halloween party tomorrow night but you are running short on time, here’s your solution!

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Easy pumpkin cupcakes that start with a cake mix, topped with a rich brown sugar and cream cheese frosting.
Serves: 24 cupcakes
  • 1 package spice cake mix
  • 1 15 oz. can pure pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Paper-line or grease 24 muffin cups.
  2. Blend cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil and water in a large mixer bowl until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared cups, filling evenly.
  3. Bake for15-20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat until soft.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip cream to soft peaks, then fold into cream cheese mixture.
  6. You may have to refrigerate for a few minutes for the frosting to stiffen up enough to pipe on cupcakes.

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49 Responses to Quick and Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes

  1. nicole says:

    What cute lil’ cupcakes.

  2. kat says:

    Just perfect for the season

  3. kamailesfood says:

    Love pumpkin cupcakes! The frosting sounds delicious. I’ve never had cream cheese frosting like that. I’ll have to give it a try.

  4. Ryley says:

    oh… so mean!!! I have this craving for something pumkin that I just can’t get rid off.. the other night it was so bad. I had to whip up the pumpkin cobbler that you put a dry cake mix on top of. And then Aaron had the nerve to tell me I couldnt eat it for breakfast for the next 3 days!!!
    And my craving still isnt cured…

  5. Maria says:

    These are perfect for Halloween!! I will have to try your frosting recipe. Looks amazing!

  6. Emily says:

    Way cute cupcakes! Pumpkin are my favorite and your frosting recipe sounds really good! A must try!

    Have a Happy Halloween!

  7. Aimée says:

    Way to hustle up something great! We’ve been going nuts on pumpkin around here. Get ready for a slew of recipes…

  8. Sylvie says:

    Every now and then I think most of us go for the cake-mix-to-the-rescue option. They look great!

  9. noble pig says:

    Well you know I love them! Very cute.

  10. Tiffany says:

    I LOVE the photograph. Very nice!!!! I wish I could stand the thought of pumpkin. This is the time of year I wait for, to bake pumpkin goodies. But this pregnancy has so messed up my food cravings and aversions!! I guess I’ll have to re-do Fall in the Spring maybe? hahah!!

  11. Ingrid says:

    Looks and sounds DELISH!

  12. Mary says:

    I need to try your frosting recipe. It sounds fabulous! And I love a cake mix for a quick, easy and foolprrof dessert!

  13. Katy says:

    phenomenal! i love experimenting with pumpkin at this time in the season!

  14. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Such cute cupcakes! Happy Halloween!



  15. Lisa says:

    I am going to a party tomorrow night and need a dessert. I think I found it.

  16. housewifery says:

    ooh I make these every year. An even EASIER version of the recipe which creates moister denser cupcakes is to just mix the pumpkin with the spice cake and omit the other ingredients. It turns the cupcakes into the kind that get better over the next few days. 🙂

  17. Mrs. says:

    Would it be so wrong if I just made the frosting and ate that? I mean, some of these fancy cupcake places sell the frosting in a cup so it couldn’t be that wrong? 🙂

  18. Susan says:

    Yummy sounding ….
    Super easy!
    Wow they are perfect- now I know what to do with the spice cake mix in my closet that I keep pushing aside!

  19. ashley says:

    very cute! happy halloween!

  20. Patsyk says:

    These look great! I love the candy corns for decoration!

  21. Peabody says:

    I’d like to find those in my trick or treat bag.

  22. Darius T. Williams says:

    Ahh – this does looks quick and easy…and tasty!


  23. Grace says:

    “Have you ever had one of those days when you find out that you need a treat, and need it right away?”

    mmm…pretty much every day, and these would do quite nicely. heck, a couple spoonfuls of the frosting alone would suffice. 🙂

  24. Juliet says:

    Sounds delicious! I’ve been on a pumpkin kick at my blog and this sounds like a great recipe to try. I might make the frosting with low-fat cream cheese and see how that turns out.


  25. Katie says:

    These look very cute. Happy halloween

  26. Sophie says:

    Cute and tasty cupcakes to the rescue! What a yummy birthday gift :)!

  27. Joanna says:

    these could not look any cuter! i love candy corn (but who doesn’t?) and on top of pumpkin cupcakes? omg how perfect is that?

  28. Gigi says:

    Perfect fall cupcakes! Happy Halloween!

  29. Paula says:

    Um, I’m sure we are related somehow and so I’d like these when you make my birthday cupcakes! 🙂 My oldest daughter would pilfer those candy corn right off the top. These sound wonderful and actually would fit in wonderfully to a Thanksgiving menu. Love that cream cheese frosting! YUM!

  30. Bellini Valli says:

    Who wouldn’t love and appreciate these pumpkin flavoured cupcakes. I think we are related too:D I love pumpkin with a cream cheese icing…I love everything with a cream cheese icing!!

  31. Rico says:

    Fantastic cupcakes…and as they are fairly small easy to eat …just pop a whole one in your mouth and let them melt..hehe.. keep cooking they are great.


  32. Dawn says:

    I have many of those days when I want something sweet now and want those quick & easy shortcuts.
    Looks good to me…I'm game with these.

  33. Maryann says:

    That frosting sounds wonderful 🙂

  34. Heather says:

    how adorable! i love the little candy corn toppings!!

  35. Megan says:

    I have no problems using a cake mix! 🙂
    The frosting sounds devine. One cup of whipping cream = double yum!!!

  36. Jessie says:

    I love your cupcakes. They are adorable and look YUMMY!! I am also a part of daring bakers-can you advise on how to add the DB widget to my blog?

  37. Cynthia says:

    Deb, these are grogeous.

  38. Emiline says:

    They’re cute AND perfect!

  39. Madam Chow says:

    I’m seeing so many pumpkin posts that I’m getting itchy to start baking with it again!

  40. Maria says:

    Love these cute pumpkin cupcakes!


  41. glamah16 says:

    How fun! Im sure she loved them.

  42. Karie Lee says:

    These were a big hit for us! Thanks!

  43. Campbell's House says:

    Love your blog! I made these for thanksgiving, but i substituted gingerbread for pumpkin cupcakes. I loved them. The frosting rocked, too!
    Here’s to a great 2009!

  44. Anonymous says:

    These are so good!! Amazing frosting.

  45. Roxana says:

    These are just what I’m looking for. How full do you fill your cupcake liners? I’d like to make them for a babyshower and want them to look as cute as yours. Thanks!

  46. Katie Zufelt says:

    I loved the look of these CCakes right away so last night I whipped up a batch. Even without the frosting they are pretty! So light and fluffy and taste terrific!!! I don’t like candy corns so I will garnish mine with reeses pieces!!! Thanks so much for the great idea!!!!

  47. Ashay says:

    I just made these cupcakes for Thanksgiving and they are so amazing! The frosting is the best cream cheese frosting I have ever had. My dad and I could not stop eating the frosting plain out of the bowl. I love how simple the ingredients are for the cupcakes, too, I only had to spend $4 on the entire recipe (as I had some of the ingredients at home)

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