Pumpkin Apple Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Since the weather went down from 80 degrees to 55 this weekend, fall’s on everyone’s mind, and what better way to celebrate the season than to make good use of the already stockpiled cans of pumpkin and jars of cinnamon?

With pumpkin in mind, I set off to make a ‘welcome to fall’ cupcake–a difficult task considering half of my office (my testing ground for my recipes) say they don’t like pumpkin. Seeing this as a challenge, I decided to bake some pumpkin cupcakes anyway, and I’m glad I did, because everyone-even the pumpkin haters-said they loved them.

This recipe, for whatever reason (could be the moist consistency, the general love of cream cheese, or maybe the seasonal craving for baking spices) seems to be the most popular of all the cupcakes I’ve made, with everyone stopping by my office and asking for the recipe…sounds like I’m bragging, but really, it’s more the ‘proud mom feeling’ of getting kids to ravenously DEVOUR vegetables [pumpkin] 😉


  • Electric beaters


For the cupcakes: (makes roughly 30 cupcakes)

  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (I like using the organic kind)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup apple-cinnamon applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Liberal dash of ground cloves
  • Dash of ground ginger
  • Dash of allspice
  • Dash of ground nutmeg

For the frosting:

  • 2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, rm. temp.
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, rm. temp.
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. maple extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Dash cinnamon

For the toppings: (optional)

  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • Dash white or brown sugar
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Candy corn pumpkins (can usually find these at convenience stores or pharmacies like CVS)

For cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with cups. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and all spices. Set aside.

In a very large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, and applesauce and beat until combined. Blend in the vanilla and pumpkin, then beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Spoon into the cups (can fill a bit more than 2/3 of the way full b/c the batter will not puff up that much, so feel free to fill the cups to at least 3/4 of the way full).

Bake about 25 min. (my toothpicks never came out completely clean, but that’s okay!) Allow to cool.

For the frosting:

Beat cheese and butter together until smooth. Add everything else except the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Either spread the frosting or use a piping bag. Sprinkle the tops of the frosted cupcakes with a dash of cinnamon (optional)

For the topping: (optional)

Grind walnuts, cinnamon and sugar in a food processor. Sprinkle on top of cupcakes. Top with candy pumpkin.

2 thoughts on “Pumpkin Apple Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Pingback: Pumpkin Apple Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (Revisited) | Baking Things

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