Sep 16


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

Share it!   

Adapted from Ina Garten and Martha Stewart’s pumpkin cupcakes, this recipe has always been a favorite for me. Amazingly enough I even prefer it to pumpkin pie because it’s so moist, delicious and easy to make!

The cupcake recipe is kid-friendly, just a few bowls and a whisk is all you’ll need.

I was thrilled to have them featured in a local magazine, Good Life Magazine, and thank Katherine Elphick for the lovely article, and Ellie Kistemaker for the fantastic photographs!

It was fun to watch Ellie work and am grateful for the photography tips and tricks she shared with me!

The topper is also inspired by Martha’s version here. So quick and easy to make, they’re perfect for anything autumn or Halloween themed. If you’d like to make them, the recipes are below and here’s a little pumpkin how-to:

How to Make Pumpkin Toppers

You’ll Need:

Here’s a quick visual summary for you:

And in more detail…


1.     For the pumpkin garnishes, color a small amount of fondant orange.


You can vary the amounts as not all pumpkins are the same size, but as a guideline, I used approximately 10 g or 0.30 ounces.

2.     Between the palms of your hands, roll the fondant into a ball.

3.     Poke a hole in the top of each with a toothpick and rotate in a circular motion, creating an opening for the pumpkin stem.

4.    Score lines into each pumpkin with a toothpick from top to bottom.

I go around a few times until I’m happy with the shape.

The batch on the left, below, was made with a little less food coloring. Make yours as bright or pale as you like by playing with the amount of color you add.

5.    If the hole in the pumpkin is deep enough and the stems narrow enough at the base, the stems will stay inserted into the pumpkin, but for some added security, add a dab of royal icing inside the hole to act as a sweet glue.

6.    Color a small amount of fondant brown. Roll tiny bits into stem shapes, score a few lines into the stem with a paring knife or toothpick and insert into the tops of the pumpkins.

7.    Pumpkin Leaf – {Optional} Pictorial summary above and for detailed instructions click here).

Enjoy the recipe!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

Yield: 10-12 Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing


    For the cupcakes:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • For the icing:
  • 254 g (1 block) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbs real maple syrup
  • 1 lb icing sugar


    For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger, into a medium bowl.
  3. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Divide the batter among the muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Set pumpkin cupcakes aside to cool completely. These are delicious frosted with cream cheese icing or just as is!
  6. For the Icing:
  7. Cream the cream cheese, butter and maple syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Slowly add the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
  8. Once your cupcakes are cool, ice them with a butter knife or large piping bag and tip of your choice. (I used a large round tip – Ateco #809).

Hope this inspires you to try a new pumpkin recipe or do some fall baking. Do you have any pumpkin recipe favorites?

Share your thoughts with me here in the comment section below, or you can share them on Facebook or twitter.

Happy decorating!



p.s. If you’d like to never miss a post, and/or receive more tips on decorating, click on this button below to sign up for free:



Related Content


  1. Robyn
    October 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I just made these and they’re great! I will note that I halved the cream cheese icing recipe and had some left over even after frosting twelve cupcakes pretty generously. I would definitely think the icing is more appropriate for two dozen at the volumes printed here.

  2. Erin
    October 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    @ Cheryl:
    Hi, not sure where in Aus you live but I am in Melbourne and you can get canned pumpkin from the USA food store. They also deliver Aus wide. Check their website. They may also be able to tell you if they supply to any stores in your area as they import and supply a lot of products to other stores.

  3. Deanna Williams
    October 22, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian! So I made a slight variation of these last week, they were great! How do you get that perfect circle of frosting, like a cloud or pillow!?
    I tried swirling with a large round tip but it came out sloppy. Maybe you held it in the center and applied pressure until it fluffed up high enough?
    I need to know!
    Thanks :)

  4. marian
    October 25, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Super, @ Robyn, thanks so much for your input!

    Hi @ Deanna Williams: I used a really large round tip (Ateco #808), and, just as you said, I held it in the center and went around. Here is a video on how I do it, (different piping tips shown though):

    Hope that helps!

  5. Nikki
    October 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    These are fantastic cupcakes! But I was wondering if this recipe could be made into pumpkin bread and if so do you have to change any ingredients? Thank you!

  6. Marian
    October 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi @ Nikki, I haven’t tried it but I don’t see why not! Maybe use a little loaf pan like one you might use for banana bread. Let me know how it goes please. :)

  7. Katelyn
    October 31, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m in the process of making these right now….for the frosting is it 1/2 pound of butter (2 sticks) or is it supposed to be 1/2 cup (1 stick)?

  8. marian
    November 1, 2012 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Hi @ Katelyn: Both ways works, no problem. With 2 sticks definitely has more of cream cheese taste and is less sweet. Hope you like it!

  9. Nicky
    November 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Stumbled across your recipe, and made these yesterday using some leftover pumpkin I had – I just wanted to thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU again, for this incredible recipe… I will be making these over and over again. Unbelievable texture and wonderful flavour. Definitely going into my “favourites” folder!

  10. Marian (Sweetopia)
    November 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    @ Nicky: That’s so great to hear! Thanks!!

  11. Jennifer
    November 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I made these for a family event this past weekend (just plain cream cheese frosting) and everyone loved them. They were inhaled. I have been trying a lot of pumpkin cupcake/cake recipes and this one is the best. It tastes just like pumpkin pie, but had the consistency of the perfect cupcake. And it’s easy! (It doubled just fine.) Now I can stop looking for the right recipe!

  12. November 6, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian, your pumpkin cupcakes looks fantastic and delicious. Surely will try out this cupcakes recipe and your incredible pumpkin’s fondant, i bet will have a lots fun.

  13. jessica
    November 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    what do you mean by 1lb on the unsalted butter and icing sugar? is it like the whole tub or bag? soory still new to baking! thanks!!

    • marian
      September 22, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Hi Jessica,
      1 lb means one pound or 2.2 kg. You’d need a scale to weigh it out, or, if you’re buying the icing sugar at a bulk store, they have scales to weigh there. Weighing is the most accurate way to measure items, so if you’d like to bake more in the future, it’s a great investment btw. Good luck!

  14. Michelle
    November 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi there! I would like to use this recipe for a cake instead of cupcakes and I was just wondering if the frosting crusts at all? I’d like to use the Viva method to smooth it, do you think that will work with this frosting?

    • November 3, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Hi Michelle, sorry I missed your question earlier! It doesn’t really crust like a buttercream or frosting does – if anything it gets softer at room temp (of course depending on the temp you’re in).

  15. Jessica
    November 14, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink


    Gonna try this recipe on Saturday. Just a question, I do not use all purpose flour, instead I use Self Rising; I think its substitute de baking soda, baking powder and salt portions, right?

    • marian
      September 22, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Hi Michelle,
      Sorry my answer is late! Didn’t see it until now!
      I don’t interchange self-rising with all purpose flour, as I like to control the amount of leavening agent (baking powder etc.) which goes in my recipe. How did they turn out for you?

  16. Michelle
    July 7, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Marian, first of all, I love your work, it has been much inspiration to me. Though I have been baking for years, I’m new to the “business” of it and relatively new to cookies. I am having trouble with cream cheese icing. I don’t even know how to explain the flavor of the many recipes I have tried. Going to try this one, but I can’t seem to get that rich sweet taste of the higher end restaurants. Any suggestions? Do you think mascarpone cheese vs regular cream cheese is the issue?

    • marian
      September 22, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Hi Michelle, I find this one quite sweet as well, but paired with the cupcake, it’s nice, in my humble opinion. If you’d like yours less sweet, yes, try mascarpone, or increase the amount of cream cheese and lessen the amount of icing sugar.

  17. araceli armenta
    September 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    intentare hacer para practicar el glass no me sale me queda muy aguado

  18. September 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this gorgeous cupcake, the recipe well explained, and the pictures are absolutely awesome, have a nice day, liên

  19. Tammy
    September 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Wow…these are fantastic! Just made a double batch and they came out perfectly. Can’t wait to try them with the icing.

    Thanks so much for this recipe:-)

    • marian
      September 22, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Yay! Glad you like them!

      Thanks for the comments everyone!

  20. Ivana
    September 21, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I really Like your work! I wonder if you could tell me how to manage frosting to be firm? Thank you in advance

    • marian
      September 22, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Hi Ivana,
      Putting it in the fridge firms it up. Have fun decorating!

  21. Brisis
    October 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    So I made these yesterday and they are soooo delicious and easy to make. The frosting was awesome too. I usually don’t like cheese based frostings, but this was had the right amount of cheese and sweetness. My mom piscked up a dozen last night and by morning only 1 was left!

    I do have to say, that this is my first time using fondant. I was only able to make like 3 pumpkins. It was just too time consuming and my 2 year old would not let me finish them.

    How do you keep the fondant from becoming shiny and glossy looking. It did not come out matte like in your picture. Any tips would help.

    PS. Love, LOVE, love you website! Everything is so pretty and delicious.

    • October 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Hi Brisis,
      I’m so glad you like them!
      Add more corn starch or icing sugar to your hands or the surface to help matten it a bit. If your environment is humid that makes it a bit harder to work with as well. Thanks so much for your lovely comments!

  22. Teresa
    October 16, 2013 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    I have made this recipe several times and everyone loves them! I am even making it for my daughter’s wedding cake this Saturday! I have a question: this cake will be a 14″ round (2nd tier from bottom, setting on a 16″ with a 9″ and 6″ on top of this tier. Would you recommend making this recipe more dense (to help support the top 2 tiers), or leaving it as is? For each tier,I will be using a support system of plastic rods and dowels with cake plates that sit in the rods for each tier. I am concerned about the density as I’ve been told that the bottom tiers should be a more dense cake. (fyi…bottom tier/16″ is white almond sour cream, then the 14″ pumpkin, 9″ chocolate, with 6″ anniversary tier the pumpkin) I hope I have made sense! Thank you again!

    • November 3, 2013 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Hi Teresa! I’m so sorry I missed your comment in time! How did everything go?

  23. Michele
    October 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    I love these cupcakes! I think someone else asked this but I couldn’t find an answer. I’d like to make this into a cake for cake pops. If I just use these amounts, what size cake pan would work and how long would I need to bake it?


    • November 3, 2013 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Hi Michele,
      I haven’t used this recipe to make cake pops, so am not 100% sure, but I’m guessing a 9 inch round pan would work. Please let me know if you try it, how it goes. Thanks!

  24. Lourdes
    November 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Marian. These cupcakes look delicious! Can I use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar?
    Yesterday I made Banana Cupcakes, and the recipe asked for granulated sugar, but instead I used brown sugar. Im not sure if that was the reason why they didn’t rise as they were supposed to :( Help, please!

    • November 3, 2013 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Hi Lourdes,
      Baking can often be finicky, in that exact measurements need to be used for the recipe to turn out. I haven’t tried this one with brown sugar, so can’t tell you for sure, sorry!

  25. Kim
    November 2, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Marian, what kind of all-purpose flour do you use for your pumpkin cupcakes?

    • November 3, 2013 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Hi Kim,
      I don’t have a preference at the moment, but may have use Robin Hood flour for these. (Is that what you meant, the brand?).

  26. sonia yara
    September 28, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Hi,I like to know if there is some product to shine pumpkins.
    If yes. could you please inform?


  27. lia
    October 15, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marion,

    I’m in the middle of making these. 24 beautiful cupcakes so far and 12 more to go in the oven. They are for tomorrow, do I have to store them (frosted) in the fridge overnight?

    Thank you and thanks for this delightful recipe!! I tried one already :)

    • marian
      October 15, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Hi Lia,
      Yes, put them in the fridge until about an hour or so before you need them. (Because of the cream cheese in the icing). Glad you like them!

  28. Shary
    October 18, 2014 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    I have no idea what icing sugar is? Would powdered sugar work? We don’t have any store here where you can buy these items in bulk. Just a regular grocery store.
    Very excited to try these..

    • marian
      October 18, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Hi Shary,
      Yes, icing sugar is powdere sugar. Have fun!

  29. Harley
    October 26, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I made these for a baby shower and every woman in the room ate at least one, some took two because they were so good. I only used one stick of butter for the frosting, and didnt have real maple syrup so I used 1 Tablespoon of log cabin syrup lol it worked fine. They were delicious, im making another batch tomorrow!!

    • October 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Hi Harley,
      I’m so glad they were a hit and that you’re making more! :)

  30. March 25, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Marian, these are so incredibly cute!!!

  31. Kimberly
    September 18, 2015 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi. Have you ever used this recipe to make a cake? I need a pumpkin cake recipe for my husbands birthday. Thanks.

  32. October 11, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    I read somewhere that cupcakes should never be stored in your refrigerator,( even when they are covered ) it dries them out.

  33. Jennifer
    November 6, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    I made these today and they were fantastic! I only did 6 pumpkins because I was using some leftover fondant that was just hard to work with so I frosted the rest with orange sprinkles! These would be fantastic even without the frosting. Next time I would cut the frosting recipie down by a third since I had way too much even though I piped a ton of frosting on them! I saved the extra to spread on some banana bread we happen to have … Doesn’t that sound great with coffee tomorrow! Thanks for the great recipe!

Show Pingbacks & Trackbacks

  1. [...]  Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing by Sweetopia Recipe Here [...]

  2. [...] Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing from Sweetopia [...]

  3. By 51 Halloween Treats Made Simple on September 29, 2012 at 6:31 am

    [...] Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing by [...]

  4. By Pass the Pumpkins | Bliss on September 30, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    [...] PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH MAPLE ICING By: Sweetopia [...]

  5. By Pumpkin cupcakes | Afters on October 1, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    [...] the smell of pumpkin wafting from the oven. I had been eyeing these cute fondant cupcake toppers on Sweetopia’s blog for a few weeks now, and I needed the perfect excuse to make them. Thankfully, my [...]

  6. By All Things Pumpkin | Jamie on October 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    [...] Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing - Sweetopia [...]

  7. By Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing on October 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    [...] Find the recipe at : [...]

  8. [...] Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing 06 Oct Recipe available at Sweetopia. google_ad_client = "pub-8473309536422600"; google_ad_width = 336; google_ad_height = 280; [...]

  9. [...] adapted this recipe from one I found at She made her cute pumpkin decorations with fondant and has some really great tips for making them. [...]

  10. [...] Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing [...]

  11. By Top 10 Must-Make Pumpkin Desserts : O2O Blog on October 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    [...] credit: Sweetopia [...]

  12. [...] sugarpaste pumpkins are inspired by these ones here over on Sweetopia . I haven’t done much sugarpaste work so I am pleased with how this cake [...]

  13. By Pumpkin cupcakes with maple icing | pizzarossa on November 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    [...] cupcake recipe was slightly adapted from sweetopia and the icing recipe comes from [...]

  14. [...] Find the recipe here. [...]

  15. [...] on a pumpkin cupcake with maple cream cheese frosting.  The recipe can be found on this website and is an adaptation of a recipe found on Martha Stewart’s website.  Detailed [...]

  16. By 4 Year Blogiversary | Sweetopia on March 31, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    [...] Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing [...]

  17. By Fall Favorite Cupcake & Cookie Ideas | Sweetopia on September 22, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    [...]  Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing [...]

  18. By Pumpkin Recipes on September 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    [...] Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing from Sweetopia [...]

  19. By October + Halloween! | Kyra Faulkner on October 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    [...] Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing [...]

  20. [...] Sweetopia and Photo: Ellie Kistemaker [...]

  21. By Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Cupcake Recipe | Sweetopia on October 14, 2013 at 8:12 am

    [...] tablecloths, but if you’re serving these without covering in fondant, I’m thinking maple cream cheese icing would also be nice. More on how I made the tea party toppers in an upcoming [...]

  22. [...] 45.  Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing  Source [...]

  23. By 7 Halloween Mini Desserts With Pumpkin on October 21, 2013 at 9:06 am

    [...] Recipe & photo credit to [...]

  24. By Easy Chocolate Frosting Recipe | Sweetopia on October 30, 2013 at 10:14 am

    [...] Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing [...]

  25. [...] butter. Top each with a handmade fondant-icing pumpkin for that perfect seasonal touch! Source Sweetopia Share : Pin ItTweet Posted by in Halloween Cupcakes, Thanksgiving Cupcakes and tagged with [...]

  26. [...] by admin Nothing says fall – or the holidays for that matter – like pumpkin flavored “everything” including cupcakes! These pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese icing are the perfect dessert to serve at all of the your autumn-themed parties. The cupcakes themselves are made from pumpkin puree, ground ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar, flour, eggs and several other “classic” ingredients, while the maple cream cheese icing consists of a mix of maple syrup, icing sugar, cream cheese and unsalted butter. Top each with a handmade fondant-icing pumpkin for that perfect seasonal touch! Source Sweetopia [...]

  27. By Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting on November 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    [...] season without cupcakes suitable for fall, so we turned to one of our favorite blogs for a recipe: Sweetopia.  You get all the flavors from the spices we usually use this time of year, like cinnamon and [...]

  28. [...] You can find more information on making the leaf here. [...]

  29. [...] paired pumpkin cupcakes with the cream cheese icing, and chocolate & vanilla cupcakes with the [...]

  30. [...] Nothing says fall – or the holidays for that matter – like pumpkin flavored “everything” including cupcakes! These pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese icing are the perfect dessert to serve at all of the your autumn-themed parties. The cupcakes themselves are made from pumpkin puree, ground ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar, flour, eggs and several other “classic” ingredients, while the maple cream cheese icing consists of a mix of maple syrup, icing sugar, cream cheese and unsalted butter. Top each with a handmade fondant-icing pumpkin for that perfect seasonal touch! Source Sweetopia [...]

  31. [...] Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Frosting- Sweetopia [...]

  32. [...] adapted from this recipe here.  September 26, 2014 by [...]

  33. [...] Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing [...]

  34. [...] SPICE CUPCAKES w/ MAPLE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (Adapted from Sweetopia) Makes 10-12 cupcakes or ~36 mini [...]

  35. By Stork Cupcake Toppers | Sweetopia on May 18, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    [...] toppers are carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese icing and the cupcakes with pink toppers are pumpkin with cream cheese [...]

  36. [...] cupcake adapted from Sweetopia, frosting made by Confectionary Tales] Posted on November 12, 2013Author [...]

Leave a Reply

XHTML: The following tags may be used: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


{Video} How to Dry Cookies Decorated with Royal Icing

{Video} How to Dry Cookies D…

225 Comments | Posted January 5th 2012

Privacy | © Copyright 2009-2016, Sweetopia. All Rights Reserved.