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Sep 16


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

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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!



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  1. 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?


  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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! 🙂

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

    Marian, these are so incredibly cute!!!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. Didem Altop
    October 20, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Overall a very good recipe, thank you! The texture of the cupcakes were lovely, but both the cake and the frosting were quite sweet. To spice up the batter, I had added 1t of pumpkin pie spice to the cinnamon and ginger. If I were to make these cupcakes again I would add even more pumpkin spice (2t) plus vanilla (1t) and perhaps a little bit of orange rind (1t) might be nice too. I would also reduce both the white and brown sugar from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup each. For the frosting, I would reduce the butter from 1/2c to 1/3c and reduce the powdered sugar from 1lb (roughly 4c sifted) to .75lb (roughly 3c sifted) to allow for the creaminess, heaviness and tanginess of the cream cheese to shine through a bit more. The maple flavor in the frosting is nice but somewhat flat so I might add 1t vanilla to the frosting too.

  10. Shel
    October 13, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I had to come back and comment on this recipe. The cupcakes came out picture perfect and taste amazing. I’ve made icing from scratch several times before but never really loved the taste or texture, but this icing was so easy and turned out great. This is my new favorite recipe!

    • marian
      November 20, 2017 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Shel, I’m so glad to hear it!

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  1. […] 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 […]

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