The most delicious pumpkin spice cupcakes
Have a fun gathering coming up? Want to make a treat for the family? Need a dessert for Friendsgiving? Simply craving something sweet and fall-worthy?
Say it with me now: Healthy. Pumpkin. Cupcakes.
That’s what we’re mixing up today, and boy are they a treat! These healthy pumpkin cupcakes are the perfect way to welcome in the autumn season, complete with plenty of pumpkin flavor and sprinkled in cinnamon. And with a mouth watering cream cheese frosting, they’re a total must-try.
Ingredients in healthy pumpkin cupcakes
Kick off these pumpkin spice cupcakes by starting with the cupcake batter. While that cooks, we’ll prep a delicious cream cheese frosting made with butter, powdered sugar, and cinnamon!
- Almond flour: Start with 2 cups of almond flour. This is one simple ingredient swap that makes these cupcakes healthier! But, more on that in a second.
- Baking soda: Add 1/2 tsp of baking soda to help the cupcakes rise properly.
- Pumpkin pie spice: Bring in the delicious pumpkin flavor with 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice!
- Cinnamon: Compliment the spice with 1 tsp of cinnamon.
- Salt: Finish off the batter spices with 1/4 tsp of salt.
- Eggs: Next, use 2 eggs. These will help the ingredients bind together.
- Pumpkin puree: Add more pumpkin substance by including 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree.
- Maple syrup: Sweeten up the batter (naturally!) with 1/3 cup of maple syrup.
- Coconut oil: Use 1/4 cup of coconut oil as the oil base of the batter.
- Vanilla: Add 1 tsp of vanilla for taste.
- Chocolate chips: Last but not least, complete the batter with 2/3 cup of chocolate chips.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream cheese: The base of the cream cheese frosting will be made with 1 block of softened cream cheese. I used Neufchatel for 1/3 less fat, but you can use whichever brand you prefer!
- Butter: Next, throw in 1 tbsp of softened butter.
- Powdered sugar: Include 1 cup of powdered sugar to sweeten up the frosting and achieve the proper consistency.
- Cinnamon: Throw in 1/2 tsp of cinnamon for flavor.
- Vanilla: Finish things off with 1 tsp of vanilla.
Tools used to create this recipe
To make healthy pumpkin cupcakes, you’ll need a few kitchen tools. Grab these before you get started for a faster cooking process! It’s always easier when everything you need is right at your fingertips.
- Cupcake tin
- Muffin liners
- Nonstick spray
- Small mixing bowl
- Stirring utensil
- Large mixing bowl
- Cookie scoop
- Hand mixer or flat spatula
For measuring, you will need 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 2/3 cup, and 1 cup.
How to make this pumpkin cupcake recipe
All in all, you can expect this recipe to take less than 30 minutes. It’s simple and easy, and you’ll have delicious pumpkin treats before you know it!
To begin, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake tin with liners. Spray the liners with nonstick spray.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until everything is fully combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Using a cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly into the cupcake liners.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
While baking, start preparing the frosting.
Add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixing bowl and beat them together with a hand mixer. You can use a flat spatula or whisk, but a hand mixer makes it easier.
Slowly add in the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until everything is combined and smooth.
Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, add the frosting.
What makes these healthier cupcakes
There are a number of ways that I transformed these treats into healthier-than-usual cupcakes. It was made possible with the substitution of four ingredients!
First, I skipped regular all-purpose flour and replaced it with almond flour. This is a simple swap that tastes delicious and eliminates some of the processed chemicals that all-purpose flour brings.
I used coconut oil rather than vegetable or canola oil. Though all cooking oils are similar nutritionally, coconut oil does come out slightly on top. I love to use it in baking. It uses a 1:1 ration to vegetable oil, so it’s easy to use in nearly every baking recipe!
Neufchatel cream cheese
Finally, I went with my favorite cream cheese brand, Neufchatel. This brand comes with 1/3 less fat, making it a subtle but worthwhile swap. It tastes great too!
Softening the cream cheese and butter
Uh oh. You forgot to let the cream cheese and butter soften. That’s okay! If you have 30 minutes to spare, that should be enough time to let them sit at room temperature. If not, you can microwave the cream cheese for about 15 seconds, and the butter for about 10. Those time lengths should make both easily spreadable.
Cupcake add-on ideas
I know what you’re thinking — how can I take these up a level with toppings? Well, it’s easy! Sprinkle on any of the following treats for up-leveled pumpkin treats: chopped pecans, mini chocolate chips, grated Hershey bar pieces, or caramelized walnuts.
Storing pumpkin cupcakes
You can keep extra healthy pumpkin cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Be sure to use an airtight container to prevent them from drying out.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
Craving more pumpkin recipes? Me too! Dive into these festive ideas with options including muffins, scones, and even pasta!
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Recipe
- Easy Pumpkin Chili (Instant Pot and Stove Top)
- Healthy Pumpkin Scones
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photography by Moriah Sawtelle
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 block cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchatel for 1/3 less fat)
- 1 tbsp softened butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350F and line cupcake tin with liners. Spray liners with nonstick spray.
- In a small bowl, mix together almond flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin puree, and maple syrup. Add in the coconut oil and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until fully combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Using a cookie scoop, divide evenly into cupcake tin.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- While baking, start making the frosting.
- To a large bowl, add the cream cheese and butter and beat together with a hand mixer. You can also use a flat spatula or whisk, but will take more arm work.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until all combined and smooth.
- Once cupcakes are completely cooled, frost.
- Store in fridge.
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