Fall is all about desserts like pies, crumbles, and cakes—if you can put seasonal fruit in it, you’re golden. There’s nothing quite like picking your own produce and then heading home to bake it up into something tasty, but it’s nice to have a way to satisfy your sweet tooth when you don’t have time for a trip to the orchard. That’s where pumpkin spice cupcakes come in. You see, this treat calls for pumpkin purée, and we happen to think it tastes just as good when you buy it at the store, meaning you can whip up the dish from start to finish in the amount of time it would take you to drive to the farm (yippee).
Pumpkin spice can go so many different ways in cupcake form—including being frosted with cinnamon icing, infused with rich bourbon, or topped with a nut-and-sugar streusel. We tried to find something everyone would like (including the little ones), and let’s just say we’ll be welcoming fall after seeing—and devouring—the finished results. Below, find the only three pumpkin spice cupcake recipes you’ll need this autumn. Scroll through, pick your favorite, and then get baking.
The Hero Ingredient: Pumpkin purée is really and truly the focus in this simple pumpkin spice cupcake recipe.
The Recipe: A combo of all your baking regulars gets amped up with pumpkin, cinnamon, and other spices. This mix can go any way you want—with chocolate chips, your favorite cinnamon icing, or even plain.
The Clincher: You can actually just mix this recipe up by hand—a one-bowl wonder if you will.
THE BOOZE-INFUSED OPTION
Pumpkin Cupcakes With Maple Bourbon Frosting
The Hero Ingredient: Undoubtedly, the bourbon. The almost vanilla sweetness of the spirit pairs well with the cream cheese to make a not-too-sugary frosting.
The Recipe: A batter made better with honey, maple syrup, and applesauce is baked for just over 20 minutes. Top with the above icing when cool.
The Clincher: These cupcakes have a denser consistency that makes one insanely filling… although we’ll probably have (at least) two.
THE VEGAN PICK
Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
The Hero Ingredient: Chopped pecans meld with coconut oil and muscovado sugar to create the ultimate cupcake crumble.
The Recipe: So these may be called “muffins,” but they’re so sweet that we think they qualify as cupcakes. Vegan ingredients like banana, almond meal, and gluten-free oats and flour make up the basic batter—just don’t forget the pumpkin pie spice and purée. When topped with the sugary combo above, these cakes are ready to hit the oven.
The Clincher: Make extra to freeze as a treat for busy weeks (just be sure to let them cool all the way first).