Pumpkin cupcakes on a board

Pumpkin cupcakes

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(50 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 25 mins


Makes 12

Use grated pumpkin or butternut squash for these gorgeous, spiced cupcakes

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal386
  • fat23g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs43g
  • sugars30g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4.3g
  • salt0.45g
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  • 175ml sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g coarsely grated pumpkin or butternut squash flesh



    Pumpkins are the most famous of all the winter squashes, and are most associated with Halloween…

  • 100g sultanas
  • grated zest 1 orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

For the frosting

  • 200g tub full-fat cream cheese
  • 85g icing sugar
  • toasted chopped pecans to decorate (optional)
    Pecan nuts



    Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases. Pour the oil into a large bowl and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat together, then add the grated pumpkin, sultanas and orange zest.

  2. Stir in the cinnamon, flour and bicarbonate of soda, the mixture will be quite wet. Spoon into the cases. Bake for 25 mins until firm and springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. At this stage you can freeze the cakes for 4 months.

  3. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth then spread on top of the cupcakes. Leave plain or decorate with toasted pecans. Store in the fridge, but return to room temperature to serve for the best flavour and texture.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Kay Hewitt's picture
Kay Hewitt
7th Nov, 2019
Lovely, easy recipe. I made them in advance of a bonfire night cook-out, and they were a lovely sweet addition. I was running out of oil, so made up the shortfall with melted butter. They are lovely and moist, much like carrot cake and had a lovely seasonal flavour. Nice even without the frosting
Clare Eldridge's picture
Clare Eldridge
6th Nov, 2018
HUGE SUCCESS - everyone loved them! Mixed a batch and a half to make 24 cupcakes. I used 20g less oil than suggested (as someone mentioned that they were a little too oily), mixed 2 tsps of cinnamon and 1 tsp of mixed spice, and used buttercream icing with a little cinnamon thrown in as I didn't have any cream cheese. A roaring success, with everyone complimenting on their autumnal flavours. Top stuff!
30th Oct, 2017
Ive got the insides of 6 big pumpkins scraped out before carving for Halloween so I'm trying every pumpkin recipe I like the look of. Gave this one a go and followed it to the letter, it's absolutely delicious however it does make more than the suggested 12 cupcakes. I filled 12 cases and had enough left to fill my 20cm cake tin also. I also couldn't be bothered grating my pumpkin so I gave it a quick blitz in the food processor instead, worked a treat. Haven't done the icing yet but I'm planning on putting orange food colouring (and maybe a little flavouring) to make them Halloweeny
24th Oct, 2017
Made a double batch of these yesterday and all gone today! Mixture made 28 large cupcakes. Didn't have enough cinnamon so did half cinnamon and half mixed spice which tasted and smelt lovely. My pumpkin flesh was quite stringy like spaghetti so finely chopped it rather than grating which worked fine. Even someone who doesn't like cream cheese or walnuts said it was delicious :)
1st Oct, 2017
Made these without the icing and they're delicious. The recipe made 15 very light, tasty cakes.
31st Oct, 2016
Used the insides of two small carved pumpkins so nothing went to waste. Didn't have any oranges or sultanas, so added a tsp of mixed spice as well as the cinnamon and they came out tasting great! Also used 50g less sugar and swapped the sunflower oil for olive oil.
23rd Aug, 2016
Not a huge fan of pumpkin but my mum gave me one from her allotment and I decided to try this recipe out. It was really lovely!! super easy and tastes really good :D
NatCupcake's picture
22nd Aug, 2016
These were lovely and very delicious. Kids loved them, will make again.
1st Nov, 2015
Absolutely delicious! I made them with buttercream instead of cream cheese frosting and they went down a storm. I would cut down on the oil a little next time as they do get slightly greasy
31st Oct, 2015
Delicious cake, really nice flavour and lovely light texture - didn't really know what to expect as never cooked with pumpkin before. Will definitely make again.


11th Oct, 2015
Is the weight of the pumpkin before or after it is grated?
18th Sep, 2015
Is there a way to make This recipe without the eggs? as I want to make these for a little boy with a dairy allergy. Thanks for any suggestions.
18th Sep, 2015
Ilove this recipe and would like to make them for a coffee morning at my sons school but I know a couple of the children are allergic to dairy and so I was wondering if there is an alternative to using the egg in this recipe.
30th Oct, 2014
I personally love cinnamon but unfortunately my husband absolutely hates it and can't bear even the mildest trace of it in anything. Can anyone suggest an alternative spice to use please, thank you.
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Nov, 2014
Hi there. Try using ground ginger instead, or perhaps some ground cloves and nutmeg, or a mixture of all three.
Nadine Miel
31st Oct, 2019
Used 125ml Coconut Oil instead of 175ml Sunflower Oil, zest of 1 lemon instead of 1 orange.. still tasted perfectly moist.. thank u!
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