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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28th Oct, 2015
These were delicious. Used up the pumpkin flesh after carving, but I'd only got a very small one so I topped the pumpkin up with a chunk of carrot that was left in the fridge and a bit of apple. They were extremely easy to make (although grating the pumpkin was a pain!) and they came out perfectly. I reduced the oil slightly and added a squeeze of juice from the zested orange. I used large cupcake cases, not muffin cases, so got 17 from the mixture and reduced the cooking time to 22 minutes. I should point out that I can't comment on the frosting though, as I made my normal cream cheese icing rather than using this recipe as I wanted something thicker that I could pipe.
29th Sep, 2014
delicious, easy to make, will make these again!
28th Mar, 2014
These are really delicious cupcakes. Followed the recipe exactly and they turned out brilliantly. They make lovely moist cupcakes, and the spices give them a wonderful flavour. Cream cheese frosting is always everyone's favourite over buttercream too, so no surprise these didn't last long at all. Will definitely make again.
11th Feb, 2014
Made these last week - so easy and really tasty. I used butternut squash, and couldn't get any liquid out, but that didn't seem to matter. I couldn't find muscovado sugar in the shop, so just used 'light brown sugar' which may or may not be the same thing, but it didn't seem to make much difference. I got 14 muffin cases from the recipe and used walnuts and orange zest to decorate (pecans were too expensive!). Will definitely make again, everyone loved them!
19th Sep, 2015
Muscovado sugar tends to have a toffee like/caramel taste.
11th Jan, 2014
These were delicious, they went down really well at our bake sale. I made them with butternut squash and got 16 out of the recipe which was nice.
8th Nov, 2013
Delicious cupcakes, everyone absolutely loved them. I grated the pumpkin in the food processor and although it was quite wet, the muffins turned out fine. I got 12 muffins out of it, and used 150g cream cheese (but the same amount of icing sugar) as the cream cheese packet was 300g and I thought I could make another batch and get a second lot of icing out of one packet. I've made them twice, today with carrot instead of pumpkin. Carrot was a lot less wet than the pumpkin and tasted the same. I made them about an hour ago and there are only six left! Really moist and really tasty.
31st Oct, 2013
A great cupcake. This made 16 good sized cakes, and I used 120g of cream cheese (all I had) and 30g of butter with the icing sugar and a couple of drops of orange essence, beaten really well until thick. Working with pumkin is a bit of a faff (squeeze out every last drop of water by pressing the pumpkin flesh in a sieve), but worth the effort as these are light, tasty and pretty simple to make (though don't try whisking in the pumpkin with an electric whisk as it just gets tangled up). Will try next time with mixed spice for a little more oompf!
31st Oct, 2013
These cupcakes were divine! My whole family loved them, briallant recipie full of goodness and Halloween festivities. This is a recipie to go down in my notebook. I loved the sharp taste of the cinnamon and butternut. Mixture was quite wets so I added more flour, Made with passion and perfection get out there and bake!
30th Oct, 2013
Was a bit concerned because the mixture was very wet, but they came out beautiful. Will definitely make again.


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