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Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases. Beat the butter and sugar together using an electric whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy, scraping down the edges to combine. Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Fold in the flour and pumpkin spice, followed by the milk, and combine until you have a smooth batter. Using a tablespoon, divide the mixture between the cupcake cases, around two-thirds full. Bake for 12-15 mins – they should be firm to the touch and slightly golden brown. Cool in the tin for 5 mins, then lift them out gently onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing. Using a stand mixer or electric whisk, beat the butter, icing sugar and pumpkin spice mix together until it turns smooth and pale, about 1-2 mins. Add the soft cheese and whisk for a further 3-4 mins until it thickens – it will turn runny and then thicken up again.
You can either put the icing into a piping bag and pipe it in a circle on top of the cooled cupcakes, or spoon it on top of the cupcakes and swirl it with the back of a spoon. Dust with extra pumpkin spice, if you like.