Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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My favorite gluten-free pumpkin cupcake recipe! These fluffy cupcakes have warm spices and a lovely cinnamon cream cheese frosting you’ll love!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel

Aren’t cupcakes one of the happiest treats? I LOVE them! I love that they’re already served in individual portions (no slicing needed!), and they’re pretty easy to transport–perfect for parties, get-togethers, birthdays, and celebrations of all kinds.

These Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting are a fall celebration dream come true. They’re just what you need when the weather turns colder and pumpkin season arrives. Enjoy them for a September movie night, serve them up as Halloween cupcakes, add them them to a Thanksgiving dessert bar for the folks who don’t love pie, or enjoy them in the holiday season. See? Dreamy!

There are SO many reasons to love these delicious pumpkin cupcakes, but here are 5 things I know you’ll love as much as we do…

What Makes These GLuten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes Amazing:

  1. They’re So Easy To Make. This gluten-free pumpkin cupcake recipe is great for beginners! You’ll mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients, then stir them together. Scoop into muffin cups and bake. That’s it!
  2. The Blend Of Warm Spices. A mixture of warm spices and vanilla make our pumpkin cupcakes smell and taste incredible. Every bite is full of goodness!
  3. Their Fluffy, Light Texture. Gluten-free cupcakes sometimes have an unfortunate reputation for being dense or heavy. Not these gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes! Even with the pumpkin, they’re light and fluffy in all the best ways. They feel like a true delight!
  4. The Yummy Cream Cheese Frosting. Cream cheese frosting is a classic pairing with pumpkin cupcakes and pumpkin cake, but we take things up a notch with our cinnamon cream cheese frosting, which has notes of vanilla and cinnamon. It’s incredible with cupcakes!
  5. They’re Fun To Dress Up! They look gorgeous and happy with just the cupcakes and frosting, but they’re also really fun to “dress up” with garnishes. Don’t miss our favorite decorating ideas below!

Simple Ingredients For These Cupcakes

Part of what makes this such an easy recipe is the simple ingredients! For these gluten free pumpkin cupcakes, you’ll need:

  • Gluten-Free Flour. We keep things simple with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. We highly recommend this one from King Arthur Brand. If you use another brand, be sure it contains xanthan gum!
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda. For just the right rise & puff.
  • Salt & Warm Spices. A combination of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves gives gorgeous pumpkin spice flavor. I like it so much better than pre-mixed pumpkin spice!
  • Unsweetened Pumpkin Purée. Use pure pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling for the best pumpkin flavor. 
  • Light Brown Sugar. The notes from the molasses play up the fall flavors more than white sugar would AND it keeps these cupcakes super moist. Win-win!
  • Eggs. To bind the batter & help the cupcakes rise.
  • Oil & Milk. Then, you’ll add oil for moisture & milk (whatever kind you drink!).
  • Vanilla Extract. Always.
  • Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. I make this yummy frosting with room temperature butter & cream cheese, powderd sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and a tiny pinch of salt. Simple & straightforward!
  • Optional Extras. Then, you can garnish the cupcakes with a sprinkle of cinnamon, a drizzle of caramel sauce, some chopped toasted pecans, or cinnamon sticks.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel

Let’s Talk about our Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting!

FLAVOR: Our Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting is perfect for gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes! I love the slight tang from the cream cheese and the soft complementary flavors of the vanilla and cinnamon. They really play up and balance the warm spices in the pumpkin cupcake recipe.

TEXTURE: You can make your cream cheese frosting softer if you plan to spread it on with a spatula (small offset spatulas like these make that easy!) or you can make it slightly more stiff to pipe the frosting on, as we did for these photos. Either way, cinnamon cream cheese frosting is slightly more substantial than a traditional American buttercream, but it’s still light and airy, thanks to the flavors and technique.

Get The Right Consistency

  • If you plan to spread the frosting on, you don’t need quite as much powdered sugar, since the frosting can be spread on a bit more softly.
  • If you plan to pipe the frosting on, you’ll need it to hold its shape a bit more, which means adding a bit more powdered sugar to the cinnamon cream cheese frosting to stiffen it up.
  • Too thick? Too thin? As with most frostings, if you want it more stiff or thicker, add powdered sugar a bit at a time. If it’s too thick, thin it out with a little bit more milk at a time. Many things can impact how a frosting mixes up (the temperature of your room & ingredients, for instance), so you’ll need to do a little detective work to get the frosting to the proper thickness/stiffness.

PIPING & DECORATING TIPS: I love the look of piping the cinnamon cream cheese frosting onto these gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes! I’d consider piping an intermediate to advanced skill, so keep that in mind if you plan to go for it! I used a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M open star tip for the cupcakes in the photos. They can also look cute with a more intricate Ateco #849 tip or a simpler Ateco #808 large circle tip.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes:

CAN I MAKE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES IN ADVANCE? Yes! This is great news, if you’re bringing them to a party or get-together. The cupcakes can be baked, cooled, and frozen for up to 1 month or stored in the refrigerator 1-2 days in advance. (You will NOT freeze them with frosted.) The frosting can be prepared 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

I DON’T LIKE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING. ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS? I get that not everyone’s a fan of cream cheese frosting! I’d recommend a salted caramel buttercream, or even a marshmallow buttercream instead!

THE BEST CUPCAKE LINERS EVER. These parchment muffin liners are my absolute favorite. They’re neutral, so they work for any occasion, and they’re completely nonstick, which means you won’t lose half your cupcake to the wrapper. (I hate when that happens!)

WHAT’S THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR FOR CUPCAKES? In our experience, the best gluten-free flour for cupcakes is a measure-for-measure blend with xanthan gum. We highly and very strongly recommend King Arthur Measure-For-Measure Flour. With any flour you use, be sure to use the Scoop & Level Method to measure or weigh it properly! Adding excess flour leads to dense, gummy cupcakes. You can’t substitute almond flour or coconut flour for this recipe.

MAKE THEM PRETTY WITH ONE OF THESE GARNISHES!

The fluffy gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes and gorgeous cinnamon cream cheese frosting are enough to make these look lovely, but if you want to add a little something extra, try garnishing them with caramel sauce, chopped toasted pecans, white sprinkles, cinnamon sticks, or a light dusting of cinnamon or pumpkin spice.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel

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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sweets And Thank You
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1416 Cupcakes 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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Description

My favorite gluten-free pumpkin cupcake recipe! These fluffy cupcakes have warm spices and a lovely cinnamon cream cheese frosting you’ll love!


Ingredients

Scale

For The Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes:

  • 1 3/4 cup (210g.) gluten-free measure-for-measure flour, scooped & leveled.) (We like King Arthur Brand)*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger*
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg*
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom*
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves*
  • 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree*
  • 2/3 cup (133 grams) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil* 
  • 1/3 cup milk*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

For The Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 oz.) butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3.55 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • tiny pinch (less than 1/8 tsp.) salt

Optional Ideas, For Decoration:

  • Caramel sauce (like Ghirardelli brand), cinnamon sticks, sprinkles, chopped pecans, pumpkin spice or cinnamon for lightly dusting, etc. 

Instructions

For The Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with parchment liners or grease well to avoid sticking.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves. Whisk until well combined and no large clumps of flour remain. 
  3. In a large bowl or a stand mixer, combine the wet ingredients. Mix pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla. Whisk or mix until smooth. 
  4. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Try not to overmix. Just stop mixing when there aren’t any large clumps of dry ingredients remaining.
  5. Scoop the cupcake batter into your prepared muffin cups, filling each cup only 2/3 full (if you end up filling them 3/4 full, you won’t have as many cupcakes and may need to bake them longer.)
  6. (Note: You’ll likely have 14-16 cupcakes total, so you’ll need to bake the last few in a second batch, or you can use a second muffin pan, if you have one.)
  7. Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees F. for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs and the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed with your finger. Let the cupcakes cool 2-3 minutes in the muffin tin before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  8. Bake any remaining cupcakes, as needed. 
  9. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them.

For The Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer, combine butter and cream cheese. Beat until smooth and well combined. 
  2. Add 3.5 cups powdered sugar, as well as the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. 
  3. Beat the frosting on low for about 30 seconds while the powdered sugar is getting incorporated, then beat on medium speed about 2 minutes. The frosting will be lighter in texture and color as more air is incorporated.
  4. If you plan to frost the cupcakes (rather than pipe the icing), you’ll want to check the frosting texture here. It’ll be soft, but shouldn’t be drippy or too loose. You may want to add an additional 1/2 cup of powdered sugar if your frosting seems too soft. Spread the frosting on cooled cupcakes and decorate with any desired garnishes, like caramel sauce, cinnamon sticks, pecans, sprinkles, or a pinch of cinnamon. 
  5. If you plan to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, you’ll need to make sure the frosting is stiff enough to hold its shape. This means adding an additional 1-1.5 cups powdered sugar. Start 1/2 cup at a time, beating to incorporate the powdered sugar after each addition, until your frosting can easily hold its shape. (You can test this by dolloping a bit on the edge of a butter knife and seeing how the frosting behaves. If it drips off or spreads, it’s likely too soft. Keep adding powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency. For me, this is usually at the 4.5 cup mark, though if your kitchen is hot, or the butter has gotten warm, you may need a full 5 cups.) Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes as desired, and top with any desired garnishes, like caramel sauce, cinnamon sticks, pecans, sprinkles, or a pinch of cinnamon. 
  6. Store leftover pumpkin spice cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze up to 1 month. (FYI: They’ll freeze better unfrosted!)

Notes

Ingredient Notes:

  • Flour. We highly recommend King Arthur Baking Measure-For-Measure Gluten-Free Flour blend. If you use another brand (like Bob’s Red Mill) be sure that it considers xanthan gum. 
  • Spices. You can substitute 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice/pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices listed, if desired.
  • Pumpkin. Be sure to use unsweetened pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling
  • Milk. You can use dairy or non-dairy milk, like almond milk
  • Oil. Stick with a neutral oil, like avocado oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil. Don’t use coconut oil, as it will impact the flavor. 
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
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5 Comments

  1. Excellent cupcakes!! Just wondering though where the nutritional value statistics are. I printed to include them but nothing was there. Thanks!!






    1. Hi, Trish! Sorry for the confusion. I actually don’t include nutrition facts with any of our recipes, but MyFitnessPal is a great free option if you need to calculate them yourself 🙂 So glad you loved the cupcakes!

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