★★★★★

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple and Toffee Frosting

Incredibly moist Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple and Toffee Frosting are here to invade your fall baking plans! Fall spiced pumpkin cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting that’s been flavored with maple and bits of toffee!

Love pumpkin? We’re obsessed with these Pumpkin Scones for breakfast! You can also whip up a Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew coffee to drink on the side!

Pumpkin cupcakes on white cake platter to serve.

Why this Recipe Works

These cupcakes are so easy to make. And did I mention that the batter itself is oil and butter free? You would never know by the taste--they are so moist!

  • Pumpkin itself adds a ton of moisture to the cupcake. The rest comes from applesauce. This replicates the moisture added by butter or oil but without any of the fat.
  • Cream cheese frosting with maple flavoring added. A delicious pair to the pumpkin flavor.
  • Topped with toffee bits. You’ll love this combination!
  • Recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Perfect amount since you’ll find yourself with zero self control!

While your pumpkin cupcakes are baking, pour yourself a hot cup of coffee with some homemade pumpkin spice coffee creamer…and get started on the frosting!

These cupcakes are so moist, frosting isn’t necessary. Dollop with some homemade whipped cream for a delicious dessert. Serve cold and they’ll give the illusion of pumpkin pie!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
  • Pumpkin Puree- make sure to choose 100% pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling!
  • Applesauce- these cupcakes are sweet enough, so using an unsweetened or sugar free applesauce works best. If using a sweet applesauce (or cinnamon applesauce), decrease the sugar to 1/4 cup granulated and 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  • Spices- a combination of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg is used to season these cupcakes. You could swap those out for 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead.
  • Maple Flavoring- for the frosting. Maple flavoring and maple extract are different product. The flavoring is darker in color and more concentrated (and I prefer it too). If you can only find the extract, it will work, but note that the frosting may still retain a white color. DO NOT use maple syrup, as it is not concentrated enough to give maple flavor.
Step by step photos showing how to make pumpkin cupcakes.

Tips and Tricks

  • Let your cream cheese and butter soften on the counter for about 30 minutes before making the frosting. This will make it much easier to beat together to get a show stopping fluffy buttercream texture.
  • The toffee bits are a fun addition but the cupcakes would still be delicious without them!
  • When filling the cupcake liners, make sure to fill them only about 2/3 of the way full. Any fuller than that and the cupcakes will “dome” on top (like muffin tops).
  • If you prefer not to use cupcake liners, you can also bake them right in the tin. Spray with cooking spray or lightly grease the tin before adding the batter.
  • Looking for an almost fat-free pumpkin cupcake? You could replace the maple cream cheese frosting with a dollop of fat free cool whip. Still good, but I highly recommend giving the frosting a try, at least once.
  • Not a fan of cream cheese frosting? Our vanilla frosting or sour cream frosting are both delicious options!
Pumpkin cupcake being frosted with maple flavored cream cheese frosting on a wire rack.

Recipe FAQs

Do you need to refrigerate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting?

Because of the cream cheese in the maple frosting, I recommend storing these pumpkin cupcakes in the refrigerator. You could store the UNfrosted pumpkin cupcakes at room temperature.

Can I use pumpkin pie filling for the pumpkin puree?

No. These pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin puree are not interchangeable in today’s pumpkin cupcake recipe.

Can I make pumpkin cupcakes ahead of time?

Pumpkin cupcakes can be made 1 day in advance, and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Maple frosted pumpkin cupcake with one bite removed.

More Easy Dessert Recipes

Yield: 12

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple and Toffee Frosting

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Incredibly moist Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple and Toffee Frosting. You're going to love these award winning fall flavored cupcakes!

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the Frosting:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup Heath milk chocolate toffee bits

Instructions

  1. In mixer, beat together pumpkin, sugars, applesauce and eggs. Blend in the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and seasonings.
  2. Pour batter into cupcake tins (I used liners), dividing the batter evenly (fills 12).
  3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
  4. To make frosting, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in maple and powdered sugar and mix for 2-3 minutes. Spread on cupcakes and sprinkle with toffee bits. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Let your cream cheese and butter soften on the counter for about 10 minutes before making the frosting. This will make it much easier to beat together to get a showstopping fluffy buttercream texture.
  • The toffee bits are a fun addition but the cupcakes would still be delicious without them!
  • When filling the cupcake liners, make sure to fill them only about ⅔ of the way full. Any fuller than that and the cupcakes will "dome" on top (like muffin tops).
  • If you prefer not to use cupcake liners, you can also bake them right in the tin. Spray with cooking spray or lightly grease the tin before adding the batter.
  • Looking for an almost fat-free pumpkin cupcake? You could replace the maple cream cheese frosting with a dollop of fat free cool whip. Still good, but I highly recommend giving the frosting a try, at least once.
  • Spices- a combination of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg is used to season these cupcakes. You could swap those out for 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead.
  • Maple Flavoring- for the frosting. Maple flavoring and maple extract are different product. The flavoring is darker in color and more concentrated (and I prefer it too). If you can only find the extract, it will work, but note that the frosting may still retain a white color. DO NOT use maple syrup, as it is not concentrated enough to give maple flavor.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 344mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 1gSugar: 41gProtein: 3g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

These pumpkin cupcakes are ideal for a fall bake sale, a Halloween party treat or even a Thanksgiving dessert if you have guests who aren’t into pie.

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on November 9, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. 💜💗💖🎄Love, yr recipes! Looks amazing, wanna do baking before x-mas and these recipes are just what I need, and simple?☀️👐🌸💫💫🧑‍🎄🎅

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