Cupcakes are not my thing. Pumpkin spice isn’t either, but I know and understand why it’s so popular. It’s a mixture of warmth and fall with some sweetness. Pumpkin is actually good for you too so you could probably say they are slightly more healthy than other cake varieties. But when it comes to dessert I don’t care if it’s healthy, it’s not supposed to be. Eat the full fat, full flavor cake without feeling any kind of way about it. I’m simply skipping it because I don’t like cake.. or pumpkin. But I will say, I like the SMELL of cake, and these easy pumpkin spice cupcakes? They smell wonderful.
In another life I was a cupcake queen. Okay, it was actually THIS life but it feels like a lifetime ago. Pretty odd for someone who doesn’t even like cake to be a cupcake queen. However, it’s kind of where my baking blog can be traced back to?
Back when I was working on getting my wedding photography business off the ground and still working a 9-5 job, I was forced into the cupcake business. I worked at a university and I brought in some cupcakes for a coworkers birthday. Nothing special, just some funfetti that I had made frosting for. Everyone started demanding I bring in cake more often, I didn’t mind I liked baking. Well, the more I brought cake in, the more people kept asking when are you bringing cupcakes again. People started asking for flavors and telling me to open a bakery. But I didn’t want to open a bakery. I just loved baking and experimenting with flavors.
So back then I could bake lots of things but the idea of baking cake from scratch? It was intimidating. I always heard and saw on baking shows how many things could go wrong, and how many different types of cake there were. I didn’t even like cake! So.. I just used boxed cake mix. It was easy and people liked it. But when I started experimenting with flavors I started doctoring the box mixes. I would add ingredients or change ratios of what you’re supposed to add. People were always shocked when I told them it was just boxed cake mix that I made a little fancier.
These days I can bake a cake from scratch just fine. But I know for a lot of people, baking a cake feels how it felt to me. It’s above my paygrade so to speak. So, I thought I would share one of my MOST POPULAR cupcake recipes that I promise anyone can do. Funnily enough, they are pumpkin which I also don’t care for. So these are my EASY pumpkin spice cupcakes. I promise, you can do it!
So I ALWAYS used Betty Crocker super moist cake mixes. My mom always bought that brand of boxed baked good stuff and the few times I bought another brand people didn’t seem to think they were the same. So, you can use any brand you prefer, but my results are based on that brand.
I also swap out the water for milk and use a little bit less oil as the pumpkin will make the cake moist and we don’t want the cake to have too much moisture.
I frost these with a cinnamon brown sugar cream cheese frosting but you could do plain cream cheese frosting, buttercream, or even just a can of frosting if you don’t want to make the frosting from scratch. This recipe is about keeping it simple!
Pumpkin Spice Cake
- 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Spice Cake mix
- 3 Large eggs room temperature
- ¼ cup Vegetable oil
- 1 can Pumpkin puree
- 1 cup Milk (2% or Whole) room temperature
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz Cream Cheese room temperature
- ½ cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- ¼ cup Dark brown sugar
- 3 cups Powdered sugar
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- 2 tsp Cream/Milk/Half & Half
- pinch Salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Line two 12 cupake/muffin tins with liners
- Dump cake mix into a large bowl, and then add about 3/4 of the can of pumpkin puree into the cake mix.
- Add in your 3 eggs, 1 cup of milk and ¼ cup of vegetable oil
- Whisk mixture until combined, no dry mix remains.
- Spoon cake batter into tin, filling each liner about 2/3 of the way full
- Bake cupcakes for about 15-17 minutes. A toothpick inserted will come out cleanly. The cake also begins to really be fragrant right when they are done.
- Remove cupcakes to a cooling rack immediately upon removing from oven. Let completely cool before frosting
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer add in your butter and brown sugar and beat until combined.
- Add in your cream cheese and cinnamon until the frosting is smooth
- Add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, allowing sugar to be completely incorporated before adding the next cup. If your frosting feels or looks a little dry, add the 2 tsp of cream, milk or half & half.
- Add a pinch of salt and mix your frosting on medium low for about 2 minutes
- Frost your cupcakes however you choose, and enjoy!