Recipe: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and Toffee

pumpkin cupcakes feature

I love pumpkin desserts…but I don’t really care for pumpkin pie.  Is that  funny?  I’m the same way with Bananas.  I LOVE banana bread, banana chips etc., but I can’t eat a regular banana…they make me gag. 😉 Weird, I know. 😉  With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I thought I’d share one of my favorite pumpkin desserts.  I don’t there’s a rule that you have to have pie, right? 🙂

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There are two ways to make these…totally from scratch…or with a little semi-homemade trick. While I of course prefer from scratch, sometimes a little cake mix is just what you need to save a bit of time. 🙂 Here’s the from scratch recipe…

Yield: 10 cupcakes

Recipe: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and Toffee

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • For the Cupcakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving (2 1.4-ounce bars)
  • For the Frosting
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon Maple Flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush or spray the top of 10 muffin tins with vegetable oil and line them with 10 paper liners.
  2. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.
  3. Divide the batter among the prepared tins (I use a level 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. For the Frosting
  5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
  6. Spread the cupcakes with the Maple Frosting and sprinkle with the chopped toffee bits.

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If you are in a hurry and want to use a pre-made mix here’s what you need:

1 yellow cake mix

1 Cup of Pureed Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

4 eggs

1/2 cup of water

1/3 cup of oil

1 1/2 tsp. of Pumpkin Pie Spice


  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Place Reynolds Baking Cups in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
  • 2 In heavy 8-inch nonstick skillet, cook pecans and 2 tablespoons of the sugar over low heat about 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted. Spoon and spread pecans onto sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar; toss.
  • 3 In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about two-thirds full).
  • 4 Bake 19 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

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Don’t have pumpkin pie spice?  You can make your own very easily!  Here’s what you need:

1 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

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Creative Director at Pink Peppermint Design
Tammy Mitchell is the founder and creative director of lifestyle blog Along with being a homeschooling mom of two kiddos, she is also an in-demand prop and event stylist, photographer, interior and graphic designer. On Pink Peppermint Design, she shares creative DIY projects, easy entertaining and gift ideas, inspiring interiors and events. She lives in Southern California, with her husband and two children.

Pumpkin cupcakes feature

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