Vanilla Pumpkin Cupcakes

vanillapumpkincupcakePumpkin treats continue through Christmas, with many bakers serving pumpkin pies or pumpkin roll in addition to a host of holiday cookies. If you’re wondering what to do with leftover canned pumpkin, wonder no more. There are many recipes for whatever amount you have; in my case, I had 10 ounces left over from baking Tucker’s pumpkin peanut butter dog treats, so I took eight ounces of that and made it into these vanilla pumpkin cupcakes (which sounds a bit like a candle you may have received this holiday season). Pumpkin is a dog-safe food, so I gave Tucker the remaining two ounces; he lapped it up, then went to take a nap.

There are many frostings you can choose for pumpkin cakes and cupcakes – cream cheese frostings are very popular – but since Mike will take these to work, I went with a buttercream, which doesn’t require refrigeration. You could go with cinnamon or another spiced frosting, but I chose a simple vanilla and it paired very well.


For the cupcakes

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting

  • 10 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners; my recipe yielded 14 cupcakes.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. In a large glass measuring cup, combine pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix well, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Stir until well combined and smooth.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, fill cupcake wells about 3/4 full. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven; immediately remove from tins and place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting, beat butter on medium speed for about 1 minute, then add powdered sugar and beat on low until the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter. Add vanilla extract and beat for 1-2 minutes. Frost cupcakes as desired; I just used an offset spatula this time, rather than a piping tip. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.


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