Last updated on November 13th, 2020 at 11:37 am
These vegan pumpkin cupcakes are full of warm Autumnal spices and are so light and moist you won’t believe they are vegan. Dairy and egg-free and made with oil instead of butter, these gorgeous little cakes will stay fresh and light for days.
Originally posted October 23, 2018. Updated October 13, 2020 with process images and a revised recipe.
I know, I know I only just posted a cupcake recipe – my vegan chocolate cupcakes – but I’ve been playing with this recipe again and I was super keen to share it. If you’ve made my original vegan pumpkin cupcakes and love them, I will send you the original recipe, just send me a quick email.
However, if you are ready to try the new version, put on your comfy eating pants. With a little tweaking, these cupcakes are lighter, fluffier and altogether yummier. It’s hard to stop at one.
I first created my pumpkin cupcakes as a Halloween treat for my then 4 year-old daughter. At the time she loved the idea of Halloween as long as there was nothing scary, bloody or in any way spooky. Fast forward two years and the needle hasn’t moved a great deal. We still prefer unicorns to witches, dislike the dark but we now love trick or treating during the day. Baby steps.
The good news is pumpkin spice is still a winner. Thank goodness, because I love it too.
Fool-proof Cupcakes Coming Up
I have never really thought of myself as a baker. I am what you would call an enthusiastic novice. All vegan baking recipes on this blog have been tested and tested and tested.
So, you’ll be happy to know that if baking is not your strong point, you can still make these cupcakes. I will not ask you to cream or split or weigh; all you need is two bowls, a whisk and your oven. A cupcake pan will come in handy too. Simples.
Are you ready? You are 5 steps away from my new and improved vegan pumpkin cupcakes with more fluff and less stuff. Wait, what…?
Step 1. Whisk the dry ingredients – other than the sugar – together in a large bowl.
Step 2. Whisk together the sugar and wet ingredients in another bowl
Step 3. Add the two, stirring until just combined
Step 4. Fill your lined muffin/cupcake tray two-thirds of the way up
Step 5. Bake for around 22-minutes at 160 degrees fan forced or 180 degrees conventional. Let them cool and you’re good to go.
Ta Da! So easy, right? I topped my cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting and the cutest pumpkin toppers (thank you Etsy). I think they look adorable and while yes, I made these for Halloween, they will work for any pumpkin-loving festive occasion.
This recipe is easy-peasy and you’ll most likely have all the ingredients at home.
Flour: I use all-purpose flour here; it’s readily available and is sturdy enough to work as our base.
Baking Powder & Baking Soda: These will help the cupcakes rise.
Spices: A little cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves go a long way.
Salt : I always add a little salt to my desserts, it lifts the flavour of everything it touches.
Oil: I love using oil in my baking, it guarantees a moist crumb. I generally use sunflower oil but you can use any neutral flavoured oil.
Sugar: I use both raw caster sugar and brown sugar in these vegan cupcakes for the texture and flavour.
Pumpkin: Pumpkin puree gives us that wonderful colour and sweet pumpkin taste. It also helps to bind the cupcake – bonus! I make my own because here in Australia, canned pumpkin is not readily available. I cook up 2 cups of chopped pumpkin with a little water in the microwave (yup, the microwave) and pop it in the blender once it’s cooled to puree. Add a little water to get things moving.
These vegan pumpkin cupcakes are seriously good. Light, moist and flavourful they will please both vegans and non-vegans alike. Whether you add a cream cheese frosting or simply dust with icing sugar, they are sure to impress.
However you enjoy them, these aromatic and wonderfully light pumpkin cupcakes are the perfect little sweet for big and small people. Nothing scary, nothing spooky but perfect for a little person being a little person the only way she knows how. Enjoy, x.
I wouldn’t recommend freezing frosted cupcakes but you can bake these, allow them to cool completely, and then store them in a freezer proof container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To thaw, allow them to gently thaw on your kitchen counter before frosting.
This recipe uses pumpkin puree, that’s pure pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling is sweetened and will change the balance of your cupcakes completely.
Hungry for More Plant-Based Goodness? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all the latest news and updates. If you like this recipe, please check out my cookbook. Great Vegan Meals for the Carnivorous Family is full of simple, carnivore-approved family recipes.
If you like this recipe, please check out my cookbook. Great Vegan Meals for the Carnivorous Family is full of simple, carnivore-approved family recipes.
Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes
For the Pumpkin Cupcakes
- 1 cup / 150 g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¾ cup pureed pumpkin around 2 cups cooked pumpkin, pureed
- ½ cup / 115g raw caster sugar
- ¼ cup / 55g brown sugar packed
- ½ cup / 125ml sunflower oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup / 60ml dairy-free milk
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 226 grams / 8 oz vegan cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup / 125 grams vegan butter room temperature
- 3½ – 4 cups / 600 grams confectioner's sugar (icing sugar) sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 160° C conventional (320 ° F) or 180° C fan (356° F) and line a 12-pan cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
- In a separate larger bowl, whisk together the pureed pumpkin, sugars, sunflower oil, vanilla and milk.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together until combined. Don't over mix; stop when the lumps are gone.
- Fill each cupcake pan ⅔ of the way up with the cake batter and bake in the oven for 18 – 22 minutes or until a skewer comes away clean from the centre of a cake.
- Remove the cakes from the oven to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- To make the cream cheese frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer of using a hand mixer until well combined and light.
- A cup at a time, add the sifted icing sugar and continue beating until well combined. After each cup is completely incorporated in to the frosting add the next cup until you have your desired sweetness and texture.
- Add the vanilla extract and continue beating until everything is combined and the frosting is thick and glossy.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag to pipe or simply apply it to the cakes with a palette knife.