Pumpkin Cupcakes & Cream Cheese Icing

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

As they often say, ‘when it rains, it pours.’ Honestly, I feel like the process of making these pumpkin cupcakes symbolized ‘what can go wrong, will go wrong.’ Of course, this isn’t to deter you from making these- they’re quite delicious and very easy to make. You see, I’m currently stationed at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on a deployment. Although we’re lucky enough to have a community kitchen for our housing area,  sometimes it’s honestly just a hassle (imagine sharing a kitchen with more than 300 people!)

My room is clear at the beginning of the housing unit and the kitchen is located on the complete opposite end of me- could you imagine carrying grocery bags full of food, ingredients and cooking utensils back and forth? And as far as the kitchen itself goes- this what I’m working with.

I am very blessed and thankful to be able to have access to a kitchen while deployed, make no mistake! But trust me, I just can’t wait to be able to work in my own kitchen again. I really took for granted having my own space, the ability to store and organize my kitchen how I wanted to, and the ease of just walking into my own kitchen to prepare a meal.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing 004

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Because of my current location and situation, it was a big process to make these- something that normally, if I were back in my own kitchen, would take less than 20 minutes. So I had to pack my bakeware, mixing bowls, utensils and the ingredients into my vehicle (it’s hardly a vehicle-it’s called a John Deer Gator, like a four wheeler.) After unpacking my bakeware and ingredients, I realized that I forgot a couple key ingredients, so I had to run back to my room.

Normally, there’s a community electric hand mixer already in the kitchen, but of course it wasn’t there this time (go figure!) So I mixed these cupcakes and the icing the old fashioned way- by hand!

After a few more mishaps (I kept the recipe on my laptop and didn’t print it. The page disappeared suddenly- and we don’t have wifi or wireless services like in the U.S.- so I had to run back to my room again to refresh the page!)  I had finished these pumpkin cupcakes & cream cheese icing, proving that a rough road with a few obstacles is totally worth taking.

These pumpkin cupcakes were really easy to make. There’s plenty of pumpkin and spice flavors that don’t overwhelm each other and when you take a bite into the cupcake itself, it just falls apart perfectly in your mouth. The texture is light and just the perfect amount of moist. As far as the icing goes,  I could just eat them by the spoonful! My only complaint is that I can’t stop eating these pumpkin cupcakes!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Pumpkin Cupcakes + Cream Cheese Icing

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 43 minutes

Yield: Yield: 12-16 cupcakes, depending on how you ration your batter


    The cupcake ingredients:
  • 1 and a 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I added a little more actually)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick)
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • The frosting ingredients:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cold
  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (to taste)
  • 2 and a 1/2 - 3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


    For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Line cupcake pans with liners or spray with baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar and light and creamy. Add the eggs in one at a time, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  4. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and pumpkin puree in three additions, alternating between the two. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, until the batter has just come together. (So... first add the dry mix, stir; add the puree, stir; do this until you end with mixing in the dry mix.)
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the liners (I usually use my 1/2 cup measuring cup just as a scooper and drop a nice sized dollop in.) Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  6. For the Frosting:
  7. Beat the cream cheese, butter, salt, and cinnamon on medium until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Turn the mixer down to low and add the confectioner's sugar. Beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add the vanilla and continue beating until combined. Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. I used Wilton decorating tip 1A to pipe my cupcakes and added a halved pecan for garnish.
Recipe adapted from: Natasha at the Cake Merchant.
Photos were taken by me.
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