Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These fluffy and moist vegan pumpkin cupcakes are ready to eat in under an hour. Even more delicious when topped with vegan cream cheese frosting, maple syrup and pecans. The perfect fall snack to enjoy with a cuppa.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
4.58 from 14 votes
pumpkin cupcakes with maple and pecan topping.

I struggled a little when deciding on whether to call these pumpkin muffins or pumpkin cupcakes. Generally pumpkin muffins aren’t frosted but instead topped with streusel. But we’re breaking the “rules” here because these fluffy pumpkin cupcakes are like a muffin-cupcake hybrid. They’re fluffy and easy to whip together, and extra delicious when frosted with some of that vegan vanilla cream cheese frosting. All topped off with a drizzle of maple syrup and pecans, each bite is full of cozy fall flavours.

Whether you want to call them muffins or cupcakes one thing is for sure, they are delicious!

These pumpkin cupcakes are:

  • Fluffy and light
  • Tender and moist
  • Full of pumpkin spice flavour
  • Eggless and dairy free
  • Easy to make
  • Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee
 

fluffy pumpkin cupcakes.

Ingredients notes

  • Pumpkin puree: You can used either use store bought canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree. Just make sure you go for pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. 
  • Coconut sugar: You can also use soft brown sugar for this pumpkin spice cupcake recipe.
  • Pure maple syrup: My go-to liquid sweetener, together with the coconut sugar, it also deepens the flavour of these spiced pumpkin cupcakes.
  • Olive oil: You can use any neutral oil here. The oil helps the cupcakes feel fluffy and springy to the touch, I’ve made the cupcakes without oil as well and they work just fine, they just aren’t quite as moist and bouncy and can be a little dry!
  • Vegan buttermilk: I like to use soya milk but you can opt for any plant-based milk of your choice here. This becomes the base of the vegan “buttermilk” when mixed with apple cider vinegar.
  • Vanilla and sea salt: These ingredients enhance and add more flavour to the cupcakes. You can swap the vanilla out for half a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.
  • Milled flaxseed: Flax is mixed with water to become a “flax egg” and act as an egg replacer, binding the ingredients together.
  • Plain flour: I use all purpose flour for this recipe. You can also use all purpose and wholemeal flour in a 2:1 ratio for this recipe if you want to make these cupcakes more on the muffin scale, and a little more wholesome!
  • Baking powder: The leavening agent for these vegan cupcakes, it produces carbon dioxide bubbles which form air bubbles in the cupcakes as they bake.
  • Pumpkin spice: If you don’t have ready made pumpkin spice mix, it’s a simple blend of cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves. I’ve outlined the exact quantities in the recipe notes.
 

ingredients to make pumpkin spice muffins.

How to make this recipe (with step-by-step images)

(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)

These eggless pumpkin cupcakes are ridiculously easy to put together. You’ll start by combining all the wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vegan buttermilk, flax egg, olive oil and vanilla) in a bowl until evenly mixed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin spice and salt). Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently fold the mixture. Be careful not to over-mix, a few pockets of the flour are fine.

Distribute the batter amongst the muffin cases and bake for 22-25 minutes. Check are done by piercing them with a toothpick or a knife, the knife should come out clean.

baking vegan pumpkin muffins.

Variations

  • Frosting: These muffins taste amazing on their own with their fluffy texture and pumpkin spice flavour. To bring them to the next level I recommend topping them with my vegan vanilla cream cheese frosting
  • Nuts: Another delicious way to top these muffins is by adding a drizzle of pure maple syrup and some chopped pecans before serving.
  • Chocolate: Vegan chocolate chip pumpkin muffins sound amazing right? Simply fold half a cup of vegan chocolate chips through the batter and why not throw some on top for good measure too!
 

Storage instructions 

These cupcakes will keep fresh when refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. I recommend taking them out of the fridge for at least an hour to bring them to room temperature before serving. Especially if you’re topping them with vegan cream cheese frosting which stiffens up when chilled.

pouring maple syrup over pumpkin muffin.

Expert tips and FAQs

Make your own pumpkin spice mix

If you can’t be bothered ordering ready made pumpkin spice mix, don’t worry. Chances are you’ll probably have the ingredients to make it in your spice rack. Simply mix together the following and voila, your own homemade pumpkin spice mix to use in your baked treats of PSL 🙂

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
 

Accurately measure your flour

If you measure in cups instead of grams, be sure to use the “spoon and sweep method”, which involves using a spoon to fill your measuring cup and then sweeping it to level it off. A very common baking mistake is to use a measuring cup to dive into a bag of flour and thus, ending up with too much flour as it compacts into the cup. You can read a full blog post on thespruceeats.com on how to measure flour.

pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Related recipes

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pumpkin cupcakes with maple and pecan topping.

Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes

4.58 from 14 votes
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Fluffy and moist vegan pumpkin cupcakes topped with vegan cream cheese frosting, maple syrup and pecans. This easy to make fall inspired recipe is perfect as a dessert or snack serve with a cup of tea or coffee. 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 12

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ cups plain flour sieved
  • 2 tsp baking powder sieved
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar or soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice mix *see recipe notes
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp milled flaxseed
  • ½ cup soya milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Toppings

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F). Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  • Prepare the flax egg by mixing the milled flaxseed with 2.5 tablespoons water, allow to sit and soak for at least 5 minutes. To make the vegan "buttermilk" add the soya milk and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Add the remaining wet ingredients to a large bowl, along with the prepared flax egg and vegan buttermilk mixture and set aside. Add all of the dry ingredients to a separate bowl and whisk to make sure everything is evenly mixed. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently fold the mixture. Be careful not to over-mix, a few pockets of the flour are fine.
  • Distribute the batter amongst the bun cases and bake for 22-25 minutes. Check are done by piercing them with a toothpick or a knife, the knife should come out clean.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool further for 30-40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile to prepare the cream cheese frosting.
  • Pipe the cream cheese frosting on top of the cupcakes and top with a drizzle of maple syrup and pecans.
  • Store in an airtight container and consume within 3-4 days.

RECIPE NOTES

*Nutritional information is based on cupcakes without cream cheese frosting.
* Homemade pumpkin spice mix simply mix together the following:
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
 

Storage instructions 

These cupcakes will keep fresh when refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. I recommend taking them out of the fridge for at least an hour to bring them to room temperature before serving. Especially if you’re topping them with vegan cream cheese frosting which stiffens up when chilled.

NUTRITION

Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 3220IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 2mg
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