Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes with Candy Corn Swirl {gluten-free}

by alexandra

Soft & tender pumpkin spice cupcakes topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting that's piped into a fun candy corn-colored swirl. Makes for a perfect fall dessert & Halloween treat!

A few weeks ago I asked everyone on Instagram what kind of Halloween recipe I should post on the blog and literally everybody said “something with pumpkin”. Even though the answer was completely unspecific, I kinda love it because it means you guys are obsessed with all things pumpkin as much as me.

Soft & tender pumpkin spice cupcakes topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting that's piped into a fun candy corn-colored swirl. Makes for a perfect fall dessert & Halloween treat!

Now “smart me” would’ve taken this suggestion and brainstormed recipe ideas well ahead of time, but instead I just woke up Sunday morning, decided I definitely had to get a Halloween recipe done that day if I wanted it to get done at all, and made what was an impressively fast decision on my part to create these cupcakes. Typically I suck at making quick decisions, but when it comes to pumpkin, cream cheese is a natural next step in my mind, so the process was pretty easy. And honestly when do cupcakes NOT win the cute factor – especially when they’re dressed up with a candy corn-colored swirl.

Soft & tender pumpkin spice cupcakes topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting that's piped into a fun candy corn-colored swirl. Makes for a perfect fall dessert & Halloween treat!

Side note: does anyone actually LIKE the taste of candy corn? Because *bleh*

Soft & tender pumpkin spice cupcakes topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting that's piped into a fun candy corn-colored swirl. Makes for a perfect fall dessert & Halloween treat!

So anyway, this one’s for everyone who requested “something pumpkin”, everyone who doesn’t like candy corn but does like cute Halloween desserts, and everyone like me who just needs a good gluten-free pumpkin cupcake recipe in their repertoire/life. They check all the boxes – super soft and moist, perfectly spiced with fall flavors, and topped with my favorite buttery & tangy cream cheese frosting. I love summer, but I guesssss fall can come around if it means I have an excuse to make more desserts like this.

Soft & tender pumpkin spice cupcakes topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting that's piped into a fun candy corn-colored swirl. Makes for a perfect fall dessert & Halloween treat!

 

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Soft & tender pumpkin spice cupcakes topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting that's piped into a fun candy corn-colored swirl. Makes for a perfect fall dessert & Halloween treat!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes with Candy Corn Swirl {gluten-free}


  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes

Description

Soft & tender pumpkin spice cupcakes topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting that’s piped into a fun candy corn-colored swirl. Makes for a perfect fall dessert & Halloween treat!


Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

8 1/2 ounces (2 cups, spoon and level) gluten-free all-purpose flour (I like Pamela’s)

1 7/8 ounces (1/4 cup, packed) brown sugar

1 3/4 ounces (1/4 cup) granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon all spice

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon cloves

8 ounces (1 cup) pumpkin purée

4 1/8 ounces (1/2 cup) heavy cream*

2 ounces (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

16 ounces (4 cups) confectioner’s sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

heavy pinch of salt

yellow and orange gel food coloring

yellow/orange jimmies, for sprinkling (optional)


Instructions

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In a second bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, cream, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold in just until evenly incorporated.

Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups and gently smooth out tops with a small spatula or your fingertips.

Bake cupcakes in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smoothly combined.

Switching to the wire whip attachment, add the confectioner’s sugar and beat in, starting at lowest speed and increasing as it’s incorporated. Add vanilla extract and salt and beat on medium-high until smooth and fluffy.

Divide frosting into 3 portions, each slightly smaller than the last. Use gel coloring to tint the largest portion orange and the second-largest yellow, leaving the smallest portion white.

Using a piping bag fitted with a large round tip**, pipe a layer of orange frosting onto each cupcake, followed by a layer of yellow frosting, and finally a layer of white frosting. Sprinkle tops with colored jimmies if desired. Serve.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container. For short term storage they can be stored at room temperature during cooler weather, but for longer storage or warmer weather they should be kept in the refrigerator.

Notes

*Half-n-half or whole milk should work fine as well

**I used Ateco #808

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