pumpkin spice latte cupcakes

these beauties are a joint effort with my dear friend andrea. i’ve known her since the beanie baby swapping days of 4th grade, and today she is my go-to crafting and baking buddy/confidant. she came across this recipe online a few months ago, and bookmarked it to save for a baking day when i finally returned to the states. we are all about the pumpkin spice lattes at starbucks, and these are basically the same thing disguised as adorable little fluffy cupcakes. the original recipe seems a bit intimidating because there are a lot of ingredients, but we were both surprised at how easy it ended up being. andrea has a real nice stand mixer which i think made it even easier, but really all you do is just combine the ingredients, and then pour in the muffin tins. you can go the extra distance and make your own whipped cream (which i did for these pictures with the extra cupcakes i brought home) and caramel sauce for decoration, but reddi-wip and caramel sundae sauce will make your belly just as happy, and look pretty anyways.

 don’t you think more things should be printed on loose leaf paper? i do. hello instant retro.


  • 2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. espresso powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. salt (yeah it does look like a lot, but it’s ok!)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • strong coffee or espresso, for brushing

if you want to whip your own cream (and tone your biceps):

  • 1 pint heavy cream, chilled
  • 1-2 tbsp. sugar (i think it also helps the cream stiffen sooner)

for decorating:

  • ground cinnamon
  • caramel sauce


preheat the oven to 350°F.  line cupcake pans with paper liners.  in a medium bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.  stir together and set aside.  in another bowl (or the stand mixer if you have one), blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. add the eggs one at a time. then gently add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.

fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full.  bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.  transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans. now this next part i say is optional. it’s a special touch that enforces the “latte” in this recipe name, but i’m pretty sure these are delicious enough if you don’t feel like doing it. while the cupcakes are still warm, you can brush them two or three times with the coffee or espresso, allowing the first coat to soak in before repeating. now let cool completely. at this point, you can make your own cream and caramel sauce, or use the whipped cream and smucker’s sundae sauce you already have in your fridge, or just eat them nekkid. if you do want to add some homemade whipped cream, whip together the heavy cream and sugar with a hand mixer, stand mixer if you have one, or if you want to be old-skool, a whisk. i used a whisk because i was too lazy to find the hand mixer in our kitchen ( if you want an excuse to eat an extra cupcake without shame, go for the calorie-burning, lazy-arm-inducing whisk method). so yeah, either way then top the cupcakes with the cream, sprinkle some cinnamon, and swirl some caramel. they are really great with a cup of pumpkin coffee, and probably even better with a pumpkin spice latte from starbucks, but are best enjoyed during the day. if you aren’t affected by caffeine, disregard that and enjoy one or two as a late night sweet treat! but if you are like me and like sweet things before you go to bed and want to indulge in just one tiny cupcake to say goodnight to yourself, you’ll have some extra energy for a little while.


1 Comment

Filed under autumn, baking-with-friends, cupcake, dessert, recipes, winter

One response to “pumpkin spice latte cupcakes

  1. Jie Wang

    wow!!!!!!! you are so talented in baking!!:))))

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