Happy fall everyone! Tomorrow is the first day of October, and in order to celebrate, I decided to make something suitable for the season: pumpkin spice latte cupcakes with coffee cream cheese frosting. I, and I’m sure there’s many others out there, tend to finally accept that fall has arrived when Starbucks officially begins selling their pumpkin spice latte. It’s the same with their peppermint mocha in the winter. So, essentially, Starbucks dictates half of my year, which I suppose makes me an awful American consumerist, but that’s fine. Onto the good stuff.

I originally found the recipe over at annieseats.com (http://www.annies-eats.com/2011/09/06/pumpkin-spice-latte-cupcakes/) but I decided to adapt it slightly with just a few changes. If you like spice, you will love this. It. Is. Amazing. Literally, it is one of my favorite recipes thus far. And although everyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with anything and everything coffee, the coffee flavor actually isn’t that strong, which is surprisingly perfectly okay with me. Time for the recipe! My alterations and side notes will be at the bottom. Happy cupcaking!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Yield: about 2 dozen cupcakes


  • For the cupcakes:
  • 2 2/3 cups 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
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup coffee or espresso, for brushing


  • To make the cupcakes, 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 the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixture on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.
  •  Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake until the cupcakes are golden and 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. While the cupcakes are still warm, brush them two or three times with the coffee or espresso, allowing the first coat to soak in before repeating. Let cool completely.



  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons strong coffee, cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar


  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the coffee and vanilla; whip until fluffy and smooth.
  3. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, continuing to whip with an electric mixer on high speed until all the sugar is added.
  4. Whip an additional 3-5 minutes.


  1. I used regular instant coffee instead of espresso powder, and it worked fine. If you really want a stronger coffee flavor, I definitely recommend using the original espresso powder, though.
  2. I used olive oil instead of canola/vegetable oil, and it worked great. The cake was super moist and dense, and it didn’t make the flavoring odd at all.
Categories: Fall, Uncategorized

7 Responses so far.

  1. Gramma says:

    These are terrific

  2. Theresa says:

    MOTHER. OF. GOD. I am going to make these now!!!! Even if I have to literally run to the store for the goods. My mouth is watering and I don’t think I can contain myself any longer.

  3. Kathryne says:

    You had me at “coffee cream cheese frosting.” And pumpkin spice? Could there be any better fall combination? I think not.

  4. Madeleine de Roxanne says:

    So first of all, is this inspired by the Starbucks drink? If so I need to get me one of those since these are ONCE AGAIN not gluten free. Haha just teasing. Second, I enjoy the wrapper. It is so festive, and I love Halloween. I think next you should make a candy corn cupcake with three layers of cake each representing the three colors of a candy corn

  5. Señor Rucker says:

    I’d just like to say that I was having a pretty rough (and painful) morning, until I tried these. Then I suddenly took a little field trip to pleasure town. Let me tell yah, pleasure town is nice. Thanks Brooke

  6. Sabrina Olson says:

    Okay, seriously these are one of the best cupcakes ever. How you can fit that much perfection into one item is remarkable. Absolutely delicious and I love how festive they are. I love the combo of pumpkin and coffee.

  7. Chee Se says:

    such attention to detail..so bold, yet refined. unparalleled.

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