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Make super moist and fluffy, one-bowl vegan pumpkin cupcakes – perfectly spiced with pumpkin pie spice, your choice of mix-ins, plus a decadent frosting or glaze!

completed Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes in baking tin against a white surface
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One-Bowl Fluffy Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Along with beloved vegan pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin baked goodies are a must for us all fall long – and with vegan pumpkin pancakes, vegan pumpkin waffles, vegan pumpkin cookies, and vegan pumpkin pie to choose from, you might think we’re all pumpkin’d out… Nope! We recently shared a recipe for frosted vegan pumpkin cake, and these individual-serve vegan pumpkin cupcakes are a natural follow-up, perfect for entertaining!

As much as we love vegan pumpkin muffins, this easy pumpkin cupcakes recipe not only yields softer, fluffier bakes, but you can top them with a swirl of your favorite frosting (we HIGHLY recommend vegan cream cheese frosting for the tang!) for ultimate decadence.

For anyone who loves pumpkin spice, these pumpkin pie spice cupcakes are a dream. They’re also really easy to prepare and come together quickly in one bowl with basic (and inexpensive) ingredients and plenty of customization (e.g., making gluten-free, swapping the sugar, adding vegan choc chips, changing decorations, etc.).

Once baked, serve them at potlucks, parties, bake sales, Halloween, and even Thanksgiving – even non-vegans will love them!

Got leftover pumpkin puree? Check out this list of 24 vegan canned pumpkin recipes for even more inspiration.

The Ingredients and Substitutions

This pumpkin cupcakes recipe relies on just 9 simple, inexpensive pantry staples, including:

ingredients for Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes
  • Pumpkin: Use plain canned pumpkin (we like Libby’s), not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Sugar: We used regular white sugar, though it’s possible to use light or dark brown sugar for some caramel/molasses flavor and even more moisture.

You may also use unrefined sugar, like raw cane sugar or coconut sugar if preferred. Just note the color and flavor will vary.

  • Oil: A small amount of neutral oil like vegetable oil or canola oil helps make a super moist and tender crumb in these vegan pumpkin pie cupcakes.
  • Vanilla extract: Use natural vanilla to avoid an artificial aftertaste.
  • Apple cider vinegar: (or regular white vinegar) To activate the baking soda.
  • All-purpose flour: Or white whole wheat flour. Try an all-purpose blend like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur’s for gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes.
  • Baking soda: To provide lift and texture in these eggless pumpkin cupcakes.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: Store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice. If you can’t, try using individual spices you have, like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and/or cloves.
  • Salt: To balance sweetness and enhance overall flavor in the cupcakes.

Optional Add-ins

Aside from boosting flavor with options like orange zest or 1-2 tsp instant espresso (for pumpkin latte cupcakes), you can add about a cup of any combination of the below.

  • Vegan chocolate chips (regular, mini, and/or sugar-free)
  • Raisins (regular, golden, or sultanas)
  • Chopped dates
  • Dried cranberries
  • Chopped pecans, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds
  • Finely chopped apples (sweet or tart, very finely diced)

The Best Pumpkin Cupcake Toppings

  • Simple pumpkin spice glaze
  • Maple glaze
  • Dairy-free cream cheese frosting (optionally with cinnamon/pumpkin spice)
  • Other frostings (like coffee, chocolate, caramel, biscoff, or cinnamon)
  • Sprinkles (especially fall or Halloween sprinkles)
  • Caramel sauce (to drizzle over the frosting)
  • Vegan fondant, marzipan, or pb truffle pumpkins (use a toothpick to carve and vegan choc chip for stem)
  • Crushed/ chopped nuts (like pecans or walnuts)

You can also use these as the base for your vegan Halloween cupcakes and pipe various Halloween-inspired decorations over the top.

How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • First, preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line a cupcake tin with silicone or paper baking cases.
  • Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and gently mix until well combined. But be careful not to over-mix.
  • Divide the batter between the cupcake cases, filling them each ¾ full. Then, tap them against the counter to remove any air bubbles.
  • Bake the pumpkin cupcakes in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Finally, remove the cupcakes from the oven and leave them to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool entirely.
completed Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes in baking tin against a white surface

While they cool, prepare your toppings (pumpkin spice glaze, vegan buttercream frosting, homemade deco). Once cooled, top them, then enjoy!

FAQs

Can I prepare the batter in advance?

You could prepare the pumpkin spice cupcake batter a day in advance, minus the baking soda, and store it covered in the refrigerator overnight. When you want to use it, bring it to room temperature for 30 minutes, stir in the baking soda, and continue with the recipe.

Can I use homemade pumpkin puree?

Canned pumpkin has a consistent thickness/texture, so it is our preferred option. If you want to use homemade pumpkin puree, you may need to strain it through a cheesecloth-lined strainer for 45-60 minutes first to strain out excess water.

Can I make pumpkin mini cupcakes?

Divide the batter into mini cupcake cakes (it’ll make about 30) and bake them for 12-15 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • Don’t add too much flour: Otherwise, the cupcakes can become dense and dry. To ensure you aren’t adding too much, fluff up the flour in its bag with a fork, then use a spoon to transfer it to your measuring cup. Finally, use the back of a knife to level off the top.
  • Be careful not to over mix: Otherwise, you’ll overwork the gluten and end up with dense and/or gummy bakes.  
  • Don’t overfill the liners: ¾ full is perfect for these vegan pumpkin cupcakes.
  • Leave them to cool: They must be 100% cool before adding frosting/glaze, or it will melt and/or slide right off.
completed Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes in baking tin against a white surface

Storage Instructions

Unfrosted cupcakes will store at room temp for 2-3 days. Store the baked and frosted vegan pumpkin cupcakes tightly covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, or freeze them (without frosting is best) for 2-3 months in a Ziplock/Stasher bag. Leave them to thaw in the fridge overnight before enjoying.

You can also prepare the vegan glaze/frosting several days in advance and store it tightly wrapped in the fridge until ready to use. Allow frosting to come back to room temperature slightly before piping (it firms up in the fridge).

More Vegan Pumpkin Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes

5 from 27 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Make super moist and fluffy, one-bowl vegan pumpkin cupcakes – perfectly spiced with pumpkin pie spice, your choice of mix-ins, plus a decadent frosting or glaze!

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of white or apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of water

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with silicone or paper baking cups.
  • In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into each baking cup until it’s three-quarters full.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Test a cupcake by sticking a toothpick in the middle. If the toothpick comes out dry, the cupcakes are done.

Notes

  • Don’t add too much flour: Otherwise, the cupcakes can become dense and dry. To ensure you aren’t adding too much, fluff up the flour in its bag with a fork, then use a spoon to transfer it to your measuring cup. Finally, use the back of a knife to level off the top.
  • Be careful not to over mix: Otherwise, you’ll overwork the gluten and end up with dense and/or gummy bakes.  
  • Don’t overfill the liners: ¾ full is perfect for these vegan pumpkin cupcakes.
  • Leave them to cool: They must be 100% cool before adding frosting/glaze, or it will melt and/or slide right off.

Nutrition

Calories: 149kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.03gSodium: 190mgPotassium: 30mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 795IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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Comments

  1. These were quite yummy, although I made some changes to the recipe. I used Bob´s GF baking mix. I had homemade roasted pumpkin which was probably 1/2 to 3/4 cup although I didn´t measure it. I used 1/2 granulated sugar and the rest coconut sugar with just a slug of maple syrup. I initially baked at 220C (about 425F) for 10 minutes as I wanted crispy domed muffin tops. Then the baking was finished at 180C (about 350F). Delicious! Thank you!

    Monica

    1. We at Plant-Based on a Budget haven’t tried that out yet so can’t guarantee the results. If you end up giving it a go, please let us know 🙂