Pumpkin cupcakes with maple icing recipe

(99 ratings)

A brilliant bake for autumn, these pumpkin cupcakes contain 200g of fresh pumpkin and topped with a mascarpone and maple syrup icing.

Pumpkin cupcakes
  • healthy
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories295 Kcal15%
Sugar27.6 g31%
Fat14.2 g20%
Saturated Fat9.1 g46%
Protein3.1 g6%
Carbohydrates38.4 g15%

Try something a little different with these pumpkin cupcakes made with real fresh pumpkin. 

A little bit like carrot, pumpkin adds a lovely sweetness to cakes, as well as giving the sponge a really moist bounce. This is a great way to use up a little extra pumpkin if you're making an autumn squash soup or vegetable tray bake and have some leftovers. The recipe makes a dozen cupcakes - perfect for taking to a school bake sale or a party. And of course, they go down at Halloween - you can decorate the icing with orange and green sprinkles, or add little witches hats made from black fondant icing. The icing is a little more complex than a buttercream or frosting, but it only has four ingredients and tastes really special.


  • 200g pumpkin, de-seeded, peeled and diced into 2in cubes
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 175g light brown sugar
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 30g cornflour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 medium eggs
  • Orange sprinkles (available from larger supermarkets)

For the icing: 

  • 170g mascarpone cheese
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 85g maple syrup
  • 100g icing sugar




  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 and line a 12-hole deep muffin tin tray with cupcake cases.
  2. Add the peeled pumpkin to a saucepan pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until soft. Drain and puree in a blender before setting to one side to cool.
  3. Cream the sugar, butter and eggs until light and fluffy, with an electric mixer, then add the spices and mix again. Add the cooled and pureed pumpkin and mix again. Sieve the flours together and fold into the mix with a large metal spoon.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the cupcake cases cases to 2/3 full each and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  6. To make the icing put all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat for about 5 minutes with an electric mixer. This icing will not be firm enough to pipe as it is very soft, so spread on the tops of the cupcakes using a spatula or palette knife and cover with sprinkles. Don't be tempted to add more icing sugar, unless you have a very sweet tooth!

Top tips for making pumpkin cupcakes

If you’re using leftover pumpkin and you don’t have enough you could make up the 200g with butternut squash instead. Butternut squash has a similar taste and texture to pumpkin so would work just as well in this recipe.

Why are my pumpkin cupcakes dense?

The most common reason for this is over-creaming the butter, sugar and eggs. Ensure to beat them just until they are light and fluffy. If you are concerned, mix in the spices and pumpkin purée using a wooden spoon, and fold in the flour gently until the mixture is just combined.

Can I use Halloween caring pumpkins to make these cupcakes?

Yes you can. It worth noting though, that Halloween pumpkins and grown for size and shape, not flavour or texture. As such the pumpkin flesh can be a bit stringy or watery. The bigger the pumpkin, the more likely this is to be the case. But you can still use the flesh - just carve out a little extra when you are carving the pumpkin.

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Victoria Threader
Recipes Writer

Victoria Threader is 'the queen of cupcakes' and a contributing Recipe Writer at GoodTo. Not only can she bake delicious cupcakes, she can decorate them too - with each of Victoria’s cupcakes topped with handmade edible toppers. Some of her most popular cupcakes include: rainbow cupcakes, hidden shape cupcakes and even giant cupcakes.