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Recipe: Pumpkin Cupcakes

With Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting


Fall is the time to bake up a pumpkin storm, so let’s add to the list with a delicious pumpkin cupcake with pumpkin cheesecake (cream cheese) frosting. Created by Cupcake Project blogger Stefani Pollack, the cake is made with healthier graham flour and bits of graham crackers, which yields a far more rich, dense and muffin-like texture—no delicate little cup of fluff. (Read about the invention of graham flour and graham crackers.)

For another combination of pumpkin and cheesecake, check out our Pumpkin Mocha Cheesecake Recipe, an elegant special-occasion dessert.




  • 3/4 cup graham flour or whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup cream soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 cups smashed graham crackers (pea-sized bits)

Pumpkin Cheesecake Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • Optional garnish: gingersnap (buy or bake this gingersnap recipe)



For The Cupcake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together graham flour, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin purée, and eggs. Beat until smooth.
  4. Mix the vegetable oil, cream soda, and vanilla bean paste or extract into the egg mixture.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
  6. Stir in the graham crackers.
  7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

For The Frosting

  1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in pumpkin purée.
  3. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar. You can add more sugar to make the frosting stiffer, but Stefani thinks that makes it too sweet.
  4. Decorate with gingersnap or other garnish, such as a candied pecans.

Yield: About 17 cupcakes.


Recipe ©Stefani Pollack. Other material

Pumpkin CheesecakeThis pumpkin cupcake is made with bits of graham cracker and graham flour for a deeper, richer taste. Photo courtesy of Stefani Pollack.



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October 2009