These incredibly moist vegan pumpkin cupcakes are deliciously rich and topped with a silky vegan cream cheese frosting! Adapted from my easy vegan pumpkin muffins, these pumpkin cupcakes are made in one bowl with a few simple ingredients, packed with pumpkin spice and topped with a pumpkin “cheesecake” truffle!

vegan pumpkin cupcake on a cooling rack

Why you need to try these vegan pumpkin cupcakes:

If you’re a lover of all things pumpkin spice and sweet, then you’re going to be obsessed with these vegan pumpkin cupcakes. Like my vegan pumpkin cake, vegan pumpkin bread, and vegan pumpkin muffins, you just cannot go wrong with this fall classic.

These fluffy and soft pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are a treat. They’re unbelievably dairy free, vegan, and easily gluten-free, making them an ideal vegan Thanksgiving dessert if you’re looking for something for all eaters (just don’t forget the vegan pumpkin pie).

bitten vegan pumpkin cupcake

And with a swirl of salted vegan caramel cream cheese frosting?! How could you resist!

Topped with the cutest mini vegan pumpkin truffles, these vegan pumpkin cupcakes are easy to make, one bowl, packed with warm spices, like ground cinnamon and nutmeg, and approved by all eaters, kids and adults alike! 

Just check out this video on Instagram for them!

What makes pumpkin cupcakes different from pumpkin muffins?

You might be thinking, am I just using a pumpkin muffin recipe as the basis for cupcakes? After all, I adapted these cupcakes from my muffins.

Pumpkin cupcakes are actually slightly different from pumpkin muffins.

Unlike my vegan pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cupcakes are slightly sweeter and richer in flavor. While they both just use pumpkin puree as the egg replacement (my favorite of my top 10 vegan egg substitutes), pumpkin cupcakes have a bit more more moisture to them, thanks to a higher ratio of oil to dry ingredients.

pumpkin cupcake on top of mini pumpkin

Ingredients overview:

To make the fluffiest pumpkin cupcakes that are secretly egg-free, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients:

  • Flour: You can use all purpose flour here. I recommend using King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure flour if you need gluten-free. That’s my favorite to use with this recipe! 
  • Pumpkin puree: This is both our egg replacement and of course, flavor component. You don’t need any eggs in this recipe! You can use homemade pumpkin puree or store bought. 
  • Granulated sugar + brown sugar: You can also use all coconut sugar for refined sugar free!
  • Dairy free milk: You can use soy milk, oat milk, almond milk, or coconut milk.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: You can make your own pumpkin spice blend or purchase in stores!
  • Neutral oil: You can also use vegan butter, but I like using an oil because it locks in more moisture.

You’re probably also wondering what goes into the vegan cream cheese frosting (which oh by the way is irresistible):

If you want to go fully refined sugar free, you can actually blend coconut sugar in a food processor to create a Paleo powdered sugar. It will yield a tan-colored cream cheese frosting, but your pumpkin cupcakes will still taste amazing!

frosted vegan pumpkin cupcakes on a cooling rack

Overview: How to make vegan pumpkin cupcakes with dairy-free cream cheese frosting

You’re just going to love easy and simple these vegan pumpkin cupcakes are to make! 

The vegan pumpkin cupcakes:

  1. First: Whisk together the wet ingredients. I even add the leavening agents in here because I think it distributes them more evenly into the batter.
  2. Then add in the flour and dairy free milk. Whisk just until the flour is integrated into the
  3. Pour into cupcake liners and bake. You’ll bake these cupcakes according to the recipe card below.

Trust me, these pumpkin cupcakes are easier than you think! And if you don’t want to make them entirely gluten-free, no problem. I’ve listed a few ingredient swaps for just making them a lightened up version of your favorite Thanksgiving cupcake.

The vegan cream cheese frosting:

Now, if you’ve never made a dairy free frosting before, do not worry!

Making a vegan cream cheese frosting is extraordinarily similar to a regular cream cheese frosting.

Essentially you start by whipping the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese together in a large bowl, then add in the powdered sugar and beat it until it’s nice and fluffy.

Once your cupcakes have completely cooled, you can frost and decorate! Check out the tips & tricks section below for how to achieve the caramel swirl.

How to make mini vegan pumpkin cheesecake truffles:

This is my favorite way to top these vegan pumpkin cupcakes. I adapted this recipe from Sweet C Design to make it entirely vegan, as well as scaling it down to yield just 12 perfect bite-sized truffles.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 ounce vegan cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup vegan sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup Biscoff cookie crumbs (about 5 cookies)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Mini vegan chocolate chips, for topping

To make the truffles:

  • Add all ingredients (minus the chocolate chips) to a small saucepan and whisk together all ingredients on medium heat until combined.
  • Once combined, transfer the dough to a bowl and place the bowl into the freezer to chill for 1-2 hours.
  • Once chilled and slightly hardened, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop 12 1.5-teaspoon sized balls and roll between your palms.
  • Use a toothpick to create the lines for a pumpkin running up the dough balls, then place a mini chocolate chip on top for the stem.
  • Chill until you’re ready to top!
bitten vegan pumpkin cupcake on cooling rack

Tips & Tricks for Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Whether you’re making these lightened up pumpkin pie cupcakes for your Thanksgiving table or just because it’s fall and you want to, I want to make sure you get the best cupcake ever that suits your needs (because we love options!).

To ensure this, let’s go over a few tips and tricks I have for the latest edition to your favorite healthy fall treats!

  • Fill the liners about 2/3 of the way full: or even 1/2 way full! You don’t want your cupcakes to muffin-top while baking. This will ensure that they bake just until the top of the liner.
  • Piping and decorations: for these pumpkin cupcakes, I used a Wilton extra large piping tip, and for decorations, you can do a sprinkle of cinnamon, top with pumpkin cheesecake truffle balls like I did, which were adapted to be vegan from Sweet C Design. Or place little maple sugar candies on top!
  • To make caramel swirl: Add a few dollops of the salted vegan caramel to the piping bag before scooping the frosting into the bag. Press the walls of the bag together to smear the caramel along the walls of the bag, then scoop the frosting in. Pipe your caramel swirl on top!

Trust me, you’re going to go crazy for these healthy pumpkin cupcakes. And basically everyone around you too. You’re just going to be the talk of the Thanksgiving table, okay? Is that cool?

Let me know how they go in the comments below, and if you get around to making them, tag me on Instagram and Pinterest if you want!

Happy vegan pumpkin cupcake baking!

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

Print
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vegan pumpkin cupcake on a cooling rack

One Bowl Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These incredibly moist vegan pumpkin cupcakes are deliciously rich and topped with a silky vegan cream cheese frosting! Adapted from my easy vegan pumpkin muffins, these pumpkin cupcakes are made in one bowl with a few simple ingredients, packed with pumpkin spice and topped with a pumpkin “cheesecake” truffle!


Ingredients

Scale

Pumpkin cupcakes:

  • 2 cup (250 g) all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour
  • 3/4 tbsp pumpkin spice blend
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (225 g) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2/3 cup (130 g) organic granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (130 g) light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp  dairy free yogurt or applesauce, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (150 g) avocado oil or neutral oil
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 1 batch Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1/2 batch vegan caramel

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 12-tin muffin pan with cupcake liners. Measure out all ingredients before beginning.
  2. Make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, dairy free yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract. Then add in the spices, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Pour in the flour and dairy free milk as you whisk JUST combined. 
  3. Bake: Spoon the pumpkin cupcake batter evenly among 12 cupcake liners, filling to about 3/4 of the way full. Bake the pumpkin cupcakes for 25-27 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Let cool completely before frosting. While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, you can make the caramel. To cool the caramel faster, pour it into a square baking pan
  5. Make the cream cheese frosting: When you’re ready to frost, combine the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese in a large bowl with a hand mixer on high speed. Beat the two until light and fluffy. Add in about 1 cup of powdered sugar and continue beating, adding in additional sugar until it’s a thick frosting. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
  6. Pipe the frosting: Spoon some of the cooled caramel into the piping bag and press the walls of the piping bag together to smear the caramel around. Then spoon the frosting into piping bags and frost each individual cupcake. See blog post for making pumpkin cupcake toppers.
  7. Serve and enjoy! 

Notes

Gluten free: I recommend using King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure flour blend. It’s the one I always use when making these cupcakes. 

To make the pumpkin toppers: see blog post for all instructions!

Keywords: vegan pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin cupcakes, vegan pumpkin cupcakes