Easy paleo pumpkin cupcakes that are gluten free and come together in under 20 minutes. Add a homemade, sugar free whipped “cream cheese” frosting on top for a bakery style cupcake!

I have a confession to make. These paleo pumpkin cupcakes have my heart. And there’s sweet potato in them. I’m pretty sure I have a love affair with pumpkin. And sweet potato. They’re amazing. We’re going really strong. And guess what?! I haven’t turned orange!

Over the weekend, I had some foodie friends over for brunch (aka when food bloggers collide), and it was absolutely amazing. I was actually shocked at how not stressed I was, considering I’m the Type-A, OCD type (yes, I do have OCD so I can say that!) who feels the need to control everything and have it go exactly to my plan…yeah, not a fun type sometimes. But, I was so low-maintence this weekend, even Jared said something ha! The proof is in the work, my friends! I do practice what I preach 😉

Anyways, back to brunch. So I made A TON of food this weekend. I mean, when you need to feed upwards of 15 people, you need to make sure you’re fully stocked! So we did a ton of shopping and prepping. Luckily, I had another food blogger friend, Shuang, come early to help me (her blog is amazing! Shuangy’s Kitchen Sink is one of my go-to’s for fudge recipes!). Within an hour, we had whipped up scrambled eggs, pumpkin pancakes, toast with an assortment of spreads (including one of my favorites, Artisana Organics).

But then I realized, we didn’t have anything for dessert! And to be honest, I was not about to create another full on recipe (sorry, but I will fully admit to my laziness right now haha!). So I ran to the store to pick up a box of my favorite Simple Mills Vanilla Cake Mix and decided to doctor it up (like the Cake Doctor, ya know!) with some seasonal flavors!


Introducing the most moist, decadent, and deliciously sweet paleo pumpkin cupcakes you will ever taste! The best part though? The icing. Not going to lie, the icing was just INSANE. That’s really the star of the show.

Any guesses to what makes this cream cheese icing so dang magical?

Take you time.

I’m waiting.

Okay, let me just tell you.

It’s SWEET POTATO. I know. I know. How many more ways can I figure out to repurpose the traditional sweet potato?! Answer: the limit does not exist 😉 So the reason why I say “cream cheese” is because honestly, there’s just 1 tbsp of cream cheese in there to give it some extra flavor. It’s really all Japanese sweet potato with some coconut butter and a few spices. That’s it! And it’s magical…LET. ME. TELL. YOU.

Needless to say, these babies were a hit! I had everyone asking me for the recipe, which obviously I was all too eager to share (side note: I am not a good secret keeper!). Here’s what you need:

Simple Mills Vanilla Cake & Cupcake Mix

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Vanilla Extract, Powder, or Beans



Japanese Sweet Potato

Coconut Butter

Cream Cheese

It seems like a lot, but trust me, it’s not! Box mixes are so easy to make, and these paleo pumpkin cupcakes are worth it. Plus, this frosting requires one item: a blender or food processor! Then you’re all set 🙂 Honestly, I will be bringing these to Thanksgiving dinner (along with SO many other recipes that I will be sharing soon!). Speaking of which, I’ll be doing a huge Thanksgiving recipe round-up, so stay tuned for that! For now, just enjoy these babies (and maybe my pumpkin donuts as well, those were AMAZING!).

Did you like this recipe?! If so, let me know by sharing it on Instagram, commenting down below, or pinning it to your recipe page on good ol’ Pinterest! Be sure to tag me @the_bananadiaries and use the hashtag #iyamlove so that I can see your beautiful creations!

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Paleo Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: baked goods, Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


Easy paleo pumpkin cupcakes that are gluten free and come together in under 20 minutes. Add a homemade, sugar free whipped “cream cheese” frosting on top for a bakery style cupcake!




  • 1 box Simple Mills Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup filtered water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract or powder
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice


  • 1 large Japanese sweet potato (cooked, cooled, and skin removed)
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese (lactose or dairy free)
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbsp filtered water


  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a 12-muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all cupcake ingredients according to box instructions, adding in the pumpkin puree (exclude the coconut oil or it will turn out too moist) and spices.
  3. Distribute evenly among 12 cupcakes and bake according to directions.
  4. While the cupcakes are baking, in a large food processor or blender, combine all frosting ingredients and puree until completely mixed.
  5. Store in the fridge to cool.
  6. Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool before frosting them.
  7. When ready to frost, spoon a little frosting into a small plastic bag and snip the corner of the bag with scissors. 
  8. Frost each cupcake and serve!