Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingI know, it’s barely September and I’m already breaking out the autumnal baked goods. I don’t go gaga for pumpkin the way a lot of bloggers seem to do. Don’t get me wrong–I love my fair share of pumpkin bars and pie and cupcakes and muffins…But I’m not about to put it in my oatmeal unless I can find a decent recipe that incorporates it into baked oatmeal. And even then, I’d hold off until at least October. That being said, I did feel my annual slide into the maudlin and pensive commence with the new month, and felt like making something warm, comforting, and sweet. And so, I chose Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingThe last time I made these, I think I ate the bulk of what I didn’t pawn off at work. And going by the date on that older post, I can’t even remember if I took any to work or not. I was apparently on vacation that week. No matter.

These cupcakes are like old familiarity. Like the old grandpa cardigan you dig out of your bottom drawer and wear from November until March. The spices are balanced nicely with the sweetness of the cream cheese frosting. And those to whom I gave cupcakes at work declared these delicious and a perfect pick-me-up.

Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingI took/gave away a decent amount of them, so hopefully this time around, I don’t eat too many. But it’s not the end of the world if I do.

Yield: 24-30

Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes


For the Cupcakes:

  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 C sour milk* or buttermilk

For the Frosting:

  • 1 8-oz. block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 C powdered sugar
  • 2 oz. half & half or heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners in 2 muffin/cupcake pans and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter. Beat on medium speed about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, and the eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition.

On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined.

Using a large (3 Tbsp.) scoop, drop the batter into the prepared liners. Bake the cupcakes for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centers of several cakes comes out clean. Cool in the pans 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla, and on low speed, add half the powdered sugar. Add in half the heavy cream or half & half. Add the remaining powdered sugar. If the frosting is too thick, add additional half & half until the desired consistency is reached. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes. Decorate cupcakes as desired.


*To make sour milk, add 1 Tbsp. of vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup. Fill to the 1-Cup mark with milk. Stir, and allow to sit for 5 minutes before using.

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Although who knows? Maybe if I ate all the rest of these, it might prevent me from slipping into my Fall funk!

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