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Just Can’t Resist Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

by Courtney on September 6, 2011

No surprise here…I’ve already begun embracing all things “fall” related. I’ve pulled the decorations up from the basement, I started burning my pumpkin spice candles, and I’ve already indulged in a few pumpkin spice coffees from Dunkin Donuts.

Have I mentioned I love fall?

Well, along with my love of fall comes my love of fall baking, and today I have a recipe for you all that is easily one of my absolute fall favorites. This is a recipe that I actually had originally posted on Tina’s blog almost a year ago, but I think that it’s awesome enough to re-share it again: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes.


Okay, these cupcakes are not only absolutely scrumptious, but they’re healthified, too…you are welcome. Whenever I whip up a batch of these, I tend to make the following modifications to the original recipe:

  • unsweetened applesauce for vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup Egg Beaters for 3 whole eggs.

If anything, I find that substituting the applesauce for oil almost always makes for a more moist, sponge-like cupcake, but it really hits the mark in this recipe. And if it makes it healthier, than why not, right? Winking smile


The frosting, on the other hand, is not exactly healthy. However, when is frosting ever supposed to be healthy? I’ll take a healthified cupcake + not-so-healthy (but oh-so-delicious) frosting any day. It all evens out.


The frosting I like using with these pumpkin spice cupcakes is my Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting. It’s honesty just a perfect match.

So if you’re looking for a perfect fall recipe that’s full of flavor and sure to be a crowd pleaser, then you definitely have to give these guys a try. I promise you won’t regret it.



I think I need to go pick up a box of spice cake now…I’ll catch ya’ll later!

Question for the Afternoon:

What are some of your favorite fall treats? (pumpkin, apples, cider donuts..all of the above?)

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I could eat a gallon of cream cheese frosting. It’s so damn delicious! These look great and I appreciate the re-post since I don’t think I had found you or Tina a year ago!
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen recently posted..Rhinebeck mad dash 10K race recap


2 e @thisnotedlife September 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm

those look delicious! I just posted a recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins that i made on Sunday. i LOVE pumpkin!


3 Kate September 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm

gahh I love all things pumpkin I got my starbucks latte yesterday and it was heaven!


4 Emmarie @ Bananas and Beer September 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

That frosting looks amazing! I’d make them right away, but my husband doesn’t like pumpkin anything! THE HORROR! And it would probably be a bad idea to have an entire batch of these laying around.
Emmarie @ Bananas and Beer recently posted..Living Room Shuffle


5 Sweet and Savvy September 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm

These sound great!! My favorite fall things are apples and Anything related.. but I’m developing pumpkin love!
Sweet and Savvy recently posted..What’s Labor Day without a burger?


6 Claire September 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Those look SO good! Thanks for posting AND including a print feature…I actually printed it instead of saying I want to ;-)

My favorite fall treats are: pumpkin spice coffees (DD or Sbucks), flavored creamers, Chili (football season) and spiced oatmeal (check that one out on my blog today!)
Claire recently posted..Structure & Return Of A Food Post


7 Jacqui September 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Hi Courtney! I recently started reading your blog and love it. Those cupcakes sound amazing and I actually used your oatmeal raisin chocolate chunk cookie recipe yesterday. We definitely share a love for baking and all things pumpkin! It’s funny I actually wrote a post yesterday about healthy substitutions for cooking.


8 Courtney September 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Thanks, Jacqui! :)


9 Samantha @ Because I Can September 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Oh wow, those look great! I love anything pumpkin and anything apple in the fall!
Samantha @ Because I Can recently posted..Monday Love Labor Day Edition (Day 12)


10 Khushboo September 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Errr can I just have a bowl of the icing?? Sounds delicious! I love stewed apples in the fall with cinnamon…so sweet and delicious!
Khushboo recently posted..Knowledge without college


11 Katie @ The Purposeful Woman September 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm

These look delish Courtney!!! I ADORE pumpkin and all things fall too!! So I’ll get excited for the season with you ;)!! Happy Tues!!
Katie @ The Purposeful Woman recently posted..Shopping with Little Bud


12 katie Carso September 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm

You know am your fellow pumpkin lover! Its pumpkin spice latte day at starbucks! Woot Woot! Need one of those and one of these cupcakes ; )

Happy Tuesday girl!
katie Carso recently posted..Fit Flash and { Store }


13 Courtney September 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Ok, I’m definitely going to have to go get one tomorrow. I can’t believe that I forgot about that! Boooo. ;)


14 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries September 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Oh man, I hope I’m able to find an excuse to bake these really soon because they look like heaven! My husband doesn’t like pumpkin (I just don’t get it!), so if I bake a batch of these bad boys, I’ll need to find people to share them with otherwise they would easily and quickly ALL end up in my belly! Thanks for sharing!


15 Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life September 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Must try this soon. I love all things pumpkin and this sounds sooo good. Adding pumpkin to my shopping list right now!
Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life recently posted..Labor Day Weekend -Un-


16 Trainer Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life September 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I love all things pumpkin flavored, from pasta to cake to coffee! I just can never seem to get enough of that great pumpkin spice flavor!!! I’m so happy its fall! I’ve totally put out decorations and buring pumpkin candles as well! The frosting on those cupcakes looks so great, I love how professional they look and wish mine would look that way!!!
Trainer Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life recently posted..Labor Day Recap and Weekly Workouts


17 Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled September 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Those look so good! I love that fall is here and pumpkin stuff is going to be everywhere. And I totally agree with you that applesauce makes a moister (is that word?) baked good. Vinegar does that in a lot of stuff too, and you don’t get a vinegar flavor. Yum!
Rosa – Fitness, Food, Fulfilled recently posted..Family Dinner Fuels an Eight Miler


18 Courtney September 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Vinegar, really? I’ve never heard of that one! How do you use it/substitute it?


19 Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled September 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm

No subs needed, just add about 1 Tbsp to the batter and you’re good to go. I use regular vinegar for chocolatey baked goods, but apple cider vinegar for anything with fruit as a component.
Rosa – Fitness, Food, Fulfilled recently posted..Family Dinner Fuels an Eight Miler


20 Courtney September 6, 2011 at 4:02 pm

That’s so great to know! Thanks for sharing :)


21 Brooke @ BittersweetBrooke September 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I love pumpkin! Cupcakes, ice cream, coffee, bread you name it. This year I want to try making pumpkin cinnamon rolls!
Brooke @ BittersweetBrooke recently posted..Things You Don’t Know About Me V


22 Allison September 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I loooove pumpkin. In everything…its amazing. I need to make these NOW! Thanks for sharing! Yummy!
Allison recently posted..Fast Food? Think again.


23 Kerry @ Half Healthy, Half Nuts September 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Anything pumpkin-y or spice-y (ie, spice cake). And candy corn! It’s the only time of year I eat candy corn. Yumm!
Kerry @ Half Healthy, Half Nuts recently posted..Slow Moving Foot Syndrome


24 Lisa September 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I’ve been following your blog for roughly a year now and love everything about it. I nabbed this recipe last year and made it at least five times. My family and friends loved it. I even gave it to a top celebrity’s manager and he devoured it. Keep the pumpkin recipes coming because in my opinion, this is when your cooking is at it’s prime.


25 Courtney September 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Hahaha, thank you, Lisa!
I will definitely see what I can do about delivering some more pumpkin recipes this fall season. Thanks for the confidence booster! :-D


26 Lyndsie @ September 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm

These look delish (in fact I might be drooling…just a little)! I recently found my love of pumpkin so I will definitely have to try these babies. My favorite fall treat is Starbucks Caramel Apple Cider. Nothing screams fall to me like the warm spicy goodness of cider.
Lyndsie @ recently posted..Pizza and Soccer


27 Lauren September 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm

These look to die for!!!
Lauren recently posted..Hello world!


28 colleen @ thegiftofmondays September 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm

it’s 3pm. the afternoon slump. and now i’m craving pumpkin pie. with whipped cream. and hot chocolate. thanks… :)
colleen @ thegiftofmondays recently posted..i should be good at death by now


29 Kathryn @ Flopoodle September 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Wow, must make these pronto. Thanks for re-posting, and I love your substitution ideas!
Kathryn @ Flopoodle recently posted..Flopoodle: Labor Day Weekend Edition


30 Heather September 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm

this morning i had a pumpking donut in celebration of my 2-years.
it was delightful, but i have a feeling that it was missing honey cinnamon cream cheese frosting. holy cow, lady – that looks DELICIOUS! xo
Heather recently posted..Two Years


31 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles September 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I just made a pumpkin smoothie this morning! mmmm! It totally hit the spot when I walked outside and the 113* heat had gone away.
Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles recently posted..Labor Day?! ….. Wasn’t that Friday?! …..And the new baby is a……….


32 Ruthie Hart September 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm

holy moly that frosting looks delish. I have started keeping blocks of cream cheese in my freezer “just in case”. I mean hello life is better with cream cheese!
Ruthie Hart recently posted..Whole wheat pumpkin muffins


33 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake September 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I love all of those treats, but cider donuts are pretty awesome!
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake recently posted..Who Knew?


34 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn September 6, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Omg. I want. If you send me a batch to me I will actually die of happiness — I have no kitchen access in this freaking dorm!!


35 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun September 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Nevermind my tweet. your blog finally loaded for me. I HAD to see these. I remember them from before but you have reminded me how much I need to make them. Yay for fall pumpkin baking!
Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun recently posted..Reminiscent of Childhood


36 Jess@atasteofconfidence September 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm

These look delicious. I starred them in google reader. Yum!
Jess@atasteofconfidence recently posted..Our Trip: Yellowstone


37 Lindsay@ In Sweetness and In Health September 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Be still my heart :). Those sound amazeballs!
Lindsay@ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..Why I Chose OT


38 Heather September 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Pumpkin flavoured pasta???? Where do you get that? That sounds amazing!
Heather recently posted..Work (out) to the Bone!


39 Heather September 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Oh… and how do you get your icing to look so pretty?


40 Alysha @ She's on the Run September 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm

How do you frost your cupcakes so perfectly? These look amazing!


41 Sarah @ Food and Love Diaries September 6, 2011 at 8:26 pm

I’m SUCH a pumpkin addict, too! Try a tall coffee from starbucks with one pump of pumpkin spice. It will change your world!
Sarah @ Food and Love Diaries recently posted..California Love


42 Laura September 6, 2011 at 9:13 pm

These look amazing and are exactly what I’m craving right now! With school starting up again, I’m calling it fall. My favorite fall treat is cider donuts. I do not eat them often, but I love to get them from an orchard about twice over the season.
Laura recently posted..Zucchini Enchiladas


43 Ari @ Ari's Menu September 6, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Umm YUM. Coming soon to my kitchen!
Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..Skinnified Sunday: Rachael Ray’s Pesto Presto Chicken


44 Sue September 7, 2011 at 8:54 am

How do you frost your cupcakes to make them look so nice. When I try, it just looks like a blob of frosting on top!!!



45 Courtney September 7, 2011 at 8:56 am

For these cupcakes, I used a pastry bag with a star tip :)


46 Amber September 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

Oooo I’m so excited to try these! And I am officially inspired to start pulling out my fall decorations! It’s still warm here so it makes it hard to make the switch, but I’m convinced now!


47 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 12, 2011 at 1:19 am

I just opened every single link you gave on your guestie on Gabriela’s blog.

WOW. Girl.

I could die and go to frosting + cupcake heaven.

Seriously you are an amazing baker and love your photography!


48 Courtney September 12, 2011 at 7:30 am

Thank you, Averie! :)


49 Julie September 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm

omg i made these cupcakes last night (with just plain cream cheese frosting though) and they are DELISH! i brought them into work and they’re almost completely gone–everyone’s been raving about them :) thanks for the recipe!


50 Shaina Reynolds October 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Courtney- Can I use just egg whites in this recipes? I only have the egg beaters-WHITES cause that’s all I eat but will it work? And how much should I use?


51 Courtney October 8, 2011 at 10:55 am

I would think so – typically when replacing egg whites for eggs, you want 2 whites for each egg. So in this case that would be 6 egg whites (not sure how much that translates to in the container…a cup?)
I’ve never tried all whites, so I’m not sure how it will effect the texture, but I’d love to know if you try it!


52 Lea @ Healthy Coconut October 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Love how easy this recipe can be. I love Fall baking too.

What is the size of the cake mix you used? The reason I asked is because there are now 15 oz and 18 oz cake mix. I believe Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker changed their box weight recently.
Lea @ Healthy Coconut recently posted..Rustic Pasta


53 Diana October 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I’d love to make these for a pumpkin carving party on Sunday. I have the same question as Lea. Do you know what size and type of cake mix you used?


54 Courtney October 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I’m pretty sure that I used a Betty Crocker spice cake, and probably an 18oz?


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