Dreamy pumpkin cupcakes

I have never made anything with pumpkin before. My best friend is Canadian so sometimes I like to bake something from her home. I thought I would start with something innocuous such as a cupcake. I ordered my cans of pumpkin puree and then crossed my fingers.

I was blown away by these and so were some of my pumpkin hater family. they were

  • Moist
  • Delicious
  • Spiced
  • Moreish

Full of autumnal and Christmas spices. The pumpkin does the same as carrots and courgette to a cake crumb, it produces a wonderfully soft texture due to the moisture content.

These cupcakes have a beautiful rise, I made the mistake of using cupcakes cases when muffin cases would be more suitable.

Pumpkin puree

It is best to use the cans of pumpkin puree which are thicker, homemade pumpkin puree has higher water content. Also, it is so much easier to use a can of filling than to cut up a pumpkin. If you are using homemade pumpkin puree then the texture and taste may differ. Do not use pie filling

Gluten-free flour

You need plain flour for this recipe. I have used Dove Farms and Bobs Red Mill 1-1. If you are vegan and not gluten-free just use your usual flour.

The Spices

Instead of using separate spices, you could use the same amount of pumpkin spice mix.

Alternatively you could always make your own pumpkin spice mix. In the UK shops it is not always readily available, as I found out. So I tested a few of my own and found a combination I loved.


  • 3 Tablespoons of ground cinnamon
  • 2.5 Teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of ground allspice
  • 1 Teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 2 Teaspoons of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of ground Cardamom

Measure out the spices and place in an airtight jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake to mix the spices together.

What egg substitute?

My favourite vegan egg substitute to use in baking is flaxseed mixed with hot water, recently I have been using CRACKD a liquid egg substitute. I love to use it but at the moment the price is still pretty high.

  • Preparation Time 15 Minutes
  • Baking Time 25-30 Minutes
  • Makes 12

Vegan, vegetarian, nut-free, gluten-free and soy-free


  • 238 g of gluten-free plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum
  • 100 g of caster sugar
  • 170 g of soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 Flax eggs or vegan alternative
  • 1 tin of pumpkin puree, roughly around 340g
  • 120 ml of neutral oil such as vegetable or rapeseed


  • 230 g of dairy-free unsalted butter
  • 500-550 g of icing sugar
  • 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 60 ml of dairy-free milk
  • A few drops of vegan orange food colouring until the desired colour is achieved.


  1. If you are using a flax egg then place 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds in a cup with 6 tbsp of hot water, mix and put to one side.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190C and line a muffin tray with paper cases.
  3. Add the flour, sugars, bicarbonate of soda, spices, salt and xanthan gum into a bowl and mix together.
  4. Add the egg replacement or 2 eggs if you are not vegan, pumpkin puree and oil and mix together until thoroughly combined and that all the flour has been combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the cases and fill them about 3/4 full.
  6. Place the tray into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Once baked place onto a cooling rack and wait until completely cool before decorating
  7. If you are going to decorate you cakes with frosting then now would be a good time to make it.
  8. Using a handheld or stand mixer using a paddle. Beat the butter until nice and creamy, turn the mixer to the lowest speed and add the icing sugar and chosen extract and colour. Add the milk slowly until you get to the desired piping consistency. I used a Wilton 2D rose piping nozzle to get the effect but you could decorate any way you like

Cupcakes without the icing

If you like this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thegfveganalchemist I would love to see seeing your versions of the recipes from the blog. All your comments and suggestions are welcome.

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