Gluten-Free Spice Cupcakes with Pumpkin Swirl Cream Cheese Frosting

These spiced cupcakes, made from a mix, are delicious. But it’s the pumpkin swirl cream cheese frosting that
really brings them up over the top. Serve them for dessert at any autumn festival, picnic or party. Or make them
just because.


1 package of Kyra’s Snickerdoodle Cake Mix (or one package of gluten-free vanilla cake mix plus 2 teaspoons of cinnamon)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
4 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 drops orange food coloring, if desired


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (or according to package). Prepare the mix according to package directions and stir in extra spices. Spoon the batter into a paper-lined muffin tin, filling each about 2/3 full. You should have 1 dozen cupcakes. Bake for 20-25 minutes (or according to package), or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack.
2. Prepare the cream cheese frosting. Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of your mixer and beat to combine. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt and beat until smooth. Remove from mixer, place in one side of a large zip-top bag (fitted with a large star piping tip if desired) and set aside.
3. Clean the mixer bowl, then add the cream cheese and pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Add a drop or two of orange food coloring, if desired and mix to combine. Spoon the frosting into the other side of the large zip top bag next to the plain cream cheese frosting.
4. If you haven’t already, snip off a corner of the bag and carefully twist the top of the bag to force the frosting down in the bag.
5. Pipe (or swirl) the frosting decoratively over each cupcake. Chill until ready to serve

Recipe Credit: Alison Needham, A Girl Defloured

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