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Light and dainty, these Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes are topped with a creamy ginger frosting made of mascarpone and cream cheese. These soft and moist mini cupcakes definitely belong on your fall dessert table!
Soft & moist mini cupcakes
This recipe is so fun! It yields mini cupcakes that are soft, moist, and flavorful. The pumpkin ginger cupcakes are deliciously spiced, with the perfect balance of fall flavors, and each one is topped with a puff of ginger frosting. So good and perfect for fall!
Due to their fun size and delightful flavor, these mini cupcakes are actually one of my favorite fall treats. They make a perfect Thanksgiving dessert too, a nice alternative to pumpkin pie and the perfect size for a dessert buffet.
My favorite part of these mini pumpkin cupcakes is the frosting. It’s a mix of cream cheese and mascarpone cheese, which makes it both creamy and light. The minimal flavor of the frosting is the perfect blank canvas for any spices you want to add – in the case of this recipe, ginger.
Whip these cupcakes up during the holiday season and prepare to indulge in utter deliciousness. And since they are mini, you can enjoy more than one at a time!
What you’ll need
Both the pumpkin cupcakes and ginger frosting use just a handful of ingredients to create this indulgent treat.
Ingredient notes & substitutions
- Unsalted butter – Butter should be softened but not melted.
- Granulated sugar – You could use a mix of brown sugar and granulated if desired.
- Pumpkin puree – I used canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!). Fresh pumpkin puree would likely work as well but I haven’t tested it.
- Eggs – Allow eggs to come to room temperature.
- Vanilla extract & salt – For additional flavor.
- All-purpose flour – I only recommend all-purpose flour for these cupcakes.
- Baking powder & baking soda – Help create the light and fluffy texture.
- Pumpkin pie spice – You can find a blend at the store or make your own.
- Ground ginger – Adds the zangy ginger flavor throughout the cupcakes and frosting.
- Milk – Any dairy milk will work but whole milk will yeild the best results.
- Mascarpone & cream cheese – Mascarpone is similar to cream cheese but lighter and combining the two gives you a mild, light, and creamy frosting. However, if you don’t have mascarpone on hand, you can swap it for softened, unsalted butter.
- Vanilla paste – If you don’t have vanilla paste, you can use more vanilla extract.
- Confectioners’ sugar – Used in the frosting for stability and sweetness.
How to make pumpkin ginger cupcakes
These mini ginger cupcakes are quick and easy to make! All you need is a mini muffin tray and a mixer!
- Make the cupcake batter. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the pumpkin puree. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Gradually add to the pumpkin mixture, alternating with milk.
- Bake. Transfer 1 tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make the ginger frosting. Beat the mascarpone and cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and ground ginger until incorporated. Add one cup of sugar and beat until smooth. For thicker frosting, beat in more sugar.
- Frost the cupcakes & enjoy! Once the cupcakes have cooled, top with the ginger frosting.
Can I make these as regular-sized cupcakes?
While I love the cuteness of mini cupcakes and think they’re perfect for holidays because A) you get more cupcakes and B) they’re the perfect size for a dessert buffet, you can absolutely make full-sized pumpkin ginger cupcakes.
For regular cupcakes, you’ll want to add an additional ½ teaspoon of baking soda to ensure they rise properly.
Then just line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners and fill ⅔ full with the batter and adjust the bake time to 17 to 19 minutes.
Follow the rest of the recipe as normal.
Tips for success
For fluffy and moist cupcakes, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Use room temperature ingredients. The eggs and milk should both be room temperature before adding to the recipe. I usually just let mine sit on the counter for 30 minutes or so.
- Don’t worry if the wet ingredients look curdled. Once you add the eggs and vanilla, mixture may look curdled. This normal and will smooth out once the flour is added.
- How to tell when the cupcakes are done. The easiest way to tell when the mini cupcakes are done baking is if cupcake springs back when touched.
- Let the cupcakes cool before frosting. It’s important to let the cupcakes cool to room temperature before frosting – otherwise, the frosting may melt.
Serve these cute little pumpkin ginger cupcakes at room temperature after baking or chilled. I like to keep them in the fridge until it’s time to put them on the dessert table, to prevent any melting.
If you love ginger, you can add some chopped crystallized ginger to the tops before serving for an extra twist.
How to freeze & store
- How to store. Frosted pumpkin cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Unfrosted cupcakes will keep for 5 days in the fridge.
- How to freeze mini cupcakes. These mini cupcakes can be frozen, unfrosted, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge then frost before serving.