Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

 This post was originally published in 2016 on my other blog, but since I'm no longer maintaining that one and I love these cupcakes, I'm sharing it here!

The leaves aren’t changing yet, but the kids are back in school, pumpkin spice latte is back in the coffee shops and fall is in the air!

Speaking of pumpkin spice, why not make some cupcakes?  I’ve made a few variations of pumpkin cake in the past.  The from-scratch version is here, the easy-peasy version here, and the chocolate version is here!

This time around, I wanted to incorporate some sour cream (because it makes cakes delicious) and coffee, because why not?  Oh, and of course cream cheese frosting, because I love it (but I almost never get to use it, because it doesn’t play nice with fondant).

Anyhow, I took the whole batch to our Back to School Night Potluck at school and they were gone in a flash (with rave reviews!)  This is definitely a keeper!

Recipe Note:
1/3 cup strongly brewed coffee can replace the water and espresso powder in this recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
An Amy’s Confectionery Adventures Original Recipe

1/3 cup warm water
1 tbsp instant espresso powder (see recipe note)
1 (13 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 (3.5 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 (2 lb) bag powdered sugar (about 7 ½ cups)
2 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon, for dusting
Edible flowers, such as marigolds or pansies, optional
Candy corns or pumpkins, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.

Place all of the cake ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary.  Use a large (approximately 3 tablespoon) scoop to divide the batter evenly among the liners.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.  This batter is very moist.  Cupcakes may need an additional 5-8 minutes of baking time, a few moist crumbs will likely remain on a test toothpick when the cupcakes are done.

Remove from the oven and cool completely (the tops of the cupcakes may collapse slightly).

To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Stir in the vanilla.

To frost, place the frosting in the piping bag fitted with a large tip (I used a Wilton 2D).  Pipe the frosting into the cupcakes and dust lightly with cinnamon.  Garnish with edible flowers or candy corns, if desired.

Makes 24 cupcakes