Pumpkin Cupcakes
with Lemon Frosting

pumpkin cupcakes with lemon icing

I have known one of my best friends for over 40 years – more years than I really care to think about! We have probably gone through more experiences in those years than you can imagine, from school to working together, and travelling around the world together. 

Her grandchildren are 6 and 4 years old and have voracious appetites akin to vacuum cleaners, sweeping up any treats when they come to tea. Many children have discerning palates these days, being exposed to cuisines from around the world, so I try to make something different when they come to visit and play guessing games as to the ingredients in that specific treat. 

In Australia we would call them "pumpkin cup cakes" ie two words!  Wonder why?

The last time they came back in October, I had decorated the house with ‘spooky pumpkin faces’ which they loved, but they gasped with horror and cries of ‘yuk’ filled the house when they thought that the treat was going to be the pumpkin soup which was sitting on the top of the stove ! They did not realise that this was not for them – this was for our own dinner party and that they were about to enjoy Pumpkin Cupcakes. I didn’t tell them what was in the cupcakes until they had finished the 4 cupcakes on the plate....’deelishus’, said the little one.....I rest my case!

Serves:               12 large cupcakes/20 medium sized cupcakes
Prep Time:         15 minutes (including icing)
Cook Time:        25 minutes


3 cups/400g of self-raising flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tbsp pumpkin pie spice
3 cups/400g Demerara sugar or soft brown sugar

1 x 425g/15oz can 100% pure pumpkin

4 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
Juice and zest of 2 large oranges (or ¼ cup/60ml/2fl.oz of orange juice)
1 tsp salt

For the lemon frosting

4 cups/450g/1lb icing sugar
1 cup/120g/4oz cream cheese
30ml/1fl.oz lemon juice
1 tbsp milk


Preheat oven to 340°F/170°C/Gas mark 4. Grease the appropriate cake tin, or use cake cups.

Combine all the dry goods in one bowl. Mix together all the ‘wet’ ingredients in a separate bowl, and beat until blended. Add the dry goods to the wet and gently stir until everything is well mixed together.

Spoon the mixture into the cases or the tin up to approx ¾ full. Bake for 25 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Check the centres with a wooden pick – if it comes out clean, the cakes are ready. If not, return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

While the cupcakes are cooking, beat together the ingredients for the frosting mix. If the mix is too wet, add a little more icing sugar. If too dry, add a drop more milk. When completely cool, decorate the cakes with the frosting, and top with a little half moon of crystallised lemon. 

You can use whatever frosting or icing flavour you want – or, if you don’t like frosting, simply leave it off!  There are a couple of icing recipes on the Pumpkin Cake Recipes page along with lots of other cake ideas.  

Why not decorate with some mini pumpkin sweets (candies!)?  These are fabulous for decorating any autumn desserts or cakes.

Pumpkin cupcakes with mini pumpkins

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