stephmodo: {Best Ever} Pumpkin Cupcakes + Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

{Best Ever} Pumpkin Cupcakes + Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

• 18 November 2009

You must know this is my favorite cupcake to date. It's not too sweet and it's full of flavor. I wish I could say it's my recipe but it isn't...these delicious cupcakes are the creation of the talented Romina Rasmussen, owner of Salt Lake's Les Madeleines Bakery. LM is one of my favorite eateries in town and with one bite into these cupcakes, you'll know why.

After making 3 batches in the past few days, I can honestly say the star ingredient is the cardamom. It works well on it's own, but it's especially good here mixed with fresh ground nutmeg (you can find whole nutmeg at Cost Plus World Market). A killer combo to be sure. My last words of advice? Give them away as soon as possible...they are incredibly addicting and before you know it, you'll have consumed 4 without even skipping a beat. Trust me.

Romina's Pumpkin Cupcakes

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 can (15 oz.) solid-packed pumpkin (about 1 3/4 cups if you're making your own puree)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick of butter, cubed and cold

8 oz. cream cheese*
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon spice mix (see below)

Spice Mix**

1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

**you'll only need to use 1/4 teaspoon of this mix for the frosting so keep the remaining mix as a reserve for something else yummy or for the next time you make this recipe.


Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Line three 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake wrappers.

To make the cupcakes, in a bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and salt (if using raisins and walnuts, add them now too).

In another, larger bowl whisk together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. Add the flour mixture in three additions, stirring with a large wooden spoon until just combined.

Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full. Bake until the cupcakes for 20 minutes. Transfer the tins to a wire rack and let cool for ten minutes; then remove the cupcakes from the tins and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, cream the butter until fluffy, but still cold. Add the cream cheese in small chunks. When completely combined (no lumps of either butter or cream cheese), add the powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla and then 1/4 teaspoon of the spice mix before blending one last time.

* make sure you use Philadelphia Original; I've found that anything else compromises the texture and flavor.


  1. The spice is actually called cardamom, not cardamon.

  2. Thanks for the heads up on the typo ;)

  3. My four-year-old is standing next to me saying, "Mom, we should make those cupcakes!"

    Can't wait to try them!

  4. I love pumpkin! These look delicious. I'm going to make them. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Yum! We love anything pumpkin around here, thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. This recipe looks great, but if you don't have much time, you can use a yellow cake mix and substitute a can of pumpkin for the water and add pumpkin pie spice. I used that for a baby shower this past weekend and they were so moist! Next time I'll definitely use cardamom. Thanks!

  7. uuhhmmmm, sounds delish! I will have to try that recipe

  8. I have been on a pumpkin spree for the past few weeks. I don't know how you stay so tiny, Steph! I was wondering... you have so many great recipes, but do you ever try to lighten them up? I always "remake" recipes by using egg whites, subbing applesauce for oil, using spenda instead of sugar, etc. I was just wondering if you have any awesome recipe "makeovers" that you've had success with. Otherwise i'm just gonna have to drool on my computer screen instead of indulging! xoxo amy

  9. Sooo yummy! I made some a couple weeks ago!

  10. I just whipped these up and they are delicious! I used homemade pumpkin puree and appreciated the tip on how many cups of that to use. Only one problem--I somehow missed the part about only putting 1/4 tsp. of the spice mix into the frosting. I wondered why my frosting turned out so much darker than yours until I realized that I accidentally added the full spice mix! Though they still taste great (though a bit spicy :) ), perhaps you could add a little warning note next to the spice mix list that it should be reserved and only 1/4 tsp. used in the frosting and the rest saved for future batches. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  11. Yum...I am totally going to stop by while there in December!

  12. This recipe sounds like a cupcake recipe I've been looking for. Cardamom is a commonly used spicy in baked good in Scandinavian recipes. I love it! It makes me think about my grandma's kitchen:)

    I also really enjoy recipes with pumpkin this time of year. Canned pumpkin is a bit difficult to find here in Finland, but I make my own sometimes. I'll definitely have to try this recipe next time when I do! Have a great end of the week!

  13. Is it possible to make your recipes printable?

  14. Anonymous: That is something to think about...I"ll look into making recipes printable. In the meantime, you can copy and paste the text into a Word doc and then print out that way. Good luck!

  15. These really are the best ever! Thanks for sharing one with me, it was delicious!! Did you ever find homeless people?

  16. I made these yesterday for our family and they were sooo yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Dear Author !
    Obviously you were mistaken...

  18. I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

  19. Had to double, almost triple the sugar and spice in the frosting. It was kind of like eating straight up cream cheese and butter mix, as it was written. Maybe I just wasn't expecting something quite as rich. Thanks for the base recipe though :)


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