When the weather starts to cool down, I find myself reaching for a warm cup of tea, a fuzzy blanket, my favorite book, and a sweet snack. Fall has everyone craving something warm to combat the crisp days, and there's nothing quite like the taste of pumpkin spice to keep you cozy and in the fall mood. With this autumn inspiration in mind and some help from my sister, we created a healthier pumpkin spice cupcake recipe to enjoy this season.

This recipe has all of our favorite fall cravings and a lighter, Greek yogurt-based frosting. My sister and I have never enjoyed overly sweet desserts or the typical heavy frosting piled high, so this Greek yogurt frosting is perfect for people, like us, who don't love sugary frosting. This frosting is light and delicious, and is the perfect cool complement to the warm, nutty cupcakes. Also, cupcakes are the perfect bite-size dessert. Why make one cake when you can make 12, right?  

These cupcakes are vegan, but the frosting is sadly not. To make these delicious cakes for yourself or another fellow vegan, you can just substitute the cream cheese for a vegan cream cheese alternative found at Trader Joes and use a dairy-free yogurt.  

Nutty Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:16 mins
  • Total Time:31 mins
  • Servings:12
  • Medium


  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 heaping cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk or other milk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 scant cup honey
  • 1/2 scant cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup room temperature cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain or honey Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Genevieve Feister
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

    For the batter, combine all dry ingredients using a fork in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

    Genevieve Feister
  • Step 2

    After dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, add the wet ingredients and mix.

    #SpoonTip: Add the honey and maple syrup after the olive oil. The leftover olive oil in the measuring cup will allow the honey and maple syrup to come out easily.

    Fill muffin tins 3/4 full, and bake cupcakes for 16 minutes.

    Genevieve Feister
  • Step 3

    While muffins are in the oven, you can start making the frosting. On medium speed, blend room temperature cream cheese, Greek yogurt, vanilla, honey, and maple syrup.

    Put the frosting into the fridge until you are ready to frost. Since this isn't your typical frosting, having it cooler and firmer makes it easier to work with.

    #SpoonTip: If you forgot to set out your cream cheese ahead of time, don't panic. Just put it in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for 10-15 seconds.

    Genevieve Feister
  • Step 4

    After your cupcakes are done, let them cool until barely warm to the touch. Wait to put the frosting on until cool, or the frosting will melt and become runny.

    Genevieve Feister
  • Step 5

    After cooled, take your frosting out of the fridge and stir again. To frost, either use a knife, decorating bag, or even a plastic bag.

    #SpoonTip: I topped my cupcakes with a little extra cinnamon. Other suggestions include nuts, chocolate shavings, or other fall spices.

    Genevieve Feister

These pumpkin cupcakes are best kept when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy them with friends or eat them all yourself. You don't even have to feel guilty because with no added sugar and a vegan base, these cupcakes are pretty much one of the healthiest pumpkin spice desserts you'll bake this season.