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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten-free, grain-free)

  • Author: zenbelly
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16-20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake


  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice (see below)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional, for color)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or dairy-free butter, softened ⑴
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature ⑵
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the cream cheese frosting: 

  • 1 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temp 
  • 8 oz butter (2 sticks /16  tablespoons), softened ⑴
  • 23 cups powdered sugar, sifted ⑶
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

for the pumpkin spice – if you’re making your own – blend the following and store in a jar:

  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, tapioca starch, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer or large bowl if using hand beaters, beat the butter and sugar until lighter in color and fluffy, several minutes and you’ll have to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Then add the pumpkin and vanilla and beat until well incorporated. It might look a little speckled, don’t worry about it.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Divide among the muffin tin and bake for 16-20 minutes, or until they spring back when gently poked. Allow to cool completely before frosting. (Mine took exactly 18 minutes each time but ovens vary) 

to make the frosting:

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing on low until there is no more dry sugar visible. Add the orange zest and beat until smooth and fluffy.


⑴ If your butter is cold and you don’t want to wait for it to soften: Place it between two sheets of parchment paper and whack the crap out of it with a rolling pin or meat pounder. It will soften right up, and you’ll get to work out some rage. 

⑵ If your eggs are cold, just place them in a bowl with warm water for 15 minutes, while you gather the rest of your ingredients.

⑶ You’ll get more of a frosting consistency if you add the full 3 cups, but it will be sweet – possibly sweeter than you’re accustomed to if you’re used to paleo baked goods. It will still be sweet, and frosting-like close to 2 cups, so go with what tastes best to you. 

Keywords: pumpkin spice cupcakes