Yes to Yummy

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

November 19, 2013 Leave your thoughts Print this page


I really have no idea how someone came up with a pumpkin spice latte. I mean, who puts pumpkin in coffee? Seems like a weird combination.

If you think about it, pumpkin doesn’t actually taste what people claim it to be. What we tend to classify as pumpkin flavored is really the combination of cinnamon, clove, allspice, and nutmeg, usually with some maple syrup thrown in there. On  its own, pumpkin really doesn’t taste like much…it tastes like, well, a squash. The mysteries of the food world.

Personally, I’d rather eat my dessert than drink it. Not that I don’t love a good mocha or milkshake, but I find a cupcake or cookie much more satisfying. These cupcakes taste just like the popular drink–and they’re so much healthier, too! If you want to impress guests for Thanksgiving, this recipe is a great choice: I’ve tripled it before, and the cupcakes turned out just as tastily. (Yes, I baked and frosted 28 gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free cupcakes.) Feel free to ask my taste-testers what they thought, but I think everyone really enjoyed these.

Ready to get baking? Let’s go.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with 8 parchment liners. Gluten-free baked goods tend to really stick to the pans and dishes they’re cooked in, so parchment liners help eliminate some of the messiness and leave you with a clean, beautiful dessert. When I watched people unravel their dessert, all of the cupcakes peeled easily from their wrappers!


In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 4 eggs on medium until pale yellow and bubbly, about 3-4 minutes, then add in 1 cup of pumpkin puree (preferably homemade), 1/3-1/2 cup of maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want it), 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Mix on medium for one or two minutes more.

Slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil and mix for another minute. Stop the mixer while you prepare the dry ingredients.

In a small bowl, sift together 1/2 cup of coconut flour, 2 tablespoons of tapioca flour, 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a generous pinch of salt. Stir together to completely combine and set aside.

1/3 at a time, pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with the stand mixer on medium-low. Once everything is completely combined, STOP. You don’t want to over-mix!

Using two large spoons or an ice cream scoop, drop the batter into the muffin liners, filling them each up about 3/4 of the way.


Bake until the cupcakes are firm and golden brown on top, about 30 to 35 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean in the center.

Let the cupcakes cool in the tin for 15 or so minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to come to room temperature. Make the frosting while you wait!

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat together 1/2 cup of palm shortening, 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, 2 teaspoons of coconut flour, 1/3 cup of maple syrup, 1 heaping tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, and a generous pinch of salt until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Taste and add more maple syrup, seasonings, or pumpkin, if necessary. With a spatula, scoop the frosting into a pastry bag or a ziploc bag with a corner zipped off, then seal, twist the top, and push the frosting down towards the tip.

If you want to add extra decoration to your cupcakes, make this vegan caramel, adapted from a recipe from Healthful Pursuit. It’s super easy: just combine 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 cup of coconut nectar or honey, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sunflower seed butter or smooth almond butter in a saucepan, then stir over medium-low heat until homogeneous and slightly darkened in color. If the caramel starts to harden while you frost, no worries: just pop it back over medium-low heat and whisk a bit!

To assemble the cupcakes, squeeze the frosting on the cupcakes in a swirling motion, starting from the outside and working your way in. Dip a small spoon in the caramel, let some of it drip off back into the saucepan, then drag the spoon back and forth on the surface of the frosting to create a drizzle pattern. Dust the top with cinnamon, and voila!


What is your favorite fall drink? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!

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