Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting


Pumpkin-chocolate chip cupcakes with cinnamon icing. Quite possibly the most delicious variety of cupcakes I've made so far.

Pumpkin-chocolate chip cupcakes with cinnamon icing. Quite possibly the most delicious variety of cupcakes I've made so far. Full of bold, complimentary flavors.


So several highly regarded friends told me that these are the crowning jewel of my cupcake career. I think they may be right – and I’ve baked a fair few batches of cupcakes. I don’t think the pictures quite do them justice, but there you have it. I need someone with better culinary photography skills.

Note: This recipe is adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Any vegan baker should have this compendium.

Also, this recipe makes 24 cupcakes. You will want that many. If you think you won’t, or you have no friends to share cupcakes with, cut it in half, it will still work just fine.


For the cupcakes:

1 15-oz can pumpkin (be sure to get the plain kind, not pumpkin pie filling)

2/3 cup canola oil

2 cups granulated sugar *

1/2 cup soy or almond milk

2 tsps vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon (tip: cinnamon and other spices are waaaay cheaper when you buy them from the bulk bins at health food stores, rather than in little jars from the supermarket)

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chocolate chips


For the frosting:

1/4 cup margarine, softened

1/4 cup vegan cream cheese, softened (I like Tofutti brand, which is available at most health food stores and many typical groceries)

2 cups powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar) *

1 tsp vanilla extract

2+ tsps cinnamon

splash soy or almond milk



Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line cupcake pan with baking cups.

In a mixing bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, soy milk and vanilla. Sift in flour, baking powder,baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Stir together with a spoon. (In vegan baking it is best to stir batters by hand rather than with an electric mixer. This keeps air in the batter, which will make your finished product more fluffy, and keeps the batter from getting gummy.) Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill baking cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes.

Take them out of the pan and let cool fully before icing.


For the frosting:

Cream together margarine, cream cheese and vanilla. (Ok to use an electric mixer here – it’s very hard to do without one.) Add in the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup batches. Mix until it’s creamy. If it’s too stiff, add splashes of soy milk to correct the texture – but not too much! Then mix in cinnamon. I’m not exactly sure how much I used – often when I cook I just keep adding spices until it tastes right, so taste test your icing as you add cinnamon. Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to use.


Ooooh, spooky Halloween plate!


Frost cupcakes. Before you eat, try sprinkling the top with some cinnamon sugar for a nice texture. Or, for fancy presentation, stick a half cinnamon stick in each cupcake before serving. (These parts are not edible of course, but you can always stick them in your cider or tea!)



* A note on sugar: Make sure yours is an organic/vegan variety. Some refined or processed sugars use bone char in the manufacturing process as a whitening agent.



  1. Evan Minsker said

    OH MY GOD. And now I’m super hungry.

  2. Anna said

    My in-laws were very impressed by these cupcakes! Thanks for the great recipe! Insanely delicious. I grated raw vegan chocolate on top.

  3. crystal charboneau said

    can you use 100% whole wheat instead of all purpose flour?

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