Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes


Ah, pumpkin spice lattes. Every Fall, I always have to remind myself what PSL stands for because EVERYONE is like “OMG PSL IS BACK” or “FIRST PSL OF THE SEASON!!” and I’m always like, “what the HECK is PSL? Pacific….South….Pppp…?!”

Oh right. Duh, the infamous Starbucks drink that tastes like dirt.

I don’t really *love* their PSLs.

Did I just lose you? Hello?

Seriously, the first time I had one, I threw it away.

I just don’t know what it is, but to me, it tasted like leaves and not very pumpkin spice-y.

Not that I know what leaves taste like, it’s just one of those tastes that made you think of sticking your tongue in a pile of dirt and leaves.

I love pumpkin spice and I love coffee. How could these two things go so dastardly wrong in a latte?!

Well, even with my dislike for PSLs, I always think that if something isn’t as delicious in a drink form, it might be better in a cupcake form.

And oh boy, was I right.

These cupcakes are deeelish!

They have the hint of coffee flavor, not too strong, and then the amazing pumpkin spice comes right through.

The whipped cream topping is light and airy and the caramel drizzled on top is the perfect pairing.

Drink Eat up, PSL lovers ;)

Why you should make these cupcakes?

Because who doesn’t love another cupcake recipe?

Plus, pumpkin spice lattes are far better in cupcake form than in drink form.

These are incredibly moist and flavorful.

And the caramel topping on top is the perfect companion!

Other pumpkin dessert recipes to try this Fall:

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Everyone love PSLs, right?  Then how about these pumpkin spice latte cupcakes for a delicious fall treat?

Servings: 2 dozen
For the cupcakes:
  • 2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp espresso powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1: 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coffee, for brushing
For the topping:
  • 2 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • Caramel sauce for drizzling, I just combined 10 unwrapped caramel candies with 4 tbsp. of heavy cream in a small saucepot on low heat. I let cool then drizzled over the whipped cream topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with baking cups.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together pumpkin puree, sugar, dark brown sugar, and oil.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. With the mixer on low, gently add in the dry ingredients in two additions. Mix until just incorporated.
  6. Evenly divide the batter amongst the baking cups, filling them about 2/3 of the way full.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. While the cupcakes are still warm, with a pastry brush, brush the tops of the cupcakes with coffee. Allow the first coat to soak in before repeating with the 2nd and 3rd coat. Let cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
  9. In the meantime while the cupcakes are cooling, make the topping.
  10. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, gently whip the cream, starting at a low speed and gradually increasing. Slowly pour in the confectioners sugar then increase the speed of the mixer to medium high and beat until stiff peaks form.
  11. Put the whipped cream mixture in a pastry bag fitted with your favorite decorative tip. Pipe the whipped cream on top of the cooled cupcakes then drizzle with caramel sauce.
  12. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Source: Annie's Eats



Posted on October 05, 2012

dinner for two by julie wampler



Perfect for: singles & couples, newlyweds, empty-nesters, college students, YOU!


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  1. 10/05/2012 at 7:47 am

    Like leaves?! LOL. I feel the same way. I don’t like sugar-y drinks, so I just can’t get into the PSL. I made my own using a blogger’s recipe, but the pumpkin was stringy and weird. But PSL in cupcake form?! Now, THAT is something I can get behind!

  2. 10/05/2012 at 8:48 am

    i actually dislike almost all of starbucks drinks, so i hear ya! these look mighty tasty, though. =) have fun in Seattle!

  3. 10/05/2012 at 9:26 am

    I am actually NOT a coffee drinker, so I rarely (like twice a year maybe?) go to Starbucks…and when I do, it’s for a salted caramel hot chocolate or something like that.

    However…I can totally get behind Starbucks flavored DESSERTS!! These look fab!!

  4. 10/05/2012 at 9:39 am

    Totally behind you with the PSL tasting like leaves! I tried it for the first time this year and it was gross with a capital G. These cupcakes, however, totally make sense. Pumpkin is made for desserts, not lattes!

  5. Dawn
    10/05/2012 at 9:50 am

    Yum! Looks delish! I’m adding it to my baking list for when my sister comes home for Fall break next weekend!

  6. 10/05/2012 at 9:54 am

    I don’t like coffee but I love baked goods with coffee! Especially if there’s pumpkin involved. So these? Yum! And I’m happy you’re healthy again and loading up on donuts and other things in the NW. :)

  7. 10/05/2012 at 9:57 am

    People talk about various drinks – especially from Starbucks – and I’m lost and confused because I never go there BUT I do love this cupcake, especially the drizzle omg. Have a blast this weekend!

  8. 10/05/2012 at 10:24 am

    So excited to make! Where do I find espresso powder? ;)

    • 10/05/2012 at 10:46 am

      It’s usually where the instant coffee is. At Wegmans, I found it near Folgers and the grind your own beans area.

  9. Irene
    10/05/2012 at 10:28 am

    Those are some gorgeous mouth-watering cupcakes!

    But I don’t really get the hype either about those lattes. I like pumpkin flavored foods too, but I am not a fan of spending big bucks on coffee. Cheapskate at heart, proud of it LOL. Of course the occasional splurge is worth it. Much like these cupcakes….. :)

  10. 10/05/2012 at 10:56 am

    This morning I was looking at the Instagram picture of this on my phone and my 11-year-old daughter said “hubba-hubba”… I’d have to agree!

  11. 10/05/2012 at 11:15 am

    So I totally agree–I dislike the PSL’s at Starbucks, too! There’s something about it that just doesn’t click with me. However, these cupcakes look phenom. That caramel!

  12. 10/05/2012 at 11:24 am

    Is it weird that these cupcakes make me want a pumpkin spice latte?

  13. 10/05/2012 at 1:17 pm

    I can’t agree more when I read you dislike PSL from Starbucks. When I first tasted it, I was scratching my head and ended my $4 drinks to trash. It tasted so blah! But, your recipe for PSL cupcakes is what I’m here for. Cheers and have fun with Megan!

  14. 10/05/2012 at 1:27 pm

    These are absolutely stunning! And that dripping caramel – to die for! I’ve never had the PSL at Starbuck’s but I’m sure your cupcake form is a gazillion times better!

  15. 10/05/2012 at 2:22 pm

    Sakes alive, woman! What you’re doing with cupcakes lately!!!! And I love those adorbs autumn liners!

  16. 10/05/2012 at 4:27 pm

    Yes I would much rather have a pumpkin spice latte in cupcake form than in drink form…I hate drinking calories, as dumb as that sounds. I’d much rather blow my diet on cake! And that drizzle…oh my!

  17. 10/05/2012 at 4:44 pm

    I need to try a PSL at one point. BUT, with these cupcakes…i`ll pass easily! :P

  18. Pam
    10/05/2012 at 8:30 pm

    I was lucky enough to try one of these and it was delicious! It really does taste like a PSL, and not one made of leaves! ;-)

  19. I am not a latte fan at all, so all the flavors in a cupcake is so much better! Hope you are having a great weekend!

  20. 10/06/2012 at 2:45 pm

    I’m so jealous of the delicious trip you are having! And I am dying over these cupcakes!

  21. 10/06/2012 at 4:46 pm

    I think you just had a bad PSL. You should definitely give ’em another try! :P Your cupcakes look delicious as usual! Hope you’re enjoying the rest of your trip!

  22. 10/07/2012 at 10:31 am

    Apparently we’re going to have PSL in the UK for the first time this year but as I don’t really eat coffee, I think I’d much rather consume it in cupcake form! Love that pic with the caramel dribbling down, that’s the money shot!

  23. 10/07/2012 at 8:30 pm

    I am definitely loving your focus on cupcakes :) And, I like iced PSL’s so much more than hot. I think it started when I was living in Phoenix and a hot latte just didn’t sound good when it was 100 degrees and October, but it’s stuck. Still, I’m definitely not one to argue with a cupcake version. Enjoy the Northwest!

  24. 10/08/2012 at 12:30 am

    Yup, Starbucks PSL sucks but Peet’s on the other hand is the best I’ve tasted but I’m not sure if there’s a Peet’s near to your life :( Great coffee producers…

  25. 10/08/2012 at 11:19 am

    These look SOOOOOO AMAZING!!!!!

  26. 10/08/2012 at 2:06 pm

    I cant believe you arent a fan of PSL’s man! *Gasp* But thats ok, we can still be friends ;) Especially if you make me these. They look so beautiful and delicious.

  27. 10/09/2012 at 6:00 am

    These look absolutely gorgeous! the icing is so elegant!

  28. 10/09/2012 at 10:17 am

    There are no words to describe how much I love this recipe! I have a strong love for Pumpkin Spice Lattes! In edible form? Even better!

  29. 10/12/2012 at 8:51 am

    incredible looking cupcakes!

  30. 09/02/2014 at 11:20 am

    Yes, I’ll take one of these with my plain latte, thank you very much!

  31. Dana
    09/23/2014 at 8:26 pm

    Where can I find espresso powder? Do you think instant coffee crystals would work instead?

    • Julie
      09/24/2014 at 7:48 am

      It’s usually in the coffee section of the grocery store. Instant coffee crystals should work but make sure they aren’t very coarse. These need to be fine.

  32. Terry
    10/12/2014 at 2:28 am

    these are so delicious that I have made them twice now! Thanks for the recipe!

  33. Catarina
    11/04/2014 at 8:38 pm

    Would you suggest another frosting other than whipped cream? I’m not a fan of whipped cream, would cream cheese work? Thanks.

    • Julie
      11/05/2014 at 8:03 am

      Cream cheese would work but you’d have to mix it with powdered sugar. I’m also not sure it would taste really good together with the other flavors.

  34. Courteney
    11/13/2014 at 1:35 pm

    These look perfect for a Thanksgiving dessert! If I wanted to add a little vanilla to the frosting, how much would you suggest I add?

    • Julie
      11/13/2014 at 2:40 pm

      Start with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and go from there.

  35. Courteney
    11/13/2014 at 1:37 pm

    Oh and one more question! Could I use ground espresso beans instead of the espresso powder or would that affect the consistency?

    • Julie
      11/13/2014 at 2:41 pm

      I think powder would be better since it’s finer.

  36. 10/06/2015 at 11:54 am

    PSL’s are a little too sweet for me and I am a serious coffee drinker but these cupcakes are completely for me!

  37. Pat O
    08/17/2016 at 2:46 pm

    Good Day
    Just saw your recipe for the Pumpkin Caramel Drizzle Cup Cakes on FACEBOOK.
    As I resonded on FB, I could have eaten the screen. Perfect for a a fall party, or I can make them tomorrow!!!
    Just want you to know that I can’t wait to try these.
    Just wanted to be sure you got my THUMBS UP in case you didn’t see my comment on FB
    NO need to respond.

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