Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

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    Pumpkin spice latte cupcakes are the drinks in cupcake form and they're so much better in cupcakes than in a cardboard cup!

    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.

    Lol, sorry, I literally can’t with that drink.

    Although I’m hearing their new pumpkin cream cold brew thing is really good?

    Anyway, the first time I had a PSL, I spit it back into the cup and asked for a new drink.

    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 pumpkin spice latte 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 ;)

    Pumpkin spice latte cupcakes are the drinks in cupcake form and they're so much better in cupcakes than in a cardboard cup!

    Why you should make pumpkin spice latte 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!

    Can I use ground coffee instead of espresso powder?

    Yes and no.

    Ground coffee won’t give it as much coffee flavor and the coloring of your batter might not be as dark.

    If you can find espresso powder, I highly recommend as they would be the best for these pumpkin spice latte cupcakes in terms of emulating the drink taste!

    Pumpkin spice latte cupcakes are the drinks in cupcake form and they're so much better in cupcakes than in a cardboard cup!

    Can I use frosting instead of whipped cream?

    Yes, definitely!

    A cream cheese frosting would be really good paired with pumpkin spice latte cupcakes!

    Other pumpkin dessert recipes to try this Fall:

    Pumpkin spice latte cupcakes are the drinks in cupcake form and they're so much better in cupcakes than in a cardboard cup!
    Pumpkin spice latte cupcakes are the drinks in cupcake form and they're so much better in cupcakes than in a cardboard cup! #pumpkinspice #pumpkinspicelatte #cupcakes #cupcakerecipe #PSL
    4 from 4 votes

    Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

    Pumpkin spice latte cupcakes are the drinks in cupcake form and they're so much better in cupcakes than in a cardboard cup!
    Prep Time: 30 mins
    Cook Time: 20 mins
    Total Time: 50 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 2 dozen
    Calories: 290kcal
    Author: Julie Chiou
    5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify MealtimeSign up here for all the secrets!


    For the cupcakes:

    • 2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons espresso powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
    • 1: 15 ounce 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)


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line muffin tins with baking cups.
    • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together pumpkin puree, sugar, dark brown sugar, and oil.
    • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
    • With the mixer on low, gently add in the dry ingredients in two additions. Mix until just incorporated.
    • Evenly divide the batter amongst the baking cups, filling them about 2/3 of the way full.
    • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
    • 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.
    • In the meantime while the cupcakes are cooling, make the topping.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.



    Source: Annie’s Eats
    Nutrition Facts
    Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
    Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
    Calories 290 Calories from Fat 171
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 19g29%
    Carbohydrates 29g10%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 18g20%
    Protein 3g6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

    Photography by Jamie Vespa

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    Recipe Rating


  • DessertForTwo says:

    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!

  • amy @ fearless homemakery says:

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

  • Cookbook Queen says:

    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!!

  • Rachel {Studio Cuisine} says:

    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!

  • Dawn says:

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

  • Erin @ Texanerin Baking says:

    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. :)

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    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!

  • Carrie says:

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

    • Julie says:

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

  • Irene says:

    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….. :)

  • Laurie {Simply Scratch} says:

    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!

  • Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel says:

    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!

  • Elizabeth @Food Ramblings says:

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

  • Linda @ My Foodgasm Journal says:

    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!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    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!

  • Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes says:

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

  • Cassie | Bake Your Day says:

    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!

  • Lynna says:

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

  • Pam says:

    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! ;-)

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says:

    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!

  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. says:

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

  • amanda @ fake ginger says:

    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!

  • Kathryn says:

    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!

  • Baking Serendipity says:

    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!

  • Gerry @ Foodness Gracious says:

    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…

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist says:

    These look SOOOOOO AMAZING!!!!!

  • Carla's Confections says:

    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.

  • Jenny @ BAKE says:

    These look absolutely gorgeous! the icing is so elegant!

  • Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama says:

    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!

  • nicole @ I am a Honey Bee says:

    incredible looking cupcakes!

  • Tonia says:

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

  • Dana says:

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

    • Julie says:

      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.

  • Terry says:

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

  • Catarina says:

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

    • Julie says:

      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.

  • Courteney says:

    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 says:

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

  • Courteney says:

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

    • Julie says:

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

  • Tasha @thatssoyummy says:

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

  • Pat O says:

    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.

  • Ann says:

    These cupcakes look so appetizing that I’m ready to eat even a picture of them! Everybody around me knows that I am a real fan of pumpkin and of all dishes that contain pumpkin! I often bake pumpkin cakes or breads with different accents, such as walnuts, caramel, spices or butter glaze. But these ones are furthermore spicy! C-c-combo! Thank you for the recipe! I am sure I will make this beautiful thing today and enjoy it. How long does it stay fresh and how should I store these cupcakes? Your blog is always full of appetizing photos and creative ideas. Keep it up, good luck :)))

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Aww thank you! It stays fresh for about three days at room temperature; after that, I would pop it into the fridge to stay fresh for another 3-4 days. I would store them in an airtight container.

  • Lauren says:

    Awww the cupcakes didn’t taste like coffee or pumpkin. I was so excited to try it, but it definitely didn’t turn out the way I thought it was going to. Do you think poking holes in the cupcake before brushing on the coffee and adding more pumpkin spice would help?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      it could!

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