When we think of making cakes or cupcakes for fall, pumpkin and apple most frequently come to mind. For Thanksgiving dinner, I was already making pumpkin pie and wanted something with a slightly more subtle flavour for a second dessert. Spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting fit the bill – they’d be popular among the small fry (cupcakes, after all), and could easily be an add-on to a slice of pumpkin pie, without feeling too piggy about it.


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Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

With perfect blend of warm fall spices, these cake cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting have a delectably soft cupcake crumb and slightly tangy buttercream.




  • 240 g (2 c) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ginger powder
  • ¾ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 170 g (6 oz or ¾ c) unsalted butter, softened
  • 225 g (1 1/8 c) brown sugar, packed
  • 75 g (1/3 c) white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 121 g or ½ c buttermilk
  • 142 g or ½ c Greek yoghurt

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 227 g (1 c or 8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 454 g (2 c or 1 lb) full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 460 g (4 c) confectioner’s sugar


  1. Line two muffin pans with muffin papers and pre-heat the oven to 350ºF or 325ºF Convection
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
  4. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and yoghurt.
  5. With the electric mixer on low speed, beat in about 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by approximately 1/2 of the buttermilk and yoghurt mixture. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Repeat the process, alternating between additions of flour and buttermilk, ending with the flour.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each about 2/3 full. The batter will be quite thick, so using a small ice cream scoop works well.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven on the middle rack for 16-18 minutes, or until the tops feel slightly firm to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add in the cinnamon, vanilla extract, and 2 c of the icing sugar. You’ll want to start the mixer on low speed, gradually picking up speed as the sugar is incorporated. Beat in the remaining icing sugar about 1/2 cup at a time until well incorporated, and the icing is smooth and creamy.
  2. Transfer to a piping bag, and pipe onto the cupcakes. Top with a dusting of cinnamon sugar, small toffee bits or decorative cupcake picks if desired.
  • Author: Helen Kain