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Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

A balanced blend of cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg create warm and flavorful spice cupcakes topped with homemade subtly sweet cream cheese frosting.

Garnishing these light and fluffy cupcakes is a light sprinkle of cinnamon. The perfect dessert for the cooler months and pair perfectly with the scents and flavors of fall.

Spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on wooden board with cinnamon sticks.

Ingredients in Spice Cupcake Made From Scratch

This cupcake is simple to make and uses ingredients that can be found at any local grocery store.

  • All-purposes flour- spooned and leveled. The spoon and level method reduces the amount of flour that good into your baked goods. You end up putting up to 50% more flour than what is needed in recipes when just scooping.
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground allspice
  • Ground cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Unsalted butter - softened. Softened butter creams together with the sugars more easily that using cold butter. It also helps create a tender baked good.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Sour cream - sour cream lightens the cupcake batter and makes the cupcakes tender
  • Eggs - room temp. Room temperature eggs blend into the sugar mixture easier and better.
  • Vanilla extract

RELATED: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Three cupcakes with frosting that are garnished with cinnamon on dark board.

How to Make Spice Cupcakes From Scratch

Making these cupcakes from scratch is easy and the trick is to not over mix the cupcake batter. Working with room-temperature ingredients also makes the process easier.

Set the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.

The unsalted butter is beaten until creamy using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Once the butter is broken down, add the granulated and brown sugar and beat until well mixed.

The vanilla extract and eggs are beaten into the butter mixture until creamy and well combined

In a separate bowl, sift together the spooned & leveled all-purpose flour together with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. The spice mixture consisting of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice is also sifted in.

Seven cupcakes on a wooden circular platter with a white linen underneath.

Slowly beat half of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and beat in the sour cream. Beat until just combined.

Beat in the remaining dry ingredients until the dry mixture is moistened. Do not over mix the batter. This will result in dense and dry cupcakes.

Bake in the preheated oven for 23-25 minutes. Check the center of a cupcake with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. If it is still wet, bake for a couple of more minutes. The tops of the cupcakes should also spring back after lightly touching the tops.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting to prevent the cream cheese icing from melting into the cupcakes. It takes some patience but it is worth it to prevent frosting that melts on top of your cupcakes!

Close up of spice cupcake in white wrapper frosted with cream cheese and decorated with cinnamon.

RELATED: Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe for cream cheese frosting is subtly sweet. It is balanced well with the amount of unsalted butter and cream cheese.

Room temperature butter is beaten until creamy. Once the butter is creamy, the room temperature cream cheese is blended into the butter until smooth.

Vanilla extract, as well as salt, are then blended into the mixture.

The confectioner’s sugar is then slowly beat into the mixture. If needed, add one to two tablespoons of milk to make it creamy enough to frost. If piping, having the frosting on the stiffer side will make the frosting keep its shape. Add some cornstarch to the frosting to make it stiffer without making it sweeter.

Ground cinnamon is lightly sprinkled onto the decorated cupcakes to add a warm flavor to the cream cheese but it is optional.

Cupcakes sitting on rustic baking sheet.

📖 Recipe

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Close up of spice cupcake in white wrapper frosted with cream cheese and decorated with cinnamon.

Light and fluffy homemade spice cupcakes made with a from-scratch cream cheese frosting that is sprinkled with cinnamon.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes

Ingredients

Spice Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs - room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoon of milk, as needed
  • Dust with cinnamon

Instructions

Spice Cupcakes

    1. Preheat the oven to 350
    2. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners
    3. Sift together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice together in a bowl.
    4. Beat the softened butter and sugars together in a large bowl and beat until creamy.
    5. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.
    6. Beat in half of the dry mixture and add in the sour cream.
    7. Mix the remaining dry mixture into the batter until just incorporated. Do not over mix
    8. Bake in the preheated oven for 23-25 minutes.
    9. Check the center of the cupcakes with a toothpick to check if they are done. The toothpick should come out dry.
    10. Allow the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack until completely cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Beat the room temperature butter until creamy and beat in the cream cheese until well combined and smooth.
  2. Beat in the vanilla and the salt.
  3. Slowly beat in the confectioner’s sugar until the frosting and smooth.
  4. If needed, add in one to two tablespoons of milk to thin the frosting.

Notes

For a firmer frosting, add a little cornstarch to thicken the frosting.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 566Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 287mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 1gSugar: 53gProtein: 4g

Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

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Vikki Flaherty

Wednesday 3rd of January 2024

Great spice cake recipe. Believe it or not my son's favorite birthday cake is spice cake with peanut butter frosting! For his past birthday I made the spice cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. My husband and I love it too.

Dana

Monday 15th of January 2024

That combination sounds amazing!

Jamie

Sunday 17th of December 2023

Hi there, Love these cupcakes! Is there any difference in the recipe to make this into a 9 inch round double layer cake? And would the cook time be around 30 to 35 minutes?

Courtney

Wednesday 22nd of November 2023

I made the cupcake exactly as written and it's one of the best I've ever had... Very moist but doesn't fall apart, still has substance. The spice blend is perfect to me. This would be a great carrot cake base I think. I did not use the cream cheese frosting recipe. Instead I'm making a maple buttercream. These will be at Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Happy holidays! (Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!)

Dana

Friday 24th of November 2023

I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Courtney! The maple buttercream sounds delicious with these cupcakes! :)

Lauren E

Saturday 16th of September 2023

Thanks for this! I tried making them and they turned out a bit dense but incredibly delicious! I don't think I mixed the butter and sugar enough; I mixed them on medium for about a minute until they were combined.

For anyone else doing this recipe I would recommend cutting the frosting recipe in half unless you're obsessed with cream cheese frosting. Even after I halved it, I only used about 2/3rds of the batch. However, I didn't pipe them I used a knife and put a decent sized blob on each.

I will be making these again soon!

Monique

Saturday 16th of September 2023

Can I use self _rising flour for this cupcake recipe

Dana

Monday 18th of September 2023

Yes, you can.

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