Sweet Genius – Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

I have always loved food. Well… okay that’s a lie. When I was a child, I somehow survived on macaroni and cheese (no, my mom didn’t feed me things that were as unhealthy as that recipe… but I’m pretty sure my grandparents did), hot dogs, applesauce, and peanut butter.

My teen years included culinary delights such as Subway sandwiches, cappuccinos (I was so cool), and candy bars. College was when I got serious. I got an apartment, had a kitchen, and started trying new foods. I lived a few miles from a year-round family-run produce stand and a specialty meat store. I started to love new foods and got good at cooking.

In grad school, I had a random, awesome, bubbly, orange obsessed roommate who taught me that mushrooms and fish were tasty. I started cooking a little more. Now, here I am, still in grad school (I might be a glutton for punishment) and living with Blair, who loves food just as much as I do, and who is pretty fancy in the kitchen. So, we eat well.

We had a tailgate at the W&M football game on Saturday, and since everyone and their mothers loves pumpkin spice lattes (PSLs) from Starbucks, I knew that the PSL cupcake recipe from Annie’s Eats that had been haunting my Pinterest page for a few days would be a perfect sweet treat for a fall afternoon.

I have a few “Hall of Fame” cupcakes, according to Blair and my friends. Before he even ate one of these, he inducted them with honors into the HoF. Cool. Thanks, Annie! You get all the credit here!

I will admit, these cupcakes are slightly more labor intensive than my other recipes, but that’s only because I elected to make a homemade caramel drizzle to accompany the cupcakes. Totally worth it.


Blair loved these. I loved these. His family loved these. Our tailgate neighbors loved these. And I bet you will, too! So what are you waiting for? Get to the kitchen!


Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
Makes 24 standard cupcakes. Adapted from Annie’s Eats.

– 2 2/3 cups white whole wheat flour
– 3 tablespoons instant coffee
– 2 teaspoons baking soda
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
– 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 15 ounces canned pumpkin
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1 cup vegetable oil
– 4 eggs
– 1/2 cup coffee, for brushing

– 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, chilled
– 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 24 muffins cups with foil liners. Place large metal bowl in freezer (for whipped cream frosting).

In a medium bowl, sift flour, instant coffee, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. In a large bowl, add pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Mix with hand mixer on lowest speed until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add half of dry ingredients, mix well on low speed until combined. Add second half of dry ingredients and repeat. Taste test the batter. Smile.

Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in muffin tins, then transfer to wire racks to continue cooling. Before cupcakes are completely cooled, brush each cupcake with freshly brewed coffee.

To make frosting, remove metal bowl from freezer. Add heavy cream and whip with hand mixer, starting at a low speed and gradually increasing to high. Incorporate powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over-whip. Gently spoon into a pastry (or ziplock) bag fitted with a large star tip. When cupcakes are cool, swirl some whipped cream onto each cupcake. Dust with cinnamon and drizzle with homemade caramel drizzle.


The caramel sauce is also awesome eaten directly from a spoon, clean fingers, or in your morning coffee. I haven’t tried it on ice cream yet, but I know I’ll probably enjoy it. 😉

Don’t forget to share!


2 thoughts on “Sweet Genius – Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

  1. Pingback: Tailgate Food – Creamy Baked Mac + Cheese | She Wines Sometimes

  2. Sounds absolutely delicious! Wish I was there to enjoy? And who is this random, awesome, bubbly, orange obsessed roommate? And what exactly does it mean when you describe someone as random??? 😉

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