Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free + No Xantham Gum (Vegan Option!)

Secretly Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with a delicious Cream Cheese Frosting. If anything tasted like a true celebration of Fall, it would be these sweet cupcakes! Extra pumpkin-y, pumpkin spice cupcakes made with all your favorite warming spices and a blend of delicious GF flours. Oh, and there is absolutely no xantham gum in these cupcakes! After baking, each cupcake is generously frosted with the most delicious creamy cream cheese frosting, and finished off with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. There is just so much to love here! Perfect for weekends, Halloween, or even Thanksgiving. These cute little cupcakes are the best way to celebrate the season and share with friends and family! SO. GOOD.

pumpkin cupcake with star anise and cinnamon stick on white plate, book pages underneath, more cupcakes behind, and flowers

→ This post is also available as a Web Story: Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes

About The Recipe

It’s officially our first pumpkin recipe of the season and, let me tell you, it was definitely worth waiting for! These cupcakes are something truly special, but they are also a kick off to something very new to our blog.

Before I get into talking about how delicious these cupcakes are, let me tell you what we’ve been up to behind the scenes for the last month!

As you probably noticed, these cupcakes are gluten free. They are actually our very first gluten free recipe on the blog…which is very exciting! It was a fun challenge and something totally different for us.

Over the last month, we have been experimenting/learning about gluten free diets because, well, for a little bit there, we thought we were gluten intolerant (turns out, we were just really stressed out!). It’s really been a steep learning curve! There have been so many failed attempts/learning about flours that we do and don’t like. Now though, we can confidently share some of the recipes we’ve been working on…like these delicious Pumpkin Cupcakes!

We hope that, even if you aren’t gluten free, that you’ll make and enjoy these cupcakes…or if you know anyone with gluten intolerance, we hope you send them this recipe to help share the spirit of the holiday’s for every diet.

But enough about all that. Let’s talk about these cupcakes!

pumpkin spice cupcakes on wire cooling rack with whole spices and a bottle

Oh. My. Gosh. Let me start by saying that these cupcakes are literally secretly gluten free. You can’t tell! They’re soft, tender, fluffy, full of delicious spice, and extra pumpkin-y! I think these might just be my favorite cupcake…like, ever. Every bite is warm, comforting, and basically everything you think Fall could ever taste like!

Oh, but when you top them with our homemade no-fail cream cheese frosting… It’s all just SO. GOOD.

The cream cheese frosting kind of balances out the flavors between the spice and pumpkin, while adding a delicious creaminess. Finish each cupcake with a delicious cinnamon sugar for a cute, but totally irresistible cupcake!

gluten free cupcake on plate with whole spices, flowers, and more cupcakes behind

Equipment Needed

  • Mixer
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Whisk
  • Cupcake Liners
  • Muffin Pan
  • Cake Tester
  • Sifter
  • Piping Bags

Ingredients

For The Cupcakes:

  • Our 3 favorite gluten-free flours – White Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, and Oat Flour. A delicious trio work together to create a light, fluffy, and tender cupcake while also being sturdy enough to hold up against frosting. We use Bob’s Red Mill flours which are certified gluten free and made in a gluten free facility. For those who can’t eat oat flour, try using sorghum flour instead!
  • Potato Starch & Tapioca Flour – makes the cupcakes pillow-y soft and provides structure!
  • Non-Fat Milk Powder – it acts as an emulsifier and helps starches hydrate more, as well as make the gluten free flours more compatible with fat. It even helps with browning! Be sure to check and make sure the brand you use is gluten free. We use SACO.
  • Unflavored Gelatine – This is our replacement for Xantham Gum. You can also use pectin.
  • Granulated Sugar – We use certified gluten free granulated sugar to give these cupcakes the perfect amount of sweetness!
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – adds lift.
  • Kosher Salt – helps bring out the flavors of the spice mix and cuts down on the sweetness.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – We like our pumpkin desserts heavy on the spices! Be sure to check the ingredient list on the brands you buy to ensure your spice mix is gluten free.
  • Vegetable Oil – a neutral oil makes these cupcakes deliciously moist! Unlike a butter based cake, these cupcakes stay soft even when refrigerated.
  • Eggs – helps give these cupcakes a little extra lift. If you have an egg intolerance/want to make these cupcakes vegan, try and find some Just Egg! You’ll need about 9 Tablespoons of Just Egg to equal 3 eggs.
  • Pumpkin Puree – Make sure you’re buying pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. We use Libby’s brand.
  • Vanilla Extract – adds a delicious undertone to these cupcakes!
gluten free flours, pumpkin puree, sugar, spices, salt, vanilla, eggs, vegetable oil, baking powder, and baking soda in bowls on marble counter

For The Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Cream Cheese
  • Kosher Salt
  • Powdered Sugar (also known as confectioners sugar)
  • Vanilla Extract
powdered sugar, vanilla, cream cheese, heavy cream, and salt on marble counter

For The Cinnamon Sugar:

  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Granulated Sugar
sugar and cinnamon in small bowls

Instructions

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the white rice flour, brown rice flour, oat flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, non-fat milk powder, gelatine, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice for about 2-3 minutes.

Add the pumpkin mixture and beat for 3-5 minutes.

Spoon the batter into lined muffin pans and bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes. Take out of the pans and let cool on a wire cooling rack. Be very careful! The cupcakes will be hot and very tender.

Beat heavy cream in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.

Add cream cheese and beat 1 cube at a time.

Beat in powdered sugar and salt.

Stir in the vanilla. Set aside.

vanilla added to frosting

In a medium sized bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar.

Transfer the frosting into a piping bag with desired tip and pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Drizzle tops with cinnamon and sugar. Serve!

What Type of Pumpkin To Use

We highly recommend using pumpkin puree like Libby’s Pumpkin. Just be sure you have pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling!

Cream Cheese Frosting Troubleshooting

Lumpy cream cheese frosting – This may be caused by one of two things! The cream cheese might’ve not been incorporated well or the powdered sugar wasn’t sifted and had lumps in it. A few minutes on high in the mixer should fix this problem!

Frosting hard after storing – Just remix it with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until it’s light and fluffy again.

Frosting is runny – The cream cheese or heavy whipping cream might’ve been too warm. Make sure to keep all your ingredients cold!

close up of gluten free cupcake with bite taken out of out

How To Store

If you have unfrosted cupcakes, you can actually freeze these cupcakes! Be sure to place them in a freezer safe sealable bag or container for about 1 month. You can also store the cupcakes in the fridge. To reheat, just place them on the counter and let them come to room temperature.

If the cupcakes have been frosted, it’s best to keep them in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for a few days.

Substitutions

  • If you can’t eat oat flour, you can use sorghum flour.
  • 1:1 baking flour can be used in this recipe, but you will need to take out the gelatine and the milk powder. This recipe won’t taste the same/cook the same if 1:1 is used, but it is a viable substitute. You will need to use 10.1 ounces of the 1:1 flour in this recipe.
  • Pectin can be used instead of unflavored gelatine.
  • Just Egg is a great replacement if you have an egg intolerance. Just use about 3 Tablespoons of Just Egg to substitute the 1 egg in this recipe.
  • If you have a dairy intolerance, soy milk powder can be used in place of the non-fat milk powder. Omit the frosting.
  • If you want to make these cupcakes vegan, sub the non-fat milk powder for soy milk powder, the gelatine for pectin, and use 3 Tablespoons of Just Egg to replace the egg. As well as, use your favorite non-dairy heavy cream and vegan cream cheese!
pumpkin cupcake on white plate with flowers, a star anise, and cinnamon stick on the cupcake

Expert Tips

  • Be sure the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.
  • When whisking the wet ingredients, be sure to beat the mixture to ensure no lumps.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely before you frost them.
  • When making the frosting, be sure to sift the powder sugar!
  • Don’t add the cream cheese all at once. Add a small amount with the mixer running.
  • Make sure the heavy cream is cold before making the frosting.
  • Double check all of your ingredients to make sure they are certified Gluten-Free.
  • You need a scale for this recipe.

When you make this Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

pumpkin cupcake with star anise and cinnamon stick on white plate, book pages underneath, more cupcakes behind, and flowers

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Traci
The perfect cupcake for Autumn! These secretly gluten free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes are perfectly spiced, moist, tender, soft, and just SO. GOOD. Plus, they are made with NO xanatham gum and have a vegan option.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 436 kcal

Ingredients
 

Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 8 ounces cream cheese , cubed and cold
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Heat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Spray muffin tin with gluten free cooking spray or line with paper liners. Set aside.
  • Combine white rice flour, brown rice flour, oat flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, nonfat milk powder, gelatine, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  • Turn on low speed and allow the ingredients to combine thoroughly.
  • While the flours are being mixed, whisk together the vegetable oil, egg, egg white, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  • Mix on low speed just until combined.
  • Increase speed to medium high and mix for 2-3 minutes, until batter is smooth.
  • Scoop evenly into prepared muffin tin.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until done.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat heavy cream to stiff peaks.
  • With the mixer running, add cream cheese one cube at a time.
  • Stir in powdered sugar and salt.
  • Mix in vanilla.

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Mix well.

Notes

Substitutions:
  • If you can’t eat oat flour, you can use sorghum flour.
  • 1:1 baking flour can be used in this recipe, but you will need to take out the gelatine and the milk powder. This recipe won’t taste the same/cook the same if 1:1 is used, but it is a viable substitute. You will need to use 10.1 ounces of the 1:1 flour in this recipe.
  • Pectin can be used instead of unflavored gelatine.
  • Just Egg is a great replacement if you have an egg intolerance. Just use about 3 Tablespoons of Just Egg to substitute the 1 egg in this recipe.
  • If you have a dairy intolerance, soy milk powder can be used in place of the non-fat milk powder. Omit the frosting.
  • If you want to make these cupcakes vegan, sub the non-fat milk powder for soy milk powder, the gelatine for pectin, and use 3 Tablespoons of Just Egg to replace the egg. As well as, use your favorite non-dairy heavy cream and vegan cream cheese!
Expert Tips:
  • Be sure the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.
  • When whisking the wet ingredients, be sure to beat the mixture to ensure no lumps.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely before you frost them.
  • When making the frosting, be sure to sift the powder sugar!
  • Don’t add the cream cheese all at once. Add a small amount with the mixer running.
  • Make sure the heavy cream is cold before making the frosting.
  • Double check all of your ingredients to make sure they are certified Gluten-Free.
  • You need a scale for this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 436kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 4gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 301mgPotassium: 136mgFiber: 1gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 2453IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @abakers_table or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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