Love and Olive Oil

Pumpkin Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Rum Buttercream

Pumpkin Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Rum Buttercream

In my recent craving for all things pumpkin (apparent by the recent baking of pumpkin muffins and multiple batches of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies), it was only time before the vivid orange squash made its way into some vegan cupcakes.

These cupcakes began as a vision. I’d lay in bed thinking of just what kind of fluffy frosting should top them. I had wanted to do a brown-sugar buttercream, but was afraid that the inherent differences between heavy cream and soymilk would prevent me from doing so (the recipe I had found, I assume, relied greatly on the ‘fluffing’ powers of cream, powers that, try as I might, I cannot replicate with soymilk). If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know – I’d love to try to make this frosting in a non-dairy version.

Brown sugar buttercream impossible, I moved on to my next idea. Thinking of what spices and spirits would go best with a slice of rich pumpkin pie, I set out to make a buttercream, spiced with cinnamon and spiked with rum. And it was good. Quite good. Since the frosting isn’t cooked, the rum stays put, and you could definitely taste it. Same with the cinnamon. I was worried that one might overpower the other, but the balance was perfect.

A perfect fall cupcake, indeed!

Pumpkin Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Rum Buttercream

Makes 12 cupcakes. Recipe adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

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1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup soymilk (almond milk or whole milk will work as well)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon each ground cloves, nutmeg, and ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon dark rum
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
milk or soy milk, as needed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, soymilk, and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Gently whisk by hand until just combined, don’t use an electric mixer or overmix the batter as it may become too gummy. Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill liners with 1/4 cup batter (cups should be approximately 2/3 full). Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting, cream butter. Add 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and mix until smooth. Add rum and cinnamon, and slowly mix (careful not to splatter). Continue adding sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well between additions. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. If frosting is too thick, add a bit of milk to thin it out. If too thin, add more sugar and continue to beat until it is the right consistency. Spoon into a piping bag or just slather it right onto the cupcakes. Dust with cinnamon and enjoy!

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  1. I just made these cupcakes, but in mini form. I tested one of the cakes & it was delicious…I am in the middle of making my buttercream, but I can’t seem to get it to thicken up!! I have already put an extra cup of sugar in, making the total of 3. . . Any help on how to get homemade icing to stand up??? Also, my frosting is a light brown color from the cinnamon, not white looking like yours…

  2. i just made these now… the icing is delicious and the cupcakes came out SO moist. i used real pumpkin… yum. i will only eat one tho, the rest go to work!

  3. I just wanted to let you know that I am making these this morning for the third fall in a row, and I look forward to making them all year! So delicious.

  4. As much as I LOVE these cupcakes the best part (by FAR) is the frosting. I may or may not have just licked every ounce off the spatula! :) Thanks Linds!

  5. try again LOL I LOVE LOVE LOVE PUMPKIN!! I have to make these soon :)


  7. There are plenty of chocolate chips that do not contain milk, you just have to read the labels. The mini ones I used do contain milk fat (Toll-House), but I know some Ghiradhelli types and some other brands are entirely milk-free.

  8. Since the chocolate chips are mace with milk, wouldn’t they not be considered Vegan?

  9. A pumpkin lover’s dream! Love the frosting!

  10. Oh, wow. Those sound and look amazing.

  11. Cinnamon rum buttercream frosting sounds delicious! A nice sweet, festive change from plain ol’ buttercream :). The cupcakes sound tasty, too!

  12. Holy god! I’ve been craving pumpkin too…humina humina humina. How did you get the frosting so perfect? Wow!

  13. YUMMY! These look SO VERY DELISH!

  14. HMMMM, maybe I should reconsider and make these for your dad’s bday cake?

  15. These look absolutely divine! I would love it if you could send these in for my Vegetarian Thanksgiving blog event!

  16. Be still my pumpkin loving heart! These look incredible!!!!

  17. torture. send me some. ASAP.
    k thanks.

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