If you love fluffy light cupcakes, you will want to make my Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcake recipe. They are full of pumpkin spice flavors. I then topped them with a thick and creamy cinnamon buttercream frosting! They are the perfect cupcakes for fall!

A gluten free pumpkin cupcake on a small white plate.

Pumpkin season is here, and there is so much to celebrate! Who can say no to light and fluffy Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes? These incredible pumpkin cupcakes are full of fall flavors, but they are so fluffy that they make the best dessert!

Half of my family goes nuts over pumpkin recipes Mr. Fearless Dining the most. One kid will eat anything pumpkin as long as it is sweet. My picky one; it really depends on what I made. She is a chocolate fanatic, so I tend to make this Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Cake for her.

I share all of my tips and tricks to help you make cupcakes that turn out so fluffy that nobody will know they are gluten free! If you are a cupcake fanatic like me, check out all of my delicious gluten free cupcake recipes!

Why nobody can resist these gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes:

These cupcakes truly are incredible. So many pumpkin recipes tend to be dense, but not these gluten free pumpkin cupcakes!! They are so fluffy! Here is why you need to try these:

  1. They are topped with a creamy cinnamon buttercream frosting, and just WOW! They are so good!
  2. You don’t need complicated spice mixtures; grab the basics like ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon!
  3. There is a dairy-free frosting option for those who can’t have dairy!
  4. This recipe is tried and true with several gluten free flour blends!

Oh my good ness these are absolutely fluffy and moist and delicious. I made batch today.”

Janese S., blog reader

Allergen Information:

These gluten free pumpkin cupcakes are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free, so they are great for those with food allergies. (You can easily make the frosting dairy-free as well.)

Substitutions:

If you prefer more classic flavors of cupcakes, try my delicious, moist Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes or my Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes recipes.

Photos of the gluten free pumpkin cupcakes ingredients.

Ingredient Notes:

For the full list of ingredients and amounts, please go to the recipe card below.

  • Gluten-Free Flour Blend—I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work; I just have not tested other flours, and I can not guarantee the recipe will work if you use other mixes.
  • Xanthan Gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add one teaspoon. See the Substitutions section below for a gum-free option.
  • Brown Sugar, Cane Sugar, and Powdered Sugar.
  • Pumpkin Puree – I prefer canned because it is smoother, but it will work if you roast pumpkin a lot. Just make sure it isn’t too firm.
  • Eggs – Use size large.
  • Butter – I used unsalted butter.
  • Non-Dairy Milk – I used almond milk, but other dairy-free kinds of milk will work. But I do not recommend canned coconut milk.
  • Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract.
  • Light Oil – I used canola oil. Do not use strongly flavored oil.

If you want to learn what gluten free flour blends work in what types of recipes, check out my Guide to Gluten Free Flour.

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350º F and set the oven rack in the middle of the oven.

Photos of making pumpkin cupcakes steps 1 and 2.

Step 1: Add your dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to blend them.

Step 2: Add your wet ingredients to a smaller bowl and use a wire whisk to whip them.

Photos of making pumpkin cupcakes steps 3 and 4.

Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Step 4: VERY gently mix the wet and dry pumpkin cupcake ingredients. Be very careful not to overmix your batter. Mix it until it is just barely mixed. This is the true secret to making light and fluffy cupcakes!

📢 Sandi says: Every gluten-free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio. The brand of gluten-free flour you use will affect the moisture of the batter. If your cake batter is too runny, add more flour, and if it is too thick, add more liquids.
Read Why Gluten-Free Flour Blends Vary to learn more about this.

Cupcake batter in a muffin tin ready to bake.

Step 5: Line a muffin tin with parchment paper muffin liners. These are the best because your cupcakes will not stick to the paper. If you don’t have them, spray the muffin tin with coconut oil (or another light oil).

Fill each muffin cup with about 2/3 of batter.

Step 6: Bake the cupcakes at 350º F for 20-22 minutes.

Step 7: Test a cupcake to see if they are baked by inserting a toothpick into a cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cupcakes must be baked longer.

Step 8: Move the pumpkin cupcakes to a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting on a standing mixer beater.

Step 9: Now make that yummy cinnamon buttercream frosting! Add butter, powdered sugar, cinnamon, non-dairy milk, and vanilla in a large standing mixer. Mix until it is completely blended and fluffy.

Step 10: Put the frosting into an icing bag and use a star tip to frost each gluten free pumpkin cupcake—dust with cinnamon.

A gluten free pumpkin cupcake with a bite taken out.

If you are a pumpkin fanatic, don’t forget to check out all of my incredible Gluten Free Pumpkin Dessert Recipes!

Vary the flavor with these fun ideas:

  • Add mini white or milk chocolate chips to the pumpkin batter.
  • Drizzle them with icing made with powdered sugar, cinnamon, and non-dairy milk.
  • Top them with Halloween sprinkles. Always check to be sure the gluten free sprinkles are gluten free!
  • Add chopped nuts like pecans to the cupcake batter.

Cupcake Troubleshooting:

There are many reasons why your gluten-free cupcakes don’t turn out as expected. Here are the most common issues I hear from my readers and how to fix them!

Why are the cupcakes too moist?

If your cupcakes are too moist, you either didn’t bake them long enough, used too much butter or oil, or you used too much liquid. Every gluten-free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio, and this affects the liquid levels as well as how the fat is absorbed in the flour blend. (Imagine starch and oil combined…it can make a pasty gunk. Many gluten free flour blends have a very high starch content.)

Why did my cupcakes sink in the middle?

The two main reasons cupcakes sink in the middle are either you opened the oven door during the baking process, or you used too much liquid in the batter. I know you are tempted to open the oven door to get a better look at the baking cupcakes, but opening the oven door adds a blast of cool air, and it can cause your cupcakes to fall.

Why did the cupcakes stick to the cupcake papers?

This is very common in gluten-free baking. I always recommend using parchment paper cupcake liners. It makes a huge difference! Using the right tools will always make a difference in baking.

For more help troubleshooting cupcake issues, read my Gluten-Free Cake Troubleshooting Guide. It is applicable to cupcakes as well! You can also learn a lot from my Gluten-Free Muffin Troubleshooting Guide.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can you make this gluten free pumpkin cupcake recipe healthier?

You can easily make this pumpkin cupcake healthier. Substitute coconut sugar for the sugars in the cupcake. Another way is to add 2-3 scoops of collagen protein powder (unflavored) to the dry ingredients. Lastly, add 1/3 cup of almond flour. Use only 1 /4 cup of the gluten free flour blend.

How do you store pumpkin cupcakes?

Store your pumpkin cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep fresh for up to 4 days.

Can you freeze these pumpkin cupcakes?

You can easily freeze these cupcakes. I recommend freezing them without frosting and then frosting them after they are thawed out.

The cinnamon frosting also tastes amazing on these Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake Bars!

The top view of the frosted cupcakes.

More Gluten Free Cupcake Recipes:

Half of a pumpkin cupcake on a white plate.
A gluten free cupcake on a small white plate.

Fluffy Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

Sandi Gaertner
Quick and eacy gluten free pumpkin cupcakes. If you are looking looking for delicious light and fluffy gluten free pumpkin cupcakes, you will love this recipe.
5 from 23 votes
dairy free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cake Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 381 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups gluten free flour blend * see note
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder aluminum-free
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger * use powdered
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs size large
  • cup light oil * see note
  • ½ cup non-dairy or regular milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Frosting

  • ½ cup softened unsalted butter *see note
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

Cupcakes:

  • Add your dry ingredients to a bowl. Whisk to blend.
  • Add your wet ingredients to a smaller bowl and whisk.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  • VERY gently mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Be very careful not to overmix your batter. Mix it until it is just barely mixed. This is the true secret to making light and fluffy cupcakes! Don't use a standing mixer.
  • Line a muffin tin with parchment paper muffin liners. These are the best to use because your cupcakes will not stick to the paper. If you don't have them, spray the muffin tin with coconut oil spray (or use another light oil).
  • Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full of batter.
  • Bake the cupcakes at 350º F for 20-22 minutes.
  • Test a cupcake to see if they are baked by inserting a toothpick into a cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cupcakes need to bake longer.
  • Move the pumpkin cupcakes to a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.

Cinnamon Frosting:

  • In a large standing mixer, add the butter, powdered sugar, cinnamon, non-dairy milk, and vanilla. Mix until it is completely blended and fluffy.
  • Put the frosting into an icing bag and use a star tip to frost each gluten free pumpkin cupcake. Dust with cinnamon.

Notes

  1. I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work; I just have not tested other flours.
  2. Xanthan Gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
  3. The cupcakes are dairy-free. To make the frosting dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter.
  4. I recommend a very light oil like avocado or canola.
  5. I used almond milk, but other dairy-free kinds of milk will work, but I do not recommend canned coconut milk.
  6. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cupcake needs to bake longer.
  7. These cupcakes will last up to 4 days in an airtight container or up to 4 months in the freezer.
Variations:
  • Add mini white or milk chocolate chips to the pumpkin batter.
  • Drizzle them with an icing made with powdered sugar, cinnamon, and non-dairy milk.
  • Top them with Halloween sprinkles. Always check to be sure the gluten free sprinkles are gluten free!
  • Add chopped nuts like pecans to the cupcake batter.

SPECIAL NOTE

Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcakeCalories: 381kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 3gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 134mgPotassium: 113mgFiber: 2gSugar: 48gVitamin A: 2703IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @FearlessDining or tag #FearlessDining!

Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

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Recipe Rating




37 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just made these for a second time & they are simply amazing! Light & fluffy as they should be. No one would ever guess they’re gluten-free!!! Can’t wait to try the lemon cupcake! 🧁

  2. I made these pumpkin cupcakes & the texture is amazing, but I find there isn’t enough pumpkin flavor. I would also add more cinnamon and salt. If I wanted to add more pumpkin to get more flavor, what adjustments would I need to make?
    Thanks,
    Susan

      1. Thanks Sandy, for your reply. I just did that & reposted an updated comment. They are incredible!

  3. I’m looking forward to making these! I’m wondering if I could bake as a whole cake in a Bundt pan instead of as individual cupcakes. Have you tried this? What would the baking time be? Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    These are the best GF pumpkin cupcake I have ever had! My church family loves them and they don’t even know they are GF they think they are eating regular! Our Pastor’s wife don’t like pumpkin so I did it with purée Sweet potato and they were so moist and delicious and I have to make them again for Sunday Fellowship Dinner! If you have not made these pumpkin cupcakes yet you need to try them.
    We used fresh sweet potato and steamed them and mashed them and I added a little water to make it a little creamier for the recipe.

    1. I LOVE the idea of using sweet potato. Thank you so much for coming back to share this with us. I am really glad everyone at church enjoys these. LOL, I love nobody can tell they are gluten free!

  5. 5 stars
    I made your recipe and I used gf Jules flour and dayri free milk I substitute brown sugar and regular sugar instead maple sugar and coconut sugar. Fantastic Success!!…..Thank you for the recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    I made these for my MOPS/MOMSnext group. They were moist and delicious. I received many compliments! I’ll make them again soon for my family. The icing is amazing.

    I only used Cinnamon as I didn’t have the other spices available at the time. They were still yummy.

  7. 5 stars
    These are excellent! Very moist, flavorful and deceptively gluten free. My friends and family don’t have to be GF really loved them. I had a hard time with the icing though. Mine turned out more runny than fluffy and I even put it in the fridge for hours, but it didn’t help. But, the flavor was awesome.

  8. 5 stars
    These are delicious! My frosting didn’t turn out as fluffy- but only because I cut down the amount of powdered sugar, to help with the sweetness. Honestly- these are good even without the frosting! Easy to make as well!

  9. I made these yesterday and I omitted the nutmeg because it triggers my gerd and I use Just Egg pourable liquid as my egg substitute when baking. These turned out so good. My husband who doesn’t like pumpkin anything has been eating them up. They are so good and it doesn’t trigger my gerd so win win!!!!!

  10. 5 stars
    Not only simple and quick to make but very tasty too. The muffins turned out light and bouncy. None of the gluten eating family members knew it was GF.

  11. 5 stars
    A 20 min rest before baking gives these cupcakes a nice rise. I also subbed honey for the white sugar which I liked. I also made this for someone egg free. I substituted 65 gm of applesauce for one egg and 7 gm of baking soda mixed with 15 gm of vinegar for the second egg. The vinegar mixture contributes to the lightness of the cupcake. The applesauce contributes to the moistness. They had maybe 10% less loft but were still moist and delicious. There are multiple egg substitutes. These are just the ones that I tried.