Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Richly spiced, moist with pumpkin, and topped with a dollop of chocolate buttercream frosting, these cupcakes are delicious and perfect for the fall. This is what my sweet five year old had at her party as I created the recipe especially for her.

Oh, and they happen to be gluten free too! Depending on what frosting you use, they are also dairy free as well. But they are good enough to serve to everyone.

They are basically the zucchini millet muffins fancied up! Add natural sweeteners, replace the zucchini with pumpkin purée, and spice it, and you have Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes!

These were another favorite around here. Thank goodness for tasty gluten free treats! Even my extended family enjoyed this recipe ( a few of them don’t always like my “sweets” as they aren’t sweet enough for them). I’ve given you a ratio of sweetener. If you use the smaller amount, they will taste like lightly sweetened muffins. If you up the amount, they will become more like a typical cupcake. Choose how much you want to add.

For homemade pumpkin puree check out this oven method and this crockpot method.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes

These cupcakes don’t have quite the perfect rise to them because I add so much pumpkin in them. I choose to keep the amount of pumpkin puree because it keeps the cupcakes so moist and flavorful. Besides, if you are frosting these, the low rise doesn’t even show. Come back on Monday for my new recipe of chocolate buttercream! Decadent Ganache also works.
Yield: 15 cupcakes
The night before mix up the following:

    2 cups of your choice of whole grain gluten free flour (preferably freshly ground ), such as millet, brown rice, amaranth, or combination blends. I have used both millet and 1/3 amaranth and 2/3 millet.
    1 tablespoon chia seeds, ground if desired
    3/4 cup of warm water
    1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar (you can substitute well fermented kombucha, water kefir, whey, coconut kefir)

Leave covered in a warm place for 12-24 hours. Preheat the oven to 375F and line a muffin pan with baking cups. Then add the following to the bowl.

    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 cup of pumpkin puree
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon cloves 
or allspice
    1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
    1/3 cup of coconut oil, melted gently
    ½ to 1 cup of whole cane sugar, coconut/palm sugar, or maple sugar

Whisk to combine and then fill muffin pans 3/4 full. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle of the muffin. Let sit in muffin pans for 5 minutes, and then gently remove to cooling rack to completely cool.

Once cool, frost and sprinkle with Let’s Do Organic Sprinkelz , if desired.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. Kurt says

    Hmmm…. I was planning to try making some sourdough pumpkin bread this weekend, but these do look quite tempting. Perhaps I’ll make them instead or maybe I’ll make them with some of the leftover pumpkin.

  2. Sarah W says

    can these be made using the blender batter method if one doesn’t have GF flour, but rather GF whole grains? In that case, when would the chia seeds go in? Do those help hold the muffins together?

    • Rachel J says

      Good idea! I tried to do blender batter muffins and quick bread and the ended up being overly moist. No one complained though. They probably would have worked much better if I had used the blender for the initial grind and soak and then just mixed everything else in by hand instead of trying to continue using the blender. If hand mixing isn’t working out so well then perhaps a food processor or mixer could be used. I’ll have to play with this idea 🙂 I definitely want to make these, I love pumpkin and all the associated spices.

  3. samara says

    I just pulled these out of the oven for a nice Sat morning breakfast! Serving with your pumkin teechino latte 🙂

    I did use Ener-G egg replacer as my daughter has egg issues. So far so good. The only problem was that the batter was hard to mix, as the dough had gotten quite dry with the overnight soak and only 3/4 cup water, plus the chia seeds to soak it up! It seems to have turned out though! Next time I will carefully crumble the soaked dough into the liquids, rather than the other way round.

    Great recipe!!! Thanks!

  4. Michelle says

    I have heard of chia seeds as an egg replacer, but in this recipe you have both eggs and chia seeds…is the texture of the two just a little different that you like to use both together?

    • Juliet says

      Try grinding organic almonds or other nuts into flour. That’s what I have to do. I’m on the GAPS diet/program and must remain grain-free for two years while my digestive tract heals. I’m tracking down some organic spices and going to give these a whirl with nut flour….hope it works; these look delicious! 🙂

  5. says

    I’d love to make these – your gluten free chocolate tart is a BIG hit in this house and your blog was a big inspiration for me starting mine! 🙂

    Unfortunately (fortunately!) I was treated to afternoon tea – ie scones, eclairs you name it! – at a posh hotel yesterday so I think my sweet quota may be done for the time being… next weekend!! 🙂 xox

  6. says

    I made these this afternoon for my son’s Halloween party tomorrow at his school. They came out so very good and quite beautiful too, I didn’t have a problem with the droop? I did let them cook a full 28 minutes and they seem perfect. Thanks for the great recipe, it’s so nice to have a site I can come to and trust that the recipe will turn out well! Again, thank you.


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