These Pumpkin Mocha Cupcakes are absolutely perfect for Halloween celebrations! The cupcakes are made with pumpkin pie spice, cocoa powder, and espresso powder, and topped with pumpkin spice frosting, fall sprinkles, and candy pumpkins. The result? Adorable, Halloween-themed offerings!
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Pumpkin Mocha Cupcakes
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required and understand the steps and timings involved.
The pumpkin spice flavor is so ubiquitous at this time of the year that you can find it in anything from lattes to desserts. That said, it’s always good to mix things up from time to time and make your own recipe for a special occasion or just because!
These pumpkin mocha cupcakes are a great fall treat and yet another way to get that pumpkin spice into your life! In fact, think of them as a pumpkin spice latte but in cupcake form!
Make them for a harvest festival, place them on the dessert table at a Halloween party, or serve them up after your Thanksgiving dinner.
If you’re an experienced cake maker you can probably jump straight to the recipe at the end of this post and get baking!
But if not, please read through the steps as I’ve got lots of tips and suggestions along the way!
The post is part of the Crafty October series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog is filled with free printables, crafts, recipes, and more for Halloween! You can check out Crafty October from 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 for tons of awesome Halloween ideas and inspiration!
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
For your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed to make these cupcakes have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online. Standard ingredients such as flour or sugar are not listed, as you are likely to have those in your kitchen. The full list with measurements is found in the recipe card.
Cupcakes & Frosting Ingredients
- All-Purpose Flour – also known as Plain Flour.
- Baking Soda – also known as Bicarbonate of Soda.
- Instant Espresso Powder
- Cocoa Powder
- Pure Vanilla Extract – always buy good vanilla as it really does make a flavor difference.
- Powdered Sugar – also known as Icing Sugar and Confectioner’s Sugar.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Canned Pumpkin Purée – NOT pumpkin pie filling
- Wilton Autumn Sprinkles – you need two (4.12oz/117g) packages of these Wilton sprinkles, but you can use any fall sprinkles that you like! Make a mix of your own with different single sprinkle types, or buy a ready-made mix. You’ll need about 1 cup of sprinkles.
- Brach’s Candy Pumpkins – or any kind of pumpkin candy to sit on top of the cupcakes.
Cupcake Decorating Equipment
- Large Piping Bag – you can use disposable or reuseable, your choice.
- Large Star Tip – for example, Wilton 1M
Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog! I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).
Pumpkin Mocha Cupcakes Recipe Tips
Cupcake Making Tips
- Use your choice of cupcake liners – themed to the cupcakes, plain white or black, or a complimentary color.
- Use an ice cream scoop to equally divide the cupcake mixture between the cupcake liners. Fill them about three-quarters full.
- The cupcakes should be ready in about 20 minutes – test their doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cakes. It should come out clean when the cupcakes are cooked all the way through. Bake for an extra 2 minutes and check again.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cupcake Frosting Tips
- When making the frosting you want the end result to be creamy, smooth, and to hold a stiff peak. You may have to adjust the amount of powdered sugar and cream slightly to achieve the consistency you need.
- These cupcakes are double-frosting, the first layer is flattened and rounded off a bit to create the base for lots of sprinkles, and then there is a swirl of two-tone frosting on top of that. Put an ice cream scoop to good use again for the first frosting layer and use a butter knife or angled spatula to level it off.
- SPRINKLES! Following the color/theme provided in the recipe, you can use any type you like such as nonpareils, jimmies, stars, confetti, pearls, or shapes – you’ll need about 1 cup of them in total to cover the cupcakes.
- Use a piping bag fitted with a large star tip to pipe the swirl on top of the sprinkle layer.
- If you feel like you are going to be making a lot of cakes and cupcakes in your future, I think it is worth investing in a set of piping tips so that you know you always have the right ones on hand for a recipe.
- Do not overfill the piping bag with frosting, and make sure you squeeze the frosting down the bag to expel any air bubbles.
- If you are not confident with your piping skills you can practice on some parchment paper first and scoop the frosting back into the bag to use on the cupcakes.
More Pumpkin Cupcake Recipes
Looking for more pumpkin cupcakes to make? Check these recipes out next:
- Awesome Mini Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes for Fall or Halloween!
- Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Pumpkin and Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
How Do I Make Pumpkin Mocha Cupcakes?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, and instructions. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink!).
For the Cupcakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- ¾ tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- ½ cup hot water
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
For the Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 5 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 2 (4oz) packages Wilton Autumn Sprinkles
- 24 Candy Corn Pumpkins
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Line cupcake pan with 24 cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until combined.
- Place the water, espresso powder, and cocoa powder into a small bowl and whisk until combined.
- Using an electric handheld or standing mixer, cream together the sugar and butter.
- Beat in the eggs, oil and vanilla until combined.
- Alternating between the espresso mixture and flour mixture, gradually
mix in both until combined.
- Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter into cupcake liners filling about three-quarters full.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, use an electric handheld or standing mixer, beat together the butter, and shortening until smooth.
- Mix in the pumpkin purée and the pumpkin spice.
- Gradually mix in the powdered sugar until combined, then continue to mix until smooth, creamy, and it can hold a stiff peak.
- Scoop 1½ cups of frosting into a large piping bag fitted with a star tip.
- Pour the sprinkles into a bowl.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, place a scoop of frosting onto the top of each cooled cupcake, and use a butter knife or angled pallet knife to smooth it into a thick disk.
- Dip the frosting into the sprinkles and completely coat it.
- Using the piping bag of reserved frosting to pipe swirls of frosting onto the center of each frosted cupcake.
- Place a candy pumpkin in the center and enjoy!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Cupcake Pans
- Wilton Cupcake Decorating Icing Tips, 12-Piece Set
- Wilton 402-2110 1M Open Star Piping Tip
- Disposable Piping Bags -100 Pack
- Halloween Cupcake Liners
- Thanksgiving Cupcake Liners
- Autumn Baking Cupcake Liners 150 CT Wilton
- Food Items Jimmies Sprinkles, Fall Pumpkins
- Brach's Mellowcreme Pumpkins, 11oz Bag
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 95mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 36gProtein: 1g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal for a dinner party or special occasion:
- Appetizer: Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts Party Appetizer with Spicy Mustard Dip
- Soup: Loaded Cauliflower Leek Soup Recipe – Can Be Served Hot or Chilled!
- Salad: How to Make Waldorf Salad – A Classic Fruit & Nut Salad
- Main Dish: Apple and Rosemary Stuffed Pork Chops
- Side Dish: Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes – A Quick & Tasty Side Dish
- Beverage: Apple Cider Margarita
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!