Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

If you are anything like me, you love a fall treat!  Well Pumpkin Spice Lattes are all the rage this time of year and so I thought I'd make some Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes.  I know there are a few recipes floating around out there, but for me it is all about the presentation!

A Pumpkin Spice Latte in a Starbucks cup with "whip cream."  It all started with a recipe.  I played around with a pumpkin cupcake recipe I'd used last fall and tweaked it to create a Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcake recipe.   Let me tell you, the results were amazing...it was delicious.

Here's the cupcake recipe:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour (sift before measuring)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (plus extra for dusting)
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/3 sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten until frothy
  • 1 cup mashed pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup milk
Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs.  Alternate stirring in sifted dry ingredients and milk until all is incorporated.  Blend in mashed pumpkin.  Stir instant coffee into the mixture.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes in well-greased and floured muffin tins.  

Now for the frosting recipe:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups confections' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Beat until smooth.

Now that you've made your basic cupcakes and your frosting, the fun begins...again presentation is everything!  The goal with these cupcakes is to trick your eye into thinking you are looking at an actual Pumpkin Spice Latte.  To achieve such a look I placed the cupcake into a small sample Starbucks cup so that the cupcake sat well above the brim.  I then placed the sample cup into a larger Starbucks cup.  The cupcake sits just below the rim, giving off the allusion that it is filled with a beverage. 

My hope was to make this cupcake/drink look as authentic as possible.  One of the details I noted was the drink order on each cup.  My husband used to work at Starbucks and so he taught me the code they use to prescribe each drink on its cup.  There is a "WC" under the custom section to note whip cream is to be added to the drink and a "PSL" in the drink box indicating that a Pumpkin Spice Latte has been ordered.

Each of these drink orders calls for "whip cream."  I added frosting to this lovely treat to meet that demand.  I used a pastry bag and tip to frost the cupcakes to cause them to look like the whip cream that would come on your beverage at Starbucks.  These "drinks" are all about being personalized so by adding people's names to their "orders" you add an extra personal touch.

Once all of the cupcakes were frosted, it was time for finishing touches to really bring home the details of this wonderful fall treat.  A shortened straw was placed in each beverage and the whip cream was dusted with nutmeg to complete the look.  

The completed project truly makes a beautiful display!  I brought these over to a friend's house for a couples get together and they were a hit.  The presentation blew everyone away, but the flavors had them all asking to take a treat for the road.

Grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcake sweet fall treat and 
"Cheers my friends, here's to a Fabulous Fall!"

 Now if that presentation doesn't make you think Pumpkin Spice Latte, I don't know what will!

Update: Many of you had some questions and so I've answered those here!

I Like to Party here!


  1. Kaitlin --- these look SO YUMMY holy cow. i've been baking with pumpkin for the past few weeks, but I always have extra so I will have to give this a try. bravo on the presentation, lady!

  2. I am LOVING these!! I love pumpkin spice lattes to begin with, and I love cupcakes, so I can't even begin to tell you how great combining the two are! And these look really yummy. I pinned this, and I can't wait to try them myself--the presentation totally tops it off! Great job :)

  3. What a great idea! I love pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin spice bread! Too fun!

  4. These look yummy and so CUTE!!! I must make :)

    Fancy frugal Life

  5. Super cute! I made those this weekend, but didn't use the cups. They're such a treat!

  6. Oh no I would LOVE for you to be able to link up this awesome starbucks project to my link party!!

    I don't know why it isn't working for you. Everyone else just pressed the blue 'add your link' button. Do you not see that?

    Are you able to see the other projects that joined the hop? There were a bunch.

    My best guess would be to hit refresh? See if it works now.

    Sorry about the trouble!!

    For Love of Cupcakes

  7. How fun and what a great idea. I love the idea. Such an original idea. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  8. Sounds delicious and the presentation is so creative! Love it! So glad I saw your link-up over at The Project Queen!

    Jenn/Rook No. 17

  9. Oh my these are crazy good! Thanks for sharing with my newbie party.

  10. These look gorgeous!!!!

    would love it if you could share this on my link party at www.serenityyou.blogspot.com

    Natasha xx

  11. How cute & creative! Anytime I see anything Starbucks it makes me think(and miss) my son who attends university in Canada. His darling girlfriend is a barrista at Starbucks and a master baker. I am going to send her a link to your blog- she will love it!

    I am starting to host a link party next Tuesday, Oct. 4,on my blog www.placesinthehome.com and would love to have you share these. I'm impressed!

  12. Cute, cute, cute :) Laurel@chippingwithcharm

  13. This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I owe something special to some co-workers for doing a couple favors for me this week, and this would be awesome! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  14. New follower from BreLyn Boutique! I read the title of your post and started drooling! haha - I used to be a Sbux barista and these look like amazing treats to me :) I would love it if you would link up this or any of your favorite recipes to our first ever "What's Cookin' Wednesday" linky party! It would fit in so perfectly! I hope you stop by - Looking forward to more from your creative blog!

  15. These look amazing! How do you get the Starbucks cups though?

  16. (found ya on a link party)
    Such a great idea! Where did you get that many Starbucks cups?! :)

  17. You are WAY too cute!! Thank you for linking up to Help a Momma Out Tuesday! We appreciate it!! We will be featuring your clever idea on our blog tomorrow! Feel free to grab a featured button and get your brag on :) Looking forward to following your adventures! Please consider guest blogging or blog swapping with us in the future! We would love to have you!! :) Email us at jandmseyecandy@hotmail.com if you're interested :) Thanks so much! Have a great rest of your week!

  18. Just a question...do the cupcakes have a bit of a muffin texture or a true cake texture? I've been playing with a pumpkin spice latte cupcake recipe but it seems to turn out more muffin than cupcake (I call them muffin-cakes). Your recipe seems different. Figured I would ask! Thanks for the amazing idea! Love that I stumbled upon your blog!

  19. I LOVE the cups! So cute. I'd love for you to link up at DIY Thrifty Thursday at http://thrifty101.blogspot.com/2011/09/diy-thrifty-thursday-35.html

    Hope to see you soon!

  20. WOW these are so stinkin' adorable! I love them!! I just found your blog through debbie's newbie party. I am now your newest follower. Come check me out if you get a chance.


  21. These are adorable. I hope I can think of an occasion to make these for =)

  22. thanks for linking up at serenity saturday

    loved this so much i've featured it on this weeks link party

    Natasha at www.serenityyou.blogspot.com

  23. These are adorable!! :) Love the cupcakes!
    Thank you for linking up to {nifty thrifty sunday} last week!
    You'll be featured at this week's party!
    Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}

  24. Great idea! They do look so cool. Thanks for sharing. I'm kind of hungry for pumpkin now.

  25. Amazing! Thanks for sharing. You are being featured this week at Lines Across My Face.

  26. This is such a great and cute idea! I love it! Thanks so much for linking up to Tuesday Talent Show! I would love to have you stop by and link up again tomorrow with more great projects!

  27. Kaitlin - Featuring your cupcakes tonight that you linked up at "I turned the daunting into the do-able" link Party from Tuesday at Project Queen.

    Hope you link up again tomorrow and share again.
    Can't wait to try these cupcakes!

  28. Awesome presentation!! I love it!! How'd you get all those cups?!
    Thanks for linking up to Show & Share!!!

  29. Mmmm Mmmm! Looks so yummy! I'm going to feature this on tomorrow's Thrifty Thursday. Thanks so much for linking this up :)

  30. A-dorable! I'd love to feature this on Thrifty Thursday this week! :)

  31. came from Thrifty Decorating, love it! How did you snag all the SB cups?

  32. Oh my goodness. That is one of the cutest things I have ever seen. I am in LOVE with this idea.

  33. Hey Gorgeous!
    This Post is featured today on Frugalicious Me!
    Thanks for the SWEET inspiration!


  34. These are so fun! what a great idea!

  35. This looks amazing :) Not entirely sure if Starbucks would just let me have a ton of their cups, but otherwise I really want to try these!

  36. Hi Kaitlin, these look absolutely delicious. What a neat idea. Thanks for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  37. Hi Kaitlyn, these look so yummy. What a cute idea. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  38. Question: do you use the instant coffee granules or make the instant coffee first and then add. Wondering if the granules would make it too gritty?


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