Published by Ashley Palmer.

The following is adapted from an article by Priyanka Naik of

Fall is here, and that means Thanksgiving is just around the corner! It also means that there will be tons of pumpkin treats to bake, share, and eat.

Finding quality ready-made pumpkin desserts can be tricky, but why go searching for one when you can make your own? Dark chocolate combined with the sweet flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon make for a delectable fall treat! These cupcakes also contain a surprising ingredient that makes the cakes moist and delicious: coconut oil. Enjoy!

Spiced Chocolate Cupcakes With Creamy Cinnamon-Pumpkin Frosting

1 cup light soy milk
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
2 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin purée
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
A few drops of red and yellow food colors (to make orange)
Sprinkles, optional

  • Pour the soy milk into a small saucepan and add the cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and let the cinnamon steep for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon with a spoon once the soy milk is at room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly coat a cupcake pan with cooking spray and place liners in the hollows.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the sugar, oil, and the vanilla and almond extracts to the soy milk. Whisk until well combined.
  • Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking until smooth. Do not over-mix. Ladle the batter into the liners until they are about three-quarters full.
  • Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. 
  • Place the vegan margarine, vegan cream cheese, and pumpkin in a medium-size bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until creamy and smooth. Sift in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and beat until well combined. Sift in the second cup and beat. Repeat for the third cup. The frosting should be thick.
  • Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and food coloring. Beat until well combined. Taste to make sure it’s spiced properly—it should taste primarily of pumpkin! Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Once the cupcakes are completely cool, spread on the frosting and decorate with optional sprinkles.

Makes 12 to 14 cupcakes

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