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I know you’re looking at this picture thinking, “that looks like a drink, not cupcakes!” and you’re right! It DOES look like a drink…but you were fooled! They really are cupcakes! Watch the magic unfold.

My favorite part of fall is all of the pumpkin stuff that starts coming out of the woodwork. I LOVE everything pumpkin: pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, and especially Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte! But I also love dessert, so these babies really are the best of all fall worlds.

I am SO pleased with this project! There are so many wonderful features: the presentation is obviously adorable, if I may toot my own horn, the cupcakes themselves only take 3 ingredients and are less than 100 calories, and the whipped cream was the best I’ve ever had (toot toot, there goes my horn again…)!

Things you’ll need:


  • 1 (18 oz.) spice cake mix box
  • 15 oz pumpkin (which ended up being about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 cup water

Whipped Cream

  • Pint of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 7 tablespoons powdered sugar (just a little less than 1/2 a cup)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon


  • Starbucks cups–mine were the smallest size (I just asked the barista at Starbucks for them and they were super accommodating)
  • Starbucks straws
  • Paper towels
  • Ziploc bag
  • Cake tip (optional)


Preheat oven toΒ 350Β°

Mix all ingredients for the cupcakes.

Put ingredients into muffin cups. I made most of mine in the regular sized tins, but I also made 2 giant cupcakes that fit really well into a bigger cup (like a grande), so that is also an option.

The recipe makes 24 regular sized cupcakes, but if you use the regular size, you will need to do some finagling to get the cupcakes to sit in the cups right. Don’t worry though, I’ll show you how it’s done.

After putting them in the cups, I swirled the batter around with my finger to make them look more like the top of a latte.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. They are very moist, so don’t worry if a toothpick doesn’t come out completely clean. Let ’em cool.

Meanwhile, work on the whipped cream frosting. You’ll want to chill your bowl and whisk before starting (place in the freezer for 10ish minutes).

Add the cream and begin beating. As you can see, I used my Kitchenaid mixer which makes it SOOO much easier. But if you don’t have one, at least you’re working off the calories you’re about to consume πŸ˜‰

Beat until it starts to get thick, but stop before it gets really fluffy (it should look about how it does above). Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and continue beating until light and fluffy. Be careful not to over-beat, which will make the whipped cream a little too stiff. Then place the frosting in the fridge so it doesn’t get too soft, and only take out portions as you need it.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, place them in the cups. To make them sit at the right height, I actually stacked two on top of each other. I mean, who gets past the first cupcake only to find another and isn’t absolutely ecstatic about it?! Only crazy people.

After putting the first cupcake inside, I folded two of the 1/2 sheet paper towels and wrapped them around the inside of the cup to narrow the opening.

Then I stuck the next cupcake in and wedged it down so it was sitting just slightly above the top of the cup.

Once your cupcakes are in their new cups, turn back to the frosting. Cut the corner out of a ziploc bag, and add a cake tip if you’d like, to pipe the frosting. I used the closed star kind because I thought it would best emulate whipped cream out of the can. Spoon in some whipped cream, then go to it on the cupcakes.

I started on the outside of the rim and worked my way in. It takes some trial and error to get them to look nice. I found that sort of angling the tip down and to the direction in which you were moving and squirting out lots of frosting made them look the best. Then just cut a straw in half and jab it in wherever you want it!

On some of them I also added the drink directions in sharpie. I decided that if I were actually bringing these somewhere, as opposed to just eating them all myself, I would try to write names of guests on them as well.

And there you have it! The cupcakes are good, and the whipped cream even better, but it is really the presentation people die for. And really, you can make them with any kind of cupcake or muffin! I was thinking I may try doing peppermint hot chocolate next, which is my hubby’s favorite drink, and do chocolate cupcakes with some peppermint extract in the frosting and those red and green sprinkles they use.

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One Artsy Mama

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