Monday, September 17, 2018

Simple Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes make simply with a cake mix and super soft and moist with pumpkin. Just a hint of spice lets you know that your fall cupcake dreams have come true!

This post is sponsored in conjunction with PumpkinWeek . I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the PumpkinWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

close up of chocolate pumpkin cupcake with frosting and sprinkles

     Super simple to make and full of flavor, the chocolate pumpkin cupcakes have something for everyone to love! Whip up a batch and make your favorite frosting and sink your teeth into a delicious bite of fall!

      These cupcakes really do have something for everyone. They start with a chocolate cake mix, so they are crazy easy to make.  

    Even people who consider themselves "not a baker" can bake these. There are so few ingredients and steps, it would be hard to mess them up!

chocolate pumpkin cake batter in cupcake wells

     The texture is fabulous. Sometimes chocolate cake can be a bit dry and bland. There is nothing worse that looking forward to chocolate goodness and being disappointed. 

     That is not going to be an issue with these. They are moist and flavorful. They have a perfectly soft crumb that begs you to take another bite.

chocolate pumpkin cupcakes cooling on rack

    There is just a bit of cinnamon spice to them which really adds something. It lets you know this isn't just any chocolate cupcake, this is more!

      MiMi has been mixing cake mixes and cans of pumpkin for years. She almost always used a yellow or angel food cake mix though.

chocolate pumpkin cupcake with frosting and pumpkin candy

     She also baked them in a 9x13 and we always enjoyed it. If I remember correctly, sometimes she did a little drizzle of glaze or a bit of streusel too.

     Made plain, it really doesn't get any more simple. I figured if it worked so well for her, I could put a spin on it and make a chocolate version!

    Little Dude and I have been on a cupcake kick. I *may* or may not have waaaaay overbought cupcake liners when ordering for his Grinch cupcake birthday cake and my brother's wedding cupcakes

    He loves picking out the colors to use and loading them in the cupcake tins. He also likes scooping the batter and licking the spatula. But who doesn't love that?! 

inside of chocolate pumpkin cupcake

    So we decided to make cupcakes! To make sure they held together, we decided to stray a bit from the nothing but a cake mix and can of pumpkin formula. 

    A few Eggland's Best eggs and tablespoons of oil helped keep them moist, and gave them structure enough to hold those perfect cupcake domes. Under that dome is the softest chocolate cupcake!

    We tried piping some whipped sweetened condensed milk frosting on top. The creamy taste was great, but the frosting is too soft to hold it's shape. At least not like the American buttercreams I'm used to!

     I should have known better. It is a lot like ermine frosting, which I love but wouldn't pipe with!

unwrapped chocolate pumpkin cupcake

     I'd still recommend trying it and just schmearing it on with a knife rather than piping it. Or schmear on some cream cheese frosting!
    If you want something pipable, I'd recommend sweetened condensed milk buttercream, chocolate buttercream, or Italian meringue buttercream

   So put a chocolate cake mix on your grocery list and plan to make a batch of these this fall. Your family and friends will thank you! 

Tips and tricks

  • Want a more true chocolate flavor? Leave out the cinnamon and nutmeg!
  • Want them even more chocolatey? Stir in 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips 
  • Don't want cupcakes? Just bake the batter in a 9x13" pan, using the directions on the back of the box to estimate the baking time.
  • Want to eat them for breakfast? Leave off the frosting and call them a muffin! 😉

More great cupcake recipes:

As always: If you make this recipe–or any CWC recipes–let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram or Pinterest too—tag @carleecooks so I can see!  For more recipes and fun, like us on Facebook and follow along on Pinterest!

chocolate, cupcakes, semi-homemade, easy recipe, dessert, pumpkin
dessert, cake, sweets, cupcakes
Yield: 18 servings

Simple Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes make simply with a cake mix and super soft and moist with pumpkin. Just a hint of spice lets you know that your fall cupcake dreams have come true!
prep time: 10 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 30 mins


  • 1 chocolate cake mix
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and place paper cupcake liners in 18 cupcake wells.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Beat on low until combined. Scrape bowl to ensure everything is incorporated. 
  4. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. 
  5. Scoop into lined cupcake tins. (I like using a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop for this.)
  6. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched with a finger. 
  7. Remove from cupcake tin and place on wire rack until completely cooled. 
Created using The Recipes Generator

Here are today's #PumpkinWeek recipes:


Caramel Pumpkin Spice Latte from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks

Cold Brew Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte from The Nifty Foodie

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Apple Cider from The Crumby Kitchen

The Great Pumpkin Cocktail from Culinary Adventures with Camilla


Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce from House of Nash Eats

Creamy Pumpkin Risotto from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Harvest Pumpkin Soup from Everyday Eileen

Pumpkin & Sausage Pizza from Hardly A Goddess

Pumpkin Carbonara from The Redhead Baker

Pumpkin Chili from The Chef Next Door

Savory Pumpkin Gnocchi from Platter Talk

Pumpkin Quiche from Jonesin' For Taste

Stuffed Pumpkin from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Taiwanese Pumpkin Rice Noodles from Caroline's Cooking

Baked Goods & Desserts:

Chai Frosted Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from Who Needs A Cape?

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Skillet Cookie from The Bitter Side of Sweet

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Dump Cake from For the Love of Food

Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake from Karen's Kitchen Stories

Classic Pumpkin Roll from Cookaholic Wife

Glazed Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones from Family Around the Table

Homemade Pumpkin Pancakes from Tip Garden

Make-Ahead Pumpkin-Chai Egg Bites from Wholistic Woman

No Bake Pumpkin Cookies from Seduction In The Kitchen

Pumpkin Cake Pops from The Beard and The Baker

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ebelskiver from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from Amy's Cooking Adventures

Pumpkin Cookie Bars from Eat Move Make

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie from 4 Sons 'R' Us

Pumpkin Noodle Kugel from The Spiffy Cookie

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sweet Beginnings

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups from It Bakes Me Happy

Pumpkin Pie Pull Apart Muffins from Daily Dish Recipes

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles from The Mandatory Mooch

Pumpkin Spice Latte Whoopie Pies from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes from April Golightly

Pumpkin Spice Popovers from Grumpy's Honeybunch

Pumpkin Stuffed French Toast from Cindy's Recipes and Writings

Semi-Homemade Pumpkin Angel Food Cake from Love and Confections

Simple Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes from Cooking with Carlee

Chocolate cupcakes make simply with a cake mix and super soft and moist with pumpkin. Just a hint of spice lets you know that your fall cupcake dreams have come true!

Disclaimer: Thank you PumpkinWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, and Eggland’s Best for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for PumpkinWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The PumpkinWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Three (3) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The PumpkinWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the PumpkinWeek posts or entry.

Shared at The Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday


  1. I love the way the frosting looks on this cupcake. Kind of relaxed instead of all staunch and uptight. Adding cinnamon and nutmeg to the batter is a great idea! Happy pumpkin week!

    1. Happy pumpkin week! I do like the look too. Had I served them at home, they would have been fine. But trying to get the cupcakes out of the wells in the carriers got a little messy. Though it did give me a chance to lick frosting off my fingers, so it wasn't all bad ;-)

  2. Oh my yumminess!! Can you believe I am not doing Pumpkin Palooza this year? I just have so many other recipes brewing that I didn't want to do 4 weeks of pumpkin. But I shall be making these cupcakes for the crew! you!! Happy Monday!

    1. I am shocked, but I have seen some other delicious stuff going on in your kitchen. xoxox

  3. I love chocolate and pumpkin together! And who doesn't love a cupcake? These look awesome, Carlee!

    1. Thank you so much, Kelsie! That means a lot coming from you!

  4. If you didn't mention that the frosting was hard to pipe, I would have never known. They are adorable with the sprinkles and candies.

    1. You could make it pipable easily enough, but I tend to like stiffer frostings when piping. It is delicious though, so don't let it deter you from making the frosting for something!

  5. We love pumpkin recipes and cupcakes! I can't wait to make these. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!

    1. It's hard to beat when you combines two of your favorites in such a simple recipe!

  6. These are adorable and i love the chocolate + pumpkin combo!

  7. These look delicious! So very festive. I have a bad habit of overbuying cupcake liners too!

  8. I do love pumpkin and your chocolate pumpkin cupcakes look delightful.

  9. I love pumpkin pie, and pumpkin bread the best

  10. I like pumpkin smoothies

  11. I love pumpkin anything! Probably my favorite is pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. I love how moist the bars are!

  12. Yum. I’m so in the mood to bake all that is pumpkin starting pumpkin pecan dump cake.

  13. My very fav pumpkin recipe to bake is my pumpkin bread. I bake it all year round, whenever the craving hits and it's my Mom's fav too! Thanks for giving the emailer's a chance to win too...very appreciative!

    1. Pumpkin bread is one of our favorites too!

  14. I love pumpkin ravioli. I also love pumpkin chocolate chip loaf cake.

  15. My pumpkin favorites are: pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin spice latte.

  16. I love pumpkin cheesecake and one of my favorite pumpkin dishes.

  17. You can never have to many cupcake liners, this recipe looks delicious and thanks for posting all those wonderful pumpkin recipes from other blogs will have to look at them all. Pumpkin is my favorite. Fall is such a wonderful time of year for baking just hate what's is coming after fall. Not so much a winter fan here.

    1. You're right, I should get more! And I'm with you, winter can take its time getting here!

  18. I have a feeling that this chocolate pumpkin cupcake will be our new favorite pumpkin recipe. Right now we are eating a snickerdoodle pumpkin bread that tastes fantastic!

    1. Mmm! Snickerdoodle pumpkin bred sounds fabulous,

  19. Pumpkin anything is great in my book!

  20. Wow, I really want to try to make these, just love pumpkin, it's my favorite flavor for Fall season and I love chocolate all year long!

  21. I love Pumpkin loaf with a smidge of butter.

  22. Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes.. mmmmmm. I love it

  23. A couple of pumpkin recipes I like are pumpkin bread, roasted pumpkin wedges and lentil pumpkin stew.

  24. The tradicional pumpkim pie😋

  25. These look so yummy! There's no better combo than chocolate and pumpkin! :)

  26. Congratulations! This post is being Featured at the new Merry Monday Party starting Sunday evening! Sharing on social media!

  27. A real winning combination for this awesome cupcake! Thanks so much for sharing your post with us at Full Plate Thursday and hope you have a great week!
    Miz Helen

  28. Oh YUM! I bet the pumpkin and cinnamon really enhanced the flavor of the chocolate cake. Thank you so much for sharing these with us at the Whimsical Wednesdays Link Party!

  29. Chocolate Pumpkin? I bet those are so moist!! They look lovely! Thanks for sharing on Celebrate 365 Blog Party's Cake and Cupcake Party!

  30. Another winning flavor combination! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate365 Chocolate party.


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