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Fellow dessert lovers, pumpkin spice lovers, and/or cupcake lovers: OH. MAN. Have I got a recipe for you!  This is serious….  and I mean REALLY serious.  Soft, moist pumpkin spiced cake topped with super creamy, sweet and salty frosting.  Jeff and I both agree; this is one of the best recipes ever created in this kitchen!


Now, you may be thinking – “Audrey, how could this be? You’re a nutrition specialist sharing dessert recipes?? Isn’t that like the biggest oxymoron ever??”

Me – YES to the first question and actually NO to the second one. Here’s why: I am a strong believer in the true sense of balance when it comes to food: Eat mostly “from the ground foods” throughout each day, but then have a small treat once a day, and a big treat about once a week or on special occasions.  (I talk more about this in my post, Let’s Love Dessert Again) Treats for me are desserts, but for others may be salty sensations like pizza or french fries.  I love those foods, too, but desserts definitely take the cake, so to speak!

But I promise you this: when I post a dessert recipe, each one will be made with the highest quality and most nutrient dense ingredients possible without sacrificing flavor, and, the desserts will be perfectly portioned.  Hence some of my other dessert recipes: Single Serving Apple Crisp, Sweet Strawberry Shortcake with Lemon Whipped Cream, 3-Minute Chocolatey Mousse, and Cinnamon Cookie Cashew Ice Cream.

So now that we have that cleared up, let’s discuss how YOU can make these heavenly Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes with Salted Maple Frosting for Four…

Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes:

  1. First, some minor prep work: pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, and then, line four spots in your cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Next, in a small mixing bowl, combine these “dry” ingredients: Flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, ground cinnamon and ground cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together your remaining “wet” ingredients: Canned pumpkin, vanilla extract, oil, sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, and milk.
  4. Now, carefully add your flour mixture to the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until smooth and all flour is incorporated.
  5. Divide this batter evenly amongst the four cupcake liners…..fullsizerender-5 And bake for 20 – 24 minutes.  Poke one of the cupcakes with a toothpick right down the center – if it comes out clean and free of cake batter, the cupcakes are done!fullsizerender-1
  6. Once cool enough to handle, place cupcakes on a cooling rack. fullsizerender-7

While you’re waiting for them to cool completely, whip up your frosting!

Salted Maple Frosting: 

  1. Using a high speed hand or stand mixer, whip just the shortening on high speed for 30 seconds.
  2. Next, add the maple syrup, maple extract, vanilla extract and salt. Mix on high for another 30 seconds.
  3. Lastly, add the powdered sugar and then mix on high for about 1 – 2 minutes or until the frosting is light and fluffy. fullsizerender-6
  4. Once your cupcakes are completely cooled, it’s time to frost! Go the old school route and frost your 4 cupcakes with a butter knife, or, get fancy and place the frosting in a gallon sized plastic bag or a pastry bag, snip off the corner or tip and pipe the frosting on your cupcakes that way!  Both will get the job done.
  5. Lastly, carefully dust each cupcake with ground cinnamon.  This is optional, of course, but I like doing this because it looks pretty, and because it let’s your family and friends know that they have a cinnamon-y delight headed straight for their tastebuds.fullsizerender-3

I hope you love, love, love this recipe as much as we do!!


Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes with Salted Maple Frosting – for Four!

Makes 4 Cupcakes



“Dry” Ingredients:

1/3 cup + 1 Tb. Regular or Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free AP Flour, which you can buy HERE)

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/8 tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves


“Wet” Ingredients

1/4 cup. Canned Pumpkin

1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 Tb. Canola Oil (preferably organic to avoid GMO’s)

1/4. cup Sugar

1 Tb. Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tb. Almond milk

1 tsp. White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar



1/3 cup Non-Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening (I prefer Spectrum brand)

1 Tb. Pure Maple Syrup

1/2 tsp. Maple Extract

1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/8 tsp. Salt

1/2 cup Powdered Sugar





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