Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Cupcakes

If you’ve been following this blog at all recently, you know I’m not much of a pumpkin girl. It’s okay, just not my favorite thing. But I really wanted to get a pumpkin recipe up on my blog before pumpkin-everything-season is over.

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Cupcakes -

I’m really happy with how these cupcakes turned out, but first, let me tell you about the three failed pumpkin recipes I attempted a couple weeks ago. I really wanted to make some pumpkin pie s’mores with rolos, but I wanted to make a half-batch of marshmallows. I just don’t need 90 1 inch marshmallows, you know? I realized when I poured the water into my stand mixer with the unflavored gelatin that I dumped twice as much water as I needed. Ughhh. So, I finished making them and they were just too jiggly. When I put them in the oven to toast, they just melted. Not toasty at all. The second go around, they did exactly the same thing even though I used the right amount of water, even a little less. Because of all the corn syrup and sticky pots, I just couldn’t bring myself to make them a third time. 

So then I made a pumpkin pie. It was really pretty and topped with marshmallow drizzle, caramel drizzle, and toasted pecans. I don’t even like pecans. I set up everything to take photos, cut into the pie, and it was so. dang. mushy. The crust was soggy and the filling hadn’t set, even though I baked it for an hour. I was pretty burned out on pumpkin at this point. But I decided to give it one more go and just stick to something I knew I couldn’t mess up.

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Cupcakes -

When cinnamon swirl pancakes made their way through Pinterest, I made some and omg. So I decided to take that cinnamon mixture and put it on top of these cupcakes.

Usually I’m a huge fan of frosting, but sometimes, like the week of Thanksgiving, you know you’re going to eat a lot. You’re going to get dinner pregnant, have a food baby, and maybe take a food coma nap. Last year at Thanksgiving, we ate so much and sort of forgot about dessert. (I mean, I didn’t…) But no one really had room for it. There were pies, cheesecakes, cobblers, and we all just stood around them feeling conflicted. But if there are just some innocent unfrosted cupcakes, that wouldn’t be so bad! Right?

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Cupcakes -

These cupcakes are nice and pumpkiny and very moist. They’ve got all the spices going on and that big cinnamon swirl. I pretty much use Greek yogurt in place of oil and butter these days, except for when a recipe calls for melted butter. Or for frosting. These cupcakes are definitely still a dessert and you shouldn’t eat them all at once, but it makes me feel better knowing I cut 700 calories out of them just by using yogurt. I’ve found that I have to mess with baking times and other liquids in recipes when using yogurt because it just isn’t going to make all the ingredients stick together like butter or oil. But I think I’m getting there!

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Cupcakes -

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Cupcakes


    For the cinnamon swirl:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut butter into chunks and microwave for 1 minute in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. If the butter isn't melted after 1 minute, stir it and microwave in 30 intervals.
  3. Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir until combined. If you notice a liquid/watery layer around the edges or on top of the cinnamon-sugar mixture, add a tablespoon or two of all purpose flour. (You need to be able to pipe this on top of the cupcakes and it needs to be able to hold its shape.)
  4. In one bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  5. In another bowl, add both sugars and Greek yogurt and mix well.
  6. Next add pumpkin puree. Mix until incorporated.
  7. Add vanilla and eggs and mix for 1 minute.
  8. Add half of the milk and half of the flour mixture. Mix on low speed at first, then on medium speed until combined. Repeat with the second half of the milk and flour mixture.
  9. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full of batter. Bake for 5 minutes and remove the pans from the oven.
  10. While the cupcakes bake for the first 5 minutes, transfer cinnamon sugar mixture to a squeeze bottle, piping bag with a small round tip, or a Ziploc bag with a tiny piece of the corner cut off.
  11. After baking for 5 minutes, pipe cinnamon-sugar in a swirl shape on top of cupcake batter. Return cupcakes to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake and it comes out clean.
  12. Let cupcakes cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes, and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe by bethcakes. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without permission. If you would like to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.


  1. says

    I LOVE how these look! So cool with that swirl – I’m such a sucker for swirls : ) We did the same thing last Christmas – everyone was so full after the meal that even though you wanted dessert you didn’t. lol.

  2. says

    As a man, I don’t know about being pregnant or such as that, but I know tons about food comas. :) Yes, the spices and cinnamon made these cupcakes really good, but not overly sweet. Nice with a cup of coffee.

  3. says

    In my world, it’s always pumpkin season! These cinnamon swirl pumpkin cheesecakes are just darling. And I definitely wouldn’t want to put any frosting on these. It would hide that gorgeous swirl!

    I’m sorry you had some many pumpkin recipe failures in the kitchen recently. I definitely know how that goes! But these look like they came out absolutely perfectly!

    • says

      Thanks, Jamie! These cupcakes were definitely all about the swirl. And at least failures are usually learning experiences! :)

  4. Jenn says

    These look delish! But your first instruction says to preheat over to 530 degrees! Guessing it should say 350 which I’m sure most people would do :)

  5. says

    Sorry about all the botched pumpkin attempts, but I think it was on purpose so that these wonderful cupcakes could come to life! They are absolutely adorable, Beth! Hope your Thanksgiving was an amazing one. :D


Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>