Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

These Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes are a great copycat of the popular Starbucks fall drink.  The pumpkin, coffee, and spices go together so well, and who can resist a cute cupcake with a fun green straw.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes - these delicious cupcakes are a copycat version of Starbucks popular fall drink http://www.insidebrucrewlife.com

So a few weeks ago, my family and I had a chance to go see Hillsong Live in concert.  It was amazing being in a room with that many people just praising and worshiping our God.  I think my favorite part of the night was when the lead singer had them turn off all the lights in the room, and then he asked the audience to turn on their cell phone lights and hold them up.

hillsong lights

That many lights together were able to shine out and make the room bright enough to see again.   It was a great reminder to keep on being a light in the dark world that we live in.   It is easy to get discouraged by all the things that go on around us from day to day, but God is mighty to save and He has conquered the grave to give us a light to shine.

I know I am so thankful that God loves me know matter what failures and fears I have in this life.  I mess up on a daily basis, but Jesus is always there to encourage me and love me without fail.  What an honor it is to be able to shine like a light to those around me.  The song that Hillsong sang next was Mighty to Save.  It is one of my favorite songs that we sing in our church.  (You can click the name of the song to hear it, if you are interested.)  I am so thankful for a mighty God!!!  
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes - these delicious cupcakes are a copycat version of Starbucks popular fall drink http://www.insidebrucrewlife.com

As we were driving home from the concert, we passed through a small town.  I could see their town sign in the distance, and I swear it looked just like a giant cupcake with writing.  I turned to my husband and asked him if he saw “the cupcake”.

Of course he just thought I was a little crazy.  Then he just laughed and asked how long it had been since I had eaten a cupcake.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes - these delicious cupcakes are a copycat version of Starbucks popular fall drink http://www.insidebrucrewlife.com

I guess if I am seeing giant cupcakes in the dark, it has been waaaaay too long since my last one.  I needed to make cupcakes right away!

Now that it is September and Pumpkin Spice Latte’s from Starbucks are all the rage, I decided to make a copycat version of the drink, just in cupcake form.

Pumpkin and coffee just go together so well.  The cupcake was light with a certain dense quality from the pumpkin.  But I have to tell you, it was the whipped frosting that really made this cupcake.  It was so light and fluffy…I just wanted to sit in my kitchen and eat all of it with a spoon.  But we had a picnic to go to, so instead I topped the cupcakes before going into a frosting coma.  And of course, little mini green straws were the absolute perfect extra touch!

Quick tip about these cupcakes…if you are going to take them to a picnic that is outside where the food table is in direct sunlight and it is 90*, don’t take these cupcakes.  Why you might ask?

Light, fluffy frosting doesn’t do so well in the extreme heat.  Now the people who started with dessert first and took their cupcake to the table underneath a pavilion, they enjoyed a delicious cupcake that still had frosting.  It wasn’t really the heat that bothered the cupcakes…I think it was being directly in the sun.  The rest of the cupcakes ended up in a puddle.  So FYI, these aren’t the best cupcakes to sit in the sunshine with.

But since it is fall now and 65* weather is just around the corner, these cupcakes will be just fine for you to enjoy.   And since coffee is a breakfast food, no one would judge you for chowing down on one first thing in the morning, right?

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes - these delicious cupcakes are a copycat version of Starbucks popular fall drink http://www.insidebrucrewlife.com

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Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Pumpkin cupcakes with a white chocolate cinnamon coffee frosting are a copycat of the popular Starbucks fall drink.


For the Cupcakes
1 spice cake mix (15.25 oz.)
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz.)
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup brewed coffee, cooled
For the Frosting
2 teaspoons hot water
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
6 ounces baking white chocolate squares, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Combine the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and coffee in a mixing bowl. Beat on low for 1 minute, and beat on medium for 2 minutes. Spoon into 24 cupcake liners. Bake at 350* for 18 minutes. Cool completely
  2. Stir the hot water and instant coffee until dissolved. Set aside. Heat the white chocolate and heavy cream over low-medium heat until melted and smooth. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Place the butter and coffee mixture in a bowl and beat for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate mixture and beat until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and cinnamon and beat until thick and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. Frost cupcakes. Keep refrigerated. Makes 24 cupcakes.


I used a Wilton tip 2D to pipe on the frosting. There is just enough frosting to do all 24 cupcakes if you don't put it on super thick.


Other fun cupcakes that are a take on Starbuck’s drinks:

Caramel Caffe Mocha Cupcakes title

Caramel Caffe Mocha Cupcakes

Salted Caramel Mocha Brownie Cups title 2-1

Salted Caramel Mocha Brownie Cups

Toffee Mocha Cupcakes title 2

Toffee Mocha Cupcakes

Eggnog Latte Cupcakes - vanilla cupcakes made with eggnog and topped with a coffee butter cream #eggnog #holiday #starbucks http://www.insidebrucrewlife.com

Eggnog Latte Cupcakes

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  1. says

    i love to go to Christian concerts …if there was only one concert that i could go to it would be hillsong live… top concert experience ever – the presence of the LORD so full in the place. as close as it gets to heaven here on earth! thanks for sharing – your recipes and your love of the Lord, sister!
    He is alive!

  2. says

    these sound amazing! i’m a pumpkin and eggnog fiend…..and cupcakes of course!
    and yes….GOD is mighty!!!!
    even with all of life’s struggles, we can easily see all of the amazing blessings he has given us! <3

  3. says

    How sad that after all your effort, some of the picnic guests didn’t get to see and taste your cupcakes in their full glory! Frosting and heat are a challenge! It just goes to prove that we should all consider eating dessert first! As a fellow caffeine addict, I adore the addition of coffee in any and all baked goods. :)
    Wendy recently posted..Honey JumblesMy Profile

  4. says

    I love all those reminders about how amazing God is! And I love that you went to a Hillsong concert- Hillsong is quite a staple at my church’s worship and at my schools Wednesday Night Worship!
    And I love love LOVE these cupcakes- PSL’s are my favorite fall drink (I’ve already had 3 in the past week!) and of course, coffee in a cupcake mean’s it’s totally legit for breakfast.
    Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen recently posted..Sunday Sprinkles (9/8/13)- BIG News!My Profile

  5. says

    Is it weird to say that I’m jealous of these cupcakes right now? They look ahmazing! I’m absolutely addicted to the PSL from Starbucks, but find it so hard to justify spending almost 5 bucks a pop! A dozen cupcakes however? Totally justifiable… Thanks for the awesome recipe!
    Veronica recently posted..Mini Corn DogsMy Profile

  6. Kayla says

    These are cute, and look tasty. However, I dont get the straw. I could understand if it was a frap but the straw has nothing to do with a latte or any hot drink.

  7. says

    Those are the cutest cupcakes! I just want to take my finger and go swish to the whipped cream and pop it in my mouth! LOL! I love Mighty to Save! Sounds like an awesome concert. I’m loving 10,000 Reasons right now. We sing it at church and I always kind of get choked up. Thanks for speaking openly about your love for Christ. It is always so encouraging to see another believer openly praise him. :)
    Chels R. recently posted..Tuesday’s Tidings!My Profile

  8. Darci Marquette says

    I made these this morning and they are fabulous! However when I got to my frosting something went terribly wrong :/. When I added the melted chocolate, my butter mixture completely turned to liquid…I waited about 10 minutes for my chocolate to cool. Should I have waited longer? Or did I do something else wrong?

    Thanks again for your awesome recipes! Can’t wait to try a few more!

    • says

      I’m glad to hear the cupcakes turned out great for you. 10 minutes is plenty of time to wait…I didn’t wait that long at all. How long did you whip the mixture after adding the melted chocolate? It does take a good 5 minutes on high to whip it fluffy.

      • Tammy says

        I believe I know what happened to Darcis Frosting. Same happened to me. The recipe above calls for 1 1/2 CUP of powdered sugar and I think it was supposed to be 1 1/2 Pound. I just kept adding until I got the right consistancy. THNKS for this delicious recipe! Big hit at home – will take to our pot luck at work tomorrow & treat my coworkers!

        • says

          You need to whip this frosting for a good 5 minutes on high speed with a whisk attachment. The recipe only calls for 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and that is actually correct. By adding more powdered sugar it becomes more of a butter cream frosting instead of a whipped frosting. Either one works though :-)

  9. Olivia says

    I tried these cupcakes because they looked so good and also I love pumpkin spice lattees! But when I made the frosting, it was a bit watery, so I added maybe a cup more of powdered sugar and it was still watery! So luckily I had the idea to add some frosting which was cream cheese frosting and I used the rest I had which was 2/3 of a container. But the frosting didn’t take away from it, I felt like I made it better! But anyways thanks so much for the recipe, it tastes delicios and everyone at the party loved them!

  10. Jennifer says

    Just made the frosting, with my own pumpkin cupcake and am going to have to do a whole new type of white chocolate buttercream. While I love the idea, the sweetness is SO overpowering more than any cupcake I’ve ever had/made. Thanks for the wonderful idea though!

    • says

      I am sorry to hear you don’t like the taste. But it does show that everyone has different tastes because I didn’t think it was that sweet at all. I hope you have better luck with a different frosting.

    • Tammy says

      I hope that the frosting measurements posted above get corrected before too many ‘new bakers get confused when they add 1
      1/2 Cups of powdered sugar to butter and it stays a liquid consistancy. . .Frosting requires around 4 to 5 cups of powdered sugar. I believe they meant 1 1/2 pound of powdered sugar. Perfect fall recipe and delicious! I’m sure there will be many people trying it.

      • says

        The measurements for this frosting ARE correct for this recipe. This is a whipped frosting with the heavy cream and melted white chocolate. I have made this frosting many times and it has always whipped up perfectly for me.

  11. The Passionate Baketender says

    I just Made these, They were Heavenly!!! I recommend EVERYONE to make these and share them with your loved ones!! They just came out with the PLS here and my fb page is blowing up about it.. decided to try this recipe out and so glad I did!! These were a huge hit!!! Thank you so much!!

  12. Kim says

    Making these right now. I modified just slightly…added sour cream…about 1/3 cup. Iam going to cheat on the icing…using ready made and will add cinnimon and Starbucks Via instant whipped in. Thank you for the recipe. :)

  13. The passionate Baketender says

    I see quite a few people have had troubles with the frosting, you have to be patient and let the frosting work it’s magic for awhile! I made these last year and even during summer, they are my best sellers! I use this recipe to a T. The frosting (if done correctly) is perfectly light and fluffy, it is hardly sweet, and the white chocolate just makes it like heaven in your mouth! Best recipe I have yet to find 😉 thank you for the wonderful share!!!

    • says

      That’s awesome to hear! I have never had a problem with the frosting whipping up either. It’s one of my favorite frostings to date!!!

    • says

      Actually if you look at step 3 in the recipe, it says place the butter and coffee in a bowl and beat. I think the problem is that people are not whipping the mixture fast enough and long enough. It is a soft whipped frosting. I hope that helps.


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