Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Every year during the month of October, I allow myself to indulge in all things ‘pumpkin spice’. With that comes the iconic pumpkin spice latte and after years of obsession with pumpkin spice, I’ve come up with the perfect pumpkin spice blend using cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves (it’s the same blend that I use in my pumpkin pie recipe).


Since these cupcakes were inspired by the PSL, I wanted to have both coffee and pumpkin spice in the cupcakes, as well as a light airy topping that was reminiscent of the whipped cream they use to top, the creaminess of the hot milk in the latte, and the espresso shot. This is how I came up with a coffee crème diplomat (pastry cream lightened with whipped cream). It starts with a coffee custard and gets folded with whipped cream to give it that light and pipe-able quality.

I also wanted to pay homage to the amazing latte art that some baristas are able to do, and I created little royal icing plaques and attempted to recreate the latte art using white and brown royal icing.

These cupcakes are full of coffee, spice, and cream. If you’d like to see my video tutorial that will be at the bottom of the blog post for you.

Here are the recipes:

Royal Icing

  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 egg whites
  • 250g (2 cups) icing sugar
  • 5g (1 tsp) lemon juice


  1. Add all ingredients into a stand mixer, and using a whisk attachment, whip the ingredients together on medium speed until the icing is glossy and thickened. Use a teaspoon of water or icing sugar at a time to change the consistency to your liking.

Coffee Crème Diplomat

  • Difficulty: medium
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  • 300g (1-1/4 cup) milk
  • 4g (1 tbsp) instant coffee
  • 5g (1 tsp) vanilla bean paste
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 30g (2 tbsp) cornstarch
  • 60g (1/4 cup) sugar


  1. In a medium sized heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch, and sugar until fully combined. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, bring the milk, coffee, and vanilla bean paste, and bring to a simmer. As soon as it starts boiling, take off heat, and ladle or pour milk gradually into the egg yolk mixture while simultaneously mixing in order to temper the egg yolks.
  3. Pour the hot egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and place on medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 2 min.
  4. Pour into a heatproof container or bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard so it doesn’t form a skin.
  5. Chill in the fridge until completely cool.
  6. Whip your heavy cream until medium to stiff peaks (you can reserve this in the fridge, covered, until the pastry cream is cool enough).
  7. Once the pastry cream is cooled, break it up using a spatula, and gently fold in a 1/3 of the whipped cream, and then fold in the rest.
  8. Serve right away.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte Cupcakes

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 250g (1-3/4 cup) flour
  • 228g (1 cup) sugar
  • 8g (1-1/2 tsp) baking powder
  • 4g (2 tsp) cinnamon
  • 2g (1 tsp) nutmeg
  • 1g (1/2 tsp) ginger
  • 1g (1/2 tsp) clove
  • 2g (1 tsp) salt
  • 142g (2/3 cup) warm milk (I put mine in the microwave for 30 sec)
  • 4g (1 tbsp) instant coffee (dissolved in the milk)
  • 112g (1/2 cup) oil — I used vegetable, you can use any that you like.
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g (1 cup) pumpkin purée


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, baking powder, and salt. Sift and whisk to combine.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the milk, coffee, oil, eggs, and pumpkin purée.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk from the centre out until the ingredients are just combined. Do not overmix!
  4. Scoop the batter into a lined cupcake tin using a large ice cream scoop. Bake for 20-22 min or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Once the cupcakes are cooked, pipe the coffee crème diplomat onto the top using a Wilton 6B French tip and decorate how you like.
  6. Enjoy right away or keep in the fridge for 1-2 days or freezer for longer storage times.

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