Pumpkin-Vanilla Cupcakes with Cinnamon Sugar (Vegan Treats for Two)

Confession time: I don't really like pumpkin spice. I've tried to like it. I don't. Do you?

These are not like a traditionally flavored pumpkin cake because they have no pumpkin spice and only a little bit of cinnamon on top. Cinnamon sometimes wakes my heartburn monster and that is no fun at all. Feel free to add a bit of pumpkin spice or even a little cinnamon to the cakes if you want a more traditional pumpkin treat!

Sorry, I have to say it. Please avert your eyes if the "M" word disgusts you. These cupcakes are super MOIST! :)

Pumpkin-Vanilla Cupcakes with Cinnamon Sugar

For the cinnamon sugar:

about 1 tsp sugar
about 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, or more if you like!

For the cakes:

30 g white sugar
15 g vegetable oil or melted coconut oil at room temperature
20 g pumpkin puree
20 g vegan milk (plus more later)
30 g all purpose flour
1/16 tsp salt
1/16 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
10 g vegan milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp white vinegar

1. First lets make the cinnamon sugar. In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Set aside.

2. These baking directions are for the Cuisinart TOB-60. You'll probably need to experiment with your toaster oven settings to get the best results. More on that here: How to Bake Perfect Cupcakes in a Toaster Oven. Preheat the toaster oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) and spray two cupcake liners with cooking spray. Place the liners in a small muffin tin. For the Cuisinart TOB-60, preheat the oven on the WARM function so that only the bottom heating elements are activated.

3. In a small bowl or coffee cup combine the sugar, oil, pumpkin puree, and 20 grams of milk and whisk vigorously for at least 30 seconds.

4. Sift in the flour and add the salt, baking soda, and baking powder

5. Fold everything slightly until you end up with a somewhat lumpy batter.

6. Add the remaining 10 grams of milk, vanilla, and vinegar and fold gently again until everything is incorporated. Try not to over mix the batter! If it's over mixed it will be stodgy and chewy.

7. Pour the cupcake batter into the prepared cupcake liners and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly all over the tops.

8. Bake on the WARM setting for 12 minutes, then switch to the BAKE setting and bake for an extra eight minutes at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C.) If you're using a different toaster oven you may be able to use the BAKE setting from the start.

9. Let the cupcakes cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.


. These have a mild cinnamon flavor. Feel free to double the cinnamon if you want.

. Depending on your oven, these may or may not get nice and toasty and crusty on top. If they're not browning up just broil them at 400 degrees F for a minute and that should do it. Keep an eye on them while you're broiling them!


. Check out my blog post about baking cupcakes in a toaster oven. It explains why I use the WARM setting for the first 12 minutes of the bake and why I don't use the BAKE setting from the start. The short story: by using the WARM setting and activating only the bottom heating elements for the first 12 minutes, the cupcakes get a chance to rise properly without the heat from top heating elements beating down on them. But there is more detailed info on that post, along with side-by-side photos of cupcakes to compare the different baking settings.

. All the ingredients are weighed, even the liquids, and I'm using the metric system. Grams are more convenient than ounces or cups when it comes to baking tiny batches of things. I use a digital scale which has a handy "tare" button that lets me reset the weight after I add each ingredient.Screw you, unreliable cups and tablespoons! Except for baking soda and salt and all those tiny pinches of things. For those I use my tiny 1/8 tsp from my set of Wilton measuring spoons. How do you measure 1/16 tsp of salt and baking soda? I eyeball it using half of an 1/8 tsp.

. I bake everything in a Cuisinart TOB-60 toaster oven. You may need to experiment with your toaster oven to get the best result.

More confession time: I like these even better with chocolate ganache on top instead of the cinnamon sugar crust! But the thing is that this week I've only blogged about chocolate things and I thought I'd change it up a bit. But, CHOCOLATE!

If you want to make pumpkin-vanilla cupcakes with chocolate ganache instead of with the cinnamon sugar on top, follow the directions for this semi-sweet chocolate ganache that I shared last week. Make sure the cakes are at room temperature before you spread the ganache on top!

See you tomorrow!


  1. I like pumpkin spice well enough, but I'm feeling a bit of pumpkin spice fatigue thanks to the overwhelming onslaught of flavored products and recipes flooding the scene right now. Glad to have a slightly different change of pace here!

    1. Everything is pumpkin spice flavored or scented in October! Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice candles, pumpkin spice bathtub cleaner, pumpkin spice toothpaste... ;)

    2. I saw a photoshopped pic of pumpkin spiced condoms. Now that's just wrong :(

    3. Ha ha! That is SO wrong! Although it wouldn't surprise me if they really did make those! :D

  2. Pumpkin spice is overrated. There's only one pumpkin treat that I enjoy annually, and then I'm set.

    1. Pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving day? :)

    2. Oh come on, you know me better than that - pumpkin ICE CREAM!

    3. Oh, DUH!! What on Earth was I thinking?! *FACEPALM* :D

  3. Pumpkin spice is not a thing here... even in out actual autumn. But I think I would like it based on what is in it. One thing that always confuses me is pumpkin spice lattes... I always think it is a pumpkin-based spiced drink, but then sometimes it may just be spices in coffee?

    1. I just looked it up because I wasn't sure either and I was surprised to find that there is actual pumpkin puree in the coffee! I always thought it was only the spices in there.

      Unrelated note - I must apologize in advance for today's recipe.


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