Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite autumn treats and I make it often once the weather starts to get cool, but I also like to try and find new twists to put on it to keep it interesting. Pumpkin pie bars and chocolate pumpkin pie are some of my favorite variations. This year, I set out to put pumpkin pie in a cupcake form, something that could easily be eaten by hand but still had that custardy feel of a real pumpkin pie. Plus, it’s always nice to have another cupcake recipe around.

This cupcake recipe is based on an impossible pie recipe. Impossible pie is a concept that is a popular “back of the box” recipe for baking mixes, like bisquick. These “pies” have a little bit of flour in their mix that turns into a firm, crust-like outer layer around the filling in just the same way as this crustless quiche recipe. I incorporated enough flour and leavening into the cupcake batter that a firmer shell forms around the more custardy pumpkin pie center, make these easy to eat and handle, but delivering that familiar pumpkin pie texture and flavor.

The cupcakes will fall as they cool because of their slightly dense pumpkin pie center, so don’t worry as you seem the start to deflate after you take them out of the oven. I prefer these chilled, just as I like my pumpkin pies. As soon as they’re at room temperature, pop them into the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Serve these topped with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Granted, the real pie is a little bit more custardy and I do like the crispness of a good crust on a pie, but you can’t beat the ease of being able to take a portion of pumpkin pie wherever you go. If you have silicone cupcake liners, you’ll be able to pop the mini pies out easily, but they can also be served with regular paper liners (easier to handle).

Update: I’ve posted a video of this recipe, so you can see every step of the process!

Pumpkin Pie Cupcake, center shot

Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup half and half (or evaporated milk)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice
In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and half and half until well combined. Add in dry ingredients and whisk until no streaks of flour remain and batter is smooth.
Fill each muffin cup with approximately 1/3 cup of batter.
Bake for 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan. They will sink as they cool.
Chill cupcakes before serving. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Makes 12

168 comments

  1. These were a big hit! I sent my niece the recipe and she tried it first. At her suggestion, I added more spices. In addition to the pumpkin pie spice, I added a teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and cloves as well as 1/2 tsp of allspice and nutmeg. We just like a little more zing.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  2. I can not WAIT until Fall to make these – they sound amazing!

  3. I dont know what i did but the cupcakes didn’t taste like anything.

  4. I’ve just made these and they look and smell absolutely delicious!! I’ve got to wait for them to cool, then chill them and it’s tasting time! Hope they taste as good as they look right now =)

  5. Oh. My. God. These are PERFECT! I’m forever saving this recipe. Thank you!!

  6. Oh wow, these look delicious! I will be making them in the very near future! = )

  7. These are so so good. I’m going to try to use this to create a coconut flour recipe!

  8. I put these in the oven for 20 minutes and they aren’t even close to being done. Maybe I did something wrong, but they still need about 20 more minutes of baking. Are they supposed to be soft like pie filling all the way through? Maybe my oven just isn’t hot enough. I hope they start baking! I’ve really been looking forward to these!

  9. Taylor – Yes, they are supposed to be custard-like all the way through, much like the filling of a pumpkin pie. The benefit to these is that they’re single-servings and are much quicker to make than a traditional pumpkin pie!

  10. I would definitely not make them with paper liners again! They were delicious, but the paper liner didn’t want to peel away without tearing the fragile cake.

    Omg, so good though. I ate 7 in two days!!

  11. These are AMAZING! I LOVE pumpkin pie – but I could always do without the crust. This is totally replacing pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving this year. I used paper liners, and they peeled away fine – just in a few pieces. When serving to guests, I will probably peel away the paper liner beforehand and set them on a tray. Also, I think they were even more delicious 2-3 days later. So, I could make these way ahead of time to serve. Bonus! I may try a gluten free version too. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  12. Do you think there might be a dairy free option to the half and half. I’d love to make these for my daughter’s class, but my daughter has a dairy issue . . .

  13. THESE LOOK AMAZING and i have been waiting to try them! but i also think they need to bake a little more than 20 minutes… i’m no pie expert but they still look totally liquidy. maybe it is just me though.

  14. you definitely need to fill them more than 1/3 full. I did 1/3 & it only baked up to 1/2 of the muffin cup, I was hoping for a full size muffin. also the taking the paper off ripped the cupcake apart. in a nutshell, i followed exact directions & mine looked nothing like the picture.

  15. @ Robin- the directions say 1/3 cup batter, not 1/3 full. I almost made that mistake earlier.

    Mine are cooking in the oven! Can’t wait to taste! They smell GREAT!

  16. These look great, but I have no idea what mix of spices you mean by “pumpkin pie spice. ” I have a bunch of spices that I’d like to use and and would love to avoid the expense of yet another costly little glass jar that will sit on the shelf and grow stale as I wait for another pumpkin pie requirement in my life. Could you give the alternative in terms of real spices? It would be so wonderful and reduce costs, a necessary consideration in these times.

  17. Neat – If you click the link on Pumpkin Pie Spice, you’ll find my instructions for how to make your own spice mix. It’s easy and you’ll get a lot of use out of it for holiday baking:

    http://bakingbites.com/2007/10/make-your-own-apple-and-pumpkin-pie-spice-mixes/

  18. If you spray the cupcake liners with veg oil or any baking spray, the cake will come out easier, also any run overs won’t stick

  19. I’m late to the party here, but I substituted 1/8 cup coconut flour for the all purpose flour and they turned out perfectly.

  20. Barb – not at all too late! thanks for the coconut flour tip! Gluten free!

  21. My son loves pumpkin pie but not the crust … I’ll have to try these to see what he thinks … I don’t think I’ll wait until Thanksgiving though :-)

  22. OMG! Perfect! My family loves pumpkin pie all year round! I’m gluten intolerant so I can’t eat it unless I make gluten free crust. I made these, substituting the flour with Pamela’s GF Pancake and baking mix, no liners, and used 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. each of ginger and nutmeg for the pie spice. I cooled and chilled as directed then topped them with my cream cheese frosting as I had no whipped cream. It may be summer but it was Christmas in July at my house today!! Fabulous recipe!

  23. Have never made pumpkin pie but I’m keen to try these – however, what makes up the Pumpkin Pie Puree? There arent cans of it here in Oz (that I have seen)

  24. Is it possible to make a graham cracker crust to line the Pan and bake for 5-10 minutes then to pour the pie mix into each individual serving cups? Anyone tried this? Suggestions?

  25. I’m making these as we speak… They look delish! but I do agree that they should be in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes! Thanks for the great recipe!

  26. Hi! I found this recipe on pinterest! I was just wondering if you could use all the same ingredients, except use sweet potatoes that have been pureed instead of pumpkin?

  27. Impossible pumpkin pin is a HUGE fav at our house every Thanksgiving…this is a great idea!!! Thanks!!

  28. made these tonight for my fiance who LOVES pumpkin pie and they look perfect!! I added about 2 T more flour after reading some of the reviews about them being too runny. The batter was good, we’ll see how the finished product turns out. I thought of it too late but I wish I had put a dollop of cream cheese in the middle – yummmm

  29. I just made them. Don’t add more flour! It will loose the custard texture.
    Stick to the recipe the first time and then adjust next time.
    I’m from Australia so I had to make my own pumpkin pure and pumpkin pie spice but was all worth it as this recipe I’ll make for years to come!

  30. Kathy in Oz – just steam or bake a pumpkin & puree. That’s what I did while living there so I could still enjoy my pumpkin pie. Just make sure if you steam the pumpkin you drain it really well so its not too watery. I used jap or Queensland blue.

  31. Found you from pinterest and so glad I did. My daughter has been begging for a pumpkin pie but my husband is not a fan. This was a great compromise. We’ve eaten half the pan already and they are straight out of the oven. I forgot to take the cool whip out of the freezer so we just added a frozen scoop that melted into the warm muffin/pie. Can’t wait to see how good they are like after refrigeration. Will definitely be making again and sending my friends to your site for the recipe. Thanks!

  32. These are 177 Calories per cupcake for anyone interested.

  33. I found this on pinterest. Yum! I added some extra spices, and would probably add a little more next time I make them. Also…20 mins was not enough so I lost a few on the first batch. All in all, love the recipe and will certainly make it again. great for holidays!

  34. Just finished….my house smells amazing and these cupcakes taste more fantastic than I could have imagined! I doubled the recipe and added crumbled Graham cracker pie crust to the top along with cool whip. I’m definitely keeping this recipe. Thanks to whoever posted it on pintrest!

  35. this is a nice recipe, i wish they would have inserted pictures of what it was supposed to look like before they baked it though.

  36. These sound heavenly, perfect for fall and the upcoming holidays!

  37. Hey Nicole!
    Found these on Pinterest, and I can’t wait to make them tonight. They seem like a great way to enjoy pie without the fuss of crust. Who wouldn’t love that? I absolutely adore baking, so I’m excited to explore your recipes.

    I’d love to learn more about you! The link below to your website doesn’t seem to be working (maybe it’s just me?) Would you be able to send or add to the comments section.

    Thanks again for sharing and have a great day!
    Erin

  38. Erin – Thanks for reading! You can find more info on my about page: http://bakingbites.com/about/

  39. Do you think the recipe would still work if I used fat free half & half or fat free evaporated milk? (Or even a light half & half or evaporated milk?)

  40. Can one use 2% milk instead of the evaporated milk or half/half? Thanks

  41. I have been drooling over these all week long and finally made them tonight… I made several variations and they are STILL super yummy!!… I didnt have white and brown sugar so I simply used a bit less than 3/4C of turbinado sugar, only. Still seem plenty sweet to me. I also made mine gluten free (swapped out flour with 2/3C of Hodgson Mills Pancake and Waffle mix) AND dairy free (used 3/4C unsweetened coconut milk). I didnt have pumpkin pie spice so I used 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp allspice..Lastly, I made most in silicone liners and a few in paper liners just to compare given the comments about the liners sticking. I would DEFINITELY suggest not using the paper liners and going with the silicone molds instead. They pop right of them very easily and look great… Thanks for the recipe. I LOVE pumpkin pie and can always do without the crust. Looks like Ill be eating these all day tomm. :) :)

  42. Lauren and LynnieD – Fat free evaporated milk should be ok. 2% milk or whole milk will also work.

  43. I made these today. I only made one adjustment. I used a cup of flour instead of 2/3 of a cup.

    They are so delicious! Thank you so much.

    I will make them again and again!

  44. More than 20 minutes. Still waiting to have one. Hope they are good!:)

  45. I cook often, and let me tell you, one of the BEST THINGS I’ve ever made! Soooo damn good they’re unreal!

  46. I just made these tonight, and LOVED them! So good — almost fudgy, perfect amount of spice, not too sweet, and plenty rich even made with 2% milk. And crazy easy — I had the batter mixed up by the time my oven was done preheating. I used paper liners and they stuck a little to the paper — I might try spraying the liners with oil next time, since I don’t have silicone liners.

  47. My friend made these as one of the many desserts for a wedding celebration yesterday! They were the BoMB, none were left behind! And now the recipe is being passed around! Yes, I had 2 of them. So according to the calorie count per muffin, I had 354 calories and worth it!
    So excited to share these at Thanksgiving, along with a bottle of Case-Ease… lol.
    May everyone be blessed through the holidays and into next year!

  48. I just baked a batch of these – doubled the recipe and substituted coconut milk for the half and half. I topped them with coconut whipped cream (recipes are all over the place, look it up online! super easy!) – absolutely delicious! I also made my own pumpkin puree and pie spices, so the flavor was much bolder (I added a lot of extra spice like other people recommended). Thanks for the recipe!

  49. I found this on Pinterest and are baking as I type. This is a taste test for our bake sale! If they pass I will make a second batch for Wednesday nights bake sale! Thanks for the recipe! I was surprised there is not any oil or butter in this recipe so I sprayed the liners with veg oil spray to prevent sticking, I hope that helps!! Thanks again!

  50. I made these tonight and they did not turn out as everyone elses. Mine didn’t sink and are more muffin than custard. I followed the recipe but I live in CO where the altitude is around 6000. Is there a modification I should make. They tasted super yummy but I was excited for the custard experience. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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