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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

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169 Comments
  • Marietta
    August 15, 2012

    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!

  • stacy
    August 22, 2012

    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.

  • Renee
    August 28, 2012

    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!

  • Lindsay Petronsky
    September 14, 2012

    These are 177 Calories per cupcake for anyone interested.

  • Tasha
    September 16, 2012

    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!

  • Destinie
    September 29, 2012

    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!

  • Manday
    September 29, 2012

    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.

  • Life's a Bowl
    October 2, 2012

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

  • Erin
    October 4, 2012

    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

  • Nicole
    October 4, 2012

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

  • Lauren
    October 4, 2012

    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?)

  • LynnieD
    October 4, 2012

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

  • Felicia
    October 4, 2012

    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. 🙂 🙂

  • Nicole
    October 5, 2012

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

  • Jessica
    October 11, 2012

    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!

  • Michael
    October 12, 2012

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

  • elana preston
    October 20, 2012

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

  • Emily
    October 20, 2012

    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.

  • Carol
    October 28, 2012

    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!

  • Shannon
    November 4, 2012

    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!

  • Amy
    November 5, 2012

    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!

  • Katrina Sailers
    November 5, 2012

    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!

  • Tasha
    November 5, 2012

    I made these tonight, I had enough batter for a full pan of regular sized cupcakes and used the remaining in a mini cupcake pan. I baked the mini’s for 10 minutes, and 20 minutes was perfect. These were soooooooooo sooooooo soooooooooo good! We all loved them, even my 4 year old. I couldn’t wait for them to chill to try them, then I couldn’t wait for the cool whip to thaw (since thats what I had on hand) to try them with that. I ended up defrosting it a bit in the mircrowave. But, anyway these were great, there is only two left and they’re bearly cooled!

  • Kirby
    November 14, 2012

    How much evaporated milk should I use? I am going to use that as I have it in the kitchen. Thanks

  • Anita
    November 16, 2012

    Made these for the first time today….YUMMY! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! My husband and I just love pumpkin pie, and this was so easy, and they are so delicious! Thanks, again!

  • Nicole
    November 17, 2012

    Has anyone tried freezing these?

  • Ginger
    November 18, 2012

    I froze them. They retained a little water. But my husband sure liked them regardless. Went to get one and they were gone. To make them lighter, I used no sugar – a few packets of Stevia and some agave. Friends at work loved them.

  • Mariah
    November 19, 2012

    I really want to make these now but have no half and half or evaporated milk!! It there anything I can do besides wait… =(

  • Nicole
    November 20, 2012

    Mariah – You can try using whole milk and will get pretty good results that way, too.

  • Dana
    November 21, 2012

    Do you have to use pumpkin spice?! All i have is cinnamin and cloves.

  • Nicole
    November 21, 2012

    Dana – You can definitely use a blend of cinnamon and cloves in place of the pumpkin pie spice!

  • Michelle
    November 21, 2012

    Should they be cream like in the middle like pumpkin pie is?

  • Kim
    November 22, 2012

    I made these this morning for our thanksgiving get together. Delicious!! Even my picky 8 year old (who hates pumpkin pie) likes them!!

  • Joan
    November 23, 2012

    Absolutely we’re a big hit with my guests on Thanksgiving. Easy to make and delicious topped with whipped cream & nuts. Loved them – thanks for the great recipe 🙂

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