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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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  • Nicole
    October 1, 2010

    Diana – I would try refrigerating the leftover batter for a day or two, then baking the rest. I’m not sure if the texture would be quite as good after freezing. You can always share them with a neighbor or a friend!

  • Chelsea Marie
    October 3, 2010

    I have these in the oven right now!
    I’m so excited to see how these turn out. My mom always made the full size Bisquick Impossible Pumpkin Pies every year for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I never knew there was any other type of pumpkin pie until I went to college and discovered the icky crusted kind in the dorm cafeteria. My partner loves pumpkin treats in every form and these will be perfect for helping us stick to our new lower calorie diet. These will be quick to grab and will keep us from carving out a huge slice from a regular pie.

    October 11, 2010

    I made these tonite and the paper wrappers aren’t coming off very clean so the cupcake doesn’t look so good but boy do they taste GREAT with a bit of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Hopefully these will come out of the wrapper better tomorrow after chilling overnite. Do the silicone ones work better? Or is it just a waiting game?

  • Nicole
    October 12, 2010

    Raquel – The wrappers come off much better after the cupcakes have completely cooled, and even better after they have chilled. The cupcakes won’t stick to silicone at all, so you can use silicone molds to make these if you have them.

  • Sue
    November 14, 2010

    Nicole, I’ve been looking for a “different” cupcake for fall and these fit the bill! I even have silicone liners:) Thanks for the recipe; they look delicious!

  • Coco
    November 18, 2010

    I’m so going to try this and probably take it to friends who are in line for Harry Potter tonight!

  • Foodiewife
    November 21, 2010

    At first, I was concerned that this recipe used that Mix-in-the-box that I no longer buy. Thankfully, it’s a scratch recipe and I can see how easy this is to make. I love pumpkin pie, but am not the biggest fan of the crust (though my family love them). I’m so whipping these up, right now. I’ve been craving pumpkin pie, but don’t want to make pie crust today. Thanks!

  • Cupcake Lady
    November 27, 2010

    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!

  • Emily Bites
    August 7, 2011

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

  • Potter
    August 8, 2011

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

  • Andrea
    September 26, 2011

    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 =)

  • Andrea
    September 26, 2011

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

  • Catie
    September 28, 2011

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

  • RoseAnn
    October 3, 2011

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

  • Taylor
    October 5, 2011

    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!

  • Nicole
    October 14, 2011

    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!

  • Deanna
    October 20, 2011

    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!!

  • Stephany
    November 12, 2011

    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!

  • Sue
    November 13, 2011

    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 . . .

  • Jasmine
    November 22, 2011

    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.

  • Robin
    November 23, 2011

    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.

  • Diana
    November 23, 2011

    @ 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!

  • Neat New Receipt!
    December 10, 2011

    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.

  • Nicole
    December 11, 2011

    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:


  • Karen
    April 15, 2012

    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

  • Barb
    May 27, 2012

    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.

  • Heather
    June 2, 2012

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

  • Denise
    July 5, 2012

    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 🙂

  • PG Schafer
    July 6, 2012

    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!

  • Kathy Matthew
    July 10, 2012

    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)

  • Sarah S
    July 10, 2012

    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?

  • Ariel
    July 12, 2012

    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!

  • Amber
    July 13, 2012

    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?

  • Karen
    July 15, 2012

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

  • Rachel
    July 22, 2012

    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

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