Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Icing Recipe

Spiked with ginger and a splash of orange juice, these gluten-free pumpkin spice cupcakes are sure to please a crowd. Elizabeth Barbone

We can't get enough pumpkin recipes this time of year, and these pumpkin-spice cupcakes are just one more reason to celebrate. Spiked with a good does of ginger (but not so much that they taste like gingerbread) and a hefty splash of orange juice for sweetness that isn't cloying, these treats are perfect for an autumn birthday or seasonal party.

Why this recipe works:

  • White rice flour and cornstarch make up the flour blend. The neutral flavors of the flour and starch allow the pumpkin spice to be the dominate flavor.
  • Vegetable oil makes for a moist-crumb and tender cupcake.

Note: This cupcake recipe is dairy-free but the icing isn't. If you follow a dairy-free diet, replace the butter and cream cheese in the icing with dairy-free alternatives. Daiya's dairy-free cream cheese works especially well.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 60 mins
Makes: 24 cupcakes

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  • For the Cupcakes:
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) white rice flour
  • 2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • For the Cream Cheese Icing:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. For the Cupcakes: Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 muffin pans (24 cupcakes total) with paper liners.

  2. Whisk together white rice flour, granulated sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, ginger, and xanthan gum in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, eggs, and orange juice. Add pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.

  3. Fill prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake until cupcakes are golden brown and spring back to the touch, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with any remaining batter.

  4. For the Cream Cheese Icing: Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or handheld electric beaters, beat together cream cheese and butter until softened and creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip until light and smooth. Spread on cooled cupcakes (if you ice warm cupcakes, the icing will melt.) Store cupcakes, covered, on the counter for up to three days.

Special equipment

2 (12-cup) muffin tins; cupcake liners; stand mixer or handheld electric beaters

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