Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes recipe

It’s autumn guys! Officially!  Starbucks have FINALLY started doing pumpkin spice lattes, a bit late I may add... so technically the start of autumn is today for me!

If you didn’t already know I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with Starbucks especially in the autumn winter months when they bring out their seasonal drinks! pumpkin spice lattes are my absolute favourite and is one of the reasons why autumn is my favourite season! That, along with fireworks, my birthday, cozy knit wear and it’s when bugs go to die... belughhh

Recently I’ve got back into baking, and thought I’d do some experimenting in the kitchen to create a Starbucks inspired Pumpkin spice latte cupcake!

It’s a pumpkin spiced sponge with a hint of coffee, a coffee caramel centre with a Swiss meringue buttercream on top to represent the whipped cream topping on your PSL!

I scoured the internet for PSL cupcake recipes and didn’t like any of them - a lot used pumpkin purée which I’m not keen on putting into cupcakes... or a cream cheese frosting which I HATE... 

so I combined recipes I already know how to do (like a coffee cupcake) and added in some pumpkin spices and switched the buttercream to a more silky one! I reckon you guys will like it!


Cupcake sponge:

125g unsalted butter

125g caster sugar

125g self raising flour

1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda

2 large eggs

1 tbsp expresso (I actually used a tbsp of actual Starbucks espresso, just to be extra...)

2 tsp pumpkin spice mix 

   - 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

    2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves

(Or cliff notes version - 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 ground ginger and a pinch of nutmeg)

Coffee caramel filling:

210g double cream

1.5 tsp instant coffee powder

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

180g caster sugar

110ml water

Swiss meringue:

4 egg whites (large eggs)

300g caster sugar

400g unsalted butter (chopped into cubes) 

1tsp vanilla extract 

170 degrees (fan Oven) for 20-22 mins

Make the caramel first- 

For the coffee caramel:

. Gently heat the cream in a pan and stir in the coffee powder until all combined

. Add the vanilla extract and remove from the heat.

. in a separate pan, heat the sugar on a low temperature, and add the water to it. LEAVE IT ALONE to do it’s thing, do not stir! 

You can swirl the pan a little to make sure the heat is distributed evenly, but do this very little if you can.

After a little while the sugar mix will start to change colour very quickly - look for a deep amber colour and take it off the heat

. carefully, add the cream and coffee mix, stirring quickly as you go, stirring until all combined and the bubbles have subsided (it will froth up - just keep stirring)


It is very hot - I learnt the hard way!

Allow to cool in a bowl.

For the cupcakes:

. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy

. Mix in the 2 eggs

. Sieve in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and spice mix

. Beat with a hand whisk or on a stand mixer for a couple of minutes or until well combined

. Add in the espresso and mix for 1 min further

. Divide the cupcake mixture into a 12-hole cupcake tin lined with cases.

. Pop in the oven for 20-22 mins or until a skewer comes out clean and the sponge springs back when pressed.

. Allow to cool

Meanwhile Make your icing:

. Add your sugar and egg whites to a metal or glass mixing bowl.

. Set this bowl over a pot with a small amount of simmering water in - don’t let the bowl touch the water.

. Gently Whisk the sugar and egg whites for a few minutes until just combined - you can check this by rubbing a bit of the mixture between your index finger and thumb. 

It should feel silky smooth and not grainy.

. Remove from the heat and whisk the mixture with a hand whisk or stand mixer for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture is completely cool.

It should Look white and fluffy with stiff peaks beginning to form.

. While still whisking the mixture, Gradually add your butter cube by cube, take your time here - don’t rush.

Your buttercream might start to look a bit runny near the end - keep whisking, it will eventually stiffen out again!

You should end up with a silky smooth buttercream!

. Add in your vanilla extract until well combined

. Fill a piping bag with wide nozzle.

. Fill a piping bag with your coffee caramel.

. Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a tea spoon or apple corer to make a small hole in the sponge - not all the way through though!

. Fill this little well with the coffee caramel using your filled piping bag.

. Top your filled cupcakes with a swirl of the buttercream and decorate!

I drizzled some of the coffee caramel on top and stuck a little green straw in it to look like Starbucks frappes!


Let me know what you think of the recipe!

Please do tag me in your pictures on Instagram if you have a go at it! 


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