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Spice Cake Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

213 Reviews

Warm, cozy, and filled with cinnamon – these spice cake cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting are perfect for fall. You’ll love the soft cupcake crumb and extra creamy buttercream.

A moist spice cake cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting on a white plate.

Fall is officially here – which means that I’ve been craving everything cozy.

Warm sweaters, heavy blankets, and all kinds of fall treats. That’s exactly where the idea for these spice cake cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting came from. They have a delicious cinnamon spice flavor with warm brown sugar and a soft cupcake crumb.

Then they’re topped with the creamy, slightly tangy, completely amazing cinnamon cream cheese buttercream.

I know that normally when people think of fall flavors – they opt for apple, pumpkin, or even pecan. But after trying these spice cake cupcakes, you’ll definitely agree that they taste like fall. The combo of brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg creates this delicious warm and cozy flavor that’s not too sweet and so delicious.

3 spice cake cupcakes topped with cinnamon cream cheese buttercream.

Spice Cake Cupcake Recipe

Normally, spice cake is known for being dense and moist. I knew that I wanted these spice cake cupcakes to be super moist – but I didn’t want them to be too dense since cupcakes should have a more delicate crumb. To get the perfect texture we’re using:

  • real butter so it never seems greasy
  • 2 eggs for tenderness
  • cake flour for a more delicate crumb
  • sour cream & buttermilk for moisture

Don’t worry if you don’t have cake flour or buttermilk in your kitchen – I’ve included substitutions in the recipe notes 😉

A plate of moist, flavorful spice cake cupcakes

Then the delicious spice cake flavor comes from using brown sugar, vanilla extract and our spice combo. We’re using cinnamon, ginger powder, nutmeg and cloves for this recipe. The spice cake flavor is delicious but it’s not too overpowering which was key for me!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

A bowl of cinnamon cream cheese frosting for spice cake cupcakes

As much as I LOVE the spice cake cupcakes – it’s the cinnamon cream cheese frosting that’s my favorite part. It’s creamy, slightly tangy, and filled with cinnamon sugar goodness. I love it because it isn’t as sweet as a lot of other frosting recipes thanks to the cream cheese, and it has such a delicious cinnamon flavor.

Can I Use Low Fat Cream Cheese in Frosting?

Make sure to use full-fat, brick style cream cheese so that your frosting is thick and creamy. Then you can either pipe the frosting onto each cupcake using a piping bag (I used a 1M tip or a round tip works perfectly too), or frost them with a knife.

A spice cake cupcake topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting with a bite taken out of it.

These spice cake cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting are such a delicious fall treat. The combo of warm spices and cream cheese frosting makes them absolutely delicious and impossible to resist.

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3 spice cake cupcakes topped with cinnamon cream cheese buttercream.

Spice Cake Cupcakes

3.84 from 213 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Additional Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 14
Warm, cozy, and filled with cinnamon - these spice cake cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting are perfect for fall. You'll love the soft cupcake crumb and extra creamy buttercream.


Spice Cake Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour not self-rising*
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk**
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 oz brick-style cream cheese use full fat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cream as needed


Spice Cake Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line a muffin pan with muffin papers (you may need to do 2 pans).
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg & cloves.
  • In a large bowl beat the butter and sugars until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  • Mix in the eggs 1 at a time, followed by the vanilla.
  • In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and sour cream.
  • With the electric mixer on low speed, beat in about 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by about 1/3 of the buttermilk and sour cream mixture. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Repeat the process, alternating between additions of flour and buttermilk.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each about 2/3 full.
  • Bake in the preheated oven on the middle rack for 16-18 minutes, or until the tops feel slightly firm to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy  (about 2 minutes).
  • Then mix in the cream cheese until just combined.
  • Add in the cinnamon and vanilla extract, then beat in 2 cups powdered sugar starting with the mixer on low speed.
  • Mix in the rest of the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, going slowly until the desired sweetness is reached.
  • If the frosting seems too thick, beat in 1-2 tablespoons of cream.
  • Transfer the frosting to a piping bag, and frost. Or frost with a knife.


*If you don't have cake flour, measure out 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour. Remove 3 tablespoons, then add in 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift together 3 times.
**If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to 1/3 cup of cow's milk. Let sit for 5 minutes to sour before using.
Cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Facts
Spice Cake Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 394 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 76mg25%
Sodium 126mg5%
Potassium 94mg3%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 41g46%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 649IU13%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 53mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

A moist spice cake cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting on a white plate.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • You can also make your own sour cream with buttermilk. I’m more likely to use extra heavy cream for scones or whipped cream, than I am a big tub of sour cream, so I just make a small portion the day before:
    4 oz heavy cream + 1 oz buttermilk
    Stir. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. (Refrigerate after 24h.)

    It comes out perfect!
    And if you’re going to buy buttermilk anyway… 😀

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much for the tips Erin!

      • Reply
  • Do you have to refrigerate the cupcakes after frosting, because of the cream cheese? I know some people argue both ways. There’s so little cream cheese compared to the other ingredients. I wondered what you had success as. Thanks.

    • Reply
    • No need to refrigerate unless it’s going to be a while before you serve them.

      • Reply
  • I’m making a spice cake for someone’s birthday. Do you think the same recipe measurements for your cupcakes would be sufficient for a cake?

    • Reply
    • Hey Leila! I’m afraid this won’t make a full 9×13 cake. You could double the recipe for a 9×13, or use this recipe but bake it in a 9×9 pan. Then you will want to bake it for 40-45 minutes.

      • Reply
      • My mistake. I have a cake mix. I was asking about the frosting. Sorry. You think it is enough?

      • Oh good question! Yes, I think the recipe should be enough for a cake! Enjoy!

  • These look so delicious!!! I want to make them for my husband, who loves spice cake, but hates sour cream and can tell when I bake with it. So I was wondering if I could just double the buttermilk instead? Or if you had a different suggestion?

    • Reply
    • Hey Trinity! I would go with plain Greek yogurt! Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • This recipe will be the perfect addition to my daughter’s fall/woodland baby shower. I am a big baker and always looking for new & better ways to create and your recipe is exactly what I was looking for, classic with a new twist. Cannot wait to try the cinnamon cream cheese icing, sounds divine. Will definitely update after shower with pics and comments from guests! Love your site. 🙂

    • Reply
    • Yay! We would love to hear and see feedback! And congrats on the new little grandbaby on the way!

      • Reply
  • This is crazy how you guys do this for a living and i think that you should keep going! Keep having fun and making these amazing recipes! :0

    • Reply
    • Thanks Christopher! It is quite a wild ride, but we love it! Thanks for your support!

      • Reply
  • I have selected your recipe for spice cup cakes because they look so good and I love the care you took with the instructions in the recipe. Thank you. I can feel your passion for cooking! Wish I had that. I haven’t made up the recipe yet and admit to some fear as it’s for a very special occasion with lots of family present. Wish me luck!

    • Reply
    • You will do awesome!! Thank you for your compliments! Let us know how it goes!

      • Reply
  • Imade these this weekend for my friend and her familyand they came out great! Everyone was raving about the cinnamon frosting. This recipe will be a keeper. Thank you!

    • Reply
    • Yeah! We love to hear that! And that cinnamon frosting is seriously so dreamy!!

      • Reply
  • Thanks for sharing! Do they keep long?

    • Reply
    • They keep on the counter for 1-2 days, in the fridge for 4-5 days, and they freeze great for 1-2 months! Just freeze the cupcakes and make the frosting fresh when you are ready to serve them!

      • Reply
  • This looks so good! I had never heard the tip about the buttermilk replacement! So helpful!

    • Reply
    • Thanks Suzanne!!

      • Reply
  • Yummmmm! Thank you 😊 😊  😊 

    • Reply
    • You’re very welcome!!

      • Reply

Cozy Christmas Movie & Snack Nights 🎥🎄