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Sourdough Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Light and fluffy, this recipe for Sourdough Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes has warm and comforting notes of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves that compliments the earthy richness of pumpkin and sourdough. These simple cupcakes are topped with a maple cream cheese buttercream for a fall favorite that will use up your sourdough discard!

If you’re looking for more pumpkin spice recipes, be sure to check out some of my other favorites like my Pumpkin Spice S’More Bars, Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, or my Caramel Pumpkin Spice Snack Cake.

sourdough pumpkin spice cupcakes

Why You'll Love This Recipe

Uses Sourdough Discard: I love recipes that use sourdough discard as I hate wasting food! This recipe calls for sourdough discard and it lends a slightly tangy flavor that compliments the warm and comforting spices. When baking with sourdough discard you can use it directly from the fridge.

Warm & Cozy: This recipe for Sourdough Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes make a warm and cozy brown sugar pumpkin spice cake. This light and fluffy crumb makes these cupcakes a delicious mid morning treat, afternoon snack, or dessert!

Cream Cheese Frosting: Yes, everyone loves cream cheese frosting! These are topped with a maple cream cheese frosting for that sweet and tangy combo! Adding maple syrup in addition to powdered sugar in cream cheese frosting just screams fall to me, it’s a pairing I love!

This is another collab with my friend Hannah at Make It Dough! We have been doing recipe collabs for a year now, I can’t believe it! Hannah has inspired me to bake more with sourdough and I love all our sourdough discard recipes as it prevents food waste, which is a big thing for me! Some of my other favorite recipes of ours are Eggless Sourdough Molasses Cookies, Lemon Rosemary Sourdough, and Sourdough Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.

sourdough pumpkin spice cupcakes


Do I need a stand mixer for this recipe?

No, you can easily make this recipe with a hand mixer or stand mixer. You do need some kind of mixer to whip the buttercream.

Can I use sourdough discard from the fridge?

Yes, you can use your sourdough discard directly from the fridge making this an easy recipe! When you feed your starter, or even if you are not feeding, just add in the amount of sourdough discard to the batter.

Do I need a piping bag and decorating tip?

No way! While I usually frost cupcakes with a piping bag and decorating tip, they are not necessary at all. It just comes naturally to me from all my commercial baking experience. But you can easily frost cupcakes with a butter knife, spatula, or spoon!

Can I make less frosting?

If you don’t like a lot of frosting on your cupcakes, then you half the recipe for the frosting. If you like big and tall frosted cupcakes, you’ll want the full amount!

sourdough pumpkin spice cupcakes

Tools Needed

Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer

Cupcake Pans

Cupcake Liners

Piping Bags

Ateco Tip #827

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sourdough pumpkin spice cupcakes

Ingredients for Sourdough Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Cairnspring Mills Organic All Purpose Flour (use code MIMIORGANIC15 for 15% off your order!)

Frontier Co-Op Organic Korintje Cinnamon

Baking Soda

Frontier Co-Op Organic Ginger

Frontier Co-Op Fine Sea Salt

Frontier Co-Op Organic Cloves

Organic Valley Salted Butter

Homemade Organic Light Brown Sugar

Organic Valley Large Eggs

Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin Puree

Organic Sourdough Discard

Florida Crystals Organic Powdered Sugar

Organic Maple Syrup

Organic Valley Cream Cheese

Organic Cinnamon Sticks

Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar

sourdough pumpkin spice cupcakes

Why Organic

Why use organic ingredients in this recipe? You all know I’m a huge organic advocate, and I bet you may be thinking sometimes, Why would I even bother to use organic ingredients in something that is so sweet and indulgent? But, that is the exact reason why you should use organic ingredients! Sweet things need to have flavor in order to be good, otherwise they are just sweet and they don’t taste like much else. Organic ingredients are more pure than conventional ones, therefore they actually have more flavor than the non organic options. Say it with me, organic means more flavor! And not just more flavor but a more true and pure flavor. And organic ingredients are much healthier for you to eat in general as they do not contain GMOs or anything artificial. Plus, you are being environmentally friendly when you choose organic ingredients!

So, I highly recommend that you buy the best organic ingredients for this recipe! You can also shop my Amazon Storefront for all my favorite organic ingredients here. Tip – hover over each ingredient to see the name. And if you want to learn more about organic foods and the difference, read my post here on Food Labels and What They Mean.

Sourdough Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Recipe by MimiDifficulty: Easy



Use up sourdough discard in this fall recipe for Sourdough Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes that have a maple cream cheese frosting!


  • Batter
  • 300 grams (2 1/3 cups) organic all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons organic cinnamon

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon organic ground ginger

  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon organic ground cloves

  • 1 cup (226 grams) organic salted butter, softened

  • 400 grams (3 1/2 cups) packed organic light brown sugar

  • 2 organic large egg yolks

  • 425 grams (one 15-ounce can) organic pumpkin puree

  • 113 grams (1/2 cup) organic sourdough discard

  • Frosting
  • 1 cup (226 grams) organic salted butter, softened

  • 4 ounces organic cream cheese

  • 88 grams (1/4 cup) organic maple syrup

  • 20 ounces (4 cups) organic powdered sugar, sifted

  • Topping
  • 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar

  • Pinch of organic cinnamon

  • Organic cinnamon sticks (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 cupcake tins with liners.
  • To make the batter: In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, sea salt, and cloves. Whisk together to combine completely and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and light brown sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy. Mix in the pumpkin puree and sourdough discard until the starter has fully dissolved into the mixture.
  • Using a spatula (or with your mixer on the low setting), slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  • Using a large spoon or cookie scoop, fill the cupcakes three-quarters full.
  • Bake for 19 to 21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) add the butter, cream cheese, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. Mix on low until combined, then speed mixer up to high and whip for 1 to 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle to mix thoroughly so you have a smooth texture.
  • Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with Ateco tip #827.
  • To make the topping: In a small bowl, add the cane sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine completely. Be sure to have this ready before frosting the cupcakes so when you sprinkle this on top, it sticks and the frosting hasn’t began to set yet.
  • Pipe frosting onto each cupcake and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Stick with a cinnamon stick (optional).
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


  • High Altitude — Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Did you make this recipe? 
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Make sure to check out the post 10 Must Bake Pumpkin Spice Recipes, which I'm sure you'll love too! And, share it with someone who you think may also like it!

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