Dairy-Free Cooking: Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes

2014-12-07 01.31.32I’m happy to say that not all my cooking efforts are Pinterest fails. This one was super easy and earned commendations from both my husband and my mother-in-law. And I just had to move them to the garage
(also known as my winter walk-in freezer) to prevent myself from eating the rest.

The idea came from my sister who made them over Thanksgiving. They looked soooo good, but I could not eat them because there was dairy in the cake mix and in the frosting.

So when I got home, I searched out a non-dairy alternative. I discovered that Duncan Hines yellow cake mix is non-dairy – yay! I also picked up a tub of non-dairy Pillsbury Cream Cheese frosting. Yes, non-dairy cream cheese. I recommend not reading the ingredient label too carefully.

Here is the recipe I followed:



1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix (or other dairy-free brand)


Non-dairy margarine (such as Earth’s Balance)

1 15 oz. (regular size, not large) can of pumpkin

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ginger, and 1/8 tsp allspice or cloves)

Pillsbury Cream Cheese frosting (or other dairy-free brand)

Candy corn or candy pumpkins (optional)



1. Pour cake mix into a mixing bowl. Add eggs according to package directions. Add the whole can of pumpkin instead of water and add non-dairy margarine instead of butter. Add pumpkin pie spice.

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2. Mix according to package directions.

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3. Place cupcake wrappers in cupcake pans and fill with batter. I recommend filling more than you usually would because these cupcakes are dense and won’t rise much.

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4. Bake according to package directions, check cupcakes, and bake a few more minutes if necessary. You will most likely need more time because the pumpkin and margarine both add extra water. Cupcakes are done when a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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5. Let cupcakes cool, then frost. You can add a little pumpkin pie spice to the frosting if you like, but I left it plain and they tasted plenty pumpkin-like. You can also top with candy corn or candy pumpkins if you want.2014-12-07 01.31.32




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