With these Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes with Coffee Frosting you get to bite into your favorite fall espresso drink! Easily made dairy free too.
Can you believe that I never had a famed PSL until last fall?
From my very first sip I was a convert.
I went through a Starbuck’s drive-thru as soon as it became available and hastily took my first sip. And burned my tongue. But the way that the sweet and spicy pumpkin dances with the bitter espresso truly is a match made in heaven.
I haven’t made it a secret that I’ve become a coffee fan over the last year. I’ve been sharing recipes for dairy free sugar cookie creamer & chocolate peppermint creamer, skinny toasted coconut frappuccino, and chewy gluten free mocha chocolate chip cookies. AND I have an espresso frosted brownie coming up soon! For me, the addition of coffee as an ingredient in my kitchen has been a wonderful part of my culinary journey.
I also love drinking it.
One morning while drinking a dairy free pumpkin chai tea and writing a grocery list in preparation to make a gluten free pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting (recipe coming soon) and a little lightbulb lit up in my brain.
I just HAD to combine the gluten free pumpkin cake and my caffeinated beverage of choice into tender gluten free pumpkin spice latte cupcakes swirled with a light and creamy coffee frosting.
When baking day came around, I did just that.
Why the instant coffee? Well I have tried making espresso frosting before (in those brownies) but I had some difficulty getting the consistency right because adding enough espresso to get the coffee taste I craved tended to make the frosting a little too runny (I remedied that with some extra powdered sugar and some cocoa powder). Instant coffee helped me to deliver the coffee flavor in a concentrated dose.
I also didn’t want to run into problems with a separated frosting. Liquid and palm shortening don’t like to mix!
If you’d prefer, you can use the frosting from my espresso brownies (recipe coming soon!). Then you will have a hint of cocoa in your cupcakes too!
I finished each cupcake off with just a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to make them sparkle!
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cups high quality gluten free flour (my cake/cookie blend, Gluten Free Mama's Almond Blend, or GF Jules AP blend are all in my pantry)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour already has it)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- pinch of ground cloves
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup espresso or strong coffee, cooled
- ¾ cup canned pumpkin puree
- 6 Tablespoons vegan butter substitute, softened (I used Earth Balance) (could use butter if you can do dairy)
- ¾ cup palm shortening
- 21/2-3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon Rodelle Pumpkin Spice Extract, optional
- 3 teaspoons instant coffee
- cinnamon sugar to sprinkle, optional
- For the Cupcakes!
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners, or lightly grease.
- Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Form a "well" in the mixture and add all of the wet ingredients into that "well" and mix until combined.
- Fill your cupcake liners about ¾ full (I used my cupcake scoop
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, with just a few little crumbs.
- In a small bowl dissolve the instant coffee in the vanilla extract.
- In a bowl with electric beaters, whip the vegan butter and palm shortening until very light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add 2¼ cups powdered sugar, vanilla extract/coffee and pumpkin spice extract, if using.
- Whip at low speed until incorporated, and then increase speed until smooth. If the frosting is still too soft to pipe add more powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time and whip until combined (up to a total of 3 cups, or more if necessary. See note)
- Whip the frosting for another 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar