I’m celebrating all things Fall this week and am STOKED to share my latest sugar-free recipe: Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes! They are grain-free, sugar-free, low carb and keto-friendly. And? They taste JUST like your fave fall Starbucks drink. In cupcake form 🙂
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All the Fall vibes
I can’t get enough Fall this week and am probably going to be bathing myself in all things pumpkin spice until Thanksgiving. But, isn’t that one of the most glorious things about the season? The air is crisp, everything smells (and tastes) magical and it ends with the feast of all feasts – fully equipped with a turkey-induced coma and a whole lotta pumpkin pie.
There are apple spice muffins, warm pumpkin spice latte mugs (for drinking), Fall foods beauty, fall shows, and fall decorations (you should see my house guys. Halloween stopped by. They left all their stuff in my living room).
Anywho – It’s THIS very season that inspired my pumpkin spice muffin recipe a few weeks ago. And, it’s THAT pumpkin spice muffin recipe that inspired THESE absolutely delicious pumpkin spice latte cupcakes. Boom. Let’s do it.
Pumpkin spice latte, defined
The trick in creating a great pumpkin spice latte cupcake, was mirroring the flavors you’d find in a traditional pumpkin spice latte coffee drink. Typically, they are made with fall spice flavors (like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg). There’s steamed milk, espresso, and sugar, and they are typically finished off with whipped cream and a little pumpkin pie spice.
These cupcakes are bursting with all of these flavors! The Pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg is baked into the cake. And, the espresso and “whipped cream” are replicated in my sugar-free espresso buttercream (more on that below). I used grain-free flour, erythritol based sweetener (confectioner style, brown sugar style and granular) and heavy whipping cream. And, I topped a few of them with some Stevia sweetened chocolate chips because I’m wild and crazy like that (I get mine on the cheap at Thrive Market).
Moist, fluffy and delicious
I’ve been messing around with my muffin recipes and have found that using almond flour and coconut flour in the batter goes a long way in creating a fluffy muffin, that’s still dense and moist, but not so dense and moist it’s lost all its fluff. Does that make sense?
Grain-free and sugar-free baking comes with its challenges. And, while flavor is often not too hard to match, consistency can be super difficult. These pumpkin spice latte cupcakes have no shortage of moisture, fluff, and flavor. The espresso buttercream takes them straight to the next level.
Espresso buttercream? Yes.
I created a delicious salted buttercream for my sugar-free Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes this summer and used that as the base for my pumpkin spice latte cupcakes. It was a very slow, delicate journey to capturing enough espresso to taste, but no overpower the pumpkin and spices in the cupcake. Let’s just say I went through a batch or two before I arrived to the perfect combination, creating that same, delicious pumpkin spice latte vibe you get at your local Starbucks.
Instant espresso is the key player in this buttercream (that, and a whole lotta butter – salted, for the win). I purchased a box of instant espresso packets which made it super easy to measure out exactly what I needed to create that bold espresso flavor.
Tips and tricks for baking
I like to use parchment cupcake liners (like these ones) instead of trying to grease the muffin pan. Grain-free baked goods tend to stick (even to regular cupcake liners) and I hate when you lose half the cupcake in the pan when you’re trying to remove them. The parchment liners allow the cupcake to breathe while baking and slide out of the muffin tin with ease so they can cool on a wire wrack.
Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before you attempt to frost them with the buttercream. When using erythritol (I bake with Swerve products), they definitely need time to “set up” before you frost or eat them. I find them to be best second day. So, I cool them on a wire rack for a bit after baking and pop them in the fridge. Then, I frost them day two.
BAKING MUST HAVES
The recipe is below!
My pumpkin spice latte cupcake recipe is below! I didn’t give my kiddo any of these because of the espresso. So, if you’re holding off too, you can always treat them to a naked version by omitting the espresso buttercream. We fought over these in our house. I’m pretty sure I won (hahaha. I’m terrible). Happy baking!
*As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Post may contain affiliate or referral links. I earn a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, which helps me continue on this fabulous journey of blogging! Full disclaimers avail. here.