Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Box Cake Mix

As if Devil’s Food cake wasn’t sinful enough, we make these Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes even more divine with the addition of pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, homemade chocolate ganache, and all ready to enjoy in just 30 minutes. Being bad never tasted so good!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes on walnut cutting board

As much as we adore chocolate cupcakes made from scratch, sometimes a craving takes over at the store. And who can compete with the ease of a box mix of Devil’s Food cake mix?

Cake mix is an especially good recipe for those who are new to baking. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to experiment with flavors while being sure the end result is still edible.

Ingredient Shot for Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Boxed Cake Mix

How to use PUmpkin Puree

Depending on what you make with it, pumpkin can become a savory, elegant dish, like creamy pumpkin apple soup or pumpkin souffle.

Or, pumpkin can be sweet and sassy, like in pumpkin muffins with candied bacon streusel.

Ingredient Shot for Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Boxed Cake Mix

Knowing how to use pumpkin puree is equally as important as knowing what it can be used in.

Pumpkin puree is high in water content. When introducing it to a baking recipe, for example, you’ll want to consider reducing the amount of oil or water in the recipe.

The pumpkin puree will help to keep the cupcakes moist. Too much liquid though and your cupcakes might not be firm enough for baking.

Batter whisked together for Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Boxed Cake Mix

What is the difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling?

Pumpkin puree is simply that, a can of pumpkin that’s been pureed. It allows the chef or baker to have more control over spices and the end result.

Pumpkin pie filling on the other hand, comes preseasoned. This makes it a bit easier for when you know the spices will work in the dish. For beginners, we suggest learning how to use seasonings on your own and not relying on preseasoned ingredients.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes on walnut cutting board

What cake mix will work for chocolate pumpkin cupcakes?

We are a big fan of Devil’s Food cake mix. However, you can certainly use a regular chocolate cake mix, a spiced cake, or even a yellow cake mix and substitute the regular chocolate for white chocolate.

A white chocolate version will result in a lighter orange color overall, thanks to the pumpkin puree, instead of dark brown. Either way, delicious and seasonal!

Do I have to use muffin liners?

Cupcakes are known for those gorgeous, ridges on the cake and piles of delectable frosting on top. We love to say a cupcake is a muffin with dreams!

But don’t fret! If you don’t have cupcake or muffin liners, simply spray the muffin tin down with non-stick spray and fill as normal with your cookie scoop.

These Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes couldn’t be easier. Get creative, make them your own, and have just as much fun sharing them as you do making them!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes on walnut cutting board
Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes on walnut cutting board

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Boxed Cake Mix

As if these cupcakes weren't sinful enough, this recipe makes a few twists to elevate a simple box of devil's food cake mix into the perfect Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18 cupcakes
Calories 161 kcal


  • large mixing bowls
  • whisk
  • handheld mixer
  • muffin tin
  • cupcake liners
  • Cookie Scoop
  • wire rack



  • 1 box Devil's Food cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon ginger dried and ground
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • ½ can pumpkin puree, not pie filling approximately 7 ounces
  • ¼ cup water

Chocolate Pumpkin Frosting

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream


  • Pre-heat the oven according to box instructions for cupcakes. Combine all the ingredients listed for the cupcakes into a large bowl and whisk.
    Ingredient Shot for Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Boxed Cake Mix
  • Spray muffin liners with non-stick spray. Using a cookie scoop, fill the liners 2/3 full. Bake in the oven according to box instructions.
    Muffin tin filled with chocolate pumpkin batter
  • Once finished baking, remove from the muffin tin and allow to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. While cooling, make the frosting.
    Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes on walnut cutting board
  • Make a batch of chocolate ganache (link found in the notes). To that add powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and heavy cream. Using a handheld mixer, whip until you've reached your desired consistency. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes and decorate to your liking.
    Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes on walnut cutting board


*Total cooking time is based on only having one or two muffin tins. You’ll likely need to do a couple of batches to use all the batter. 
**While your cupcakes are baking and cooling, make the frosting. Make sure the cupcakes are completely cool before frosting. Otherwise, the frosting could melt. 
***For chocolate ganache frosting, visit


Calories: 161kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 15mgPotassium: 77mgFiber: 1gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 1961IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

For even more delicious recipes that use pumpkin, be sure to check out my Pinterest boards, then head to the board, Pumpkins Please.


  1. I also love Autumn because that means pumpkin season. These cupcakes sound and look delicious. Love the pairing of chocolate and pumpkin, new to me. Thanks for sharing would really love to try these.

    1. This was my first time combining chocolate and pumpkin. It was AMAZING! I hope you try and enjoy them, too!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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