Not Too Sweet Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting (Gluten Free & Dairy Free)

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Hello Fall!

Fall is my absolute favorite season! With all the fall flavors or spice and pumpkin, maple, and cinnamon, spiced lattes, caramel apples, and fall leaves on the trees in beautiful colors. It’s the perfect season to make these easy Not Too Sweet Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting (Gluten Free). You can serve them all around and no one will suspect they are gluten free and dairy free. They are moist and light, with the caramel frosting balancing nicely against the “not too sweet” cake portion.

Some of my new favorite fall food items

I have come to love when Trader Joe’s has there fall items out! And my new find are these Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Caramel Baking Chips, which I have been using in many different ways in my baked goods. They are also dairy free if you need that also. They are pretty sweet, so keep that in mind when you are making your treats with them!

I like to use Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Caramel Baking Chips in my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Trader Joe’s Organic Canned Pumpkin is another favorite. If you have time you can certainly make your own pumpkin puree, but my days are pretty filled so I try to simplify where I can.

You can also frost these with a traditional cream cheese frosting

I’m not a huge frosting lover. I like whipped cream as my frosting on most of my cakes, dark chocolate ganache or dark chocolate glaze on chocolate cakes or cupcakes. But this frosting has such great flavor. And although it is sweet, you can use it sparingly and it will be a perfect compliment to these cupcakes. Then decorate with fall sprinkles, dark chocolate shavings, or some of the cute fall decor that is currently out in the stores.

Not Too Sweet Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting (Gluten Free)

Try these not too sweet pumpkin cupcakes with caramel frosting for your next fall gathering. All the guests will love them!
Servings 16 cupcakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Bake time: 13-16 minutes 16 minutes


  • 1 12 hole cupcake tin
  • cupcake papers optional


  • ½ cup sweet rice flour gf
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp almond flour gf
  • ½ cup sorghum flour or millet gf
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch gf
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon baking powder gf
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon gf
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg gf
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice gf
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves gf
  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s Organic Canned Pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp molasses gf
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup vegetable oil or avocado oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon Nielsen Massey Vanilla gf
  • 1 tbsp dairy free milk, gf or whole milk

Caramel Frosting

  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Caramel Baking Chips, melted gf and dairy free
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp Earth Balance or dairy free butter, gf
  • cup dairy free cream cheese, cream cheese or mascarpone cheese
  • cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon Nielson Massey Vanilla gf


Not Too Sweet Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 375° F. Prepare your cupcake tin with cupcake papers or spray with non-stick or oil.
  • Sift the rice flour, almond flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, xanthan, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves together two times. Pour into a medium sized bowl. 
  • Add the pumpkin, molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, oils, vanilla, and milk. Stir with a rubber spatula until flours are incorporated and batter is smooth.
  • Spoon into paper lined or sprayed cupcake wells, ⅔rd’s full. Bake in the center of the oven for 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.
  • Remove to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the tin and let cool completely on the wire rack. Frost with Caramel Frosting and add gluten free dark chocolate shavings or fall colored gluten free sprinkles.

Caramel Frosting

  • In a stand mixer or a medium bowl using a hand held mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until incorporated and smooth. Add the melted caramel chips in two portions, beating well after each. The caramel may leave a few small pieces in the frosting, which I actually love. Add the vanilla and beat until smooth and silky.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use. Pipe onto the cupcake tops or spread ¼ inch thick frosting on tops. Add your favorite fall decor to the tops.


Fall is my favorite season! With all the fall spices and everything pumpkin, fall leaves outside, and crisp fall air my heart is happy! Try these for a lighter gluten free cupcake. You can make them completely dairy free also and they are low in sugar (well, maybe not the frosting!). Try these for your next fall get together. You won’t be disappointed.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cupcakes, fall, fall cupcakes, pumpkin cupcakes

More Mama Laura’s Kitchen fall dessert faves of ours:
Pumpkin Roll with Caramel Drizzle and Maple Nutmeg Cream (Gluten Free)
Gluten Free Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls 2 Ways – Pumpkin and Cinnamon
Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes made Gluten Free

Not Too Sweet Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting (Gluten Free & Dairy Free) | Mama Laura's Kitchen
Not Too Sweet Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting (Gluten Free & Dairy Free)

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