Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting recipe - easy homemade cupcake recipe. The best from scratch cupcake for fall, Halloween, or anytime! SnappyGourmet.comPumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting recipe an easy homemade cupcake recipe. Tis the season of pumpkin, pumpkin, and more PUMPKIN!!  And what could be better than Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting?! Oh boy, these are some of the best pumpkin cupcakes I’ve ever had!  I will definitely be holding onto this recipe!  And did I mention these pumpkin cupcakes have BEER in them?  Yes, beer!  Crazy, isn’t it?  These cupcakes are moist and have a rich but not overwhelming pumpkin flavor. Topped with a creamy cream cheese frosting and a crunchy streusel topping.  YUM!  They are EASY to make, yet look gourmet!  They would be so cute served with my Pumpkin Cheesecaketinis I made recently.  These Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting were SO good that I had to give most of them away because I would have eaten the whole entire batch in one day!  I’m warning you now, do not be alone with these cupcakes in the house….

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting | SnappyGourmet.com

My friend Kelli from Happy Hour Cupcake (website is under construction but should be up soon! In the meantime, you can visit her Facebook page) recently told me about the pumpkin cupcakes she made with pumpkin ale and I was intrigued right away.  I thought I’d come up with my own version and add a little crunch to the cupcakes.  I’ll admit I was very skeptical and was a little unsure about adding beer to a cake batter.  But now that I’ve tried it for myself, I’m hooked!  Don’t worry, the cupcakes don’t have a STRONG beer flavor, but the pumpkin ale seems to bring out the pumpkin flavor and help make these cupcakes light and airy.

These EASY pumpkin cupcakes are a breeze to make thanks to a Pillsbury cake mix, some Libby’s pumpkin, and Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale and ingredients you probably already have in your house.  No one will ever guess you used a cake mix for this recipe.  Only 5 ingredients in the cupcakes, 4 in the frosting, and 5 in the streusel.

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting | SnappyGourmet.comOnly 5 ingredients in the cupcake batter.  I placed the cake mix in a bowl, then added the other ingredients (pumpkin, beer, eggs, and cinnaomon) top.  Mix until JUST combined.  That’s not a typo, there is NO oil/butter in the cake batter. Instead of cinnamon you can use pumpkin pie spice or your favorite spices.

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting | SnappyGourmet.com

The recipe makes about 24 cupcakes assuming you don’t eat too much of the batter. :)  I like to use an ice cream scoop so that the cupcakes are just about even.

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting | SnappyGourmet.com

Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees F for about 19-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.  Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting | SnappyGourmet.comWhile the cupcakes are baking you can start on the streusel and bake it in the oven at the same time as the cupcakes (if you have room) or bake the streusel while the cupcakes are cooling.  For the streusel, you mix together flour, nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon then cut in the butter until small chunks form.  You can omit the nuts or add oats instead if you don’t like nuts or have an allergy.  Bake the streusel for about 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees F or until desired crunchiness, stirring every 5 minutes or so.  The longer you bake, the crunhier it will be but be careful not to burn it.

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting | SnappyGourmet.com

While the cupcakes and streusel are baking make the frosting.  Make sure the cream cheese and butter are softened and at room temperature.  If they’re not, you’ll get lumpy frosting.  You can add more/less powdered sugar to the frosting depending on how sweet you like your frosting.

To assemble, frost the cupcakes as desired and sprinkle streusel on top.  Since these cupcakes have cream cheese in the frosting, they probably need to be kept in the fridge to store then let them stand at room temperature for a little while before serving.

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting | SnappyGourmet.comThese cupcakes are so light and moist and some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had!!  I love pumpkin season!

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting | SnappyGourmet.com

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Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Streusel Cream Cheese Frosting
5.0 from 2 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 24
A moist airy pumpkin cupcake with rich cream cheese frosting and crunchy streusel bits.
  • 1 (18.25oz) yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ¾ cup pumpkin ale
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (such as walnuts or pecans)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with 24 paper liners.
  2. Add cake mix to large mixing bowl. Add pumpkin, beer, eggs, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Stir or whisk until just combined. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans.
  3. Bake cupcakes for about 19-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare streusel but mixing together flour, nuts, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl. Cut in 6 tablespoons butter with pastry blender or knives until mixture is crumbly. Spread out on a large baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or silpat (or aluminum foil).
  5. Bake streusel at 350 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, or until desired crunchiness. Cool completely.
  6. For frosting, beat together cream cheese and ½ cup butter with electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in vanilla. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until desired sweetness and consistency.
  7. To assemble, frost cooled cupcakes as desired and top with streusel crumbles. Store cupcakes in fridge but let sit at room temperature a few minutes before serving for best results.
SNAPPY TIPS: Make sure cream cheese and butter are at room temperature and soft before making frosting.

SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: Instead of cinnamon you can use pumpkin pie spice or any of your favorite spices. Any nuts can be used in the streusel, or omit nuts or substitute oats.

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  1. Great cupcake! Love the addition of pumpkin beer.

  2. Awesome recipe, thanks for sharing! I’m going to make these for this weekend’s “Girls Night Out”!!!

  3. catchickmary says:

    wow………these look amazing!

  4. Recipe sounds yummy &I would like to make it. Where do I find the pumpkin ale?

  5. I made these today and they are delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  6. These sound delicious. I’ll have to make them this week for a belated Halloween Treat for my beer loving friends. Thanks. I can’t wait too try these!

  7. Just wanted to let you know I made this frosting and it is my absolute new favorite! It was SO delicious and incredibly easy to pipe! Gosh, I love it :) I included the link to my post if you wanted to check it out, thanks again!


  8. Saw your post for the pumpkin ale cupcakes over at Circle of Moms…had to come check it out ASAP! I love pumpkin everything, so I have pinned these for later! Sound AWESOME!

  9. Is it 18.25 or 15.25 oz for cake mix? My normal sized betty crocker mix is only 15.25oz.

  10. These look wonderful! I was curious if this could easily be converted to full size 8″ layer cake? I would love to make it for my hubby’s October birthday!

  11. I am dying to make this, I can not get enough pumpkin! The only thing preventing me from making these is the pumpkin ale, do you know of any substitute I can use? I can’t buy ale, nor could I bring it to work/school :P
    Thank you

  12. Lisa I LOVE these muffins! They look so moist and delicious. Thanks for sharing and beautiful photographs too.

  13. Yum! Pumpkin ale is SO tasty- you should check out Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale if you haven’t already!

  14. i made this as a cake and worked wonderfully! Also, I used pumpkin coffee instead of pumpkin beer! I also substituted a spice cake mix instead of a yellow mix. Getting ready to try your frosting, letting leary 2 pkgs of cream cheese seems like a lot. I am on my phone and it won’t let me rate! I give 5 stars even without the frosting!

  15. Ohhh I seriously need to make these!

  16. Made these for a company party and they were a HUGE hit! Everyone loved the frosting and how moist the cupcakes are. My only critique is that they taste more like the pumpkin ale than anything else, so I think next time I’ll increase the amount of spices.

    • Happy to hear you enjoyed them! What kind of beer did you use? That’s interesting that you could taste the ale that much. Most people I’ve made them for could never tell but might be a different type of beer.

  17. I bet these are out of this world amazing. My wife is a pumpkin beer LOVER and is always trying different ones out. I bet she’d love these cupcakes – plus anything with a streusel topping is a winner in my book!

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