Pumpkin Muffins with Cake Mix

Pumpkin Muffins made with cake mix taste like a Dunkin Donuts pumpkin spice muffin or donut. Pumpkin Spice Muffins are moist and delicate in texture and stay fresh for days.

a stack of pumpkin muffins

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A Tasty Fall Treat

These pumpkin spice muffins are a favorite for the fall. So easy to make, these flavorful pumpkin spiced donuts are perfect for pumpkin spice lovers.

Nothing says autumn quite like pumpkins: pumpkin pies, pumpkin lattes, and, of course, pumpkin muffins. This recipe transforms an ordinary box of spiced cake mix into the moistest and most flavorful pumpkin spice muffins that you have ever had!

Three Marvelous Muffin Making Hints

Making these fantastic muffins is easy, especially if you follow these three tips:

  1. The best tip for making better pumpkin spice muffins is to avoid over mixing the batter. That can be tough when the pumpkin pie mix is so dense. Your best option is to beat the pumpkin pie mix separately using a stand mixer for about 2 minutes on medium to lighten the pumpkin pie mix. Then add the spice cake mix, pudding mix, and vanilla extract and beat on the low setting. Add the rest of the ingredients for the batter and mix on low until smooth.
  2. If you are someone who loves an extra crispy muffin top, try filling the lined muffin cups almost even to the surface of the tin. Doing this will reduce the number of muffins to about 18, but each muffin will be much higher. Just don’t forget to spray the entire surface of the muffin tin with oil to prevent the muffins from sticking.
  3. For an extra bit of oven rise, you can try preheating your oven to 425 degrees. After putting in the muffins, wait a few minutes and then reduce the temperature back down to 350 degrees. The extra burst of heat at the start creates just enough steam to ensure your muffins are fluffy yet still moist.

How to Top These Easy Pumpkin Muffins

Dusting the top of the pumpkin muffins with brown sugar before popping them into the oven creates a beautiful, crackly sugar coating on top, but you can skip it if you want. Or you can get a bit more creative with these topping choices.

Cinnamon and Sugar A little more spice never hurt anyone. Use premade cinnamon sugar or make your own by mixing a half-cup of white sugar with a 1/4 tablespoon of cinnamon (freshly ground if possible).

Crumble Topping A classic crumble topping works very well with this recipe. Use your favorite crumble recipe or combine 1/2 cup of AP flour, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin spice. Use the back of a fork to cut in 3 tablespoons of very cold butter. Sprinkle over uncooked muffins right before baking.

Cream Cheese Frosting Once the pumpkin muffins come out of the oven and cool, use a piping bag or knife to top with the cream cheese frosting. To make the cream cheese frosting, beat together 8 oz of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of AP flour, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Once combined, slowly stir in 3 cups of powdered sugar.

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Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Spice cake mix – I don’t find brand matters here
  • Canned pumpkin pie mix – do not use canned pumpkin, make sure you get the canned pumpkin pie mix, typically it is the larger can.
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix – this is the 4 serving size, it is 3.4 ounces
  • Vanilla extract – I like natural the best, I don’t like to use immitation vanilla extract
  • Sour cream – I prefer full fat,
  • Eggs – I use either large or extra large eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • Baking powder
  • Pumpkin pie spice – you can buy this premade, or click on the link and I will show you how to make it
  • Brown sugar

Note that canned pumpkin pie mix isn’t the same thing as pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie mix is a pie filling with a blend of pumpkin puree and seasonings. The mix adds a lot of flavor to the muffins.

pumpkin muffins with cake mix ingredients on a tray

How to Make Pumpkin Muffins with Cake Mix

  1. Combine the cake mix, pumpkin pie mix, pudding mix, and vanilla in a large bowl.
some of the pumpkin muffins with cake ingredients in a mixing bowl
  1. Add sour cream, eggs, oil, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat with a mixer or whisk until well combined.
pumpkin muffins batter in a mixing bowl
  1. Spoon the batter into 24 lined muffin tin cups.
  1. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the muffins.
  1. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
a stack of pumpkin muffins on a round tray

Recipe Notes

Pumpkin is very dense. I find it helpful to make sure I beat the batter with a mixer for a full 2 minutes. This way air is whipped into the mixture and it helps make what could be super dense into something much lighter.

Recipe Variations

  • Omit the brown sugar on top if you are trying to cut back on the sugar. It isn’t super necessary.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top instead of brown sugar.
  • Add nuts for a little crunchy and nutty flavor.
  • Add chocolate chips for a little decadence.
  • Top with cream cheese frosting for extra richness.

Tips for Storing and Reheating Pumpkin Muffins with Cake Mix

  • Store pumpkin muffins in the freezer for up to three months. Wrap room temperature muffins tightly in plastic wrap. If you frosted the pumpkin muffins, place them in a single layer inside an airtight, freezer-safe storage container without wrapping.
  • Reheat the defrosted muffins in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the defrosted muffins back into the muffin tin and heat in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes.

You have to try these delicious pumpkin spice muffins today!

a pile of pumpkin muffins on a tray

Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

Check out more of my easy bread recipes and the best fall recipes here on CopyKat!

a stack of pumpkin muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

These pumpkin spice muffins taste just like Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Muffin and Donut. These moist and delicious muffins are easy to make with cake mix and pumpkin pie filling.
5 from 11 votes
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Course: Breads, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Muffins, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Recipes, Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 389kcal


  • 1 15.25-ounce box spice cake mix
  • 1 30-ounce can pumpkin pie mix (pumpkin puree with spices)
  • 1 3.4-ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a bowl combine the cake mix, pumpkin pie mix, instant pudding, and vanilla. Add sour cream, eggs, oil, and pumpkin pie spice, and mix well until combined.
  • Place a large scoop of batter into lined cupcake cups, and sprinkle each one with brown sugar. Place on a baking stone or cookie sheet, and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 242mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 5925IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2.7mg

Special thanks to Layaley who sent us this recipe.

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


    • Vanessa

      I have made these cupcakes for years. Everybody falls in love with them. I cook them for exactly 30 minutes and they come out perfect. I have them on the middle rack at 350°. Perhaps after 1 hour, after they have cooled, do they firm up and seem more cooked through?

  1. Karen D.

    5 stars
    Well, Miss Stephanie, you nailed it!

    They smell and look divine.

    The only thing that I did differently was add 2 teaspoons of baking powder. I’ve made them so many times over the years and that’s the only thing I do differently. Mind you, I don’t use the sam pumpkin pie mix so that probably has something to do with it.

    Keep up the awesome work.

    Your Canadian friend ….

  2. kim thompson

    dissapointed because the smell was amazing..i used the baking soda as mentioned and they still did not raise and i cooked them for 40 minutes and still gooey inside…i think it must be something i did wrong i just don’t know what..i will try it again at another time though

  3. Sam

    I could not find pumpkin mix with spice anywhere… will regular pumkin pie filling work? thats the same thing right?

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