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
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
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


  1. Sldodd

    This recipe is great. Added the 1 tbsp of baking powder and it was perfect. I love it. Just took them out of the oven and my family loved them.

  2. Guest

    I recently baked these and I hated them. I cooked them for over an hour and they weren’t even halfway cooked! Never again!

  3. Guest

    I recently baked these and I hated them. I cooked them for over an hour and they weren’t even halfway cooked! Never again!

  4. Derbrink

    I made these last night and had one for b-fast this morning. Delicious, super pumpkinny and spicey. Im sure I could have ommitted the pumpkin spice, because I used organic pumpkin pie mix from Farmers Market company. I also used a huge 1 tbsp scoop of baking powder. I filled the cupcake paper cups (all i had) to the top and sprinkled a streussel topping on top in stead of brown sugar alone, i made 19 total. I then cooked them for 35 minutes, which made them moist after they cooled they were delicious and moist. Mine came out looking like muffins (not like the picture where it looks sunken). I also could put a glaze of milk and powder sugar to make it more aunthentic DD. I can’t remember how the DD ones tastes since they havent came out with them in a while, but when they do in about a month ill compare.

  5. Michelle

    I made these delicious muffins a few days ago and my friends can’t get enough of them. They asked where I bought them from and their jaw fell open when I told them I made them. I followed the directions as noted except I added 1 heaping tsp of baking powder as another baker had suggested. They came out perfect. I didn’t bake mine for quite 30 minutes. I waited until they looked about right and poked them with a toothpick to make sure they were done. Excellent recipe and my mom just made them too and she’s getting rave reviews. Well done on this recipe!

  6. Jennifer

    I’ve made these 2 years in a row now and they do not come out fluffy at all. They must take way longer than 30 mins to bake because even after 45 mins they aren’t cooked inside.

  7. Anna Flint

    Question? In the recipe for Dunkin Donut Pumpkin spice muffins: Is the pudding regular or instant?
    It is instant, either would work fine.

  8. NikJuli

    Very tasty, but nothing like a Dunkin Donut Pumpkin Spice Muffin. Needs more spice. Wonder if molasses or nutmeg would help

  9. Nicole

    I wait all year long for Dunkin Donuts to put these incredible muffins on the shelf! This recipe is great!! The only things I added was a strussel topping and a drizzle of icing (just made with powdered sugar and milk). They are wonderful!!!

  10. Nan

    Recipe worked great for me. I made these for my nephew who loves DD pumpkin muffins – he’s autistic so very particularl about food and taste. I tried a different recipe and he wouldn’t touch them; this one – he devoured them. I did bake longer then the 30 minutes; I made two batches one "plain" and in the second batch added cranberries and walnuts – turned out great.

  11. lz

    This is my recipe I submitted it last year. I also have been making it very often and added some changes making it even better. I added 1rounded tsp of baking powder. I gives it a nice fluff…. If you would like to change it, also I added a cup of chocolate chips, yummy =)


  12. Melody

    This recipe also mimics the pumpkin spice cake doughnuts you can find at Fractured Prune seasonally. Just use a doughnut cutter, fry them up, and dip them in a glaze (we used cream cheese, caramel, chocolate, and the regular sugar glaze) and they are heavenly.

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