Honey Buttercream Pumpkin Cupcakes, Gluten Free

Pumpkin Apple Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream for Rosh Hashanah, freshly decorated

Sometimes it’s the path not taken that makes you wonder what if.  What if we had cupcakes for dessert on Rosh Hashanah instead of say, Honey Cake? What if the cupcake was pumpkin apple with toasted chopped walnuts and topped with a whipped honey buttercream and totally dairy-free? What if everyone left the table with frosting on their chins? 

What if no more. Though not exactly traditional, these Honey Buttercream Pumpkin Cupcakes are the embodiment of the holiday. Think fruits like pumpkin. Yes, pumpkin is a fruit – a giant berry, actually. Think apple and honey. Also, in keeping with spirit of the holiday, the cupcake is round and the icing is applied in a ring.

Just saying.

Whether you decide to surprise your dinner guests with a cupcake dessert or just make these because they are a great autumn treat, you’ll be glad you did. This holiday, we’ve created some unusual holiday recipes (links below) –  honey cake muffins, mini apple honey crostatas, and now little pumpkin apple cupcakes with honey buttercream.

Let’s just say we’re taking tradition for a spin. And it tastes pretty good.

L’shana Tova to you all.

Pumpkin Apple Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream for Rosh Hashanah, served

Honey Buttercream Pumpkin Cupcakes, Gluten Free
These dairy-free, gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes with honey buttercream are a great nod to both the Jewish New Year and autumn. Pumpkin mixed with tiny chopped toasted walnuts and dried apples and topped with a whipped dairy-free honey buttercream is a tasty way to welcome a new season. Makes 14-16 cupcakes.
  • 120 grams Spectrum solid shortening (10 tablespoons)
  • 175 grams granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 160 grams (organic) pumpkin (not pie mix) (3/4 cup)
  • zest of one lemon or orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon lemon or orange extract
  • 175 grams AP GF flour (87 grams superfine brown rice flour plus 44 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour/starch) (1⅓ cups)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly ground if possible)
  • 35 grams finely diced dried apple (1/3 cup)
  • 40 grams finely diced toasted walnut (or pecans) (1/3 cup)
Honey Buttercream
  • 108 grams Spectrum solid vegetable shortening (9 tablespoons)
  • 40 grams good quality honey (3-4 tablespoons)
  • 260 grams powdered sugar, sifted (about 2 cups)
  • 2-3 tablespoons almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 40 grams finely chopped toasted walnuts (or pecans) (1/3 cup)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Place liners in a muffin tin(s). (about 14-16). Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl using a hand-held mixer, cream shortening with sugar until fluffy-ish. Add eggs and blend until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, zest, vanilla, lemon or orange extract and blend until fully incorporated. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Add to wet ingredients and blend until fully mixed in and the batter is thick, but smooth. Fold in apples and walnuts with a silicone spatula.
  3. Scoop into liners about ⅔ full and bake 18-24 minutes or until a toothpick just comes out with almost dry crumbs. Don't over bake or the cake will be very dry. Cool and remove to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
Honey Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer whip shortening and honey until fully combined and slightly fluffy. Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix on low until almost combined. Add almond milk one tablespoon at a time and whip on high until the frosting is the consistency that can be piped. Add vanilla and whip on high for a few seconds. Pipe in a circle on top of cooled cupcakes. You can also apply the icing with a spoon instead of piping.
  1. Immediately after applying buttercream add the walnuts (or pecans) - if you wait the frosting will start to set and the chopped nuts won't adhere.
  2. Best served the same day.

Pumpkin Apple Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream, one to eat

Need more Rosh Hashanah ideas?

Rosh Hashanah GF Honey Cake

Rosh Hashanah GF Challah

Rosh Hashanah Quick GF Apple Cake

Rosh Hashanah GF Honey Cake Raisin Muffins

Rosh Hashanah GF Apple Honey Crostatas

Joy of Kosher Rosh Hashanah Recipes

Canadian Jewish News – High Holiday Favorites

Holiday Brisket from Shiksa in the Kitchen

(The Gluten Canteen’s Book of Nosh is a great resource for all your holiday baking needs.  Or just because you like to bake good stuff. Thank you for your support.)


  1. Lisa, Are shortening and non-dairy margarine, like Earth Balance sticks, interchangable in your recipe?

    A friend of mine liked this recipe a lot and uses Earth Balance margarine sticks ( I know Earth Balance makes shortening sticks too, but she’s into the buttery sticks… 🙂 ) for her baking, and wanted to know if it would turn out just as good with the Earth Balance margarine?

    Or is Spectrum shortening required to make it work? I no nothing about fat substitutions. 🙂 Thanks!! xo alli

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Alli – I recommend Spectrum. I have not made any of the DF recipes with Earth Balance. Spectrum is a neutral flavor and doesn’t contain any soy. Not a big fan of soy. She would have to experiment to see how it would work – I’d probably stick to the same weights. Hope that helps.

  2. honey buttercream & pumpkin?! divine.

  3. I’m totally making this for thanksgiving this year! 🙂

  4. Excited to try these at home! I was really impressed with the texture and flavor. If I didn’t know, I wouldn’t have thought they were GF.

  5. These sound awesome! 🙂 I agree about the Spectrum shortening, it’s fantastic. I’m not a big fan of soy, either. Shana tova!

  6. Hi! Lovely with jewish themed GF recipes! Your recipes sounds great and I want to try them all! But since I am Swedish, living in Sweden, I have to understand some ingredients better! And finding them here… About KOSHER SALT: do you mean the salt with larger grain size? How does that dissolve? And EXTRA LARGE EGGS: what weight do they have? Shana tova!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Thank you for the kind words. Kosher salt is Diamond or Morton and it is just a larger grain salt than table salt. It does dissolve more slowly than table salt, but faster than coarse sea salt. We buy it in the big box and it is relatively cheap if that helps. One level teaspoon is 4g. Here’s a link to Diamond. http://www.diamondcrystalsalt.com/Culinary/Products/Kosher-Salt/Kosher-Salt.aspx

      XL eggs are typically somewhere between 57 and 60 grams with the shell. I use 60g as the measure. Shana tova to you, too!

  7. Trying to determine how many cups roughly is 87 g of brown rice flour and 44 g of white rice flour and tapioca flour. Thanks!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Heather. On the home page, click under resources on flour. It’ll give you the Canteen AP blend info there. Using the ratio, you can make a couple of cups of the blend (though it works better by weight) and then just measure out 175 grams or 1 1/3 cups. The breakdown on the recipe is the ratio 2 parts brown to 1 part each white and tapioca. Hope that helps.

  8. I made these with regular shortening (Crisco) and weighed out all ingredients with my new scale for g-f baking, and they came out great. Went with cream cheese frosting instead of the honey buttercream, but still delicious!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Laurie! So glad you liked them and congrats on the scale. I bet the cream cheese frosting was tasty.


  1. […] image – Honey Buttercream Pumpkin Cupcakes from the Gluten Free […]

  2. […] Author Lisa Standel-Horel, who blogs at Gluten Free Canteen, isn’t kidding when she says “no cookie, strudel, brownie, tart, or treat left behind”. I found a few pumpkin recipes to choose from and decided on the Pumpkin Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream. The recipe is on Gluten Free Canteen here. […]