Thanksgiving at the Campground: Pumpkin Bread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

img_7813 In this series of blog posts, I’m sharing my personal recipes for simple menu items that can be made ahead of a holiday RV trip, but still hit all of the classic holiday tastes that we crave in a Thanksgiving meal.


Pumpkin Bread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I first started making these cupcakes when we would visit my grandmother on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Everyone already had their fair share of pie on Thursday, so I wanted to bring something festive but different. So I turned my mother’s classic pumpkin bread into a cupcake and topped it with cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts. These turned out to be one of my grandmother’s favorite desserts, and I think of her every time I make them.

This recipe traditionally makes 2 loaves of pumpkin bread, which translates into about 2 dozen cupcakes. To be honest, I usually make one loaf of bread and 1 dozen cupcakes. To be even more honest, the bread makes a yummy breakfast option as well…

Pumpkin Bread Cupcakes


  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the first 6 dry ingredients together in a mixer (I use my KitchenAid). Blend in oil, water, and pumpkin then mix well.

Divide batter evenly into greased muffin tins. I use my half-cup measuring scoop to pour the batter. Bake for about 30 minutes until knife inserted into middle of cupcake comes out clean.


Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 8 ounce bar of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups of confectioners sugar

Blend the cream cheese and butter, add the vanilla, then mix in the confectioners sugar. You can add more or less sugar depending on your preferred level of sweetness.

This is a staple cream cheese frosting recipe that I was taught eons ago. I remember learning the shortcut: 1 bar, 1 bar, 2 teaspoons, 3 cups. Easy to recall without a recipe!


After the cupcakes cool, I store them in an airtight tupperware container and place in the RV pantry. Then I put the cream cheese frosting in a tupperware and store that in the RV refrigerator. It takes less than 10 minutes to frost the cupcakes at the campground for dessert. I like to fancy them up a bit with chopped walnuts and a little orange zest.

My family loves these pumpkin bread cupcakes waaay more than a traditional pumpkin pie. I like that I get away without making homemade pie crust for Thanksgiving. We call that a win-win in our family.

Happy Thanksgiving from our RV to yours.

See you at the campground,


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