Pumpkin cupcakes are a great fall or holiday dessert, as they have all the flavors of traditional pumpkin bread but in a lighter, cuter, portable form. To make them, whisk together the dry ingredients, then combine that with a mixture of eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin in a stand mixer. After about 25 minutes of baking and a chance to cool, top them with this Pumpkin–Cream Cheese Frosting for a double dose of pumpkin flavor.
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line 2 (12-well) muffin pans with paper liners. Alternatively, coat the wells with vegetable oil; set aside.
Place the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.
Place the sugar and measured oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until the sugar is incorporated, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula.
Return the mixer to medium speed and add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, about 1 1/2 minutes total mixing time. Reduce the speed to medium low, add the pumpkin, and beat until just combined, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula.
Turn the mixer to low speed, slowly add the flour mixture, and beat until almost completely incorporated, about 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in any unincorporated flour at the edges with a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape to the bottom of the bowl.
Fill the muffin wells three-quarters of the way (about a heaping 1/4 cup per well). Place the muffin pans side by side in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pans front to back and side to side and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 10 minutes more.
Place the pans on wire racks and let them cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and cool completely on the racks. Frost with Pumpkin–Cream Cheese Frosting, if using.