The Best Pumpkin Cupcakes (gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free, all-purpose options)

These pumpkin cupcakes are super moist, incredibly delicious and topped off with cream cheese frosting (with a dairy-free option). Can be made with gluten-free, 100% whole grain or all-purpose flours.

Well. I can’t say that I’ve tried every pumpkin cupcake recipe in existence but I have tried over 40 and these are definitely, without a doubt, the best I’ve ever had!

I wish I could take credit for it but it’s adapted from an Ina Garten recipe. I posted this recipe a few weeks after I started blogging in 2011 and it’s so good, I figured I should test a gluten-free version, reshoot the pictures and post it again.

These pumpkin cupcakes are incredibly delicious, super moist and are topped off with cream cheese frosting (with a dairy-free option). Can be made gluten-free, 100% whole grain and with all-purpose flour.

Some highlights from the latest reviewers if you need convincing:

  • This is the lightest and fluffiest cupcake I’ve ever made.
  • It was the most MOIST cupcake I have ever made or eaten. So delicious and amazing!
  • One of the moistest cupcakes I have ever made even when I changed the recipe.
  • And my favorite: My daughter ate 5 in a short while and she was full. I did not even bother to feed her dinner.

All of the reviews above and in the comments refer to the whole wheat version but I can assure you that the gluten-free version is just as delicious as the whole wheat version, which is just as delicious as the all-purpose flour version!

These pumpkin cupcakes are super moist, incredibly delicious and topped off with cream cheese frosting (with a dairy-free option). Can be made with gluten-free, 100% whole grain or all-purpose flours.

I shared my pumpkin cream cheese muffins two weeks ago and several of you have already made them and loved them.

So you might be wondering what the difference is between the two pumpkin batter bases. They’re really similar. This one has more sugar, more oil and more pumpkin than the other (for the same yield).

I’d say the difference is in the crumb. These are more cupcake-like.

These pumpkin cupcakes are super moist, incredibly delicious and topped off with cream cheese frosting (with a dairy-free option). Can be made gluten-free, 100% whole grain and with all-purpose flour.

These pumpkin cupcakes are sweet enough without the cream cheese frosting but what would a cupcake be without cream cheese frosting? I used a scaled down version of my healthier cream cheese frosting. It pipes really well!

If you need a dairy-free version, try this vegan maple cream cheese frosting on them. Just note that it’s very soft and you won’t be able to pipe it on!

Pumpkin Cupcakes (gluten-free, dairy-free, whole grain, all-purpose flour options)

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Rated 5.0 by 7 readers
The Best Pumpkin Cupcakes (gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free, all-purpose options)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 10 cupcakes

Ingredients

    Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup (125 grams) whole wheat flour, whole spelt flour, all-purpose flour or 1 cup (134 grams) 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour for a GF version
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs (50 grams each, out of shell), room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 grams) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar, raw sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) olive oil1 (or another neutral-tasting oil that's liquid at room temperature like canola oil)
  • For the frosting (use this →vegan maple cream frosting for a dairy-free + non-pipeable version):2

  • 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, room temperature3
  • 2-4 tablespoons (28-56 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature4
  • 2/3 cup (80 grams) powdered sugar (you can add more, if desired)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Line a muffin pan with 10 muffin liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
  3. In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar, and oil.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir just until combined. Do not over mix!
  5. Divide the batter among the liners, filling each about 4/5 full, and bake for about 20 -24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. For the frosting:

  7. Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, prepare the frosting.
  8. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together with an electric hand mixer at medium speed until well combined. It's okay if it looks a little crumbly.
  9. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until totally combined and then beat in the salt and vanilla. If it's firm enough for your needs, frost your cupcakes now. The frosting yields enough for just slightly more than 2 tablespoons per cupcake.
  10. If you want it firmer, refrigerate for about an hour, stirring the frosting after about 30 minutes. Don't let it chill too long before frosting your cupcakes, though, because it gets quite firm, like a cream cheese tart filling. If that happens, just bring it to room temperature and then frost. The frosting firms up once refrigerated so if you want the softer frosting texture (rather than a cream cheese tart filling kind of texture), let the cupcakes come to room temperature before serving.
  11. Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.

Notes

  1. If you use olive oil, the batter will taste like olive oil but the taste disappears after baking.
  2. Here is the original frosting recipe I had listed on this recipe. I thought it was way too much for only 10 cupcakes and this newer version has less sugar.
    – 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
    – 12 ounces (340 grams) cream cheese, softened
    – 1/8 teaspoon salt
    – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    – 1/2 teaspoon maple extract - optional
    – 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (you can use more or less) - also optional
    – 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) powdered sugar

  3. If you live outside of North America and have the kind of cream cheese that's meant for toast (that comes in a little plastic tub) rather than American style brick cream cheese, then get 300 grams of cream cheese, place it in the center of a cheesecloth, and wring out the liquid until you have 225 grams of cream cheese left.
  4. If you want to pipe this frosting, use 4 tablespoons of butter and if you just want to slather it on, use 2. Or 4 if you just want it a little firmer!

Adapted from Ina Garten's Pumpkin Cupcakes

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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71 comments on “The Best Pumpkin Cupcakes (gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free, all-purpose options)” — Add one!

  • Grace
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    November 29, 2016 @ 4:16 am

    I just made these babies for a bake sale and they are divine.
    Just the right amount of airiness and bite. The cream cheese frosting is a must! I added 1 cup of sugar instead of 2/3 because I like my cream cheese frosting with more body.
    Thank you so much for this recipe!
    Can’t wait to sell them tomorrow, I have a feeling they’ll go quick. <3

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Grace
      November 29, 2016 @ 7:27 pm

      That’s awesome! I hope they were a hit at the bake sale. Or maybe not – more for you. ;) Thanks a bunch for your feedback!

      Reply
  • Patti
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    November 27, 2016 @ 6:30 pm

    Hi Erin, I was looking on Pinterest for a recipe that would be close to a glute-free pumpkin roll since I am allergic to wheat. I made your recipe for pumpkin cupcakes for Thanksgiving and they were delicious! My whole family loved them. If I knew how to send you a photo of how well they turned out,
    I would. :-) This recipe is definitely a keeper! 5 stars!
    Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Patti
      November 27, 2016 @ 9:05 pm

      Hi Patti! That’s great that your whole family enjoyed them. :) Hopefully they didn’t miss the pumpkin roll! If you want, you could upload the picture to my Facebook post for these cupcakes here. I’d love to see it! Thanks so much for your comment.

      Reply
  • NHL says
    October 31, 2016 @ 5:58 am

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. Would like to know what you would do if you can’t have eggs, what have you found to be the best to substitute out for the 2 egg. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to NHL
      October 31, 2016 @ 8:53 am

      I don’t have much experience with egg subs but if I were you, I’d try using two chia eggs. Here’s how you make them. I hope you’ll enjoy the cupcakes! I’d love to hear how they come out. :)

      Reply
  • Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog says
    October 27, 2016 @ 5:36 pm

    They definitely look like the world’s best pumpkin cupcakes!

    Reply
  • Kim Maass
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    says
    October 27, 2016 @ 3:28 pm

    I made these yesterday using Bob’s Red Mill 1to1 gluten free flour. Ah-mazing!! Perfect! Very moist and flavorful. Will be making these again for sure. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Kim Maass
      October 27, 2016 @ 7:51 pm

      Yay! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed them so much. :) I’m happy to hear that you’ll be making them again. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave feedback!

      Reply
  • roshan says
    October 27, 2016 @ 5:19 am

    Can we use fresh pumpkin?bcz canned oumpkin is not available

    Reply
    • Erin replies to roshan
      October 27, 2016 @ 1:40 pm

      Fresh pumpkin puree should work! Just make sure it’s not too watery. Enjoy! :)

      Reply
  • Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish says
    October 26, 2016 @ 5:55 pm

    YUM!! I want 5 too — and I promise to skip dinner :)

    Reply
  • Trish - Mom On Timeout says
    October 26, 2016 @ 5:34 pm

    I keep staring at that frosting – perfection! These truly look like the perfect fall cupcake!

    Reply
  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
    October 26, 2016 @ 4:14 pm

    oooo cupcake like muffins! love that! mmmm <3 I love cream cheese pumpkin muffins so I know I'll love these!

    Reply
  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
    October 26, 2016 @ 4:54 am

    Those looks absolutely perfect, I would love to sink my teeth into one right now!

    Reply
  • Stephanie says
    October 25, 2016 @ 6:19 pm

    These really do look like the best! Can’t wait to try them!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Stephanie
      November 4, 2016 @ 8:35 pm

      I hope you’ll enjoy them! :)

      Reply
  • Dee says
    October 25, 2016 @ 7:41 am

    These look incredible, and I just love that frosting!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Dee
      October 30, 2016 @ 11:21 am

      Thanks so much! :)

      Reply
  • Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
    October 25, 2016 @ 3:29 am

    I found these just in time for my office pot luck! I have a coworker who follows a GF diet, and I feel like she gets overlooked when people bring in goodies. These will be a nice surprise for her! They look amazing!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Patricia @ Grab a Plate
      October 30, 2016 @ 11:21 am

      Oooh! Did you make them? I bet the whole office would love them! The GF version is really just as delicious as the AP version. :)

      Reply
  • Charlotte Moore
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    October 25, 2016 @ 1:56 am

    YUM!! I need to try these using our cushaw instead of pumpkin.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Charlotte Moore
      October 25, 2016 @ 10:06 pm

      Oooh! I had never heard of that before. Looks interesting! And I think you should try these, too. :) I bet your grandson would love them!

      Reply
  • Alyssa | EverydayMaven says
    October 25, 2016 @ 12:12 am

    These look so perfect – I want to lick that frosting!!

    Reply
  • Renee - Kudos Kitchen says
    October 24, 2016 @ 11:01 pm

    These are beautiful cupcakes, Erin. I love how moist the cake looks, and that frosting is to die for!

    Reply
  • Rana says
    October 24, 2016 @ 10:57 pm

    People still count calories!!*sigh* … i used ur previous pumpkin cream cheese muffins batter mix to just make the cupcakes .. used only 1 cup of whole cane brown sugar and 1/4 cup of maple syrup and the rest is exactly the same ingredients (added 1 Tbsp of flaxseed meal) .. and i’m addicted !! But will also try these out as well to conpare and see if there’s any difference :D

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Rana
      October 25, 2016 @ 10:07 pm

      Oh, yay! I’m so happy you liked the batter plain. I hope you will try this one, too! I’d love to hear what you think. :) Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • The Food Hunter says
    October 24, 2016 @ 9:22 pm

    They look and sound amazing! Can’t wait to try them

    Reply
  • Erin @ The Speckled Palate says
    October 24, 2016 @ 8:46 pm

    These cupcakes sound utterly INSANE and absolutely delicious. I’m a sucker for pumpkin cupcakes, and I now desperately wish I had one to snack on this afternoon…

    Reply
  • Jessica @Savory Experiments says
    October 24, 2016 @ 8:19 pm

    What I would do for a pumpkin cupcake in my life right now! These look SO good!

    Reply
  • Poonam
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    April 20, 2015 @ 9:00 pm

    Just wonderful. My daughter ate 5 in a short while and she was full. I did not even bother to feed her dinner. It was as good as dinner. It’s really moist cupcake I ever had that too with pumpkin.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Poonam
      April 20, 2015 @ 9:39 pm

      Haha. This is one of my favorite comments ever. Thank you so much! I’m so happy that you and your daughter enjoyed the cupcakes. :)

      Reply
  • Adriana Portas
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    says
    March 21, 2015 @ 12:52 am

    I made them and wow. My best cupcake after red velvet!!! I made with sweetener instead of sugar (I am diabetic) and used 1/2 cup of whole wheat and 1/2 of oat flour. Wow wow wow. Congrats for the yummy recipe!!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Adriana Portas
      March 21, 2015 @ 8:11 pm

      I’m so happy that you enjoyed them! And I love the idea of using half oat flour. Sounds yummy! Thanks so much for your feedback. :)

      Reply
  • Jalene
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    says
    November 21, 2014 @ 4:14 pm

    Made these cupcakes twice without the frosting and they were super moist and yummy! one of the moistest cupcakes i have ever made even when i changed the recipe (reduced the oil to 1/4 cup and sugar to 1/4 cup). i seriously could eat the whole batch if i have no self control. They’re that good!! Love your other recipes too!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jalene
      November 22, 2014 @ 10:37 pm

      I’m so happy you liked them! Did you reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup (down from 1 cup) or did you reduce it by 1/4 cup? Either way, it’s awesome that your changes worked! Thanks so much for the feedback. :)

      Reply
  • Tania says
    December 17, 2013 @ 2:36 am

    I randomly stumbled across this recipe while doing my good ole’ google search for Pumpkin Cupcakes (with whole wheat flour) and yours came up among others. Well let me just say – I AM SOOOO GLAD I WENT WITH MY GUT AND CHOSE YOUR RECIPE! It was the most MOIST cupcake I have ever made or eaten. So delicious and amazing! Thank you! (To be fair – I only subbed 1 thing (the 1/2 a cup oil olive or canola oil) – changed that to 1/4 cup of coconut oil, and 1/4 cup of applesauce. So I still give you all the credit ;-) Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Tania
      December 19, 2013 @ 10:09 am

      Hi, Tania! I’m so happy that you found the blog. :) And that’s great that you enjoyed the cupcakes! I also love how moist they are. It’s hard to believe that they’re whole wheat, right?! Your substitutions sound great! I’ll have to try that next time. Thanks so much for your feedback! :)

      Reply
  • MarissaT says
    November 1, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

    had to come back to tell you and your readers this cupcake was SO GOOD! I have been using ww flour in my recipes for awhile and this is the lightest and fluffiest cupcake i've ever made. my only change was that I replaced about 1/8 cup of ww flour for some flaxseed meal for an extra healthy kick, but otherwise made as is. wanted to also tell you that for a healthier frosting I like to replace the butter with greek yogurt and it comes out sooo good, I use that as a fruit dip too (cream cheese + greek yogurt, with vanilla and powdered sugar). thx for the recipe.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to MarissaT
      November 1, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

      Hi Marissa! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave feedback. :) I hope it convinces the other readers to make these. Your substitution sounds great! I've start leaving the butter out of cream cheese frosting and using partly Greek yogurt instead of all cream cheese. It's not quite as yummy but still pretty darn good! Thanks for the tip and thanks again for letting me know that these worked out for you. :)

      Reply
  • Erin says
    February 7, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

    Anon – Wow, you're really creative! Thanks for sharing your changes. Now if I only had access to jello. :)

    Reply
  • Anonymous says
    February 6, 2012 @ 3:56 am

    For the cranberry cupcakes I used raspberry jello. Just putting the jello dry right out of the package and added chopped dried cranberries. For the Pina Colada all I did was add pineapple and coconut. And for the star fruit I used the passion fruit juice and added the flavorless gelatin and diced star fruit and refrigerated it so that it was like normal jello, when I put the wet ingredients together I added it then mixed it all together. When adding the jello like that the cupcakes take about 22 minutes compared to 17, they don't really rise as much but they are super moist. I use jello a lot in my cupcakes to help with the different flavors.

    Reply
  • Erin says
    February 5, 2012 @ 8:35 am

    Anon – I'm so happy to hear that the recipe is working out for you! When you make the other flavors, what do you do in place of the pumpkin? Use mashed fruit? I'd love to know what you're doing so I can try it out too! Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback. I really apprecrate it. :)

    Reply
  • Anonymous says
    February 5, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    I am so in love with this recipe. I use it as a base for other flavored cupcakes. Right now I am making a piña colada cupcake along with a passion fruit star fruit cupcake. The last batch that I made were raspberry cranberry. I think this is the best recipe that I have come by so far.

    Reply
    • milla replies to Anonymous
      June 12, 2013 @ 6:10 am

      where do you get the passion fruit?

      Reply
      • Erin replies to milla
        June 13, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

        I’ve never bought passion fruit. Do they not have it at full-sized grocery stores? I bet Whole Foods would have it! Good luck with finding it. :)

        Reply
  • FoodEpix says
    December 27, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

    Looks delicious. Would love for you to share your pictures with us over at foodepix.com.

    Reply
  • Tabby Animals says
    November 14, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

    Mouth watering cupcake! My saliva is already drooling at the side of my mouth. LOL. Better bake some to stop my drooling saliva.

    Reply
  • Erin says
    October 25, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

    I don't know how much brown sugar costs there, but I'm guessing it's expensive. You can make your own brown sugar by adding 1 tablespoon of molasses to one cup of granulated sugar. It tastes and works exactly the same. Or there's always the Asian shops, although maybe it's around the same price as Broken English.

    Thanks for the link! I've spent way too much time on there just now, admiring their large selection of Reese's products.

    I'll let you know if I find proper canned pumpkin anywhere! I'm always on the lookout.

    Reply
  • Megan says
    October 25, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    They have it at KaDeWe every year for some outrageous price (I didn't even bother to look, as I wasn't lookin for it, but did notice it sitting there.)

    I think I may have seen some sort of pumpkin pie filling at Broken English in Kreuzberg, too (that's where I get proper brown sugar when I run out of stuff I've brought from home). I think that Karstadt am Hermannplatz (in the basement) had it too, but that may just be muffin tins. It all sort of blends together.

    Oh, and americanfood4u.de!

    Guess I'll make do with the three cans I have on hand :)

    Reply
  • Erin says
    October 24, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

    Where have you found Libby's?! Hopefully not at Kaufhof for 8 euros a can. I would even be happy with the pie mix stuff. Whenever I visit Texas, I bring back almost two suitcases full of baking supplies, so I'm afraid that's how I have canned pumpkin. I've looked at Metro in Friedrichshain and they don't have it and I'm afraid that if they don't have it, normal grocery stores won't have it. Sorry I'm not much of a help. :(

    Reply
  • Megan says
    October 24, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

    I'm an American living in Berlin and was wondering where you get pure pumpkin puree here – obviously pumpkin is in season right now, and is accessible in that means, but the only canned pumpkin puree I have ever seen here is the Libby's Pumpkin Pie mix, which I don't really want since it's pre seasoned. I have a few cans of pumpkin and squash that I've brought over from the States, but would love a local source.

    Reply
  • Erin says
    October 24, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    I'm happy that you tried and liked them! Thank you so much for leaving such nice feedback. :)

    Reply
  • Anonymous says
    October 24, 2011 @ 2:04 am

    These are absolutley devine! I halved the recipe (made 5 perfect muffins) and switched around the ingredients a bit, decreasing the sugar (substituting with some stevia).
    I also made a cream cheese frosting but used the light tub variety, vanilla, a small amount of icing sugar and stevia to sweeten.

    Perfect, moist muffins with a light smear of cream cheese frosting and sprinkle of walnuts.
    YES PLEASE!

    Reply
  • Erin says
    October 20, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

    Hi Olivia! I hope they turn out the way you hope they will. Let me know how you like them! Thanks a bunch for stopping by. :)

    Reply
  • Olivia says
    October 20, 2011 @ 1:37 am

    Sent here by Cookies and Cups
    and absolutely LOVE this blog,
    cant wait to try some of the recipes :)

    Reply
  • Erin says
    October 19, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    Hey cookies and cups! If you're not used to (or think it's absolutely disgusting like I used to) whole grain baking, you should really try these cupcakes. They really honestly don't taste like they're whole wheat! But keep the sugar in the cupcakes at 1 cup if you're not used to reduced sugar stuff. Thanks for the comment! :)

    Reply
  • cookies and cups says
    October 19, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

    What a great site!! So glad you commented on mine and it led me back! You might just convert me to whole wheat yet :)

    Reply
  • Erin says
    October 18, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    Hi Miryam! I think so, too. Sometimes it's interesting to see how many calories you're normally eating per day, but I don't worry about it. I just try to make sure to eat whole grains when possible and reduce the sugar. And use olive oil instead of butter. So basically everything you do. :)

    Reply
  • eatgood4life.blogspot.com says
    October 18, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

    I just made some last week, of course they are gone, they were really good!!.

    What a great idea of using a calorie count analyzer. I guess for those that are trying to count their calories it would be very effective. I never have counted calories, but then again, if your diet is healthy I guess you won't need to do that ;-)

    Reply
  • Erin says
    October 18, 2011 @ 9:26 am

    I used the Caloriecount recipe analyzer for the cupcake part (also using 2/3 cup sugar). It got a B-. I think that's quite good for a dessert!

    – 193 calories
    – 12.1 grams fat (which comes from the olive oil)
    – 2.3 grams fiber
    – 10.6 grams sugar (which is unrefined)
    – Vitamin A 77% GDA

    To me, icing is obviously unhealthy. You can't make healthy icing with fake sugar and fake butter and fat-free cream cheese. So if you want to skip the icing, I totally understand. Just sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top of the cupcakes before baking. They're sweet enough and lovely that way. The cream cheese icing is just something special.

    Reply
  • Jessica says
    October 18, 2011 @ 5:35 am

    I just did the calculations on this recipe using SparkRecipes.com and if you use exactly what you said (including the 2/3 cup sugar instead of 1 cup and low fat cream cheese instead of regular) each cupcake is still 442 calories…and 27 grams of fat. Not really healthy :-/ I wish they were, because they sound delicious!

    Reply

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