These pumpkin muffins are easy to make. Thanks to a blend pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and a generous amount of pie spice, they are delightfully moist, tender, and bursting with flavor. The recipe includes an optional oat-streusel topping for a little extra sweetness and a bit of crunch.
Each fall, pumpkin lattes and loaves of bread get all the attention. But today I want to talk about pumpkin muffins.
When I feel like baking something “fall-ish”, it’s pumpkin muffins I make, not bread. The reason for this is simple: they’re fast to make and have the same wonderful flavor and texture as pumpkin bread.
Why You’ll Love These Easy Pumpkin Muffins
- Easy-to-make. Since this recipe uses oil, not butter, the batter stirs together quickly.
- Uses a full can of pumpkin. This means no leftover pumpkin puree sitting in the fridge.
- Not too sweet. These muffins are light, tender, and not-too-sweet.
- Canned Pumpkin. You need one (15-ounce) can of pumpkin for these muffins. Be sure to use canned pumpkin–sometimes it’s labeled pumpkin puree– and not a can of pumpkin pie filling. The only ingredient should be pumpkin.
- Brown Sugar. The muffin’s sweetness comes from brown sugar. You can use either light brown or dark brown. Both work great. Dark brown sugar, with its higher molasses content, gives the muffins a slightly richer flavor compared to light brown sugar.
Substitute: Granulated sugar. If you don’t have brown sugar on hand, replace it with an equal amount of granulated (table) sugar.
- Pumpkin Spice. Is a blend of the spices traditionally used in pumpkin pie. The blend tends to vary by brand. During testing, I used Penzey’s Pumpkin Pie Spice which contains cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, mace, and cloves.
Substitute: Ground cinnamon and ginger. A blend of ground cinnamon and ginger makes a great substitute for the pie spice.
- Flour. All-purpose flour gives the muffins a nice texture.
Substitute: If you want to make gluten-free muffins, use a gluten-free baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour.
- Oil. Use your favorite flavorless (neutral) oil, like vegetable oil or canola oil. It makes the muffins soft and tender.
Substitute: Melted and slightly cooled butter adds a nice flavor. When made with butter, the muffins aren’t quite as soft but they’re very close.
- Eggs. Use large, room-temperature eggs.
Substitute. I haven’t tested the recipe with an egg replacer. If you do, let me know how it works.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda. The combination gives the muffins lift and helps with browning.
- Salt. Use fine (table) salt. It mixes easily into the batter and enhances all the other flavors.
Recipe Variations: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip, Crumb Muffins & Nut Muffins.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip: Love pumpkin chocolate chip muffins? I got you! Stir chocolate chips into the batter after mixing. Since this recipe makes 24 pumpkin muffins, I often stir in chocolate chips into half the batch. I fill my first pan and then add about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to the remaining batter. Then I sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top of each muffin.
Pumpkin Crumb Muffins. Included with the recipe is an oat-based streusel topping. Made with brown sugar and a little flour, it adds a really nice crunch and a bit of added sweetness to the muffins.
Pumpkin Nut Muffins. If you love nuts, stir one cup of chopped walnuts into the batter.
How to Make Pumpkin Muffins. Step by Step.
Here’s what you need to know to make a batch of these muffins.
Heat the Oven and Prep Your Pans.
Before measuring your ingredients, turn on the oven. This allows the oven time to reach the correct temperature. (A hot oven means light muffins.)
Then prepare your pans. I like to line a muffin pan with paper liners and then spray the top with nonstick spray. Greasing the pan with a light spray helps to ensure that the muffins don’t stick to the pan in case they come into contact with pan during baking.
Make the Batter.
First, whisk the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Doing this helps distribute the smaller ingredients evenly throughout the flour. Then add the rest of the ingredients, except for nuts, chocolate chips or other add-ins. Stir until the batter is thick and creamy. You can use a handheld mixer or hand whisk, whichever you prefer.
After the batter comes together, grab a rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Flour loves to hide at the bottom of the bowl. We want to mix that into the batter.
If you’re making pumpkin nut or pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, stir the nuts or chocolate chips in now.
Fill the Pan.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan. I like to use a muffin scoop for this task. Not only does it simplify the process of filling the pan, but it also ensures that each muffin cup gets an equal amount of batter. As a result, every muffin is uniform in size and requires the same baking time.
If you’re making crumb-topped muffins, sprinkle the streusel topping onto each muffin.
A batch of these muffins takes about 20 minutes to bake. Look for a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin to come out clean.
Remove the hot pan from the oven and place it directly onto a wire rack. Let the muffins to cool in the pan for about ten minutes. Then remove the muffins from the pan and place them directly on the rack.
If your muffins stick, don’t worry. Gently run a dull butter knife around the muffin. If you used paper liners, this should be enough to get the muffin out of the pan.
How to Store and Freeze the Muffins.
Store the cooled muffins in a resealable container at room temperature for up to five days. If you want to freeze the muffins: let them cool completely. This step is crucial as freezing hot muffins can lead to dryness. Place the cooled muffins in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months.”
Easy Pumpkin Muffins
Easy-to-make and not too sweet, these soft and tender pumpkin muffins are perfect for fall. (Plus, the recipe uses an entire can of pumpkin!)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (13 ½ ounces; 387 grams)
- 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¾ cups packed brown sugar (12 ¼ ounces; 347 grams)
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 4 large eggs (about 8 ounces; 226 grams, out of shell)
- ¾ cup vegetable oil (5 ¼ ounces; 148 grams)
Crumb Topping (Optional)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (2 ¼ ounces; 65 grams)
- ½ cup oats, instant or quick-cook (1 ½ ounces; 42 grams)
- ½ cup brown sugar (3 ¾ ounces; 106 grams)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted (3 ounces; 85 grams)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
Whisk together flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Add the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, and oil. Mix until smooth. The batter will be thick. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Stir in any flour that was clinging to the bottom or sides of the bowl.
Crumb Topping (Optional Step). Stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, and pumpkin spice. Add the melted butter. Stir until crumbly.
Scoop batter into muffin cups, filling them about ⅔ full. If using crumb topping, sprinkle it onto the tops of each muffin.
Bake until the muffins golden brown and set. A toothpick interested into the center of the muffins should come out clean, about 20 minutes.
Remove the pans from the oven. Allow the muffins to cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store the cooled muffins in a resealable container for up to five days. Freeze them in a freezer container for up to three months.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip: Stir one cup of chocolate chips into the batter.
Pumpkin Nut Muffins: Stir one cup chopped walnuts into the batter.