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!) The optional oat crumb topping adds a nice crunch and flavor.
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 faster to make and I don’t need to worry about an underbaked center. (Have you ever had that happen? You bake a loaf of pumpkin bread. You think it’s done, the cake tester comes out clean and, whamo, you get to the center of the loaf and there’s a raw spot? Pumpkin muffins don’t behave like this.)
Why You’ll Love These Perfect 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.
Let’s talk about number two on the list. Unlike making small-batch banana muffins, there’s no way to make a small batch of pumpkin muffins unless you want leftover canned pumpkin. And, while I know there’s probably an article about “15 ways to use leftover pumpkin” I don’t want leftover canned pumpkin. So this recipe makes 24 muffins. (The good news: they freeze really well. )
- Canned Pumpkin. You’ll need one (15-ounce) can of pumpkin for these muffins. Be sure to use canned pumpkin and not a can of pumpkin pie filling. They’re usually next to each other on the shelf.
- Light Brown Sugar. If you’ve made my brown sugar banana bread, you know I love brown sugar in quick bread recipes. It adds flavor and sweetness.
- 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.
Making Pumpkin Muffins from Scratch: The Key Step
This is a simple recipe to make. You basically whisk all the ingredients together until you get a smooth, thick batter.
There is one fun (and a little unusual) step: you whisk the light brown sugar into the pumpkin puree. Since brown sugar, even when it’s soft and fresh, tends to clump, I started whisking the brown sugar together with the pumpkin puree. Doing this ensures that any lumps in the brown sugar dissolve. When you first add the sugar to the pumpkin, it looks like too much. After a few seconds of whisking, the sugar melts.
Cook Fast, Eat Well Tip
Got hard brown sugar? If your brown sugar is a bit hard, combine the pumpkin puree and brown sugar and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then whisk. The sugar will dissolve in that time.
Do I need an electric mixer?
Nope! You can mix this recipe by hand with a whisk or use an electric mixer. Whatever you find the most comfortable is what you should use.
Can you freeze the muffins?
Yes! Pumpkin muffins freeze really well. Allow them to cool completely before freezing. Then place in a freezer bag or container for up to three months.
How many cups of pumpkin are in a 15-ounce can?
Good question! There are about 1 7/8 cups in a 15-ounce can.
Recipe Variation: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Love pumpkin chocolate chip muffins? I got you! Simply 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.
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 flour (13 ½ ounces; 387 grams)
- 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 ¾ cups packed brown sugar (12 ¼ ounces; 347 grams)
- 4 large eggs (about 8 ounces; 226 grams, out of shell)
- ¾ cup vegetable oil (5 ¼ ounces; 148 grams)
- ½ cup to 1 cup chocolate chips, optional (3 to 6 ounces; 85 to 170 grams)
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup oats, instant or quick-cook
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
Whisk together flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree and brown sugar. Whisk until smooth. Add the eggs, whisk until smooth. Add the vegetable oil, mix to combine.
Add flour mixture. Stir until a batter forms.
Prepare the crumb topping: 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. Top with crumb mixture.
Bake until 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 five minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
For 24 pumpkin chocolate chips muffins, stir one cup of chocolate chips into the batter and then fill the muffin cups as directed above.
For 12 pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, scoop batter into 12 muffin cups as directed above. Then stir 1/2 cup chocolate chips into the remaining batter.