I’ve tried many pumpkin muffins over the years, and these truly are some of the best I’ve had. They’re tender and not too sweet, with just the right amount of seasonal spice. The streusel topping adds a perfect crunch. Most importantly, this pumpkin muffin recipe actually tastes like pumpkin! Serve these warm or at room temperature, on their own or with a touch of butter.
Autumn brings so many wonderful colors, flavors, outfits, and the most welcoming breeze after the stifling humidity of summer (at least where I live). I don’t do pumpkin spice lattes (too sweet), but I love a good pumpkin recipe.
This pumpkin muffin recipe is more than good. I had to give the leftovers away before I ate them all! My goal here was to make sure they really tasted like pumpkin muffins, not muffins seasoned with pumpkin spice. I’ve had too many of those, and they always disappoint.
These do include pumpkin pie spices, but not enough to overpower. I initially tried to squeeze an entire can of pumpkin purée into the recipe, but it wasn’t possible without going over 12 muffins.
While I find recipes that don’t use the entire can irritating, my biggest muffin pet peeve is a recipe that yields 16 muffins. So I picked the lesser of 2 evils. My apologies! I feel confident you’ll forgive me once you try these.
Tips for Perfect Pumpkin Muffins
- This recipe uses plain pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling. You cannot substitute pie filling or the muffins will be cloyingly sweet and the spices will be overpowering.
- If you have a good pumpkin pie spice blend, you can substitute 2 1/2 teaspoons total for the cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger in the muffin batter.
- For best results, make sure your ground spices are fresh. I used to keep mine for way too long. While ground spices technically don’t go bad, their flavor diminishes over time. They taste best within 6 months of opening; I aim to replace them once per year as needed.
- I’ve included notes below on how to substitute fresh pumpkin for canned. I honestly don’t think fresh pumpkin makes a difference in this particular recipe since there are so many other ingredients.
How to Substitute Fresh Pumpkin For Canned
Fresh pumpkin purée can always be substituted for canned, but it needs to be drained due to the higher water content. Here’s a tutorial from Alton Brown on how to roast and puree a baking pumpkin.
After following these instructions, you’ll want to place the purée in a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh strainer and let the water drain for 1 hour, then use a spatula to gently press out some of the lingering liquid. At this point, the purée is ready for use in the pumpkin muffins!
More Pumpkin Recipes
Looking for more pumpkin recipes? You may also like my pumpkin slab pie, pumpkin dinner rolls, and pumpkin spiced cupcakes with orange curd! I also love these vegan pumpkin cinnamon sugar doughnuts from Namely Marly.
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar (dark brown sugar may be substituted)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- 4 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour (120g, approximately 1 cup)
- 3 ounces whole wheat flour (86g, approximately 3/4 cup)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (166g)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups pumpkin purée (314g)
- Place an oven rack on the middle shelf, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan, and very lightly spray the liners with baking spray.
Prepare the streusel topping: in a medium-sized bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt until evenly combined. Add the butter and, using a fork or clean fingers, press the ingredients together until the butter is incorporated.
Prepare the muffin batter: In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt until evenly combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a large bowl and electric hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together on high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to fully incorporate before adding the next.
Using a spatula, stir in the pumpkin purée, followed swiftly by the dry ingredients. The batter may briefly look curdled after adding the pumpkin, but the dry ingredients will bring the batter back together. Don’t over-mix; less mixing equals lighter muffins.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups so they are almost entirely full. You may need to press the batter down slightly, but it should all or mostly fit. Add the streusel topping, approximately 1 tablespoon per muffin. Gently press down the streusel so it adheres to the tops.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of one of the muffins.
Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then gently transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling (I use a butter knife to help lift them from the sides).
Muffins will keep in an airtight container for 4-5 days at room temperature, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the microwave for a few minutes to thaw.
Sorry about the leftover pumpkin puree if you’re using a standard sized can. My biggest pet peeve is a muffin recipe that yields more than will fit in one pan, and I picked the less annoying option. This pumpkin smoothie from Sally’s Baking Addiction is a great way to use up the leftovers!
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