These Pumpkin Muffins are perfect for fall! They’re moist, light, fluffy, perfectly sweet, packed with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices, and topped with a crunchy and sweet cinnamon sugar topping!
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Is anyone else as excited as I am for all the fall baking?
Well, even if you’re not enjoying three different pumpkin spice recipes at once, you can bet pumpkin baking is in full swing. And these pumpkin muffins are the perfect fall snack, breakfast, or dessert!
It took me a few tries to get them just right (my family ate a LOT of pumpkin muffins these last few weeks!) but I’m so excited to share them today.
They are light and fluffy, with the perfect bakery-style muffin dome and an (optional, but not really) topping of cinnamon and sugar.
Ingredients for pumpkin muffins
- Brown Sugar: brown sugar adds sweetness while its molasses content adds rich flavor.
- Pumpkin Puree: make sure you use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has added sugar and other ingredients while pumpkin puree is just pumpkin.
- Buttermilk: the buttermilk adds moisture while its acidity helps break down the gluten so the muffins are extra soft.
- Canola Oil: I definitely recommend using canola oil since it has a more neutral flavor than other types.
- Eggs: bind the ingredients together so that the muffins can hold their shape, and adds height so they are nice and fluffy.
- Vanilla: adds flavor depth and brings out the warm sweetness of the brown sugar.
- All-Purpose Flour: gives the muffins their structure. You can try swapping half of the flour for whole wheat to add more fibre.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: you’ll use both of these leavening agents to keep the muffins light and fluffy.
- Cinnamon, Salt, Nutmeg, Ground Cloves, and Ground Ginger: a simple blend of seasonings to add warmth, spicy sweetness, and that classic pumpkin spice flavor.
- Unsalted Butter, Granulated Sugar, and Ground Cinnamon: makes up a sweet, crunchy cinnamon sugar topping to finish off the muffins.
How to make pumpkin muffins
Just 15 minutes to prep, 20 minutes to bake, and you’ve got a delicious fall snack ready to go!
- Mix wet ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, buttermilk, oil, and eggs.
- Add dry ingredients: Add in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, then stir until just combined.
- Portion the batter and bake: Divide the batter out into 14 greased muffin cups, then bake at 350ºF for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Add topping: In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon. Brush the tops of the baked muffins with melted butter and dip them in the cinnamon and sugar.
Can you use regular milk?
I don’t recommend it. The buttermilk is part of what makes the muffins so moist, light, and fluffy!
If you don’t have buttermilk, I’ll show you how to make buttermilk here — then you never have to be without!
Why are my pumpkin muffins so dense?
If your pumpkin muffins are overly dense, there may be a couple reasons why:
- Over-mixed batter. Be sure to mix the wet and dry ingredients together only until just combined. Mixing the batter too much can result in extra gluten development which can make the muffins dense or even gummy.
- Expired leavening agents. Double check your baking soda and baking powder to make sure they aren’t expired before you use them in the muffins. If they’re too old, they won’t serve their desired purpose.
- Too much flour. Whenever baking, you definitely need to lightly scoop your flour and spoon it into the measuring cup, or use a scale and weigh it. Any extra flour can weight down the muffins and make them dry, especially if the flour is packed into the cup.
Tips and tricks for pumpkin muffins
- Check your pumpkin. Make sure you’re using pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. They’re not the same thing! Pumpkin puree will just have “pumpkin” listed in the ingredients. Pumpkin pie filling has added sugar.
- Spoon and level the flour. It’s worth saying again! I recommend spooning the flour into your measuring cup, then levelling it off with your finger to avoid packing it too tightly. Too much flour will result in dry muffins.
- Grease the pan. Lightly grease your muffin tin before you add the batter so you can easily remove the muffins after they’re baked. You can also use muffin liners if preferred.
- Swap the topping. You can swap the cinnamon and sugar topping for cream cheese frosting or maple glaze.
- Make pumpkin bread. Turn this pumpkin muffin batter into pumpkin bread by baking it in a loaf pan for 50-65 minutes instead. Use a toothpick or skewer to help you know when it is done.
How to store
Leftover pumpkin muffins will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, in the fridge for 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to serve, simply microwave to warm, if desired!
More pumpkin recipes
- Baked Overnight Pumpkin French Toast
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal Cups
- No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Spice Latte Blondies
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- 1 ¼ cups brown sugar (265 grams)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) about 230 grams
- 1 cup low fat buttermilk
- ¼ cup canola oil (50 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour (293 grams) fluffed and levelled
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease 14 muffin cups.
- In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, buttermilk, oil, and eggs.
- Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir just until combined but don't overmix.
- Divide batter between 14 muffin cups. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to continue cooling.
Cinnamon Sugar Topping (optional)
- In a small bowl stir together sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Brush tops of muffins with melted butter and dip into cinnamon sugar mixture.
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