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Is there anything cozier than the sweetly spiced scent of Pumpkin Muffins baking on a crisp fall morning?
These Pumpkin Muffins are going to be your new go-to fall bake. Breakfast, dessert, or just a sweet snack – you really can’t go wrong!
These muffins are so quick to make and crazy easy. No mixer required. Plus, they freeze and thaw beautifully, so they’re a great make-ahead option for breakfast, brunch, or even just afternoon snacking.
I couldn’t resist adding a pecan-studded streusel to the tops of these muffins for a little cinnamony, nutty crunch – and who doesn’t love a good streusel!
During the testing process, some of Team HTH’s friends and family tasted these muffins. I knew we’d nailed the recipe when Dominic, aged 10, exclaimed, “This is the best muffin I’ve ever had! I never want this muffin to end, but I have to put it in my mouth.”
These Pumpkin Muffins will fill your house with the perfect autumnal aromas. The best part: they’re ready to enjoy in almost no time at all.
How to Make Pumpkin Muffins
How to Make MOIST Pumpkin Muffins
Pumpkin puree brings SO much moisture to muffins, but here are a few additional tips for ensuring you don’t end up with dry muffins:
- Do not over-measure the flour. I like to use a digital kitchen scale, but if you don’t have one, use the spoon-and-level method. Learn more about the importance of measuring flour correctly here.
- Oil: Oil (except coconut and palm oils) are always liquid at room temperature and even when refrigerated, so they give the palate a sensation of moisture when you bite into something made with oil.
- Other ingredients: Dark brown sugar and buttermilk, along with the pumpkin puree and oil, bring even more moisture to these muffins (as well as a ton of flavor!). Read more about these ingredients in the FAQs below the recipe.
Best Type of Pumpkin for Making Muffins
- Be sure to use canned pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling.
- Fresh pureed pumpkin could work too, but we haven’t experimented with this Pumpkin Muffin recipe specifically using fresh pumpkin to verify this.
- Check out my Fresh vs. Canned Pumpkin article for the differences between using fresh pumpkin puree, regular canned pumpkin, and organic canned pumpkin.
- Just take a look at the images below to see how different each variety looks, even before baking!
The Spices in Pumpkin Muffins
- This recipe is pretty spice-forward, for a well-rounded pumpkin spice flavor.
- Feel free to adjust the spices a little if you prefer less spice.
- Check your spices to ensure they’re not expired. If they are expired, toss them and purchase new ones – otherwise your muffins may be bland.
How to Avoid Dense Pumpkin Muffins
Avoid overmixing! This will create dense, rubbery muffins. Ensure you mix gently and until the ingredients are just combined. Also, avoid adding excess flour – learn more about that here.
How to Bake Tall Pumpkin Muffins
This recipe uses a generous amount of baking powder in the batter and a generous amount of batter in each muffin tin cavity, for beautifully tall Pumpkin Muffins. Check out more of my my tips for baking tall muffins here. If you’re baking at high altitude, you may need to reduce the amount of baking powder.
How to Prevent Liners from Sticking to the Muffins
- Some brands of liners tend to stick more than others, so use a high-quality liner.
- This is my favorite brand of muffin/cupcake liners.
- Check out my article on How to Prevent Muffin/Cupcake Liners from Sticking here.
More Recipes You’ll Love:
- Ultimate Muffins
- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake
- Pumpkin Bars with Brown Sugar Frosting
For the streusel:
- 3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons (24 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) pecans, finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the muffins:
- 2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 grams) dark brown sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup (178 grams) buttermilk, at room temperature
- ½ cup (98 grams) neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup (244 grams) pure pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the streusel:
- In a small bowl, combine all the streusel ingredients with a rubber spatula or a fork until combined. Set aside.
Make the muffins:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be thick.
- Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cavities, filling each to the brim of the pan.
- Staying away from the edges, place streusel mixture evenly over the center of the muffin batter in each cavity. Press lightly into the batter.
- Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool until barely warm before serving or storing.
Do I Have to Use Buttermilk in Pumpkin Muffins?We tested this Pumpkin Muffin recipe using whole milk in place of the buttermilk. While the milk version was still good, it was missing the delightful tang of the buttermilk, which rounds out the flavors so perfectly. If you’re unable to find real buttermilk, you can use whole milk in its place (1:1 ratio) but note that your resulting muffins won’t be quite as flavorful, and the pumpkin puree flavor will be more predominant. I don’t recommend using 2% or skim milk. Learn more about the science of buttermilk, and buttermilk substitutes here.
Do I Have to Use Dark Brown Sugar?Dark brown sugar brings depth of flavor, moisture, and richness. However, you can use light brown instead (1:1 ratio). Note that your muffins will be lighter in color, and the pumpkin puree flavor will be more noticeable.
Can I Add Chocolate Chips?I actually have a recipe for that! Check out my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe here. Feel free to add this streusel to the tops of those muffins, if preferred.
How to Store Pumpkin MuffinsStore in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for about 15 seconds, or in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes, or until heated through. Just note that the streusel will stay softer after the first day, even if refreshing in the oven.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Muffins?Yes! Pumpkin Muffins can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature for an hour or so. Refresh in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes, or until heated through, if desired.
Photos by Joanie Simon.