I recently read an article that mentioned most people are satisfied with one pumpkin spice latte every fall. The same cannot be said for soft, lightly spiced pumpkin muffins. These breakfast treats are especially wonderful right now, as we settle into autumn, but are also perfectly acceptable to eat year-round.
A big part of what makes pumpkin muffins so amazing is the spice blend that gives them their warm, autumn-y flavor. The blend of spices used in this recipe are also the primary components of pumpkin pie spice: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and ground cloves. Rather than using a store-bought spice blend, I really prefer to use the individual spices so I can adjust the amount of spices to my taste.
When picking up the ingredients for these muffins, be sure to grab plain pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling — they’re not quite the same thing. Canned pumpkin purée is simply that, cooked and puréed pumpkin; it has very little flavor and isn’t sweetened. Canned pumpkin pie filling, on the other hand, is sweetened and flavored with spices; it’s essentially a shortcut to making pumpkin pie. Check the label on the can before you buy as it’s super easy to grab the wrong one off the shelf.
This version of pumpkin muffins is a standard classic. They’re simple, yet pillowy-soft, fluffy, and ultra-comforting. If you prefer your muffin chock full of add-ins, this recipe makes a great base. Go ahead and add anything from chocolate chips to walnuts to raisins to shredded coconut.
Makes 12 standard-size muffins
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Standard-size 12-cup muffin pan (or 2 6-cup pans)
Muffin liners (optional)
Mixing bowl Measuring cups Measuring spoons Stand or electric mixer (optional)
(Image credits: Kelli Dunn)
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