Pumpkin Spice Muffins

You're going to love the crunchy sugary-spiced topping.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Photo: Stacy Allen; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Lindsey Lower
Prep Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
Servings:
12

You'll need just 15 minutes of active prep time to make these pumpkin spice muffins. That means you can whip these up before you begin preparing other parts of an autumn brunch or breakfast, like this Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole or this Stuffed Ham-and-Cheese Croissant Casserole.

Or, better yet, make a dozen at the start of the week to have as a quick breakfast or sweet treat in the afternoons. You can store these muffins for up to three days in an airtight container at room temperature. If you bake too many, or are just planning ahead, you can freeze them, too. Place the cooled muffins on a sheet pan, and pop it into the freezer for 2 or 3 hours. Once they're hard, stick them in a zip-top bag, label it, and save them for another day.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins Ingredients

With the exception of the canned pumpkin, you probably keep most of the ingredients on hand year-round.

To make these pumpkin spice muffins, you will need:

- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- kosher salt
- pumpkin pie spice
- eggs
- canned pumpkin
- dark brown sugar
- vanilla extract
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar

More: 27 Pumpkin Spice Recipes That Taste Like Fall In a Bite

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Muffins

This is a good recipe if you have a young assistant in the kitchen. They can focus on combining the wet or dry ingredients, while you do the other. Then, together, you can combine the parts of the batter, and scoop into the pan.

Step 1. Mix the batter

First things first, get your muffin pan ready. Place 12 paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tray, and preheat the oven to 375°F.

Then, mix the batter: In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients—flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 2 teaspoons of the pumpkin pie spice. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients—eggs, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, 1/2 cup melted butter, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Stir to combine.

Make a well in the dry ingredients with a spoon or the bottom of a measuring cup. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, and whisk or fold to combine.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Stacy Allen; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Lindsey Lower

Step 2. Scoop into pan

Spoon the muffin batter into the prepared cups. You can also use a 1/4 cup measuring cup, as that's about how much will fit into each space. Fill each cup two-thirds of the way full.

pumpkin muffin batter in baking pan
Stacy Allen; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Lindsey Lower

Step 3. Bake

Place the muffins in the preheated oven, and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes. You can test doneness by inserting a wooden pick into the center of one of the muffins. If it comes out clean, the muffins are done and ready to be taken out of the oven. If some of the batter clings to the pick, close the oven door, and give the muffins a few more minutes.

Once a pick inserted comes out clean, the muffins need to sit in the pan and cool for about 10 minutes while you make the sugary topping.

baked Pumpkin Spice Muffins in pan
Stacy Allen; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Lindsey Lower

Step 4. Make the topping

While the muffins are cooling, combine the remaining granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Then, melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter in a separate small bowl.

Step 5. Dip the muffins

After the muffins have cooled enough to handle, dip the tops of each muffin, one at a time, in the melted butter, then immediately in the sugar-spice mixture.

Serve warm, or place on a wire rack to cool completely.

preparing topping for pumpkin spice muffins
Stacy Allen; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Lindsey Lower

How Do You Spice Up Muffins?

This pumpkin spice muffin recipe gets its flavor from pumpkin pie spice. Other ways to spice up muffins include adding cinnamon or tossing in nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips.

For an extra moist and surprising texture and flavor profile, add a spoonful of peanut butter or hazelnut spread to each muffin before baking.

Why Are My Muffins So Dense?

This might seem counterintuitive, but it could actually be an excess of baking soda or powder that is making your pumpkin spice muffins come out dense. That's because too much baking soda or baking powder will cause the muffins to rise only to collapse again, which gives them a dense consistency. This recipe calls for just one teaspoon of baking powder and one-half teaspoon of baking soda.

Also, make sure you measure your flour correctly: Scoop spoonfuls of flour into a measuring cup, then level with the flat edge of a knife. Don't scoop your measuring cup directly into the bag or canister. You'll pack in too much flour, which can make the muffins dense or dry.

What Makes a Muffin Moist?

Fat, such as butter or oil, adds moistness to muffins; some recipes even call for using both. Overcooking or over-mixing can also dry out muffins so mind those parts of the process too for the best results. This recipe is tender and moist, with butter-dipped tops for even more moistness.

What Makes a Muffin Chewy?

Overmixing could also contribute to an undesirably chewy muffin. While too much leavening can lead to an overly dense muffin, too little can also inhibit the muffins from rising adequately to create a fluffy and light texture that's not too chewy.

Editorial contributions by Alesandra Dubin.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (about 6 3/8 oz.) all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt

  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (from 1 [15-oz.] can)

  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • ¾ cup (6 oz.) unsalted butter, melted, divided

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper liners.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 2 teaspoons of the pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl. Whisk together eggs, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, and 1/2 cup each of the melted butter and granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Make a well in center of flour mixture; add egg mixture to flour mixture, whisking until fully combined. Spoon batter evenly into paper liners, filling two-thirds of the way full (about 1/4 cup batter per liner).

  3. Bake muffins in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, stir together remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Place remaining 1/4 cup melted butter in a separate small bowl.

  5. Working with 1 muffin at a time, remove muffins from muffin tray, and dip tops of muffins in melted butter, letting excess drip off; dip top of muffins into sugar-spice mixture. Serve warm, or let cool completely on a wire rack, about 20 minutes. Store muffins in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Updated by
Alesandra Dubin
a woman with blonde curly hair smiles at the camera

Alesandra Dubin is an LA-based lifestyle writer and editor. As a veteran digital journalist, she's covered travel, food, parenting, and more for over 15 years. Her work has appeared in Allrecipes, TripSavvy, Town & Country, Business Insider, Marriot Traveler, Today.com, and countless other online and print outlets. She is a writer for Southern Living.

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