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My Best Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

Welcome to the epitome of fall baking! (Well, besides apple cake and apple crisp.) These are my super-moist, deliciously spiced, and extra soft pumpkin muffins. They’re adapted from my popular pumpkin crumb cake muffins and aren’t quite as sweet, making them the perfect “anytime” treat during the fall season. You could even add chocolate chips for extra tasty pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. No mixer required!

stack of 2 pumpkin muffins.

Meet my favorite pumpkin muffin recipe, the sequel to my favorite zucchini muffins and banana muffins. I appreciate “simple” muffin recipes like these because sometimes we don’t crave all the bells and whistles of pumpkin cheesecake muffins… right? Over-the-top muffins are undoubtedly delicious, but I’m certain you’ll want to make today’s easy pumpkin muffins again and again. Why?

Here’s Why You’ll Love My Simple Pumpkin Muffins

  • Reliable, easy recipe with basic ingredients
  • No mixer needed
  • Extra soft & moist
  • Deep pumpkin spice flavor (you can use your homemade pumpkin pie spice!)
  • Dairy free if using dairy-free milk
  • Very adaptable recipe—add chocolate chips, nuts, or dried cranberries; sprinkle with coarse sugar; or leave plain
close-up photo of many pumpkin muffins topped with coarse sugar.

How are these different from pumpkin cupcakes? My pumpkin cupcakes recipe is a favorite! In that recipe, you use less flour and milk with the same amount of pumpkin, so the cupcakes have a much lighter, airier texture. Today’s muffins are thicker and denser with just as much flavor.

Grab These 11 Ingredients:

flour, baking soda, pumpkin, eggs, milk, pumpkin pie spice, and other ingredients on marble counter.
  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour in this recipe. If desired, you can replace half of the flour with whole wheat flour for a heartier, denser pumpkin muffin.
  • Baking Soda: Helps the muffins rise. There’s no need for baking powder and, in fact, I’ve made these pumpkin cream cheese muffins with only baking soda before too. (Just leave out the baking powder in those; truly no noticeable difference in the outcome.)
  • Cinnamon, Ginger, & Pumpkin Pie Spice: Pumpkin is tasty, but in order to really bring out its flavor, you need some warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. You can use store-bought or try my homemade pumpkin pie spice blend. Pumpkin pie spice already includes cinnamon and ginger, but for the BEST, deepest flavor, I recommend using all 3. See recipe Note.
  • Pumpkin Puree: You need 1 and 1/2 cups (about 340g) of pumpkin puree, which is most of a standard 15-ounce can. Do not use pumpkin pie filling. Just like with these pumpkin snickerdoodles, canned pumpkin is best, but you could use fresh puree if that’s what you have.
  • Oil: The muffins taste dry and rubbery without some fat. Just as if we’re making pumpkin cake and pumpkin coffee cake, use vegetable oil. You could also use melted coconut oil.
  • Brown & White Sugars: I slightly reduced the sugar from my starting point (pumpkin crumb cake muffins), so the pumpkin flavor shines. Using a little brown sugar adds some flavor, too.
  • Eggs: Provide structure.
  • Milk: Like most muffin recipes, the batter needs a liquid. You can use whole milk, buttermilk, or any dairy or nondairy milk you enjoy. I use orange juice in my pumpkin bread recipe, but using orange juice (for the amount of liquid needed here) wasn’t ideal here. The muffins were too citrus-y. You could, of course, replace *some* of the milk with *some* orange juice.

This is optional, but I love adding a little coarse sugar to the tops of the pumpkin muffins before baking. I do this in a lot of my muffin recipes (both online and in my book) because it adds a sparkly crunch—just like real bakery muffins! You can use something like Sugar in the Raw or white sparkling sugar. And don’t forget my high-temperature trick, included in the written recipe and explained in the Notes below.

As instructed in the printable recipe below, grab a large bowl for the dry ingredients, a medium bowl for the wet ingredients, then whisk it all together. Expect a thick batter:

orange batter in glass bowl with blue whisk.

Fill the muffin liners all the way to the top:

muffins batter in metal muffin pan.
pumpkin muffins on white plate with cinnamon sticks.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

You can turn these easy pumpkin muffins into pumpkin chocolate chip muffins! Simply fold 1 cup (about 180g) of chocolate chips in the batter right before spooning into your muffin pan.

pumpkin batter with chocolate chips in muffin pan.
stack of two pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

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These muffins are adapted from my popular pumpkin crumb cake muffins and aren’t quite as sweet, making them the perfect “anytime” treat during the fall season. You could even add chocolate chips for extra tasty pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. No mixer required!

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners.
  2. Make the muffins: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, and milk together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and then fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain.
  4. Spoon the batter into liners, filling them all the way to the top.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F, then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 16–17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 21–22 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin pan before enjoying. 
  6. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.


  1. Freezing Instructions: For longer storage, freeze the muffins for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then heat up in the microwave if desired.
  2. Pumpkin Pie Spice & Spices: You can find pumpkin pie spice in the baking aisle of most grocery stores or make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have either and want to use individual spices, use 1/4 teaspoon each of ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice. Do not leave out the 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon that is also called for in this recipe. Depending how much you like ginger, you can skip or leave in the extra 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger that is also called for in this recipe.
  3. Can I reduce the sugar or oil? You can absolutely slightly reduce either or both, but understand that sugar and oil help produce moist, tender muffins and the results may be disappointing and your muffins could taste dry. For the oil, feel free to swap *some* for applesauce. You could also try substituting all or most of both sugars with coconut sugar.
  4. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins/Other Add-Ins: Simply fold 1 cup (about 180g) of chocolate chips in the batter right before spooning into your muffin pan. Or you can add 1 cup (about 130g) of chopped pecans or walnuts, or 3/4 cup (about 105g) of dried cranberries.
  5. Mini Muffins: For around 30 mini muffins, line mini muffin pans with liners or spray with nonstick spray. Prepare batter as directed and fill liners to the top. Bake at 350°F (177°C) the entire time (skip the initial high temperature) for 11–13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Why the initial high oven temperature? Like I do for most muffin recipes, bake the muffins for 5 minutes at a very hot temperature. Then, keeping the muffins in the oven, switch to a lower temperature for the remaining bake time. This initial high temperature will quickly lift the muffin tops so they’re extra high, then the centers will bake during the lower temperature bake time. This trick makes beautiful bakery-style muffins every time.

Keywords: pumpkin muffins

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