Recipe Review

Dorie Greenspan’s Pumpkin Muffins Are for Cupcake-Lovers

published Oct 5, 2022
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Some of Dorie Greenspan's pumpkin muffins cooling on rack
Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Dorie Greenspan’s baked goods have never let me down. I turn to Dorie’s Cookies every holiday season, wax poetic about her double ginger cookies to anyone who will listen, and am still thinking about this apple galette from Thanksgiving. So when I saw she had a pumpkin muffin recipe in her book Baking: From My Home to Yours, I couldn’t wait to include it as part of our celebrity recipe showdown

Dorie’s recipe is inspired by the “big and spicy” pumpkin muffins at Sarabeth’s restaurant in New York. Like the original, Dorie says her muffins are moist with a cakey crumb, which she achieves by creaming the butter and sugars in a stand mixer, beating in the wet ingredients, then slowly mixing in the dry. Would I prefer this cake-like technique to the classic muffin mixing method? Here’s my honest review. 

Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

How to Make Dorie Greenspan’s Pumpkin Muffins 

You’ll begin by preparing your muffin tin, which you can do by buttering or spraying the molds or lining them with paper muffin cups. I opted for the latter. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 

Next, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, freshly grated nutmeg, and allspice. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or working with a hand mixer), beat the softened butter. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs, followed by vanilla, then the pumpkin and buttermilk. At this point, my batter looked curdled, but it came together as I slowly added the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. 

Stir in the raisins and nuts, if using (I omitted them so I could more accurately compare these muffins to the others in the showdown). Divide the batter among muffin cups and top with sunflower seeds, if using. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, then let the muffins cool for five minutes in the pan before removing each one and letting them cool completely. 

Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

My Honest Review of Dorie Greenspan’s Pumpkin Muffins

Thanks to the creaming method, which aerates the batter, these muffins rose well in the oven and emerged with picturesque domed tops. As promised, they had a tender, cakey crumb, and a very subtle spiciness. When served warm with butter and jam, they were a delightful little treat. If only I’d had some tea! 

While I appreciated the variety of spices included in the batter, very little of their flavor came through. The muffins were also not very sweet, so although they had a cupcake-like look and texture, they were more reminiscent of a cakey corn muffin than a rich, moist pumpkin muffin.

Overall, these muffins are a great blank slate for your favorite spreads, and I do think they’d be worth trying with the suggested mix-ins. 

Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

If You’re Making Dorie Greenspan’s Muffins, a Few Tips

  1. Double the amount of spices. For more pumpkin spice flavor, try doubling the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. 
  2. Start checking at 20 minutes. The recipe says to bake these for 25 minutes, but mine were done a few minutes earlier. Start checking them at 20 minutes to be safe.  
  3. Enjoy with butter and jam. Dorie suggests serving these with butter and orange marmalade or apricot jam, and I think that sounds divine. 

Overall rating: 7/10

Have you tried Dorie Greenspan’s Pumpkin Muffins? Let us know in the comments!