How To Make Perfect Pumpkin Muffins

updated Jan 21, 2020
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I recently read an article that mentioned most people are satisfied with one Pumpkin Spice Latte every fall. Just one. 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.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

The Spice in Pumpkin Spice

A big part of what makes pumpkin muffins so amazing is the spice blend that gives them their warm 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.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Pumpkin Purée, Not Pumpkin Pie Filling

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.

Adding Nuts, Raisins, and Other Good Things

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.

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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

How To Make Pumpkin Muffins

Makes12 muffins

Nutritional Info


  • Cooking spray or paper muffin liners

  • 1 3/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 6 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 1/3 cups

    packed light brown sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 1/3 cups

    pumpkin purée

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract



  1. Prep the pan and heat the oven to 350°F. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, grease or line a 12-well standard muffin tin with paper liners.

  2. Mix the dry ingredients. Place the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.

  3. Cream the butter and sugar. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

  4. Beat in the eggs. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until well combined.

  5. Beat in the pumpkin purée and vanilla. Beat in the pumpkin purée and vanilla extract until well combined.

  6. Add the dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.

  7. Transfer the batter to the muffin pan. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin wells (they will be about 3/4 full).

  8. Bake the muffins for 18 to 22 minutes. Bake until the muffins are set and a tester inserted into the center one comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 18 to 22 minutes.

  9. Cool the muffins. Let the muffins cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan. If you greased the pan, run a thin knife around each muffin to loosen it from the pan first if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover muffins can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. (Reheat frozen muffins in an oven or toaster oven at 300°F, or for a few minutes in the microwave).

(Image credit: The Kitchn)