Today I’m excited to share one of my all-time favorite recipes, not just in the pumpkin category, but overall. I think these muffins technically originated from my mom’s friend Colleen, who is an amazing cook, but she passed them on to my aunt Nancy, and she to my aunt Char, who makes them a lot – so I’m going to credit all three of them. I have a weak spot for any of the Williams-Somoma “novelty” cake and cupcake/muffin pans – flower cupcakes, a giant cupcake-shaped cake, ice cream cone shaped cupcakes, a bundt cake pan shaped like a football stadium (for Apple Cup, obviously), etc. So of course I have both a giant pumpkin cake pan and a pumpkin muffin tin. Because food should look like what it tastes like, right?
If you’ve ever used the Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread/muffin mix, you know that it’s really good. As in, “why would I ever make these from scratch?” good. These are better though, and worth the slight increase in effort. The recipe is delicious as is, but I usually try to make at least a couple “healthy-ish” substitutions – half whole wheat flour along with half white, and half brown sugar with half white (such a sacrifice, I know). You can also cut the sugar down to 1-1.5 cups (see comment from my friend Yoona, who knows her stuff). I usually use coconut oil in lieu of butter, although of course today I was out. Funny story, the first time I made these I misread the recipe to read “two cans” of pumpkin rather than “two cups,” and then apparently never bothered to read the recipe again, so for years I made them with double the pumpkin – and guess what, they were really good (although the tops never quite got crusty like they were supposed to). But point being, you can’t really mess these up.
If you want to use all white sugar, I won’t tell – but a little brown seems almost healthy, doesn’t it?
Just whisk your eggs and add pumpkin and butter (or oil).
Add dry ingredients…..
…..and fill your muffin tins. Voilá. Took me all of five minutes, and they made my apartment smell so good! Now I just need to get them out of my house. Note: I just made this batch plain, but they’re delicious with walnuts, and really yummy with chocolate chips as well (albeit harder to pass off as healthy). See, I wasn’t kidding when I said I was really excited for pumpkin season!
makes 18-20 muffins
Cooking spray (ideally PAM for baking)
4 large eggs
1 cup butter, melted (or try coconut oil)
2 cups pumpkin purée (approx. one 15.5 ounce can)
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten free, or half whole wheat)
2 cups sugar, all white or half white and half brown
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda, sifted (make sure to sift or the little clumps will taste yucky)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts or chocolate chips, optional
Whisk eggs well, add melted butter and pumpkin, and stir until well combined. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add walnuts or chocolate chips, if using. Pour into greased muffin tins (extra greased if using a pumpkin shaped tin like mine or else it’s hard to get them out of the tin cleanly). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until tops are browned and a toothpick inserted in a middle-of-the-tin muffin comes out clean.