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The Best Pumpkin Muffins

How to make delicious pumpkin muffins you can prep the night before and bake in the morning! Plus a low-carb bonus for guilt-free eating...
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My pathetic morning performance is well documented: I can barely function before 9am. Too bad that having kids not only means you're awake far, far before 9am, but that you have to make sure people are dressed, fed, and placed in a school-type environment. I'm always on the lookout for recipes that I can pull together the night before and assemble in the morning without having to think too hard. If you prep these delicious pumpkin muffins the night before, they'll be on the table ready to eat within 20 minutes. Not bad. And did I mention portable?

best pumpkin muffin recipe ever

​The Best Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffin Ingredients

​1 3/4 cups flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup pureed pumpkin

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup oil

Optional Ingredients For Pumpkin Muffins:

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon)

Instructions for Pumpkin Muffins

Oven preheat: 400

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl: flour, baking powder, salt, spices

Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl: Pumpkin, oil, sugar, milk

**You can stop the recipe here and refrigerate the wet ingredients until morning, or keep going.**

Stir wet ingredients into dry, stir until just combined. Spray regular muffin tin with non-stick spray. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop the batter generously into the tins (should be about 2/3 full.) Sprinkle tops of muffins with chopped pecans (if using.) Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18-20 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.

You can serve the muffins at this point, or dip the top of each warm muffin into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar for a delicious topping.

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​What About Pumpkin Muffins With No Oil?

For this specific recipe that calls for ½ cup of oil, simply substitute that ½ cup of oil with ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce. If you only have sweetened applesauce, that’ll work fine as well, but just adds another sweetened flavor profile to the pumpkin muffin. We’ve tried applesauce as a substitute and it works surprisingly well. Other popular oil substitutes for muffins are: cauliflower (cooked and pureed), sour cream, yogurt, mashed banana (ripe), and zucchini (cooked and pureed). In most cases, the oil substitute can be replaced on a 1 to 1 ratio, but you’ll need to experiment with each recipe. 

pumpkin muffin no oil

​How Long Do Pumpkin Muffins Last?

The chances you will want to eat all these muffins in one try will be high. The chances that you will actually eat these pumpkin muffins in one try are probably low. Therefore, storing these leftover pumpkin muffins is of the utmost importance.

The best way to store leftover muffins is to keep them in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last for about 2-3 days. Storing them in the fridge will (using the previous method) keep your muffins for about one week. If you do want to freeze them, wrap them in plastic wrap tight enough to have as little air as possible, but not too tight where you squash the muffin. Then put them in an airtight container. Frozen, they will last up to 2-3 months depending on how well you prepared them for the freezer. To thaw, heat frozen muffins in the oven on a cookie sheet at 300 degrees fahrenheit for a few minutes. You can also throw them in the microwave for a couple of minutes as well.

Best Variations To Add To Pumpkin Muffins

One of the best aspects about muffins is the array of variations you can add to make them unique. Adding variations can be based on the occasion or just what you are craving at the moment. Here are the five best variations we love to add to pumpkin muffins.

Chocolate Chips

One of the most popular additions to pumpkin muffins is adding chocolate chips. It’s not that easy though. The best type of chocolate chips to add to pumpkin muffins (and this goes for cookies too) are semi-sweet chocolate chips. Depending on how much you love chocolate will determine how many chips to add. For the above recipe, start by adding only ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. If you desire more, tweak the recipe by adding 1 cup the next batch you make. Substituting semi-sweet chocolate chips for white chocolate chips is another delectable way to amp up the flavor and uniqueness for pumpkin muffins.

chocolate chips for pumpkin muffins

Want to know a little known secret with adding chocolate chips to muffins? Toss the chocolate chips in flour prior to folding them into your batter. Why? When you add variations to your muffin batter often times the result is your muffins will “sink”. We see it all the time. Tossing chocolate chips, nuts, fruits, and many other additions will allow the garnish to suspend better during the baking process. You’re welcome.

Cinnamon Baking Chips

If you love cinnamon, this next variation is golden. One of the little known miracles in baking are cinnamon chips. Gently fold 1 cup of cinnamon baking chips to the final mixture prior to baking. Do not omit the 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon just because you’re adding the cinnamon chips. That’s a mistake. If you want to chop them prior to folding them into the batter you can. The biggest reason for this is to prevent the chips from sinking during baking. But if you toss the cinnamon chips in flour before you fold them into the batter, you can still use the whole chip.

Combine Chocolate Chips + Cinnamon Chips

This is an awesome pumpkin muffin hack and it borrows then combines the two variations above. Simple add ½ cup of chopped cinnamon baking chips plus ½ cup of chopped semi-sweet chocolate chips. You could also use ½ cup of miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips as well.


Using two ripe bananas, mash them until most banana lumps are gone. Combine the mashed banana when you combine the wet ingredients for the above recipe. Make sure to stir well enough where the mashed banana is well-incorporated into the wet pumpkin muffin mixture.

bananas for pumpkin muffins


Here’s a fun little twist to add this pumpkin muffin recipe. There’s different ways to add cranberries as well. The easiest cranberry variation is to add just 1 cup of chopped, dried, sweetened cranberries. The other way to add cranberries to your muffins is to fold frozen cranberries (chopped) into the muffin mix after you’ve added your dry ingredients and the batter is moistened.

How Do I Make These Pumpkin Muffins Low Carb?

With almost all baking recipes (cookies, muffins, cakes, etc), the biggest culprits for delivering the most carbs are flour and sugar. With literally two simple tweaks to this pumpkin muffin recipe, you can create a tasty low-carb option without sacrificing a lot of flavor and texture.

Low Carb Muffin Tweak #1:

In place of flour, use coconut flour or almond flour. With this pumpkin recipe, I use equal parts coconut flour and almond flour. Adding these low carb options will change the density and heaviness of the muffin.

coconut flour pumpkin muffins

Low Carb Muffin Tweak #2:

In place of brown sugar, use any granular sweetener of your choice. For this specific pumpkin muffin recipe, use erythritol or monk fruit. Be prepared to spend a little more on the cost per muffin as these low carb granular sweeteners are more expensive than regular sugar. On the flip side, the amount of guilt-free emotions you will feel while eating these low carb pumpkin muffins will far outweigh the extra cash you will spend to get that feeling.

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