This no-fail classic pumpkin spice muffin recipe is based on my 96-year-old Granny’s vintage pumpkin bread recipe which is super moist and delicious — and the best part is that it requires no mixer at all, just a bowl and a fork. They’re topped off with toasted pumpkin seed crunch making them just as perfect for the holidays as they are for your weekday commute.
My Granny’s original recipe calls for cinnamon, a little pre-ground nutmeg, Libby’s canned pumpkin, and pecans from her tree. I’ve updated her recipe just a bit to include a quick 20-minute homemade pumpkin purée, freshly ground nutmeg, homemade pumpkin pie spice, and homemade vanilla extract, and I’ve slightly reduced the amount of sugar. But don’t worry, these pumpkin muffins are perfectly sweet! Save time and use Libby’s, Whole Foods 365, or TJ’s canned pumpkin.
Why We Love This Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffin Recipe:
- No mixer required (you just need a bowl and a fork)
- They’re always super moist
- They’re super quick to make
- They freeze really well
- They have loads of fresh pumpkin flavor
- Easy to make (especially for kiddos)
- They’re perfectly pumpkin-spiced
- Use this recipe to make a pumpkin loaf instead
Why Are My Pumpkin Bread Muffins Dry or Dense?
Dry muffins are usually a result of a couple of things — either over-mixing the batter or baking them too long. While dense or gummy muffins can be the result of not whisking the dry ingredients well enough before adding the liquid ingredients, adding too much liquid, using too much baking powder or baking soda, or not baking them long enough.
Here are a couple of ways you can ensure your homemade pumpkin muffins are always perfectly moist.
- Always thoroughly whisk the dry ingredients together before adding any liquid (i.e. flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg). This helps ensure the leavening agent (baking soda in this case) is evenly distributed and therefore enables the pumpkin muffins to properly (and evenly) rise.
- Do not over-mix the batter. When adding the wet ingredients (i.e. eggs, oil, vanilla, and water) to the dry ingredients don’t over-mix. If you mix too vigorously, or for too long, you’ll further activate the gluten in the flour and end up with dense pumpkin muffins instead of a light, moist crumb (similar to cake).
- Don’t add too much baking soda and/or baking powder. This causes too many (and too large) air bubbles to form (from the carbon dioxide that’s produced when the leavening agent and liquid are combined). The bubbles grow too large and then deflate onto and into themselves causing muffins, cakes, and quick-breads to collapse in the center.
- Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If you insert a toothpick or cake tester into the middle of the muffin and any batter is still stuck to it, the muffin has not finished baking. If you remove them too early, they’ll sink in the middle and be gummy.
Bakery-Style Pumpkin Spice Muffin Ingredients
You just need a handful of ingredients to make pumpkin spice pumpkin muffins that are just as good as (or better than) your local bakery. Substitute homemade pumpkin purée for Libby’s, Whole Foods 365, or Trader Joe’s which will speed up the prep time and still taste great. Use homemade or store-bought vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice if you don’t feel like making it from scratch. I recommend McCormick’s Pumpkin Pie Spice.
- pumpkin purée
- all-purpose flour (or 00 flour)
- baking soda
- pumpkin pie spice
- freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
- vegetable oil
- vanilla extract
- toasted pumpkin seeds
How to Make the Best Pumpkin Spice Muffins (from Scratch)
These bakery-style pumpkin spice muffins are not only super easy and quick to make, but everyone (including kids and adults) loves them. Make ahead and freeze muffins to get a headstart on your holiday baking, or take them to the office and surprise your work peeps.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C + Prep the muffin tins. Turn on the oven and line a muffin baking pan with 12 paper or foil liners and set aside.
- Measure + combine the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and salt until well combined.
- Add the wet ingredients. Make a well in the flour mixture and add oil, eggs, water, vanilla, and pumpkin purée, and mix just until smooth. *Do not overmix.
- Decorate and bake the muffins. Mix together the pumpkin seed topping ingredients in a bowl. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin liners filling them 3/4 full, sprinkle them with the pumpkin seed topping, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, Enjoy!
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes & Muffins Tips & Tricks
Can I Freeze Homemade Pumpkin Muffins & Cupcakes?
Yes, pumpkin muffins, bread, and cupcakes all freeze really well. Always allow any baked good to completely cool to room temperature before wrapping it with parchment and then sustainable cling film. Place the wrapped loaves into an airtight freezer bag or another container and freeze. Defrost the muffins in the refrigerator overnight, or on the countertop for 30 minutes or so.
Can I Use Baking Powder Instead of Baking Soda in Pumpkin Muffins?
You can use baking powder instead of baking soda in this pumpkin muffin recipe. The rule of thumb for substituting baking powder with baking soda is to use 1 teaspoon of baking powder for every cup of flour called for in the recipe. I haven’t tried it, but if you do let us know in the comments how it worked out for you.
Why Did My Pumpkin Muffins Collapse, Fall, or Sink in the Middle?
Typically the collapse of quick bread or muffins, and cakes happens for a number of reasons:
- Underbaking pumpkin muffins or bread can cause it to be too moist on the inside and not adequately set up. As it cools, the “wet” middle will sink. Always make sure a toothpick or cake tester poked into the middle of the pumpkin bread comes out clean before removing it from the oven.
- Adding too much baking soda and/or baking powder causes too many (and too large) air bubbles to form (from the carbon dioxide that’s produced when the leavening agent and liquid are combined). The bubbles grow too large and then deflate onto and into themselves causing cakes and quick-breads to collapse in the center.
- Adding too much pumpkin or liquid to the batter can also make your pumpkin bread sink in the middle. If the batter has too much moisture, the air bubbles created by the leavening agent (baking soda in this case) will never be enough to help create and set the air pockets that give it the desired crumb.
Need a Few More Quick Bread Recipes?
If you love easy quick breads, you may want to try out one of our banana bread recipes (photographed above).
- Best Ever Strawberry Banana Bread Bread Cake
- Best Ever Classic Banana Bread Bread Cake
- Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cake
- Easy and Moist Pistachio-Pecan Banana Nut Bread
- Super Moist Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread w/Toasted Pumpkin Seed Crunch
Looking For More Pumpkin or Holiday Recipes?
If you’re looking for more pumpkin-inspired dishes for every day or to get ready for the holidays, above are a few of our favorite recipes to make.
- Granny’s Perfect Pumpkin Bread w/Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (a Vintage Recipe)
- No-yeast Easy Skillet Pumpkin Flatbread (recipe coming this week)
- Easy Pumpkin Focaccia Bread (Focaccia alla Zucca)
- Bakery Style Pumpkin Spice Blueberry Muffins (No-Mixer Needed)
- Pumpkin Cheesecake w/Chestnut Graham Cracker Layer
- All-Natural Kabocha Pumpkin Pie Tart w/Pecan Crunch (no canned pumpkin)
- Super Fluffy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes for Two (or a Crowd)
- Bakery Style Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Bread (w/Toasted Walnuts)
Let’s get started! evPrint
How to Make Easy Pumpkin Muffins step-by-step recipe photos