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These bakery-style pumpkin muffins are moist, warmly-spiced, and finished with high, sugar-crusted tops. Best of all, the easy recipe only requires one bowl and about 10 minutes of prep! Serve a basket of warm pumpkin spice muffins with mugs of hot coffee for a cozy autumn breakfast, offer them as an afternoon snack alongside cups of mulled cider, or pair them with chili, pot roast, or fried chicken for a sweet side dish at the dinner table.

Close up side shot of pumpkin muffins on a white tray

These easy pumpkin muffins aren’t just for fall! They’re so big, fluffy, and moist, your family will want to enjoy them all year long. Best of all, the muffins are very quick to stir together with one bowl and 10 minutes of prep. You’ll never need to rely on a boxed mix again!

Square side shot of hands holding a bowl of pumpkin muffins

Why These Easy Pumpkin Muffins are the Best

Hands-down, these are the best pumpkin muffins you’ll ever taste! I simply tweaked our favorite applesauce pumpkin muffins by adding a bit of sugar, and by increasing the pumpkin to account for the missing applesauce. The end result is a bakery-style treat that all of my boys adore! Here’s why we love them:

  • They’re easy. If we’re going to make a recipe on repeat around here, it needs to be quick and simple. These muffins fit the bill! They don’t require any weird or hard-to-find ingredients, they come together in a single bowl (which means fewer dishes to wash), and they’re ready for the oven in about 10 minutes.
  • They use an entire can of pumpkin. This might seem silly, but if a recipe calls for only a portion of the can of pumpkin puree, it can be annoying to try to figure out how to use up the leftovers. No partial cans will go to waste!
  • They have high sugar-crusted tops. For a true bakery-style treat, you’ve got to have those mile-high muffin tops that are either coated with an obscene amount of coarse sugar (to give them that great sweet and crispy texture), or hidden beneath mounds of rich, buttery streusel.
  • They’re freezer-friendly. It’s convenient to be able to bake a batch of muffins and stash half of them away for another meal, for quick grab-and-go breakfasts, or for any time a craving strikes. Nothing gets stale, and there’s no need to enjoy them all immediately, because these muffins keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Stirring pumpkin muffin batter in a white bowl

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a batch of pumpkin spice muffins. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step baking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Granulated sugar and light brown sugar: just enough for sweetness. I love the moisture and flavor that you get from a little bit of brown sugar. That said, it’s fine to sub with extra granulated sugar instead.
  • Vegetable oil: for moisture; you can substitute with canola oil or even melted butter.
  • Eggs: give the muffins structure.
  • Canned pumpkin puree: just the unsweetened 100% pumpkin — not a pumpkin pie filling mix.
  • Vanilla extract: for more flavor.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: the leavening agents that help these muffins rise high!
  • Salt: balances the sweetness and adds flavor to the muffins.
  • All-purpose flour: for even healthier muffins, swap out half of the all-purpose flour for 1 cup of whole wheat flour.
  • Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice: all of the classic warm spices that you love in an easy pumpkin muffin recipe. If it’s easier, substitute with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice.
  • Coarse sugar: this is the brand that I use, but turbinado sugar will also work for sprinkling on top of the muffins.
Sprinkling coarse sugar on muffins before baking

Is pumpkin puree the same as canned pumpkin?

Yes! Canned pumpkin and pumpkin puree are the same thing. These terms are often used interchangeably in recipes. You can use 15 ounces (or about 1 ½ cups) of fresh pumpkin puree if you prefer that instead of the canned product. Just make sure that you don’t pick up a can of “pumpkin pie filling” or “pumpkin pie mix,” which includes sugar and spices that you don’t find in the pure pumpkin.

Close up front shot of pumpkin muffins in a muffin tin

Why are my pumpkin muffins so dense?

The key to a nicely-balanced, moist pumpkin muffin with a light, tender crumb is just the right amount of pumpkin puree paired with just the right amount of oil. Too much oil, butter, or pumpkin and the muffins turn out dense, heavy, and gummy. Too little oil, butter, or pumpkin and the muffins turns out dry, crumbly, and flavorless. It’s a delicate balance, and this recipe gets it just right for perfectly moist, fluffier muffins every single time!

Square side shot of a wire cooling rack of pumpkin muffins

How to Make Pumpkin Muffins

We’re making these pumpkin spice muffins with one bowl and about 10 minutes of prep!

  1. Stir together the sugars, oil, and eggs.
  2. Add the pumpkin and vanilla.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda, baking powder, and salt over top of the wet ingredients. Stir the pumpkin mixture until well blended.
  4. Sift in the remaining dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger. Combine, but don’t over-mix the flour mixture.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups in a standard-size muffin pan. Fill them really full! Sprinkle coarse sugar on top.
  6. Bake in a 375°F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Overhead shot of pumpkin muffins in a muffin tin on a wooden table

Serving Suggestions

Offer the muffins for a quick grab-and-go breakfast on busy mornings (just pull one from the freezer and reheat it in seconds); pile some in a basket as a part of a special brunch buffet; set out a few with a glass of milk for an afternoon snack; or even enjoy them as a side dish with dinner.

Pumpkin muffins are delicious at room temperature, or even better when served warm. They’re best with a smear of soft butter, a dollop of jam, apple butter, or homemade honey butter, or even spread with almond butter or peanut butter. Don’t forget a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk!

Square image of a platter of pumpkin muffins with milk in the background

Dinner Entrées to Serve with Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Horizontal shot of the best pumpkin muffins on a blue and white plate

Storage

Pumpkin muffins are a perfect make-ahead breakfast or snack because they just get better as they sit overnight and the flavors come together. Allow the muffins to cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Thaw frozen muffins on the counter overnight or in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, just until warmed through.

Close up front shot of a bowl of easy pumpkin muffins

Recipe Variations

  • Replace half of the all-purpose flour with 1 cup of whole wheat flour.
  • Instead of the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, substitute with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice.
  • Swap out the coarse sugar and instead add a streusel topping on your muffins.
  • Stir in 1 cup of chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts.
  • Add 1 cup of raisins or sweetened dried cranberries (such as Craisins) to the batter. Try fresh cranberries for a tart pop of flavor.
  • Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips for a decadent treat!
  • Mini Muffins: Divide the batter between mini muffin tins. Bake the mini muffins in 350°F oven for a total of 14-16 minutes.
Kid's hand picking up a pumpkin muffin

Tips for the Best Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

  • Make sure that you use a can of 100% pure pumpkin puree, which is different from canned pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin pie mix. The pure pumpkin puree is unsweetened and doesn’t include any spices or other seasonings.
  • Use either canola oil or vegetable oil. You want a neutral oil that will not flavor the muffins, so don’t use olive oil. Feel free to substitute with melted unsalted butter if you prefer.
  • Sift the flour to avoid any big clumps in your batter.
  • Be careful not to over-mix the batter. You want it to come together so that everything is combined, but then stop stirring! Mixing too much will result in dry, dense muffins.
Close up side shot of pumpkin muffins cooling on a rack

More Pumpkin Recipes to Try

Square side shot of easy pumpkin muffins on a white tray

Pumpkin Muffins

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 184 kcal
You only need one bowl and about 10 minutes of prep for these easy, bakery-style pumpkin muffins!

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • Coarse sugar, for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and eggs. Add the pumpkin and vanilla extract; whisk to combine. Sprinkle baking soda, baking powder, and salt over top. Whisk until well blended.
  • Stir in the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice; be careful not to over-mix.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Each cup will be really full, which yields those tall muffin tops.
  • Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of coarse sugar on top of each muffin. It seems like a lot of sugar for each muffin, but this is what gives them those bakery-style sugar-crusted tops!
  • Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean.
  • Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Notes

  • Make sure that you use a can of 100% pure pumpkin puree, which is different from canned pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin pie mix. The pure pumpkin puree is unsweetened and doesn’t include any spices or other seasonings.
  • Use either canola oil or vegetable oil. You want a neutral oil that will not flavor the muffins, so don’t use olive oil. Feel free to substitute with melted unsalted butter if you prefer.
  • Sift the flour to avoid any big clumps in your batter.
  • Be careful not to over-mix the batter. You want it to come together so that everything is combined, but then stop stirring! Mixing too much will result in dry, dense muffins.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffinCalories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 252mgPotassium: 139mgFiber: 2gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 5556IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: easy pumpkin muffins, pumpkin muffin recipe, pumpkin muffins
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I chose this recipe because it uses oil instead of melted butter. I cut the recipe in half to make 6 just in case I didn’t like them. Since I despise nutmeg, I omitted it. I didn’t have coarse sugar to sprinkle on the top, so I had to leave that step out. The only other thing I did was put the baking powder and baking soda in with the dry ingredients instead of sprinkling over the wet ingredients because I didn’t know why the recipe called for it to be done that way. Be aware that the batter really fills the muffin tins, but it doesn’t spill over during the baking. Instead, I had the most beautiful muffins I have ever made! And I’ve made thousands over the years. Great looking muffins are fine , but they need to taste great also, and these do! Moist and flavorful! This recipe is a keeper!

    1. Thank you! That’s very high praise, and I have to agree…these are some of my favorite muffins of all time. 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        I could have rephrased the comment about despising nutmeg and just said since I don’t care for nutmeg . Sorry about that. But an update: I have made them several times and they are just as amazing as the first batch. My husband agrees. He really, really enjoys them, which is high praise indeed for your recipe.