Pumpkin Muffins
Filed Under: Breakfast | Fall | Muffin

Pumpkin Muffins

September 14th, 2023
5 from 5 votes
5 from 5 votes

Look no further for the perfect Fall breakfast! These easy and moist Pumpkin Muffins are loaded with spices and dark brown sugar, and topped with a pecan-studded streusel. So delicious, no one will be able to resist coming back for more.

Yield: 12 muffins

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

TASTE: Perfectly sweet with a rich, deep molasses-y sweetness from the dark brown sugar, topped with a delicious spiced streusel.
TEXTURE: Crisp on top thanks to the streusel. The muffin itself is super moist, fluffy, and light.
EASE: SO easy! These take no time at all.
PROS: Easy and so yummy.
CONS: None.
WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? Yes, I have already made these a few times!

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Is there anything cozier than the sweetly spiced scent of Pumpkin Muffins baking on a crisp fall morning?

muffins fresh out of the oven, still in their baking tin

These Pumpkin Muffins are going to be your new go-to fall bake. Breakfast, dessert, or just a sweet snack – you really can’t go wrong!

These muffins are so quick to make and crazy easy. No mixer required. Plus, they freeze and thaw beautifully, so they’re a great make-ahead option for breakfast, brunch, or even just afternoon snacking.

one pumpkin muffins stacked on top of another pumpkin muffin

I couldn’t resist adding a pecan-studded streusel to the tops of these muffins for a little cinnamony, nutty crunch – and who doesn’t love a good streusel!

During the testing process, some of Team HTH’s friends and family tasted these muffins. I knew we’d nailed the recipe when Dominic, aged 10, exclaimed, “This is the best muffin I’ve ever had! I never want this muffin to end, but I have to put it in my mouth.”

These Pumpkin Muffins will fill your house with the perfect autumnal aromas. The best part: they’re ready to enjoy in almost no time at all.

fresh baked pumpkin streusel muffin with a bite taken out

How to Make Pumpkin Muffins

    How to Make MOIST Pumpkin Muffins

    Pumpkin puree brings SO much moisture to muffins, but here are a few additional tips for ensuring you don’t end up with dry muffins:

    • Do not over-measure the flour. I like to use a digital kitchen scale, but if you don’t have one, use the spoon-and-level method. Learn more about the importance of measuring flour correctly here.
    • Oil: Oil (except coconut and palm oils) are always liquid at room temperature and even when refrigerated, so they give the palate a sensation of moisture when you bite into something made with oil.
    • Other ingredients: Dark brown sugar and buttermilk, along with the pumpkin puree and oil, bring even more moisture to these muffins (as well as a ton of flavor!). Read more about these ingredients in the FAQs below the recipe.

    Best Type of Pumpkin for Making Muffins

    • Be sure to use canned pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling.
    • Fresh pureed pumpkin could work too, but we haven’t experimented with this Pumpkin Muffin recipe specifically using fresh pumpkin to verify this.
    • Check out my Fresh vs. Canned Pumpkin article for the differences between using fresh pumpkin puree, regular canned pumpkin, and organic canned pumpkin.
    • Just take a look at the images below to see how different each variety looks, even before baking!

    pumpkin puree types (homemade, canned and organic) in bowls, lined up next to one another for comparison

    The Spices in Pumpkin Muffins

    • This recipe is pretty spice-forward, for a well-rounded pumpkin spice flavor.
    • Feel free to adjust the spices a little if you prefer less spice.
    • Check your spices to ensure they’re not expired. If they are expired, toss them and purchase new ones – otherwise your muffins may be bland.

    How to Avoid Dense Pumpkin Muffins

    Avoid overmixing! This will create dense, rubbery muffins. Ensure you mix gently and until the ingredients are just combined. Also, avoid adding excess flour – learn more about that here.

    How to Bake Tall Pumpkin Muffins

    This recipe uses a generous amount of baking powder in the batter and a generous amount of batter in each muffin tin cavity, for beautifully tall Pumpkin Muffins. Check out more of my my tips for baking tall muffins here. If you’re baking at high altitude, you may need to reduce the amount of baking powder.

    How to Prevent Liners from Sticking to the Muffins

    fresh baked pumpkin muffins on a wire cooling rack, ready to serve

    delicious pile of homemade pumpkin muffins

    More Recipes You’ll Love:

    5 from 5 votes

    How to make
    Pumpkin Muffins

    Yield: 12 muffins
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 50 minutes
    Look no further for the perfect Fall breakfast! These easy and moist Pumpkin Muffins are loaded with spices and dark brown sugar, and topped with a pecan-studded streusel. So delicious, no one will be able to resist coming back for more.


    For the streusel:

    • 3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/4 cup (50 grams) dark brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons (24 grams) all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup (30 grams) pecans, finely chopped
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    For the muffins:

    • 2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup (200 grams) dark brown sugar
    • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon fine salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
    • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
    • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 3/4 cup (178 grams) buttermilk, at room temperature
    • ½ cup (98 grams) neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable oil
    • 1 large egg, at room temperature
    • 1 cup (244 grams) pure pumpkin puree
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.

    Make the streusel:

    1. In a small bowl, combine all the streusel ingredients with a rubber spatula or a fork until combined. Set aside.

    Make the muffins:

    1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be thick.

    3. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cavities, filling each to the brim of the pan.
    4. Staying away from the edges, place streusel mixture evenly over the center of the muffin batter in each cavity. Press lightly into the batter.

    5. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool until barely warm before serving or storing.

    Recipe Video

    Recipe Notes

    Do I Have to Use Buttermilk in Pumpkin Muffins?

    We tested this Pumpkin Muffin recipe using whole milk in place of the buttermilk. While the milk version was still good, it was missing the delightful tang of the buttermilk, which rounds out the flavors so perfectly. 
    If you’re unable to find real buttermilk, you can use whole milk in its place (1:1 ratio) but note that your resulting muffins won’t be quite as flavorful, and the pumpkin puree flavor will be more predominant. 
    I don’t recommend using 2% or skim milk. Learn more about the science of buttermilk, and buttermilk substitutes here.

    Do I Have to Use Dark Brown Sugar?

    Dark brown sugar brings depth of flavor, moisture, and richness. However, you can use light brown instead (1:1 ratio). Note that your muffins will be lighter in color, and the pumpkin puree flavor will be more noticeable. 

    Can I Add Chocolate Chips?

    I actually have a recipe for that! Check out my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe here. Feel free to add this streusel to the tops of those muffins, if preferred.

    How to Store Pumpkin Muffins

    Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for about 15 seconds, or in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes, or until heated through. Just note that the streusel will stay softer after the first day, even if refreshing in the oven.

    Can You Freeze Pumpkin Muffins?

    Yes! Pumpkin Muffins can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature for an hour or so. Refresh in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes, or until heated through, if desired.
    Course : Breakfast, Snack
    Cuisine : American
    Keyword : pumpkin, pumpkin muffin, pumpkin muffin recipe

    Photos by Joanie Simon.

    Tessa Arias
    Author: Tessa Arias

    I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

    Tessa Arias

    About Tessa...

    I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

    Find Tessa on  

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    Recipe Rating

    1. #
      Kendall Adair — October 29, 2023 at 2:02 pm

      I made these with full fat plain Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk, and they had a DELIGHTFUL tangy flavor. I also added salt to the streusel. YUMMMM!

    2. #
      Sam — October 26, 2023 at 10:35 am

      These come out very moist and bouncy. I would say they are not as sweet as I was expecting, which is nice for a morning muffin. Clove flavor really comes through over most of the other spices, so might reduce slightly in the future to 1/4 tsp. Would definitely make again.

    3. #
      April — October 23, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Should they be cooled in the muffin tin or does it matter? If they’re cooled in the tin, will carry-over cooking occur and cause them to be over-baked? Thank you!

      • #
        Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 25, 2023 at 6:35 am

        Hi April! Either way should be fine. While we were testing these muffins, I left mine inside the pan to cool completely and the carryover heat didn’t overbake them. Feel free to remove to a wire rack about 5 minutes after removing from the oven, if you prefer, though. Let us know what you think of these muffins once you have given them a try! 🙂

    4. #
      Linda Butler — October 18, 2023 at 9:32 pm

      These are the best Pumpkin Muffins I’ve ever had. I had to freeze them to keep from binging on them. And they really do freeze well. I pop them in the microwave for a minute or so and they taste like they just came out of the oven. Two thumbs up.
      Sweet Regards,
      Linda Butler

    5. #
      Carol — October 9, 2023 at 1:19 pm

      Delicious!! The best

    6. #
      Carol Baxter — September 29, 2023 at 4:28 pm

      These are the best muffins I have ever had!! We will be having them often!! I was hoping that the topping wouldn’t keep them from rising, but the opposite was the case. They were higher than any I have ever baked.
      The flavour was superb!

      • #
        Emily — October 2, 2023 at 8:38 am

        Isn’t the topping fantastic?! So happy you loved this recipe, Carol 🙂

    7. #
      Donna P — September 29, 2023 at 11:58 am

      can these be made in the larger muffin cups? Time and temp? Thanks, Donna

      • #
        Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — September 29, 2023 at 12:43 pm

        Hi Donna! Sorry, we haven’t tried that. Let us know how it goes if you give that a try 🙂

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