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Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

5 stars based on 36 votes

Pumpkin-Cornbread-Muffins

I have to admit: I went through a phase of substituting butter with applesauce in all my baked goods back in the eighties and nineties, when I was young (and foolish) and low fat diets were all the rage. I don’t cook that way anymore—thankfully, fat is now deemed acceptable in moderation. But occasionally I’ll stumble upon a baked good that is low fat by happenstance. These muffins, made with canned pumpkin purée, have half the fat of my regular cornbread muffins, yet they’re equally delicious.

ingredients

Interestingly, if you make them without the spices, you really can’t taste the pumpkin; it’s the autumn spices that bring the pumpkin flavor out. (And yes, I’ve tested this!) So, if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to your standard cornbread recipe, try this recipe and just omit the spices. And if you’re anything like me, this recipe will come in very handy around Thanksgiving. Because, really, what’s more annoying than a half-used can of pumpkin?

pumpkin-mixture

Begin by whisking together the pumpkin purée, milk honey, sugar and eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

dry-ingredients

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, along with the melted butter, and mix well.

batter

Spoon the batter into muffin cups — they will be full.

ready-to-bake

Bake for 20-23 minutes, until the tops are golden and set. Serve warm out of the oven with butter. Enjoy!

baked-muffins

Note: You can also bake the batter in a cast iron skillet or 8-inch square pan instead of a muffin tin if you prefer.

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée (such as Libby's)
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray and 12-cup muffin tin generously with nonstick cooking spray or grease with butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, milk, honey, sugar and eggs.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  4. Add the wet ingredients and melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup full, and bake for 20-23 minutes, or until the tops are a golden-orange color and set. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then serve warm with butter or transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  6. Note: These muffins taste best when served warm. To reheat leftovers, wrap muffins in aluminum foil and place them in a preheated 350-degree oven until hot. Alternatively, heat individual muffins in the microwave at 50 percent power for 30-45 seconds, or until just hot; do not overheat or muffins will get tough.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 203
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Sodium: 313mg
  • Cholesterol: 32mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 4 stars

    What a great combo. Theses are delicious

    - Vicki Lavender on March 3, 2017 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I had a can of pumpkin I wanted to use up, so I made these to go with chili. They were a tiny bit on the dry side, probably because they are lower in fat than my usual recipe, but they were tasty.

    - Katie on February 13, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These were moist and delicious. Like them better than plain cornbread

    - Louise on December 10, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made these today. I loved the pumpkin and spice. So glad I tried this recipe. Not too sweet and the addition of cornmeal made it different from a regular muffin.

    - SandraM on December 6, 2016 Reply
  • I made these muffins using Sun Flour Mills, GF whole grain all-purpose flour in place of the all-purpose flour. They tasted great!!! We have made them twice in less than a week! Thanks for the recipe.

    - Judy on December 3, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I took these to Thanksgiving this year. They were a hit with the children and adults. I made mini muffins and cooked them for exactly 10 minutes. Let them rest in the pan for 2 minutes and they “dumped” right out of the pan. The children referred to them as cupcakes and ate more “cupcakes” than turkey! Wonderful recipe. Thanks for sharing it with everyone. P,S. My mother-in-law asked me for my recipe – that is a huge compliment!

    - Nancy on December 1, 2016 Reply
  • Jenn, I wonder if you have tried mashed sweet potato in place of the pumpkin? I do cook with pumpkin some, but am much more likely to have leftover baked sweet potatoes to use. It’s a southern thing. :)

    - Janice on November 22, 2016 Reply
    • Janice, I haven’t tried these with sweet potato, but I think it would work. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

      - Jenn on November 22, 2016 Reply
      • Jenn, Sweet potato worked perfectly. I had a small one which worked for a half recipe. Used white cornmeal because I was out of yellow. We actually had them for brunch. I’m thinking mini-muffins to add to the bread basket for Thanksgiving. Thanks for a good recipe that offers a nice twist on an old standby.

        - Janice on November 23, 2016 Reply
        • Thanks for the follow-up Janice; so glad you enjoyed them with your creative tweaks!

          - Jenn on November 23, 2016 Reply
  • Would this recipe work in a loaf pan, so that it would be more of a quick bread. I’d like to make enough to serve 25-30 people, so I’d like to make a few loaves. Will 12 muffins equal 1 9″ x 5″ loaf?

    - Jo on November 22, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Jo, this recipe actually translates well to an 8-inch square pan, so I think I’d opt for that over a loaf. You could try with smaller loaf pans (8 x 4-inch). The baking time for the 8-inch square would be around 30 minutes and about 25 – 30 for the 8 x 4 loaf pans.

      - Jenn on November 22, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These are great! They have the perfect amount of spice and moisture. The cornmeal lends a wonderful texture. I will definitely make these again.

    - Danica on November 16, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Just made these and they were absolutely delicious! Thanks for posting the recipe. I will definitely be making them again.

    - Jen on November 12, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Enjoyed these every morning for breakfast with scrambled eggs and coffee! Nice variation on traditional cornbread muffins!

    - Kenya on October 29, 2016 Reply
  • What would the baking time be for mini muffins? Thanks.

    - Jadwiga Balzano on October 13, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Jadwiga, I’d start checking them at about 10 – 11 minutes.

      - Jenn on October 13, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe was made exactly as written & turned out well: perfect everything including timing. I did use muffin cups but did not spray them & a lot stuck to the cups. And, as I prefer muffins without cups in general, I’d probably stick with the spray or butter next time as the recipe states. Warm with butter they were quite pleasant, and elevated the otherwise persistently mediocre (IMHO) corn muffin. As made, I would give this a 4 star rating since corn muffins never seem 5-star-worthy in my book. HOWEVER, the flavors are so sublime, I think as a cornbread, served alongside a savory chili or chowder & kept warm by a cast iron skillet, justify 5 stars. I will staple this to my (very) old cornbread recipe so it doesn’t get forgotten!

    - Fran Bickel on October 11, 2016 Reply
  • Have you tried coconut flour instead of regular flour?

    - Donna on October 7, 2016 Reply
    • I can’t say that I have Donna, so not sure how it would affect the muffins. If you make them this way, please report back!

      - Jenn on October 7, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Haven’t tried this yet. Saving it for Thanksgiving but I love cornbread anyway it’s made! Can’t wait to surprise my family with something new!!

    - Lois Potter on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a great recipe to add over the thanksgiving holiday (here in Canada it’s this weekend!). I will have lots of company and this is a great addition to breakfast mmm!
    I use slightly different ingredients for taste and health. First I am in love with full fat goats milk. Also I used organic maple syrup instead of the sugar to add a festive flare with the pumpkin and spice. You can also use a couple tsp of pumpkin pie spice instead of measuring the individual spices, but going with them separated is nice because you can adjust for preference (my mom dislikes nutmeg for example). Great recipe!!

    - Stacey on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Everyone loves these!

    - Julie on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • Can I use corn meal mix instead of the cornmeal, flour, and salt and baking powder and soda?

    - Emily on October 4, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Emily, I wouldn’t recommend it as I think the ratios would be different. Sorry!

      - Jenn on October 5, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    thank you for great muffins recipes!

    - *** on September 29, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Could I use mashed butternut squash in place of pumpkin?

    Thanks!

    - Meaghan Daniels on September 7, 2016 Reply
    • Yes, I think that would work. I’d love to know how they turn out if you prepare them this way!

      - Jenn on September 7, 2016 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Wow. Never thought we could make muffins from pumpkin. Thanks a lot. Worth a try. BTW, nice snaps.

    - Deepa Suresh on May 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These were amazing and my 5 year olds loved them! I did make a couple changes: whole milk, 1/2 cup honey (no sugar used and did not use the additional 2 tablespoons), and I used whole wheat pastry flour. They were light and fluffy, and not overly sweet. I also baked in silicone muffin tray, so I didn’t need to grease the tray and they came out easily.

    - Charla on March 8, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn,
    Loved these muffins! I had some trouble getting them out of the muffin tins without ruining them. Is it OK to use muffin liners next time?

    - Lisa on February 20, 2016 Reply
    • Yes, perfectly fine, Lisa…or you might also try a baking spray with flour.

      - Jenn on February 20, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn, I made your Pumpkin Cornbread muffins last night, served them with venison stew. They were a big hit. I didn’t have low-fat milk, so used whole milk instead and I forgot to add the butter!!-but they came out beautifully anyway. They rose nice & tall & we’re still moist inside, & had just the right amount of sweetness. I will definitely make these again. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. LindaLu S.

    - LindaLu on January 28, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My husband made these muffins for last night’s dinner and they were AWESOME! My three-year-old son, who is going through a ” I don’t like anything on my plate” , had like three of them. lol

    - Lu on December 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this in a preheated, 10 inch cast iron skillet to which I added a little bit of butter. It was amazing!! Seriously, the best cornbread I’ve ever made. I believe baking time was about the same as noted for muffins (which I didn’t expect). Baked for 21-22 minutes and it was perfect. Served with chili!! Have added it to my “keep forever” recipe pile.

    - Amy on December 11, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made these for thanksgiving this year. They were easy to make and reheated well in the oven before the meal. They were really good toasted the next morning for breakfast with butter.

    - LBP on December 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I love these muffins. They are so easy to make, quick to bake, and perfect for fall meals.

    I pretty much followed the recipe to a T and they came out beautiful.

    I’m wondering if there is a way to make these gluten-free for a friend of mine who will be visiting and has gluten issues.

    - Channah on November 26, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Channah, You could try a gluten-free mix for the flour — won’t be exactly the same but should work.

      - Jenn on November 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Fantastic muffins!!
    A few notes:
    * I used only 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
    * had only white cornmeal and it worked well
    * baked at 375 instead of 400 degrees. Was perfect!

    This will be a family favorite!

    - Ada Lai on November 8, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn,
    I just made your recipe for the pumpkin cornbread muffins. I followed the instructions, except I only had medium coarse grind cornmeal, so that’s what I used. I also used 2 % milk. My baking powder was fresh, and my oven preheated for 30 minutes. I also filled my cups full, as directed. My muffins did not rise as yours did (from your photo). Do you think it’s due to the medium coarse grind of the cornmeal that accounted for the lack of a nice dome?
    I loved the taste (however the cornmeal texture was a bit..”al dente”, not what you typically want in a muffin). I love the idea of using honey in recipes, and pumpkin puree..this is a great recipe and I will definitely be making these again, soon! Thank you!

    - Marie on October 9, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Marie, Yes the medium grind cornmeal could explain why they didn’t rise as much, although these don’t really get a big dome. I think you will enjoy the texture much better with fine cornmeal :)

      - Jenn on October 9, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jen

    Just wondering if the corn muffins can be made ahead of time and frozen. Also what about the biscotti. Can it be frozen.

    - Melissa on September 22, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Melissa, Yes and yes :)

      - Jenn on September 24, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Absolutely Love these muffins! I have made them several times. They are flavorful and moist. The muffins also freeze beautifully!

    - Dr. Beth on August 27, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These are so yummy! I use almond milk because that’s what we drink and that works just fine. Usually I make them into muffins like you did, but last time I baked it in my cast iron skillet and the extra crispy bottom made it even better.

    - Laura S on March 22, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was such an innovative way to serve cornbread! I love pumpkin anything, so this was right up my alley. Just the right touch of sweetness!

    - Mimi on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These are awesome! My husband requests these. I’ve made them as directed and also have added a little less sugar – both with awesome results. So good left over, too, with coffee or tea.

    - Christy on January 8, 2015 Reply
    • Oops, my review was for your regular corn muffins, but I’m sure I’d give this one 5 stars as well! Love all of your recipes!

      - Christy on January 8, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is a winner! My family has enjoyed Jenn’s cornbread muffins many times … the addition of pumpkin is perfect for fall. Bonus: got to use up the extra pumpkin purée still in my pantry from Thanksgiving!

    - Lisa S. on December 20, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love all things pumpkin, so made these for a quick breakfast treat on Thanksgiving morning. So quick and easy! The flavors of fall filled the kitchen, and we ate them warm from the oven- heaven!!

    - Paige on December 9, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I love the fall/winter season when it’s all about pumpkins and I was really surprised how easy and effortless it was to make this treat for my family. It’s moist, full of flavor and really quick to make.

    - Charly C on December 6, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made these pumpkin cornbread muffins for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving and we all loved them! My husband absolutely adores cornbread and pumpkin pie so these were the perfect combo! I love your site Jenn and get inspired each time I receive your weekly email. I so appreciate the photos and detail you put into every recipe. You help make me a better baker – Thank You!!

    - Kay H. on December 4, 2014 Reply
    • Thank you for the wonderful feedback, Kay. So glad you are enjoying the recipes!

      - Jenn on December 4, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made these substituting quinoa flour for wheat, (to boost protein content). Reduced the sugar to just under 1/4 c and blended some dates and molasses with the pumpkin. Really good. They also freeze well, individually wrapped. I didn’t use canned pumpkin as had my own left over from Halloween. I would definitely make these again. Like the idea of cranberries too!

    - Barb on December 3, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made these this weekend to go with a vat of turkey chili. Really, really yummy. Just the perfect flavor, sweetness, texture, etc.

    I used buttermilk because I figured it was a good way to use it up. They tasted wonderful, so it worked from my perspective.

    The only thing that didn’t work was that they didn’t rise into the lovely muffin dome top. Certainly didn’t stop me or the family, but I do love a nicely shaped muffin. Could it have been the buttermilk or just some regular goof on my part?

    Thanks, Jennifer! Great stuff!

    - pmm on December 2, 2014 Reply
    • You’re correct — since buttermilk is acidic, it will affect the leavening agents; that’s probably the reason the muffins didn’t rise as high.

      - Jenn on December 2, 2014 Reply
      • You know, if they had explained a practical use for chemistry in high school I would have payed more attention!

        Thanks again, Jenn.

        - pmm on December 2, 2014 Reply
        • :)

          - Jenn on December 2, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made these for Thanksgiving and they turned out great! Used whole wheat flour, soy milk instead of regular milk, and reduced butter by 1 tablespoon. Also, I didn’t have cloves so i subbed pumpkin pie spice. Thanks for the recipe!

    - Torrie on November 29, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We made these for Thanksgiving morning breakfast. Nice texture, very moist and not so super sweet – a perfect way to start the day. The spices were spot-on and made the kitchen smell wonderful. The only change I made to the recipe was adding in a handful (about 1/3 cup) of dried cranberries. Will definitely make again and again.

    - Liesel on November 28, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made these tonight with my two year old – they were easy and delicious! Thanks for another great recipe!

    - Allison on November 26, 2014 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, these look so delicious! Can I make the batter in advance and bake the muffins a few hours later or even the next day?

    - Kelly on November 26, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Kelly, Unfortunately, it won’t work. Once the liquid ingredients are added to the dry ingredients, the leavening agents are activated and the batter needs to be baked immediately. That said, the pumpkin keeps these muffins quite moist — if you need to make them a few hours ahead and reheat, they will be still be delicious.

      - Jenn on November 26, 2014 Reply
      • Thanks Jenn, glad to know! Can’t wait to try these!

        - Kelly on November 26, 2014 Reply
  • Has this been made in a single baking dish? I would like to serve it in wedges. Also could I substitute maple syrup instead of honey.
    Thanks

    - JoAnn Portnoy on November 25, 2014 Reply
    • Hi JoAnn, Yes, you can bake it in a cast iron skillet or 8-inch square baking dish and I think it would be fine to sub maple syrup. Please let me know how it turns out!

      - Jenn on November 25, 2014 Reply

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