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Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

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These pumpkin cornbread muffins have less fat than regular cornbread muffins, yet they’re equally delicious.

pumpkin cornbread muffins

Photo credit: Alexandra Grablewski

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 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. Made with canned pumpkin purée, these pumpkin cornbread muffins are lower in fat than regular cornbread muffins, yet they’re equally delicious.

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. So, if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to your standard cornbread recipe, try this recipe and just omit the spices. Or, if you’re looking to use pumpkin purrée and would prefer something sweet, these pumpkin muffins with

“I needed to use up some homemade pumpkin purée. I came across this recipe and O.M.G. these are AMAZING! My husband has said they were possibly my best bake ever.”

Michelle B

What You’ll Need To Make Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

How to make pumpkin cornbread muffins
  • Canned Pumpkin Purée: Provides moisture, flavor, and a tender texture to the muffins. Make sure to purchase 100% pure pumpkin — not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Low Fat Milk: Adds moisture and richness to the muffins without adding excessive fat.
  • Honey and Sugar: Sweeten the muffins and provide moisture.
  • Eggs: Bind the ingredients together and contribute to the muffins’ structure.
  • Yellow Cornmeal: Gives the muffins the classic cornbread texture and flavor.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Provides structure and volume to the muffins. Measure by spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling it off to ensure accuracy.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Act as leavening agents helping the muffins rise.
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Cloves: Enhance the muffins’ flavor profile and make the pumpkin flavor more prominent.
  • Butter: Adds richness and flavor to the muffins and keeps them moist despite the muffins being lower in fat.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

wet ingredients for pumpkin cornbread muffins

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.

How to make muffins

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

How to make muffins

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

How to make muffins

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

Pumpkin cornbread muffins in a muffin pan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bake pumpkin cornbread muffins in a cast iron skillet or baking dish?

Definitely! This will convert nicely to a cast iron skillet or an 8-inch square baking dish.

Can I bake pumpkin cornbread muffins ahead of time?

These are best right out of the oven, but will keep on the countertop (in an airtight container) for a few days.  I recommend serving these warm, so when ready to serve, wrap the muffins in aluminum foil and place them in a 350°F-oven until hot. Alternatively, heat individual muffins in the microwave at 50 percent power for 30 to 45 seconds, or until just hot; do not overheat or the muffins will get tough.

Can I freeze pumpkin cornbread muffins?

Sure – the muffins can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw for 3 to 4 hours on the countertop before serving. See FAQ above for reheating instructions.

Photo Credit: Alexandra Grablewski

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Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

These pumpkin cornbread muffins have less fat than regular cornbread muffins, yet they’re equally delicious.

Servings: 12 muffins


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée (such as Libby's)
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups yellow cornmeal
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 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 to 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°F oven until hot. Alternatively, heat individual muffins in the microwave at 50 percent power for 30 to 45 seconds, or until just hot; do not overheat or muffins will get tough.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The muffins can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw for 3 to 4 hours on the countertop before serving. See note above for reheating instructions.

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

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • The muffins came out great and are delicious. Next time, however, I will use less clove, as it comes out very strong.

    • — Terri on January 15, 2024
    • Reply
  • Delicious — and such a pretty color! I made this in a parchment-lined 8 x 8 pan and baked it for 30 minutes. Since I was serving it with chili, I followed Jenn’s advice and left out the spices. The pumpkin adds a little extra nutrition, wonderful moistness, and that beautiful color. Since I often have a can of pumpkin in the house (and usually don’t have buttermilk), this may well become my go-to cornbread. Thanks for another great recipe, Jenn!

    • — Rachel on January 8, 2024
    • Reply
  • Just made these with evaporated milk and pumpkin left over from my Christmas pumpkin pie

    • — Heather Belcastro on January 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • These sound wonderful & I would love to try these but am gluten-free.
    Any experience making these with GF flour ( or recommendations how to
    make them GF)?


    • — Barbara on November 28, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Barbara, A few readers have commented that they’ve made these successfully with a gluten-free baking flour. Hope you enjoy if you make them!

      • — Jenn on November 29, 2023
      • Reply
  • good morning,

    Can I use buttermilk in place of low fat milk, if not should I assume 1% or 2% milk ( please let me know) as the the 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter ( is that one stick unsalted butter) or 3 cubes of it???? at room temperature????

    thank you

    • — mia on November 20, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Mia, I don’t recommend using buttermilk here and I’d go with 2% milk. 4 tablespoons of butter is the equivalent of a half stick. And the butter should be melted as opposed to room temperature. Hope that clarifies, and that you enjoy the muffins!

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2023
      • Reply
  • Wow! I almost did not make these as I could not imagine the combination of cornmeal and pumpkin. The many positive reviews suggested I needed to give this a chance. We love these muffins! The two traditional flavors – pumpkin and cornmeal – work extremely well together as if they are meant to be! I used maple syrup in place of honey only because I had so much on hand. Also, I did add an extra tablespoon of milk because I used white whole wheat flour.

    I have newer muffin pans from Williams-Sonoma. I like them. They must be a bit smaller than usual buy they are definitely not mini muffin pans and look like a normal size. Any muffin recipe I use them for makes more than expected. I ended up with 15 muffins, even accounting for filling the muffin cups full. I had to adjust the cooking time down to 15 – 16 minutes on the second baking and will do so in the future. The first batch was a bit over done on the outside because I foolishly set the timer to 20 minutes not allowing for a slightly smaller muffin, but they remained delicious and moist on the inside.

    This has become one of my favorite muffin recipes! Delicious warmed for about 12 seconds in he microwave with a spot of butter/butter spray.

    • — Cindy Simerly on November 17, 2023
    • Reply
  • I grow Seminole pumpkins, so have an ample supply of frozen (cooked) chunks. Works well in this recipe. I have also substituted polenta for the cornmeal for more texture or when out of cornmeal. I like the savory flavors in this recipe as opposed to sweet muffins. Favorite topping is pepper jelly!

    • — Mary Rawl on November 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • Can I make 9 jumbo muffins with this recipe and how long would I bake them for?

    • — theodora hamezopoulos on October 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, but I suspect it will make more like 6 muffins. And I’d start checking them at about 28 minutes (though they may take longer). Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 20, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I’m a huge fan of all your recipes. I don’t have cornmeal in my house but I do have masa. Would that work? Thanks much!

    • — Jill on October 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Jill, so glad you like the recipes! For the best results, I’d stick with cornmeal here. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on October 20, 2023
      • Reply
  • how would I adjust time for mini muffins?

    • — laura on March 18, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Laura, I’d start checking for doneness at 10 – 11 minutes. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 18, 2023
      • Reply
      • thank you! I will try

        • — laura on March 18, 2023
        • Reply
  • These were delicious! I had to make them over two days because I didn’t have two of the spices. So I mixed all the dry ingredients except for the cloves & nutmeg the first day. Well when I went to complete them today, my batter was soupy. And I thought “Oh no, did I forget to put the flour in?” I honestly can’t remember. But I said “Oh well, I’m gonna make them anyway & hope they bake.” Well they did and they were so good! So I guess I must have put the flour? 🙂

    • — Crissy Black on January 12, 2023
    • Reply
  • These came out looking perfect was my first time making cornbread muffins. The texture like everyone is saying in comments is also perfect! The only thing I’m going to change next time is to use is ⅛tsp. cloves instead of ¼tsp, the cloves are a little too strong tasting. Besides that, I will be making these again forsure!

    • — Brandon on November 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • We were divided on this recipe. They came out as a nice texture but my daughter and I both were not crazy about the flavor combination of pumpkin and cornbread. Those flavors did not seem like they belonged together. On the other hand my son and husband loved them. So I will not make these again. I usually like your recipes but this one wasn’t a winner in my family.

    • — Randi on November 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’m so glad I stumbled upon this recipe because I had some extra pumpkin to use up. These muffins were the perfect texture, easy to make and great tasting. I thought they were a tad sweet as a dinner side but my husband disagreed and has been eating them with every meal for the last couple days. The only change I made was out of necessity: My leftover pumpkin only amounted to about 3/4 of a cup so I added an extra splash or two of milk to make up some of the missing moisture. The pumpkin flavor still came through so if you used a cup of pumpkin for something else and don’t have quite a cup left, you can still make this recipe.

    • — Laura on November 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve been on a pumpkin cooking spree to use up my first attempt at homemade pumpkin purée. I came across this recipe and O.M.G. these are AMAZING! My husband has said they were possibly my best bake ever.

    • — Michelle B on November 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just made these wonderful muffins, just ate these wonderful muffins 😂. I was surprised by how light they tasted and the fact that you are supposed to eat them warm, preferably with a small pat of butter is the added bonus that drew me to this recipe. I am looking forward to freezing them and having them for either breakfast or midday tea accompaniment. I did have to bake them like an addition 5 mins before they were fully baked through, but otherwise the recipe turned out to the tee!

    • — Marty on November 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Instead of muffins can you make this into a loaf pan bread?

      • — Veronica Nessler on October 19, 2023
      • Reply
      • Hi Veronica, the recipe actually translates nicely to an 8-inch square pan, so I’d opt for that over a loaf pan. The baking time for the 8-inch square would be around 30 minutes. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

        • — Jenn on October 19, 2023
        • Reply
  • I followed the recipe exactly. They are tasty, but a bit heavy. I will serve them as a breakfast muffin or snack, but not as part of a dinner. The bake time was good and they came out of the pan easily.

    • — Chris on October 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve made these before and they are great. Can I make mix the wet ingredients the night before and add them to the dry ingredients just before baking? It saves time when entertaining.

    • — Sona on October 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yep (and glad you like them)!

      • — Jenn on October 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • In trying to cook ahead for Thanksgiving, I would like to know how well these muffins freeze.



    • — Michele Herman on October 20, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Michele, They freeze nicely; see the bottom of the recipe for freezer-friendly instructions.

      • — Jenn on October 20, 2022
      • Reply
  • Simple to make and so very delicious to eat.

    • — Kimber on September 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delightful change from regular cornbread! I used an 8″ square enabled cast iron pan and used slightly less sugar. Baked for approximately 28 minutes in my toaster oven. Color was beautiful! Cornbread was perfect, delicious and very moist. Thank you for this lovely recipe!

    • — jg on September 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • These muffins are absolutely delicious and with so much less fat than my regular pumpkin muffin recipe. They will now be on my regular rotation! Thanks Jenn for another fabulous recipe

  • I left out the sugar completely, as well as the spices, as I wanted the muffins to serve with savory beef stew, and I don’t like overly-sweet anything. The honey was plenty of sweetness. I made the muffins with gluten-free cornmeal and flour. They are great! Next time I will add some chopped onions for more savory, and maybe some dried cranberries. The pumpkin puree is great in that it ensures a nice, moist muffin. Yum!

  • I used two flax eggs and agave syrup as substitutes as I’m a vegan.
    Came out beautiful and tasty. Will make again! Also made butternut squash and sweet potato soup to go with. It was a big hit.

  • A question, please: Can I make as cornbread instead of muffins? Can you recommend any adjustments? I cannot wait to try them. Thank you!

    • Hi Sheila, This recipe translates well to an 8-inch square pan. The baking time for that size pan would be around 30 minutes. Hope you enjoy!

      • Many thanks!

  • Hi Jenn,

    Would this recipe work with fresh, steamed pumpkin? I know it can be a bit more watery than canned.


    • Sure – just drain off any extra liquid before incorporating into the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

      • I haven’t made these yet (they look so good) – I was wondering if they would still work as well with box of southern cornbread mix? I don’t know if I will have time to get the original ingredients as they are needed in a hurry! It is the K……z brand if that helps……

        • — Gigi Chase on November 9, 2022
        • Reply
        • Hi Gigi, for the most predictable results, I wouldn’t recommend it — I’m sorry!

          • — Jenn on November 9, 2022
          • Reply
  • Great recipe!
    I had some left over pumpkin and I was searching the internet to find a recipe for pumpkin and cornbread muffins. Of course I had some cornmeal left over also :).
    Found this recipe, did it, and added some left over orange icing I made.
    This is a keeper. We could be friends:).
    Thanks so much for figuring out what to do with left over pumpkin.

  • Hope to make this soon with a can of pumpkin purée found hiding in the back of the pantry. Would you be able to convert the recipe to metrics? The level of accuracy always results in a better result for me. Thank you!

    • — Laurie Hoffman
    • Reply
    • Hi Laurie, I just added them. Hope you enjoy the muffins! 🙂

  • Can you use polenta in place of the cornmeal?

    • Sure – enjoy!

  • Perfect way to use up canned pumpkin – easy to throw together and great with apple butter. The pumpkin adds moisture but it tastes more like a corn muffin – will definitely make again.

    • — Melissa Miller
    • Reply
  • These muffins were an excellent partner to the turkey chili I made the other night. I always have extra pumpkin on hand this time of year, so it’s fun to find different ways to use it, and pairing it with corn meal was a fun new twist on a cornbread muffin. I liked the combination of textures and flavors as well as the idea that I was making healthier version of a cornbread muffin, which is always a plus!

  • These are delicious and freeze beautifully. I added the honey and left out the sugar o they would be a little more savory and my family loved them!

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