Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

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


How to make muffins

Photo by 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.

What you’ll need to make Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

How to make pumpkin cornbread muffins

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?

How to make Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

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!


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.

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 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°F 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.
  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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  • 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

    • — Lyne H on March 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Marcia on March 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Margaret on December 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • A question, please: Can I make as cornbread instead of muffins? Can you recommend any adjustments? I cannot wait to try them. Thank you!

    • — Sheila on October 21, 2021
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on October 21, 2021
      • Reply
      • Many thanks!

        • — Sheila on October 22, 2021
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

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


    • — Adrienne on October 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure – just drain off any extra liquid before incorporating into the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 4, 2021
      • 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.

    • — B. Tucker on September 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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 on March 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Laurie, I just added them. Hope you enjoy the muffins! 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 10, 2021
      • Reply
  • Can you use polenta in place of the cornmeal?

    • — Myra on February 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • 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 on February 1, 2021
    • 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!

    • — Tamara on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Joan Gough on January 28, 2021
    • Reply

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