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Pumpkin Muffins

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Sink your teeth into the ultimate fall treat: pumpkin muffins topped with a can’t-resist pecan streusel!

Pumpkin Muffins

Of all the baking recipes I’ve shared over the years, my grandmother’s pumpkin bread remains the most popular. First published in the 1963 edition of McCall’s Cook Book, this recipe has truly withstood the test of time. Like most sweet quick breads, it’s easily transformed into muffins. In this pumpkin muffin recipe, I use nearly the same batter—which, by the way, is so delicious that there are always negotiations over who gets to lick the bowl and beaters! I then spoon it into a muffin tin and crown each with a cinnamon-spiced pecan streusel for an irresistible crunch.

Even my kids, who claim I “ruin everything with nuts,” love the topping. In the mood for a pumpkin muffin but would prefer something a bit more savory? These pumpkin cornbread muffins will surely scratch that itch!

“These are the best muffins I have ever made! Thank you so much for this recipe. We host a family reunion every October and these will be on the breakfast menu!”

Kerri

What You’ll Need To Make Pumpkin Muffins

how to make pumpkin muffins
  • ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR: Provides structure and texture to the batter and forms the base of the streusel. Measure by spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling it off to ensure accuracy.
  • BUTTER: Used in the batter for richness and flavor. Additionally, it binds the streusel ingredients together, helping create a crumbly texture.
  • DEMERARA SUGAR: Adds sweetness and a subtle caramel flavor to the streusel topping. Also called turbinado or raw cane sugar.
  • CHOPPED PECANS: Provide crunch and nuttiness, enhancing the texture and flavor of the streusel.
  • BAKING POWDER AND BAKING SODA: Act as leavening agents helping the muffins rise.
  • CLOVES, CINNAMON AND NUTMEG: Add warm, spicy flavor notes characteristic of pumpkin treats.
  • GRANULATED SUGAR: Adds sweetness and contributes to a moist texture.
  • EGGS: Add richness and help bind the muffin ingredients together.
  • CANNED PUMPKIN PURÉE: Provides moisture and pumpkin flavor. Make sure to purchase 100% pure pumpkin — not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-By-Step Instructions

Begin with the streusel topping: Combine the flour, butter, demerara sugar, chopped pecans and cinnamon in a small bowl.

how to make pumpkin muffins

The mixture will be quite wet. Set aside. (Note: If you want to plan ahead a bit, the streusel topping can be made up three days ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready for use.)

how to make pumpkin muffins

Move on to the muffins: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.

how to make pumpkin muffins

Whisk well and set aside.

how to make pumpkin muffins

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at low speed until just blended.

how to make pumpkin muffins

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

how to make pumpkin muffins

Continue beating at medium speed until very light and fluffy, a few minutes.

how to make pumpkin muffins

Add the pumpkin.

how to make pumpkin muffins

Beat until combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary.

how to make pumpkin muffins

Add the flour mixture.

how to make pumpkin muffins

Mix on low speed until just combined.

how to make pumpkin muffins

Using an ice cream scoop or two spoons, transfer the batter to the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup full.

how to make pumpkin muffins

Using your fingers, divide the topping evenly over the muffin batter.

how to make pumpkin muffins

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

how to make pumpkin muffins

Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use fresh pumpkin instead of canned?

Definitely! If canned pumpkin isn’t available where you live, or you’d just prefer to use fresh, that’s not a problem.  For baking, the most flavorful pumpkins are smaller than those typically associated with Jack-O-Lanterns.  They’re usually in the 4 to 8-pound range and are referred to as sugar, cooking, or pie pumpkins.  This detailed piece from King Arthur Flour provides guidance on how to convert a whole pumpkin into purée that can be used in any of my pumpkin baked goods, pumpkin butter, or pumpkin soup.

We have a nut allergy in our house. What can I use in place of the pecans?

You can just omit the pecans. The streusel will still be delicious.

Can I freeze the muffins?

For 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. To reheat, wrap individual muffins in aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350°F oven until warm.

Can I omit the streusel topping?

Yup — if you’re craving a plain muffin, simply omit the topping and add an extra ¼ cup of sugar to the batter.

Video Tutorial

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Pumpkin Muffins

Sink your teeth into the ultimate fall treat: pumpkin muffins topped with a can’t-resist pecan streusel!

Servings: 12 large muffins (see note)
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Topping

  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 tablespoons demerara sugar (also called raw cane sugar or turbinado)
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

For the Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) can 100% pure pumpkin (I use Libby’s)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a standard muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Begin with the topping: Combine the flour, butter, demerara sugar, chopped pecans and cinnamon in a small bowl. The mixture will be quite wet. Set aside.
  3. Move on to the muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at low speed until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; continue beating until very light and fluffy, a few minutes. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop or two spoons, transfer the batter to the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup completely full. Using your fingers, divide the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.
  6. Note: This recipe makes 12 large muffins. For smaller muffins, divide the batter into 18 muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes.
  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 – 4 hours on the countertop before serving. To reheat, wrap individual muffins in aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350°F oven until warm.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 416
  • Fat: 22 g
  • Saturated fat: 11 g
  • Carbohydrates: 51 g
  • Sugar: 30 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 235 mg
  • Cholesterol: 74 mg

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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Comments

  • These muffins were delicious! Easy to make. Very moist and yummy. I used oil in lieu of butter in the batter and fresh pumpkin. Also substituted brown sugar in topping. Will definitely make these again.

    • — Jenn on November 22, 2022
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  • Just made this recipe today and love these muffins. I didn’t use the pecan topping and just used the plain pecans. Absolutely delicious so moist and full of flavour!!! Will highly recommend

    • — Nancy on November 22, 2022
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  • These muffins were amazing & now my go to recipe. Each bite is amazing & you can taste the spices dancing in your mouth!! 5 stars for sure

    • — Roe Bergmann on November 22, 2022
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  • Turned out very well. Did not have pecans, chopped almonds substituted. Moist and delicious.

    • — Mary Lopez on November 20, 2022
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  • I just made these muffins for our Bible Study party. They were a hit and I got many compliments. Thank you for the great recipe.

    • — Carol on November 17, 2022
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  • Outstanding result! I cut down the sugar to 4tbs for the topping and only 1cup sugar for the batter. It is still very sweet. Next time I would start making the topping just before I need to add the flour to the batter. What happened in following the instructions, is that the butter solidified by the time I was ready to use it.
    Thanks for another great recipe!

    • — EM on November 12, 2022
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  • I just made these last night. I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF flour and they came out so delicious! I don’t think of myself as being a big pumpkin bread fan but the spices, moisture and streusel with these muffins is a winner for me!

    • — Adriana L on November 11, 2022
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  • Made these this morning and they were amazing! Followed the recipe as written except for subbing brown sugar for the raw sugar in the topping. And apparently my muffin tins are not large, because I was able to get (16) muffins total. I shared these with my neighbors and everyone loved them. Will keep this recipe to make again and again and again.

    • — Juls on November 6, 2022
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  • These muffins are incredible. Great flavor and make the house smell fabulous while baking. Thank you for a very good recipe. My family and I loved them.

    • — Jacquelyn on November 5, 2022
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  • A+ AMAZING. Had to substitute walnuts for the pecans as we were out and they were still SO delicious. We will definitely be making these again.

    • — Miranda on November 2, 2022
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  • This recipe is AWESOME! We loved them. I did make a change by using Coconut Oil instead of butter. I will be making and sharing this recipe!

    • — Deb on November 2, 2022
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    • Loved this recipe! They are the perfect muffins and with that crunchy topping its just delicious. Personal preference I would probaby use half the amount of clove next time, as I find it quite over powering above the other flavours. Thank you for sharing!

      • — Jemma on November 12, 2022
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  • These were delicious! The streusel on top is excellent! I made these with all purpose gluten-free flour, and I’m in high altitude (6700 ft), so perhaps that was why these muffins didn’t bind for me? They crumbled into a loose granola -like texture. Yummy, but wondering if I did something wrong or if I need to modify due to GF and altitude? Have you heard anyone else having this issue? Would love to try again.

    • — Patricia on November 2, 2022
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    • Hi Patricia, glad you liked these but sorry that you had a problem with the texture. I suspect that the problem was due to your altitude as I know a lot of readers have made these successfully with gluten-free flour. I don’t have experience baking at high altitudes so, unfortunately, I don’t have any wisdom to share, but you may find these tips helpful. Also, I’m not sure what brand of gf flour you’re using but lots of people have menbtioned they’ve had good results with King Arthur and Cup4Cup gluten-free flours. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 2, 2022
      • Reply
  • Yes – today HALLOWEEN for my Family 🎃

    • — Keli Rodgers on October 31, 2022
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  • Another AWESOME recipe Jenn!

    • — Sandy M on October 30, 2022
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  • These muffins are amazing. I never manage to write reviews but this one can’t be beat. I’m taste testing several for a fall brunch and these are hands down the best ever. Off I go to make two more batches! Love them.

    • — Julie on October 28, 2022
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  • Ok, let’s be honest here. The only reason someone might call these muffins is that they are baked in a muffin pan. This recipe is cake: excessive butter, excessive sugar. I cut the sugar in half and they were still too sweet. Spices were good, but so heavy I couldn’t taste pumpkin. If I make these again, I will use 1/2 cup sugar, 3/4 of the spices amounts, and substitute a third to half of the butter with more pumpkin/sweet potato/squash or applesauce.

    • — Dee on October 26, 2022
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    • Let’s be honest muffins really are just cupcakes without frosting😂

      • — Yvonne on November 5, 2022
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    • While we’re being honest, was it necessary for you to drag this recipe? No paywall, Jenn works hard on this site, and you have to be rude. SMH

      • — Lexi on November 7, 2022
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      • I AGREE!

        • — 1Blissful12 on November 14, 2022
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  • Let me just say…these muffins are the best I have ever made. And! I used Gf flour, Bobs Red Mill 1 for 1. Fixed them for guests and she wanted the recipe right away. They were moist, light and delicious. No one even knew they were GF. We froze them but they were still gone in 4 days. Make these right away.

    • — Kim on October 23, 2022
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  • Without a doubt, the best pumpkin muffins I have ever made, and I am old. I get nothing but raves when I serve them. Not overly sweet with a wonderful, crunchy streusel topping.

    • — Marsha on October 23, 2022
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  • Hi Jen, what can I use to substitute Demerara sugar if I don’t have it.
    Thank you.

    • — Sheila on October 23, 2022
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    • Feel free to use brown sugar instead. Hope you enjoy the muffins!

      • — Jenn on October 24, 2022
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  • I have never written a review before of any kind, however I had to today. I just baked a batch and I must say. These muffins are amazing! Only problem is that I want to eat more of them. Yummy 😋

    • — Mary on October 22, 2022
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  • I LOVED these! I wanted to be generous and gave a bunch away so now I have to make them again!

    • — Juliette on October 20, 2022
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  • These are delicious! I halved the recipe and still got 9 amazing muffins. The recipe is easy and the results are delicious. Highly recommend Jenn’s recipes! I have many favorites.

    • — Ruth D on October 19, 2022
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  • Oh my goodness! Throw all the other pumpkin muffin recipes away. This is THE one! I made these and they were perfect in every way. Moist, deep dark pumpkin color, incredible flavor. I doubled the topping and added a spoonful to the center of each muffin before completely filling each muffin tin with batter in order to enjoy that amazing topping even at the bottom of the muffin. These are hands down the best out there. Thank you for sharing!

    • — Ang on October 18, 2022
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  • These were wonderful, but since I usually find sweets too sweet, I cut the sugar in the muffins down to 1/2 cup (and cut topping sugar down to 3 TBS) and instead of 1.5 sticks of butter, I used 1/2 cup canola oil. They were still fabulous!

    • — Amy on October 18, 2022
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    • I wish I’d seen your comment before I made them. I totally agree with you!

      • — Dee on October 26, 2022
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  • I love all your recipes, but I have a lot of trouble with the topping staying on the muffins.

    As the muffins cook, they rise up and the topping crumbles off? Any suggestions?

    Thank you, Paula

    • — Paula Keeler on October 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Paula, so glad you like the recipes! The next time you make these muffins, after you divide the streusel among them, I’d use your fingers to gently push it into the batter. You don’t want to bury it; just use the batter as a bit of “glue” to help them stick. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 18, 2022
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  • Hi Jenn
    LOVE all of your recipes. I have my daughters on to you now too 🙂 What would be the measurement if I use fresh pumpkin instead of the Libby’s?
    Mary

    • — Mary on October 17, 2022
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    • So glad you like the recipes (and thanks for turning your daughters on to them too)! You’ll need about 1-3/4 cups of pumpkin puree. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 18, 2022
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  • This recipe is a keeper! I have one child who likes the muffins with the streusel and one who doesn’t. Doesn’t matter how you like it. The texture of this muffin is so divine. It’s plush and moist and will definitely be on repeat in my home.

    • — Yvonne on October 17, 2022
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  • I love muffins and pumpkin. I came across this recipe and after reading the reviews I decided to make some. I’m so glad I did. I am gluten intolerant so I made with gluten free flour. Followed the recipe exactly except for the flour. They are delicious! These will be perfect to serve for breakfast during the holidays.

    • — Jan Zurvalec on October 17, 2022
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  • Yes, this recipe is most excellent!

    • — Ruby on October 16, 2022
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  • I don’t have enough unsalted butter on hand. Can I substitute regular butter and omit the salt?

    • — Denise on October 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Denise, While it varies by brand, most salted butter has approximately 1/4 tsp. salt per stick, so you can use the salted butter and reduce the salt in the recipe as needed. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 17, 2022
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  • there are 2 cups finely chopped apple in my pumpkin muffin recipe, which I have been making for years, no cloves, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon and yes a streusel topping…have been maing them for years to rave reviews

    • — Carol J Winkelman on October 16, 2022
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    • What is the recipe?, thanks

      • — Paula on October 21, 2022
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    • Sounds yummy too! Would love the recipe. Thanks for the idea.

      • — 1Blissful12 on November 14, 2022
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  • What are the baking directions for a loaf?

    • — Terri Fromm on October 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Terri, I’d use this recipe (and you can add the streusel on top). Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 17, 2022
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  • Haven’t made these yet but want to today (or tomorrow) and I know your dinner recipes are always awesome!! This is my first time trying one of your baking recipes. I live in Colorado at 7200 ft elevation. What adjustments would you recommend – if any? Thank you!

    • — Sue on October 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Sue, Glad you like the recipes you’ve tried! I don’t have experience baking at high altitudes so, unfortunately, I don’t have any wisdom to share – I’m sorry! You may find these tips helpful though. I’d love to hear how they turn out if you make them!

      • — Jenn on October 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • Jen what size scoop do you use for filling? Thanks

    • — Janie on October 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Janie, I use a 3T scoop, heaping with batter. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • Can you make these with oat flour?

    • — Emma on October 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Emma, I’ve never used oatmeal flour in these, so I can’t say from experience, but I suspect it will work (though the muffins will definitely be a bit drier and more dense). I’d replace the flour with an equivalent amount of oats (and I’d suggest keeping the oats to no more than 1/2 cup). Hope that helps — I’d love to hear how it turns out if you make them this way!

      • — Jenn on October 14, 2022
      • Reply
  • Oh my goodness!!! Made these tonight. Let me start by saying I found your site about a year ago when searching for a pumpkin pancake recipe. We love pumpkin in this house. I found yours and we loved it so much that it led me to become a a follower and now I have your cookbooks too. My family is completely familiar with you. I laugh because it’s like we all know you. When I make something new from one of your books or this site or your instagram page, I always tell them this is a Jenn recipe and they know immediately they are going to like it! Anyway…these muffins!!! They are AMAZING!!! A bit time consuming but totally worth it!! They’re everything we love about fall in a muffin….and every bit as delicious as anything we’d get at a bakery! Thank you for another great recipe!

    • — Sharon G on October 3, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sharon, I laughed when I read you post because everyone in my family asks me, “Is this from Jenn?” when I make a dish they like! She’s famous in our home, as well!

      • — Barbara S on October 16, 2022
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  • I made these twice now, and they’re sooo good. Definitely a new fall favourite. I skipped the step of spraying the pan and instead just used muffin tins. The butter within the recipe is more than enough to coat it and not have it stick (in fact, the butter seems to seep through!). The second time around that I made these, I ran out of pecans, so I did 1/2 pecans and 1/2 walnuts for the streusel and it tasted just as good. I would also agree that they freeze great, and taste best when warmed up.

    • — Irma on September 30, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hello! How would I adjust these to 6 jumbo size muffins?
      Would I preheat oven high at 425 for 5 minutes then lower for the remaining?

      Any suggestions would be helpful.

      Thank you.

      • — Joelle on October 12, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi Joelle, I’d keep the temperature the same, but bake them for longer. I’d start checking them at 40 to 45 minutes. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on October 14, 2022
        • Reply
  • Good recipe, thank you! I made it gf with Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 baking flour. I also reduced the fat by using 1/2 cup dairy free margarine in the muffins, added 1/2 cup applesauce, and I cut the sugar to 3/4 cup. For the topping I used walnuts as that’s what I had on hand. The muffins were moist but not wet, had a perfect crumb and were very much enjoyed by my family. This will be a keeper for sure!

    • — Stefanie E on September 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • What if we are allergic to nuts? Any ideas about the pecans?

    • — Sarah on September 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Sarah, you can just omit the nuts. They’ll still be great.

      • — Jenn on September 22, 2022
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! The whole house smelled amazing while they were in the oven, and taste amazing, too! I will 100% be making these again.

    • — Cheldon on September 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was a wonderful recipe! I did use light brown sugar in the topping since that’s what I had. It was a recipe I will use again!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • — Nancy on September 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • These were amazing! So moist and flavorful. I questioned the full teaspoon of cloves but it was perfect. I didn’t have turbinado sugar so subbed brown sugar and it worked out fine. Brought them in for my boss’s birthday and they were a hit!

      • — Kim on September 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • Excellent base recipe! I had to substitute in some coconut mana for butter, used almonds instead of pecans, added some freeze dried peaches and cranberries just to use what I had on hand and these were soft, moist, dense, and loved by all 5 ppl who got to give them a try. Absolutely making again and again.

    • — Shelby C on August 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • These pumpkin muffins are so delicious. My husband doesn’t like pumpkin and even he couldn’t deny that the streusel topping makes these muffins extra special good. They looked like bakery muffins too. I didn’t have pecans so I substituted walnuts.

    • — Lisa on June 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • I make it every single year it’s amazing!! I even brought it to my boyfriends family for thanksgiving and they absolutely loved it!

    • — Emily on April 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made these as an indulgent breakfast treat and they were so delicious! They have great flavor and are moist without being dense or oily. They were still good 3 days later and the ones that I froze were also excellent after being defrosted. An absolute winner of a recipe – you can bet I will be making these at Thanksgiving!

  • made these last evening…very good! i did not add a streusel. the muffins were ‘cakelike’ moist & light..i used 1/4C coconut oil instead of 1/4C butter. think a creme frosting would also be good. love your oatmeal pecan cookies a lot too!

    thank you..

  • Great recipe! I used coconut sugar and half the nutmeg required. I added 1/2 cardamom. The changes elevated the muffin to a whole new flavour dimension.

  • Made these today. Just took them out of oven and they smell and look amazing. I couldn’t wait to try them so I only waited 8 mins to take one out of the pan. They taste even better than they smell, will definitely keep this recipe for future!!!

  • Absolutely delicious!!! The only change I made was using dark brown sugar instead of the raw sugar. My muffins look exactly like the photo!! Yum!!!

  • Baked them tonight. While hot very pumpkin flavor. Cut back on sugar and added cream cheese filling in center.

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