Light and Airy Pumpkin Muffins

‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin!

About this time of year, I start to get annoyed with the abundance of pumpkin flavored things, everywhere I turn. Pumpkin coffee and pumpkin oatmeal and pumpkin risotto and pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin. It takes over!

Despite my dislike for injecting pumpkin into everything under the sun, I DO love pumpkin bread. I have this oddly vivid memory from college: a girl that lived in my dorm hallway had gotten a care package from her mom, and it had two GIANT loaves of pumpkin bread in it, which she shared with my roommate and I. I remember that it was PERFECT – lots of warm spices, perfectly moist, and pumpkiny without being overwhelming. Since then, I have been searching high and low for a recipe that makes pumpkin bread just like that, with no luck (you can see two other tasty recipes here and here). This most recent recipe is probably the best I’ve found, so far – though I did tweak it to add a lot more spice, the recipe itself produces an incredibly light, fluffy, moist muffin. My wheels are already spinning, considering what I’ll need to alter in the recipe to make this into a cupcake!

Light and Airy Pumpkin Muffins
makes about 15
adapted from here

4 T butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup water

1.) Preheat oven to 350°. In your stand mixer or a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, and vegetable oil, until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until well-incorporated.

2.) Add the pumpkin puree, and mix until combined.

3.) In another bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until just incorporated. Add half the water to the mixture, and mix until just incorporated; then another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the other half of the water, and the rest of the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated (and scraping down the sides of the bowl, if necessary) after each addition.

4.) Line a cupcake tin with paper liners (or spray with nonstick cooking spray), and fill each one 2/3 full. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. (If you want to add a bit of crunch to the top of the muffins, sprinkle some turbinado [raw] sugar on the tops once they’ve been baking for about 6-8 minutes.)

5.) Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, and then carefully remove them to a cooling rack to cool all the way.

These muffins are SO light and fluffy! Which is awesome, but also dangerous, as I can see myself “accidentally” eating 6 of them before I realize what just happened. They are delightful on their own, but I also enjoy crumbling one up over a cup of greek yogurt for breakfast (or a bowl of vanilla ice cream, for dessert). Since they come together pretty easily and quickly, they’d be awesome to throw into the oven on Thanksgiving morning, so you have something to munch on while you slave over the stove, making the big meal of the day.

All in all, these muffins are pretty darn perfect! I’d say this recipe is the frontrunner in the quest for the perfect pumpkin bread…

Can’t wait to convert these into cupcakes,


One thought on “Light and Airy Pumpkin Muffins

  1. Am trying these today with a couple of variations. Have been looking for a less dense muffin or cookie for pumpkin and going to see how these turn out. Instead of water I used buttermilk, yes I know this will make them heavier but thought would try. Also added some fresh cranberries I had dried along with pecans. A little more cinnamon because I like cinnamon and might add sugar to top before baking is done. Will see..

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