A celebration of Fall, these pumpkin muffins are filled with cranberries, carrot, apple, raisins and seeds, for a better-for-you muffin.
My classic pumpkin muffin recipe is the 1950’s. It’s the perfect pumpkin muffin (in my opinion) in terms of taste, texture and moistness. It’s pure pumpkin muffin enjoyment and there will always be a place for that pleasure in my life now and then.
There is also room in my life for a version of pumpkin muffin that offers up a bit more – a pumpkin muffin that maybe delivers up maybe some extra fibre and vitamins, too. It still needed to taste great though, and be moist and light in texture. This is that muffin!
I reduced the oil and the added sugar by half, compared to my original recipe. I also managed to pack these muffins with cranberries, apple, carrots, raisins and seeds, working out to just about 1/2 serving of fruits/vegetable per muffin! The best part of all, is that they are still wonderfully delicious, moist and satisfying.
Cranberries We were just a little early for the fresh, local cranberries, so frozen cranberries were used here. Thaw the cranberries before cutting in half and adding to batter. Of course, if fresh cranberries are in season, even better!
Apples: Use any moderately sweet, red-skinned apple. There are lots of varieties of local apples available at Zehrs™ this Fall.
Raisins: Any type of raisin is fine here.
Pepitas: Also known as pumpkin seeds. I used raw unsalted pumpkin seeds, though salted is fine here, as well.
Milled Flax Seed: Milled flax seed is simply whole flax seeds that has been ground up. Our bodies have trouble breaking down the whole flax seeds, so using milled flax seed allows us to enjoy the full health benefits of the flax seed. The milled flaxseed simply adds extra goodness to these muffins. You can omit, without issues, if you like.
Oil: I reduced the oil from my classic pumpkin muffins in half, so these are already reduced in that respect. If you wished, you could replace 1/2 cup of the oil with applesauce, though it will affect the moistness of the resulting muffin.
Sugar: Again, the sugar is reduced by half from my classic pumpkin muffins, so I don’t feel there is a ton or room to reduce it drastically more. As noted below, you can skip the sugar topping easily, to reduce the sugar further.
Feel free to omit any of the apple, carrot or raisins if you prefer or you don’t have all on hand.
The actual muffin itself is not super sweet. The bit of sugar in the topping fools you into thinking it’s sweeter than it actually is. I like that. If you’d prefer to skip the sugar topping, simply sprinkle the chopped pepitas/pumpkin seeds on top of the muffins before baking.
As these muffins are reduced in oil and sugar, the shelf life will be shorter than a full fat/sugar muffin. These muffins will freeze well, so you can freeze any you can’t eat in the first couple of days.
Top Tip! When making muffins and all the muffin cups aren’t filled, fill the empty cups in the tin half full with water before putting in the oven. This will help your muffins bake evenly.
Get the Recipe: Harvest Pumpkin Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 5 tsp milled flax seed
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup canola oil, or sunflower, vegetable oil etc.
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed), halved
- 1/2 cup raisins, plumped
- 1/2 cup carrot, shredded
- 1/4 cup apple, shredded
- 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp pepitas, chopped
- 1 Tbsp butter, cold
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line 9 muffin cups with paper liners
and set aside.
- Set raisins (if using) in a bowl of hot water and allow to
stand for 10 minutes (plumping the raisins). Drain and pat dry before adding to the
- Prepare the Topping by whisking together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped pepitas. Add the 1 Tbsp cold butter and use your fingertips to gently rub the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, white sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and flax seed.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and pumpkin.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine the fresh cranberries,
soaked/drained and dried raisins, carrot and apple. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp all
purpose flour and toss to combine.
- Add the egg/oil/pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and using a spoon, stir until combined and no flour is visible. Stir in the cranberry/fruit mixture and stir until combined.
- Divide batter between the 9 muffins cups. Sprinkle topping mixture on top. Fill any empty muffin cups 1/2 full with water to ensure your muffins bake evenly.
- Bake in preheated oven for 22-25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Remove from oven. Allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then gently remove from tins and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Tried these and they were delicious. Could I make the better and refrigerate overnite before baking?
Hi Nancy, since this muffin recipe includes baking soda, it should be fine to refrigerate the dough overnight.
The ingredients for the topping doesn’t include cinnamon but instructions does, If there is cinnamon in the topping what is the measurement?
Hi Lynn and sorry about that. I have included the cinnamon amount in the topping ingredients for you. Enjoy!
Sooo yummy! Omitted the apples, carrots and raisins and just put a few more cranberries. I usually put less sugar but didn’t here as instructed – and perfect. Not sweet at all but I like it that way. The cranberries provide the sweetness and the tart – which is also a fav. Made 12 cupcake sized muffins and cooked perfectly. Double thumbs up for sure.
So glad you enjoyed them, Clara and yes, I’ve already scaled back the sugar about as far as I thought I could :) Thanks!
These muffins look delicious! Would it be okay to put the pumpkin seeds in the batter instead of on top?
Hi Jennifer and absolutely, you can put them in the batter as well as or instead of on the top, without any other alterations. Enjoy!
This is another amazing recipe Jennifer. Just delicious – not too sweet and not too cakey, but full of flavor. Just wonderful! Thank you!
So glad you enjoyed them, Linda! They are one of my favourites :) Thanks so much.
I have a raw pumpkin. Do you cook it to create pumpkin puree? Thank you. I want to bake these today!
Hi Susan, Yes, I feel like you probably need to cook it off before using. I understand that you could microwave it quite easily. I recall a comment a while back (can’t find right now), from someone who used raw pumpkin in a recipe calling for pumpkin puree with reported success. I can’t verify that myself though, so my advice would be to cook it off to be sure it will work well for you :)
This is an exceptional offering. Any tips for doubling? Think if I am going to the effort of peeling and grating – I would like to have 18 muffins – would take but a little more time. Thanks for your work on this!
Absolutely no problem doubling this Roberta. Thanks!
Hi Jennifer – Is this a sponsored post? If yes, would it be possible to state that somewhere in the posts that are sponsored? I love your recipes, but just would like to know for sure when it is sponsored. Thank you!
Hi Carolyn, My disclosure that this is a sponsored post is very clear at the top of this post.
I’m sorry I missed it.
No worries :)
Jennifer, I am a fan of your Simply Perfect Pumpkin Muffins….however your Harvest Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin is over the top…wonderful combination of flavours. A new favourite.
So glad to hear, Candy! I really tried to keep the best parts of the Simply Perfect Pumpkin Muffin, but add a bit of extra goodness. I always love the combination of pumpkin and cranberry! Thanks so much :)
This is a very nice recipe Jennifer. I love all the additions of fruit and flaxseed. I need to use it more in my baking. This is a great seasonal treat we would love!
Thanks so much, Tricia! The milled flaxseed is so easy to sneak into baking. You would never know it’s there :)
I love a hearty muffin, and this one is loaded with all the good stuff! I definitely need to add these to my fall baking list! Pinning!
Thanks so much Leanne :)
I want to grab one right through my screen to go with my morning coffee Jennifer. These look absolutely delicious and I love the combination of ingredients. Can’t wait to bake a batch!
Thanks so much, Mary Ann :)
These need to be alongside my coffee right about now and not on my screen! What a lovely combo of two of my fave fall ingredients :)
Thanks so much, Dawn :)
These look so good! Could you use half brown and half white sugar for the batter?
Yes you can Michele :) It won’t change the sweetness or baking time, though the muffin itself will be a little darker probably. Enjoy!
Thank you very much Jennifer!
sorry one more questions can you omit the flaxseed?
Absolutely. The flaxseed is just some extra goodness snuck in there but doesn’t affect anything else.