This pumpkin muffin recipe has been my go-to recipe for years. Light and moist, perfectly domed and with a lightly crispy top, they are my idea of the perfect pumpkin muffin!
When it comes to pumpkin muffins, I’m a purist. My go-to pumpkin muffin recipe for years has been these Simply Perfect Pumpkin Muffins. They are the best pumpkin muffins I have ever tried! They are the first thing I crave when the weather cools. Slightly warm. With butter. And a cup of tea.
So what makes this muffin simply perfect? These muffins are perfectly pumpkin and simply spiced (just a good spoonful of cinnamon). They are lovely and moist, not greasy and heavy, like pumpkin muffins can sometimes be. These mix up easily, with no butter to soften, as they use oil instead. And finally, these muffins bake up perfectly domes, so they’re always pretty (and pretty counts!).
Tried, tested and reliable, this is a great recipe to enjoy at home, or since it makes a large batch, to make for bake sales or to have lots to share with friends, family and/or neighbours :)
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here are the simple ingredients you will need for these muffins …
White Sugar – it may seem like a lot of sugar, but remember that you are making 18-20 muffins. Be careful reducing the sugar, as sugar in baking recipes do more than sweeten. Sugar is responsible for contributing to moist crumb and extended shelf life.
Vegetable Oil – I swear by vegetable oil for baking, so I do recommend it here. That said, any neutral tasting cooking oil will work here.
Pumpkin Puree – this would be canned pumpkin puree generally. Be sure not to use Pumpkin Pie Filling, which is spiced. You can certainly make your own pumpkin puree and use it here, if canned is not available.
You will also need – Eggs (4), all purpose flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
Can I use other/more spices?
Like I often say, in your kitchen, you can do what you like! I believe that sometimes less is more and these muffins are consistent with that thought, I think. Simply spiced, allowing the pumpkin flavour to shine. I would always encourage you to try the recipe as written at least once and then decide if you’d like to add more spices next time you make them :)
Can I use whole wheat flour/gluten-free flour/less sugar/applesauce instead of oil, etc.?
Possibly, but I haven’t tested this recipe with all the possible alterations people might like to make. Just keep in mind that altering the ingredients will almost certainly result in a different outcome and sometimes, not in the best of ways. Whole wheat flour will result in a dense muffin. Reducing the sugar will result in less sweetness and also less moistness/shelf-life of your baked muffin etc.
I can’t buy canned pumpkin here. What else can I use? Any cooked squash, sweet potato, yams etc. should work with these muffins, in equal quantity as the pumpkin.
Can I halve the recipe?
Yes you can, as I realize this recipe does make a large batch. They freeze really well, if you can’t eat them all up right away. What I do though is bake the big batch and freeze some and gift some. A good pumpkin muffin in the Fall makes a great gift ;)
Do I need to use muffin liners?
No, As there is a good amount of oil in these, you can bake them without paper lines without problem. Just allow to cool in the pan a little more before removing.
Can I freeze these muffins?
Absolutely. These muffins freeze beautifully! Simply pop into a freezer bag or container to freeze. To thaw, just set on the counter for 15-20 minutes or pop in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.
- I especially love these muffins freshly baked, when they have a lovely, lightly crispy top. While the crispy top diminishes as they sit, the muffin itself is still lovely and moist and every bit as enjoyable.
- When filling the muffin cups/liners, you’ll be filling them to almost the top of the liner, leaving just a bit of the liner exposed. If you divide the batter evenly between 18 muffin liners, you’ll have the perfect size.
- Be sure to spray/grease the top of your muffin tin before lining and adding batter, so these large muffins release easily.
- If you like raisins in your pumpkin muffins, feel free to stir in some plumped raisins before adding the batter to the tins. To plump the raisins, simply soak in very hot water for 15 minutes, then drain and dry before adding to the batter. About a 1/2 cup of so is about right, or more, to taste.
Be sure to fill any empty muffin cups half full with water before putting in the oven, to ensure even baking.
Get the Recipe: Simply Perfect Pumpkin Muffins
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups (400 g) white granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups (340 ml) vegetable oil, recommended, or canola, sunflower or other neutral-tasting oil
- 1 3/4 cups (400 ml) pure pumpkin puree, not pie filling
- 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- Preheat oven to 375° F. (not convection/fan-assisted). Prepare 18 muffin cups by greasing (both the cup and the top of the tin) or lining with paper liners and lightly greasing top of tin. (These are fairly moist muffins, so paper liners are not really necessary unless you prefer.) Set prepared pans aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs slightly.
- Add the white sugar, oil and pumpkin and beat thoroughly until well combined and smooth. Add the flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix until smooth and well combined.
- Divide the batter between 18 muffin cups. You'll be filling them almost to the top of the cup or liners, with just a bit of the liner showing.
- Bake at 375° F. for 22 – 25 minutes, testing with a cake tester to be sure they are cooked before removing from oven (If undercooked, they will collapse as they cool, so be sure to test. They will look done even when they’re not actually). Muffins should be very lightly browned on top and around edges when cooked. My oven is usually 25 minutes.
- Allow to cool in pans at least 5 minutes before removing from pans, as they are quite soft when hot.
- These are at their best on the day they are baked. They lose their crunchy top as they sit too long at room temperature. If you aren’t eating right away, freezing is a good option to keep the crunch.
More Pumpkin Recipes to Love!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!