These Pumpkin Muffins are perfectly sweet, ultra moist, yet fluffy, and are topped with a crumbly pecan streusel. The BEST fall muffin recipe!
I love muffins. I love pumpkin. I love fall baking. What does that mean? That means, I’ll be baking these pumpkin muffins all season long! Which is great, because I eat these muffins for breakfasts, snacks, and even dessert.
Ingredients and substitutions
There are two parts to this muffin recipe: the pecan streusel and the actual pumpkin muffin.
- Butter – binds the flour, sugar, and pecans together to give that classic crumbly texture. Unsalted butter is preferred, but if salted is the only butter available, simply reduce the additional salt in half. Bonus: this recipe uses melted butter, so there’s no waiting around for the butter to soften which is necessary in many streusel recipes.
- Flour – all-purpose flour also helps promote a great, crumbly texture. All-purpose flour is the only flour I would recommend.
- Turbinado Sugar – aka raw sugar, has a similar flavor to light brown sugar, but as much larger crystals, so it also provides an amazing crunchy texture. Feel free to replace with granulated sugar or brown sugar if turbinado sugar is not available.
- Pecans – provides a warm, nutty flavor and subtle crunch to contrast the fluffiness of the pumpkin muffins. Another nut, such as walnuts, may be used as well.
- Vanilla, Cinnamon, and Salt – work together to provide a warm, subtly spicy flavor to the topping. Feel free to replace the cinnamon with equal parts pumpkin pie spice, if preferred.
- Unsalted Butter – provides flavor and moisture. Oil will produce a muffin that’s more moist, but butter provides a rich, buttery flavor. These muffins are plenty moist from the pumpkin, so oil is not necessary.
- Dark Brown Sugar – adds sweetness and a rich, molasses flavor. It also provides moisture which keeps the bread’s texture very tender. Dark brown sugar is called for in the recipe, but light dark sugar can also be used.
- Maple Syrup – not pancake syrup. We’re looking for pure maple syrup for this recipe which adds moisture and a rich, molasses sweetness.
- Egg – provides structure and helps bind the ingredients together. Be sure to use a room temperature egg. Because the butter is melted, if a cold egg was used, it would cause the butter to clump.
- Vanilla Extract – adds a sweet flavor and depth to any quick bread! Pure vanilla extract is always preferred, but imitation will be fine in a pinch.
- Pumpkin Puree – not pumpkin pie filling, there’s a difference! Canned pumpkin puree is made with just pumpkin (or sometimes squash like butternut) whereas pumpkin pie filling also contains water, sugar, salt, spices, and preservatives. If you’d like, homemade pumpkin puree may be substituted. You’ll need 15 oz, or about 1 3/4 cups, to make these muffins.
- All-Purpose Flour – the only other flour that *may* work in this recipe would be whole wheat pastry flour. Anything else would greatly affect the texture of the bread.
- Spices: Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves, and Salt – our homemade pumpkin pie spice seasoning mix. If you’d rather use a store-bought pumpkin spice blend, omit the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves and use 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice instead.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder – our leavening agents which give the muffins a lift to prevent it from becoming too dense. Quick breads and muffins are made without yeast (which normally is what makes bread rise), so today, we’re using baking soda and baking powder.
How to make
- Make the streusel: mix together butter, flour sugar, pecans, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until combined. Set aside.
- Make the batter: whisk together melted butter in a large bowl with brown sugar, maple syrup, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin, then use a spatula to fold in the flour, spices, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Scoop and bake: preheat oven to 425 degrees F, grease a standard 12-slot non-stick muffin tin with cooking spray, divide the batter evenly in the prepared pan, sprinkle with the streusel, then bake until an inserted toothpick comes out nearly clean.
- Cool and enjoy!
Can i make this into pumpkin bread?
- Omit the pecan streusel. For a more traditional pumpkin muffin, omit the topping! Keep in mind, the muffins without the topping are very soft and not terribly sweet. They would be great served warm with butter and maybe a drizzle of honey!
- Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. If you’re omitting the glaze, but want a little extra crunch and sweetness, sprinkle each muffin with turbinado sugar before baking.
- Stir in chocolate chips. If you’re omitting the glaze, try stirring in some chocolate chips, or better yet, check out my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (recipe coming soon)!
- Add a glaze. Try the glaze recipe from my cake mix coffee cake!
How to store
Leftover muffins will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 3-4 months.
To enjoy again, microwave to warm!
Equipment for this recipe
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour spoon and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Place melted butter, flour, turbinado sugar, pecans, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt into a medium sized bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and grease a standard 12-slot non-stick muffin with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin into a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Use a spatula to fold in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt until *just* combined.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin, then sprinkle each muffin with the streusel.*
- Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes.
- Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F (leave the muffins in the oven) and bake for an additional 13-15 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out nearly clean.
- Remove from the oven, cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then gently remove the muffins onto a wire rack to finish cooling until you’re ready to enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.