Friday, November 4, 2011

Best Ever Quick & Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

    For my daughter's 4th birthday I did a baking project with her preschool class. Since these were 4 year olds I knew it needed to be a simple recipe that could be completed quickly and easily, without the use of my beloved KitchenAid mixer. I love that my daughter's school discourages cupcakes on birthdays in favor of healthier treats. These muffins are much healthier than your average bakery muffin and I don't use any refined sugar. Raw turbinado sugar gives them an even richer flavor and moister texture. 
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) add crunch, fiber, and protein.

Best Ever Pumpkin Muffins 
Makes 12 muffins 
1 1/2 cups White Whole Wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15 ounce can)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon raw turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Put oven in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put liners in muffin cups.
Whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside. 
Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in any additions, such as cranberries, nuts, or chocolate. 
Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full), then sprinkle tops with additional sugar and pepitas. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool in pan on a rack five minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.
adapted from American club, in Kohler, Wisconsin via Gourmet Magazine via Smitten Kitchen

Delicious Variations
Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Muffins (my favorite adaptation!)
Stir in chopped chocolate or chocolate chips at the end (probably about 3/4 cup?)

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
Stir in 3/4 cup fresh or dried cranberries at the end (I prefer fresh cranberries because they are so moist and tangy!)

Low-Fat Pumpkin Muffins
Replace oil with 1/3 cup applesauce + 1 Tbs oil


  1. That post title sure got my attention - best ever! Wow! These do look wonderful. Happy bday.

  2. These look delish! I'll have to make the cranberry variation ASAP! :)

  3. gorgeous, I must say your blog is just so dang prety!

  4. That is just a very pretty fall pumpkin muffin and a really cutie taking her first bite. I work with so many folks who have small children who want them to eat healthy; I will have to give this one to them.

  5. What a fun idea, young as your daughter is she will probably remember it for life. When one of my daughters was in preschool I came in and we made homemade was a blast, but pretty messy.

  6. YUM Marina. Looks delicious!!!

  7. These look incredible! Beatiful photos as always!

  8. I haven't had a muffin in so long... (I want one now)

    I appreciate your kind words today! XO

    Gillian from Baby Talk without the Babble

  9. those look great, I would love it with the chocolate chips.

  10. Oh my goodness. These look DELICIOUS :)

  11. That's great to know. The school's and parents' points of view regarding lifestyles and good nutrition should supplement and complement each other. Lucky you...But I must say your kids are luckier for having a mom like you who bakes healthy and delicious goodies. Wanna try your recipe too, I bet my 2 year old will make a mess in the kitchen while I make these muffins...
    Thanks for posting. Great site you have here.

  12. They do look scrumptious -- so do your helpers! Glad you shared the "healthier" possibility with applesauce; I'm never quite sure how to lighten something u. (I always fatten it up -- like with chocolate chips!) Thanks for visiting and glad I found you!

  13. Those look AWESOME!!! Following you back from the hop!!! Going to follow you FB and Twitter too! LOVE your site!!!

  14. Thanks so much for following! So happy to follow you back! Your blog looks awesome...gorgeous photos! Looking forward to reading more!!

    evie @ brown paper packages

  15. now following you and I am so glad you found me. Lovely blog.

  16. These look amazing!
    You have a gorgeous blog, so happy I found it.
    I'll definitely be trying these.

  17. Looks divine!! Stopping by to return the GFC Follow!! Happy Blogging!

  18. These look delicious, you have such a beautiful blog! You've also inspired me to upload a video on my blog on how to make jam... been to nervous to upload it. Yours was great and I'll be posting mine soon as well.

  19. Kristen7:28 AM

    We made these this weekend and they were SO good and so easy! Thanks for the recipe!

  20. This is brilliant! Healthy and yummy!

  21. Thanks for the follow. Stopping by to follow back. These look so delicious! Looking forward to reading more!!

    Katie @ Glamorous Without the Guilt

  22. Nice blog! Newest follower from MBC! Hope you can visit and follow me back:)


  23. your blog is beautiful, and gorgeous pictures!!! Newest follower from the MBC

    Have a wonderful day!

  24. These look wonderful. I love pumpkin and cranberries but never thought about adding them to my pumpkin muffin recipe. I am going to do that the next time I make them.

  25. It makes me happy to read that your daughters school asks for healthy treats, as much as I LOVE cupcakes, your pumpkin muffins look great!

  26. I finally tried this recipe and my husband and I LOVE them. They're going into my regular rotation. Thanks!

  27. I've just discovered your blog! Cannot wait to make the low fat version of these :) thanks!

  28. I tried this recipe to the T and it came out very well! Hard to not finish all the cupcakes in one go! Thanks!!


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