By Victoria Osborn, Contributing Writing
The last few months of the year of my favorite. Fall, right through the holiday season, is filled with so many wonderful family activities, crisp cool weather, traditions and comforting treats.
After a long, hot summer the chilly temperatures are always a welcome relief along with all the warm and delicious comfort foods and treats the fall season brings.
For me one of the best things about fall is the pumpkins. Long before I was a fan of eating them, I always loved spending the time picking out the perfect, plump and orange gourd at the pumpkin stand. I have so many special memories of carving or painting pumpkins from my childhood.
As I grew older I realized pumpkins are for so much more than for decorating, they are really tasty and serve as a base for so many fall treats.
I’m pretty sure pumpkin flavors have grown in popularity over recent years because it’s hard to not find tons of pumpkin themed treats and foods in the grocery store this season. A simple search on Pinterest and you will find tons of pumpkin recipes, and not just sweet treats either. Our family favorite savory pumpkin dishes include Pumpkin Mac and Cheese and Harvest Chili.
Of course no fall season would be complete without its fair share of sweet treats and baked goods which is why we absolutely love these pumpkin spiced muffins.
They are a cross between pumpkin bread and pumpkin cupcakes, sweet but not to sweet and definitely yummy, finger licking good!
Pretty much every Saturday in the fall (and into the winter too because they are good year round if you can get your hands on some pumpkin puree) I make a batch of these pumpkin muffins and if I don’t double the recipe, they will be gone by mid-week!
My kids ask for a pumpkin muffin with breakfast, after lunch and sometimes even with dinner… my husband and I have to be diligent about eating our share too! The are perfect with a warm cup of coffee on a chilly fall morning.
One of the best things about them is their sweet and crunchy top made with a little bit of brown sugar mixed with olive oil. When they bake in the oven, the brown sugar crumbles turn into sweet and crunchy magic.
The recipe is pretty adaptable too. My family has an egg allergy so I use 1 tablespoon of ground flax mill mixed with 3 tablespoons of water to substitute for one egg. We also have a nut allergy too but on the very rare occasions I make these just for me (which honestly was before I had kids if I’m being honest), I would mix some chopped pecans or almonds in with the batter.
Freezer TIP: The pumpkin muffins also freeze really well too so you could make a big batch one weekend and pull out muffins from the freezer to defrost when you needed them.
Pumpkin Spiced Muffins
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Servings: Makes 12 muffins
Here’s What You Need:
- 1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil (I have used both and usually use what I already have on hand. If you use coconut oil make sure to bring it to room temperature so it is in liquid form)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 TBSP ground flax mixed with 6 TBSP water (or you could use 2 eggs or your favorite egg substitute)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger (You could also use 2 tsp of pumpkin spice in place of the cinnamon and ginger)
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 TBSP olive oil
Here’s What You Do:
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners (I finally got smart and purchased some reusable silicon ones!)
Mix the ground flax mill and water together and let sit for about 5 to 10 minutes for it to solidify and form a thick, egg like texture.
Stir the oil and sugar together. Stir in the eggs, pumpkin and milk making sure everything is well incorporated.
Once the wet ingredients have been mixed together well in the batter, add in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger (or pumpkin pie spice). Stir everything together, the batter will be thick. If you wish to add nuts, you can go ahead and add them to the batter now.
Using a spoon or a small ice cream scoop (my personal favorite), spoon the batter into the muffin cups about two-thirds full.
Next it’s time to make the topping (my favorite part!). In a separate small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and additional olive oil. Honestly I eye ball it, adding more oil if needed. Then using my fingers, I gently sprinkle the crumbles over the top of each muffin. When I use nuts, I also sprinkle a few chopped almonds and pecans on top too. Talk about crunchy goodness!
Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan, then remove the muffins to cool before serving and enjoying. Make sure to store leftovers in an airtight container.
When you bake these your entire house will smell heavenly, just like Thanksgiving! Who needs to use air fresheners when you bake the perfect fall treats?
Not only are these pumpkin muffins a perfect fall treat for your family to enjoy, they make wonderful hospitality gifts to give your neighbors, a new mama or anyone who could use a little love from your kitchen.
Bake these muffins this weekend (or today!) ;) and enjoy a little bit of all the fall goodness!