I have been making these muffins forever, and as is the case with all my recipes, they have gone through several variations over the years. I think we’re finally there: Just moist enough to make you keep coming back for bite after bite, and packed with a variety of warm spices. The recipe makes quite a few muffins – probably 28 to 30 of the regular sized guys, but trust me – they go down fast. They are great for sharing, and freeze beautifully. If you’d rather make a smaller batch, just cut it in half. I’ve included a hint for the sleight of hand required for dividing three eggs in half in the recipe below. These muffins just cry out of a Chai Latte or other similar hot beverage for fall, usually one that includes whipped cream. They do not require a nice pat of butter, but….
The dough comes together in a flash – just mix up your dry ingredients and then gently stir in the wet ones. Scoop them into well greased/sprayed muffin tins and sprinkle on that super-simple topping of brown sugar and pumpkin seeds and you are good to go. If you like to use paper baking cups, here’s a little trick I learned: Lightly spray the inside of the paper with cooking spray. That way, when you remove the paper, half of the muffin doesn’t go along with it which results in more of the muffin for you.
When they come out of the oven about 20 minutes later, they are golden brown and smell like somebody has been baking a pumpkin pie. Raw pumpkin seeds will give your muffins a subtle crunch, but if you like a bigger crunch factor, just roast your pumpkin seeds in a 350 degree oven, tossed with just a little oil and salt until they are fragrant and start to turn brown. This is about a 15 minute effort.
Not much left to do but eat at this point, unless you want to play around with them and stack them up which I personally think is kind of fun. I do this while I am eating a couple of ‘extras’.
These muffins taste so rich, butter is not required. However, I have never been accused of avoiding that particular gift from nature.
Happy Halloween everybody!! Hope you can curl up with a good book and a hot beverage, and enjoy a few of these beauties. Thanks so much for reading today. xoxoxoxo
- 4 cups unbleached flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups brown sugar + ¼ cup for topping
- 2 teaspoons soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon allspice
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 eggs (If you’d rather make a smaller batch, just cut the recipe in half. Cutting 3 eggs in half isn’t that easy, but just use 1 whole egg and crack the second egg and whisk it well, then measure out half, which should be about 2 tablespoons).
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ cup raw or roasted pumpkin seeds (raw seeds give you a mild crunch and better color, and roasted seeds give a lot of crunch and more pronounced flavor)
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees and spray 2 muffin tins (that hold 12 muffins each) with cooking or baking spray. TIP: If you are using paper muffin holders, give them a quick spray with cooking spray – your muffins will release from the paper like magic!
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.
- In a medium bowl, stir together until well combined: canola oil, buttermilk, eggs, pumpkin puree, and vanilla.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, only until combined. It’s important not to overmix or you’ll end up with tough muffins, which is not desirable.
- Scoop batter into muffin tins or cups and fill to about ¼ inch from the top of the tin.
- Mix together the reserved brown sugar and pumpkin seeds, and top each muffin with about 1 tablespoon of the topping mixture.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or when the muffins bounce back to your touch and no raw spots appear.
- Cool on a cooling rack until you can’t stand it anymore, then dive in.