Pumpkin Spice Muffins | Fall Baking, Pumpkin Spice, Juice Pulp Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Muffins are a rite of passage in our house. Every year I make a batch to mark the end of a hot and humid summer and the beginning of another glorious North Carolina Autumn. These muffins are favorites because they are lower in fat and sugar while still being moist, hearty, flavorful and plenty sweet. They have a fine crumb, with a soft, cake-like texture, while the raisins and nuts provide pops of flavor and crunch. All things considered, this is a treat you can happily indulge in without much guilt! 😁 I should also say they freeze beautifully, so you can pop one in the microwave any time you want an afternoon snack or a quick breakfast.

While I love this recipe in its Pumpkin Spice variation, it can be easily tweaked to make several other kinds of muffins. Be sure to check out the Recipe Notes below for some ideas on that. (Hint:  if you’re a juicer, this recipe is a great way for you to utilize that leftover pulp!)


Don’t forget to Pin these Pumpkin Spice Muffins for later!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Muffins

  • ⅔ cup pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling)
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 drops lemon oil*
  • 2 drops orange oil*
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (vanilla bean paste is nice)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice blend
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • * or use ½ tsp. each lemon and orange extract or zests

Recipe Notes, Tips & Variations

  1. Trader Joe’s sells a great Pumpkin Spice Blend for cheap!
  2. If you don’t have any Pumpkin Spice Blend, then use a rounded ½ tsp. of cinnamon, a rounded ¼ tsp. of ginger and a scant ¼ tsp. nutmeg.
  3. Swap out the Pumpkin puree with cooled, mashed sweet potatoes. You might not think that will make much difference in the flavor, but try it! Pumpkin, bless its heart, has that wee bit of vegetal “squashiness” going on in its flavor profile, while sweet potatoes are pure, earthy, sweet YUM!
  4. Easily up the fiber in these by swapping out some or all of the AP Flour with White Whole Wheat Flour (also called Whole Wheat Pastry Flour). Or you can also sub in Spelt, Quinoa or Barley Flour for SOME of the AP.
  5. If you’re feeling especially decadent, toss in some bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips – minis if you are making mini muffins. Chocolate goes SO WELL with both Pumpkin and all the spices in Pumpkin Spice Blend.

Special tip for my friends who juice:

Don’t you hate tossing all that fiber-rich, nutritious pulp when you juice? I sure do, which led me to look for ways to utilize it. One day while I was making a batch of carrot-apple-pineapple juice, I realized the pulp would make a great sub for the pumpkin puree in this recipe. I quickly whipped up these muffins using the pulp, and they were like little carrot cakes! Feel free to use your imagination as to which types of pulp you would like to try.

However, there’s one thing to keep in mind: the pulp must have roughly the same moisture level as pumpkin puree. My macerating juicer produces very little pulp, and what it does expel is quite dry. To use drier pulp, add a bit of the juice back to it till you have a mixture with the texture of applesauce or pumpkin puree. Then measure out ⅔ of a cup of that mix. The pulp from a centrifugal force juicer will likely be plenty moist on its own.


Here’s How to Whip up Those Pumpkin Spice Muffins


This recipe makes 12 regular or 24 mini muffins. Preheat oven to 375 and line muffin pan of choice with papers or grease pan well. 

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, then beat in egg.  Next add vanilla, lemon and orange oils (or extracts/zests) and beat well.  Beat in pumpkin puree (batter will look curdled like the image below, but don’t worry).

Pumpkin Spice Muffin Batter will initially appear curdled

Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices.  Alternately add flour mixture and milk, starting with flour, then milk, then flour, adding raisins and nuts with last addition of flour.  Beat on low till almost combined; then finish by folding with spatula.  As you can see below – all’s well, no more weird curdling!

Pumpkin Spice Muffin Batter

Bake and Serve

Scoop batter into liners or greased pan.  A #12 disher makes very quick, neat work of this step.  In fact, there’s no easier way to evenly portion out batter for muffins or cupcakes!  If you don’t own a disher, do yourself a solid and get one (or several)!  A restaurant supply store is a great place to stock up on the cheap.

Bake muffins 17-18 minutes for regular sized or 10-11 mins for minis – or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Cool muffins in pans a few minutes before tipping them out to finish cooling on a wire rack.  As you can see, these are not great big, diet-ruining, oversized muffins.  They are, however, the perfect size for a light breakfast or tea-time snack.  And if you’ve made my Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup, they are a natural partner for a Pumpkin Spice Latte or Tea Latte!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins | Fall Baking, Pumpkin Spice, Juice Pulp Muffins

I hope you enjoy these fall treats! What are your favorite things to bake once Fall finally arrives?

Elizabeth
Lower Sugar Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Want to make a delicious beverage to go with these Pumpkin Spice Muffins? Check out these two recipes for easy, homemade Gingerbread Latte Syrup and that fall favorite, Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup:

Pinnable image for Homemade Gingerbread Latte Syrup Recipe
Pinnable Image for Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Lightly sweet, quick and easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins are full of pumpkin, warm spices, nuts and raisins. They freeze beautifully for fast snacks or breakfast
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Keyword Pumpkin, Quick Bread
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Author Elizabeth at thewildolive.org

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup pumpkin pureeNOT pie filling
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 drops lemon oil*
  • 2 drops orange oil*
  • 1 tsp. vanillavanilla bean paste is nice
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. saltgenerous
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • * or use ½ tsp. each lemon and orange extract or zest

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375. Line muffin pan with papers or grease pan well.
  • Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in egg.
  • Add vanilla, lemon and orange oil (or extracts/zests) and beat well. Beat in pumpkin puree (batter will look curdled).
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices. Alternately add flour mixture and milk, starting with flour, then milk, then flour. Add raisins and nuts with last addition of flour.
  • Beat on low till almost combined; finish by folding with spatula.
  • Scoop batter into liners (or greased pan) and bake 17-18 minutes for regular sized or 10-11 mins for minis – until toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Notes

Four Easy Ways to Vary This Recipe
  1. Sub in mashed, cooked sweet potatoes for the pumpkin puree.
  2. Okay, this might seem weird, but when I use my juicer to make my favorite pineapple-carrot-apple juice, I use 2/3 of a cup of the leftover pulp to make these muffins.  Super yum and a fiber boost!
  3. Speaking of fiber boosting – you can easily swap in some whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose, or use any whole grain flours you like using.  The hearty ingredients in this muffin can take it!
  4. If you’re feeling especially decadent toss in some bittersweet chocolate chips – minis if you are making mini muffins.