15 October 2020

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Muffins - makes 18 and uses whole can of pumpkin / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pumpkin Spice Muffins are my less-sugar, more-pumpkin, "healthier" alternative to my light and fluffy Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

After all, autumn is well underway and cannot go by without at least one pumpkin recipe! As always, I developed my recipe to avoid waste; so it makes precisely 18 standard muffins and uses the whole can of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins - makes 18 and uses whole can of pumpkin (this image a watercolor sketch of a pumpkin) / www.delightfulrepast.com
Didn't actually use this pumpkin in the muffins, but wanted to include
a seasonal watercolor sketch.

Of course, you can make your own pumpkin purée, if you like. See the directions above the muffin recipe.

The texture of these muffins is wonderful. The key to proper texture of any muffin is not overmixing, not developing the gluten in the batter. So I've included some tips in the directions.

Despite the less than typical amount of sugar I use (2 teaspoons per muffin, in case you limit your sugar intake as I do), you could easily slap some frosting on these and call them cupcakes!

What is your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin? And only in autumn or year-round?

Fresh Pumpkin Purée

Look for a pumpkin that is unblemished and firm with a sturdy stem. A 2-pound pumpkin (or part of a larger pumpkin) should yield 1 3/4 cups (as in a 15-ounce can) of purée.

Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. Scrub the outside well and cut off the stem. Cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds and stringy bits. Leave the skin on. Place cut-side down on parchment-lined 15x10x1-inch baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until fork tender and very soft. Let cool.

Scrape out the flesh, place in food processor or high-powered blender, and puree until smooth. If the consistency is looser than canned pumpkin, put the puree in a mesh yogurt strainer or cheesecloth-lined colander to drain. Store in an airtight container (I like canning jars) for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins - makes 18 and uses whole can of pumpkin / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pumpkin Muffins

(Makes 18)

2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons non-GMO baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
3/4 firmly packed cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 15-ounce can (or 1 3/4 cups fresh) pumpkin puree

Optional: 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

1 Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. Spray a 12-cup and a 6-cup standard muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper liners. In 1-quart glass measure or bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. If adding nuts, stir in the finely chopped nuts.

Note: What led me to the Nordic Ware muffin tins was an almost fruitless search for ones that did not have hard-to-clean seams around the muffin cavities. I also love that the 12-cup pan has a lid, making it easy to transport decorated cupcakes.

2 In 2-quart glass measure or bowl, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla extract. Beat in eggs, beating well. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Add thoroughly whisked flour mixture to thoroughly whisked wet mixture, and stir with spatula or large spoon just until combined, about 15 to 20 gentle strokes circling the bowl; do not overmix. 

3 Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, divide batter between cups. Scoop the batter from the edge of the bowl so as not to further mix the batter. Bake for about 18 to 22 minutes, or until a center muffin tests done with a toothpick.

4 Cool in pans on wire rack not more than 5 minutes. Turn out onto a pristine kitchen towel. Place on wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving. The muffins will keep well at room temperature in an airtight container for 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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