These easy pumpkin spice muffins are made from scratch using half a cup of pumpkin puree, melted butter, and a blend of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice for the best fall pumpkin flavor in 6 tall bakery-style muffins. All you need is a bowl and a whisk, no mixer required! Tips included for how to get the tallest muffins.
Why you’ll love this recipe
These are tall, fluffy, delightfully squishy muffins. I always resist the waning of summer, but the moment we cross into autumn territory I am here for all the apple and cinnamon and pumpkin spice things, and these muffins deliver on all of that coziness. They are well-spiced and NOT too sweet, letting the pumpkin flavor shine through.
Even better: the muffins come together in just a few minutes with a bowl and a whisk! This recipe requires no mixer and takes very little time to whip up on a Sunday or weekday morning. More coffee, less work makes for a very happy me.
This recipe yields 6 super tall and domed bakery-style muffins with very minimal effort, which is perfect for my little household of 2. You can definitely double the recipe if you want more muffins though! Make sure to read below for tips on how to get the tallest muffin tops.
If you are similarly enamored with pumpkin spice desserts, check out my pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin donuts with salted maple glaze, chocolate chip pumpkin bread, and spiced pumpkin bundt cake.
Making pumpkin spice muffins from scratch has never been easier and I think you’ll like how simple this ingredient list is.
Here’s our cast of characters:
- Unsalted butter (can sub oil if you prefer)
- Brown sugar (just 1/3 cup; no sickly sweet muffins here)
- Canned pumpkin puree (the unsweetened stuff, NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour (you can sub an equal amount of all-purpose gluten-free flour like Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 – I did this with no discernible difference in the final product)
- Baking powder and baking soda for lift
- Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice (feel free to just use one or the other if you prefer)
- Just a bit of turbinado or granulated sugar for sprinkling over top (to get those bakery-style crunchy muffin tops!)
How to Make Pumpkin Spice Muffins: Step by Step
You will also like this list of steps to make the muffins (hint: it’s extremely short).
- Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Whisk wet ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Dump the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until a batter is formed, but don’t keep stirring indefinitely. Just until it comes together – this prevents gummy muffins.
- Spoon batter into a paper-lined or greased muffin pan and top each with a sprinkle of turbinado or granulated sugar. The recipe makes 6 muffins – see tips below on how to get the tallest muffin tops!
- Bake and enjoy!
Recipe Tip: How to Bake the Tallest Muffins
If you’re like me, you’ve been disappointed by muffins that puff up super tall in the oven and then deflate the second you take them out. It’s the worst, right? This is usually caused by the shock of taking the muffins out of the hot oven and into the cooler air outside of it before their structure has set.
I’ve done a lot of experimenting and research to figure out how to get the tallest muffins (see photos from my tests below!), and here are my best tips:
- Let the batter rest for 10-15 minutes before scooping and baking. This thickens the batter and allows the baking powder to activate.
- Only use every other muffin cup (see photo below) – meaning for 6 muffins, you’d use a 12-cup muffin pan. This allows for better air flow around the muffins and lets them rise higher.
- Bake at 425 degrees F for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F WITHOUT opening the door and bake for another 12-15 minutes. The initial blast of high heat activates the chemical leavening reaction in the muffins and allows them to rise super tall, and the subsequent gradual reduction in heat allows their structure to set before they are removed from the oven.
Voila, beautiful domed muffin tops!
That’s it! You can use these tips in any muffin recipe and I promise it will work. I’ve tried it with all sorts of different recipes (even gluten-free ones) and have had great success. Just make sure to keep that oven door shut until they are set or else they’ll deflate on you!
To store these pumpkin spice muffins, I recommend:
- Room temperature: 1-2 days in a tall tupperware that doesn’t touch the sugared tops, or individually wrap them in plastic wrap to take on the go
- Fridge: up to a week in a tall tupperware; microwave for 15-20 seconds to reheat
- Freezer: up to 3 months, well-wrapped in plastic and stored in a freezer bag. Microwave for 30 seconds to reheat or allow to come to room temperature for 1-2 hours.
Additions and Substitutions
- Add chocolate chips or nuts: 1/2 cup of either would be delightful.
- In place of the all-purpose flour, substitute an equal volume (1 cup) or equal weight (125g) of a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix that contains xanthan gum. I tested and like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour.
- Double the recipe for 12 muffins instead of 6!
More Pumpkin Recipes:
I swear I don’t have a problem…
- Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Salted Maple Glaze
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Maple Glaze
- Spiced Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- Pumpkin Pancakes
- Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins
- 1 12-cup muffin pan
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, melted (4 Tbsp; can substitute with a neutral oil)
- 1/2 cup (130g) pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup (66g) brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon (12g) turbinado or granulated sugar for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Line or grease every other cup of a 12-cup muffin tin (recipe makes 6 muffins; using every other cup creates better air flow and taller muffins).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: melted butter, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet and stir together until a batter forms. Stir until just incorporated; do not overmix. Optional: Let batter sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before scooping for tallest muffins.
- Spoon the batter equally into the 6 muffin cups. Top each with a generous sprinkle of turbinado or granulated sugar.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C), then decrease the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) WITHOUT opening the oven door, and bake for 12-15 more minutes until domed and set. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or with just a couple crumbs attached.
- Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
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