Posted by: saveafewbucks | September 19, 2010

Quickie Fall Breakfast: Pumpkin Muffins

I’ve managed to steer clear of pumpkin related foods for most of my 20-something years of life (I think). Until a few days ago when a friend introduced me to a pumpkin cupcake. I obviously couldn’t say no and I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t reek like the guts of jack-o-lanterns from my childhood. Kinda tasted like carrot cake. Interesting…

Now I’m a big fan of carrot cake/cupcakes but the bf apparently dislikes them. He is however a huge pumpkin pie fan (WTF. It tastes like carrots. But, whatever.) So I had to make a compromise given that a few of the dishes I’ve made recently has gone to waste as we haven’t been able to consume them fast enough (see: full freezer).

After browsing some recipes online I decided that muffins were the way to go for us. Cleaner to eat (see: the bf is a huge slob) than the bread version. More convenient to serve and freeze than the bread too (love grab and scarf down type of meals). In my mind it also seems healthier than cupcakes (despite the fact that the ingredients are pretty much the same).

And the winning tester recipe was the Vegan Pumpkin Walnut Bread from Joy the Baker. It was fantastical! The addition of oats was the great idea of Willow Bird Baking. Some substitutions I made due to lack of ingredients were: the usual baking powder instead of baking soda (see: substitution table), all-purpose flour and wheat germ instead of whole wheat flour (see: substitution table), reduced the amount of brown sugar (high amounts of sugar freak me out), and adding ginger instead of cloves.

I also halved the recipe, which still yielded 12 hearty size muffins. Thus if you use the full recipe below you will end up with 24 of these bad boy muffins.

Here is my very slightly varied version of Joy the Baker‘s recipe:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 3 tbsp. wheat germ (instead of whole wheat flour)
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 tsp. baking powder (instead of 2 tsp. baking soda)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flours, sugars, baking soda/powder, salt, spices, oats)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, oil, maple syrup, water)
  4. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in most of the chopped walnuts, leaving some to sprinkle on top of the muffins.
  5. Drop dough by the spoonfuls into the muffin tray and top with the walnut pieces.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Then devour while they’re still warm.


  • The muffins were good but were on the verge of being slightly too dry. Likely due to the oats addition. Next time I would likely add a slight bit more of pumpkin puree (1/4 – cup? or less?). Personally, I wouldn’t add more oil or maple syrup for the sake of my health. As you’re mixing the wet and dry ingredients together you should be able to determine whether more moisture is needed.
  • As a result of the sugar decrease,  the muffins did not seem sweet at all which I like. For those who like a sweeter muffin I would recommend following the original recipe.
  • I made the mistake of adding the walnuts into the dry ingredients before the wet ingredients were added. I would advise against this as I found I had a harder time getting the dry ingredients to mix together (actually just the brown sugar…). But it probably doesn’t make much of a difference really.


  • Please ignore the fact that this particular muffin appears to have a gross looking walnut growth on it.
  • Yum.

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