Autumn is officially here! And even though Los Angeles is going through yet another heat wave, I can’t help but get into the seasonal spirit with these pumpkin maple muffins that we’re leveling up here using brown butter. YUM.
Celebrate the coming of fall, pumpkin spice lattes, and sweater weather with these pillowy soft pumpkin muffins topped with a crunchy sugar topping. These pumpkin maple muffins whip together in one bowl, and we’re leveling it up with the addition of brown butter. These muffins are super soft and filled with tons of pumpkin flavor and topped with that addicting sugary crunch we all know and love. I promise you these are as good as they look.
Ingredients for 1 bowl pumpkin maple muffins
OK this may look like a lot of ingredients, but they’re more than likely ingredients you already have in your pantry. These are also spices commonly used in warm, fall autumnal cooking, and after a scorching socal summer I am so ready for these cozy fall vibes.
- Pumpkin Puree: These are all over the shelves right now, just make sure you’re using pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix! You’ll know you’re using pumpkin puree if the ingredients on the can only lists pumpkin, with no other added sugars or spices.
- Brown Butter: We are leveling up this typical pumpkin muffin recipe with the addition of brown butter! Browning the butter adds a nutty complexity to these muffins, complementing the warm spices we use in the batter.
- Light Brown Sugar: We’ll be using a combination of light brown sugar and maple syrup to sweeten and flavor these muffins. If you don’t have light brown sugar on hand you can always substitute it with granulated or dark brown sugar or maple syrup.
- Maple Syrup: Partially sweetened with maple syrup, these muffins have a subtle maple note that makes you want to come back for seconds each time!
- Flour: For this recipe, we’ll be using equal parts all purpose flour and whole wheat flour. This gives the muffins an earthier heartier flavor. If you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can just substitute with all purpose.
- Eggs: You’ll need 3 eggs to bind everything together without getting too cakey or dense.
- Baking Soda + Baking Powder: A combination of both baking soda and baking powder to give these muffins the perfect rise.
- Spices: You’ll need ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to make these pumpkin muffins. You can also use ground ginger or allspice to substitute any of the spices if you’re missing any, but I would advise you definitely try to stick with cinnamon at least! You could also use pumpkin pie spice here but I prefer to make my own combination of spices for more control over the final result.
- Salt: NEVER forget the salt, even when you’re making something sweet. Salt helps to amplify the flavor of all the wonderful ingredients we’re using, and it really helps deepen the flavor profile of all your recipes.
Tips for the perfect pumpkin muffins
These pillowy soft pumpkin muffins are one of my favorite recipes to make of all time. Nothing feels more cozy and fall to me than a quick muffin recipe that allows me a treat I can have with a hot latte. Make sure to follow the following tips to guarantee the perfect muffins every time:
- Use good quality pumpkin puree: My favorite brand is Libby’s for it’s thick consistency and rich taste, but the best pumpkin puree will be one that uses only pumpkin in the puree without any added water, sugar or spices.
- Make sure you’re using pumpkin puree: I repeat, do NOT use pumpkin pie mix! Pumpkin pie mix is typically watered down pumpkin puree with added sugar and spices. It usually tastes a bit artificial and cannot be used as a substitute for pumpkin puree.
- Don’t over-mix the batter: Over-mixing leads to dense, dry muffins because it causes more gluten to develop than necessary. Gluten is important for yeasted breads but it is not what we want when we’re looking for baked goods that are soft and tender like muffins. Mix the batter until everything is incorporated, you’ll know it’s ready when there are no more pockets or streaks of flour remaining. Other than that, lumps in the batter are okay!
- Don’t be afraid of the spices: Pumpkin needs its accompanying sidekick spices to really shine. Otherwise pumpkin flavor is really just another squash vegetable flavor — aka not that great. Make sure to include all the spices in the recipe, especially cinnamon and at least one of either: ginger, nutmeg, clove, or allspice.
- Underbake them, slightly: Dry muffins are sad. Baked goods will continue to bake with the residual heat as they cool, so remove the muffins out when they’re just a tad underdone for super moist muffins. I take mine out just as they are starting to set in the middle.
Alright, I’m going to enjoy another muffin with some tea and Netflix (is anybody else watching the Jeremy Dahmer documentary? soooo spooky).
See you later!
Pumpkin Maple Muffins
- 1 muffin pan
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp clove
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbs granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line the muffin tray with paper liners or spray the muffin molds with nonstick spray.
- Make the brown butter: Heat butter in a light colored skillet over medium heat. Slowly cook, stirring constantly, until the butter has fully melted and begins foaming. As the butter melts, it will foam and sizzle around the edges. Stir continuously for 5-8 minutes, the butter should have browned and specks of butter milk solids should be at the bottom of the pan. Use a spatula to scrape up any of the brown bits as you transfer the browned butter to a container. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (or any other spices you're using).
- To that same bowl, add to it the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, maple syrup, and brown butter. Mix everything together with a spatula until completely incorporated. Don't overmix! Lumps are okay.
- Divide the muffin batter evenly among the prepared muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. You'll know when they're ready when they spring back after being pressed.