Ahhhh, fall. Cool days, blustery evenings, adorable outerwear, and of course the re-emergence of pumpkin. As autumn bursts upon us and the trees roll out their reds and oranges and yellows, delicious pumpkin products pop up everywhere – pumpkin coffee, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin smoothies, and my favorite, pumpkin muffins.
Pumpkin muffins are my Everest. The first time I attempted them was my senior year of high school. One of my teachers gave me a recipe, and apparently she was much more… um… regular than I was, because her muffins contained bran. Lots and lots of bran. Needless to say, I spent most of the next day in the bathroom. As did the rest of my family. (sorry…)
The next time I was brave enough to try them was a couple years later. I had decided to double the recipe (because I was feeling confident) but I forgot to double the eggs and the baking soda. Flat, weird-tasting muffins.
Cut to now. While digging around in the pantry, I found a single, solitary 15oz can of pumpkin left over from last fall. My first thought was “Oooh! I’ll make a pie!” But alas, no evaporated milk could be found. After googling pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin bars, and pumpkin turnovers, I stumbled across a recipe for pumpkin muffins.
I stared at it.
It stared back.
I stared some more…took a deep breath…and hit PRINT.
10 minutes later…
I gathered the ingredients. The recipe I used called for only a cup of pumpkin, but a 15 oz can contains about a cup and a half, so I decided to increase the other ingredients so I wouldn’t waste any pumpkin. This turned out to be a great idea! I came out with two pans of muffins exactly.
The recipe I used called for 1/4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. I’m sorry, WHAT?! Maybe I’m the only one, but I like me some fall spices, so I greatly increased the amount of spices in the recipe. I like my pumpkin muffins to taste kind of like pumpkin pie. I added extra nutmeg and cinnamon, but extra cloves would probably have been super delicious as well.
I use a fork to combine ingredients, but I’ve heard a whisk works pretty well too.
30 minutes later…
TA-DA! Pumpkin muffins that will not upset the delicate balance of your GI tract, taste normal, and if I do say so myself, are pretty damn delicious.
I decided to make one pan of mini-muffins and one pan of regular muffins. The mini-muffins aren’t as pretty as I would like because I couldn’t find my muffin cups, but greasing the pan works just as well as paper cups.
My family has sampled them, and has pronounced them “Not Gross,” so I have no qualms about sharing this recipe.
Perfectly Smashing Pumpkin Muffins
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 (15oz) can of pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
Spices to taste (I used 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon)
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Place oven rack in center position, and preheat oven to 350°F. Place muffin liners in muffin pan (or grease the pan).
Mix pumpkin, oil, eggs, spices, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then mix in flour until just moistened.
Mix 1 tsp cinnamon with some sugar.
Divide batter among muffin cups, then sprinkle the tops of the muffins with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake until gently rounded and golden brown, 25-30 minutes**. Cool on rack 5 minutes.
**If you’re making mini-muffins, 15 minutes is enough time to bake them all the way through.