There is no doubt that it’s pumpkin season here in northern California. Everywhere you look, there are pumpkin farms and patches and the Half Moon Bay pumpkin Festival is this weekend. Lots of pumpkins, fun and…..traffic. We avoid the festival but we do like to go to the coast and visit some of the pumpkin farms for both eating and ornamental pumpkins, it’s fun and the kids love it. But until then, we can make these pumpkin muffins to satisfy any pumpkin cravings (and as a nod to the Great Pumpkin).
And these are very good muffins, more like pumpkin-spice cupcakes. But that is a good thing, a very good thing. The recipe we use is a riff on Sarabeth Levine’s well-known rpumpkin muffin ecipe from Sarabeth’s Bakery in New York. You can also get the recipe, and many others, in her cookbook “Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands To Yours“. It’s a good cookbook, particularly if you like to bake. The instructions do assume a certain level of skill, but we simplify and clarify the recipe. And the process isn’t hard and you get a very light and tasty muffin with a cake-like texture.
The process is pretty standard muffin-making. Get your muffin tin and cups ready, and preheat the oven. Sift together the dry ingredients, then beat some butter, sugar and eggs together. Add the pumpkin and then slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixture. Then put the batter in the cups, sprinkle on some sugar and bake. When the muffins are ready, cool and then serve.
And these muffins will go quickly. As we noted, the color, texture and flavor are much lighter than your typical dense pumpkin muffins and cakes. The pumpkin flavor is very much in the lead, but with just enough sugar and spice to add some depth. You can serve these muffins for breakfast, but it you want to sneak them in at dessert with some cream cheese frosting we don’t think anyone would mind. These muffins are so good we will make them any time of year, not just pumpkin season. Heck, we may leave a few by the chimney for the Great Pumpkin…;-)
(Adapted from Sarabeth Levine)
Notes Before You Start:
- You will need a muffin pan for this recipe. You will need to butter the muffin cups, but do NOT put an empty, buttered muffin cup in the hot oven, the butter will burn.
- Grease the top of your muffin pan so the tops of the muffins don’t stick to the pan.
- The recipe calls for superfine sugar. If you don’t have it, just process a few cups of sugar in your food processor for about 30 seconds. Presto, superfine sugar.
What You Get: A light, tasty pumpkin muffin with cake-like texture.
What You Need: A muffin pan. A stand mixer is a big help for all baking.
How Long? About forty-five minutes to an hour with fifteen minutes of active time. Anytime dish, if you are an early riser.
(Makes 12 large muffins)
- Softened sweet butter, for the muffin pan
- 3 and 2/3 cups pastry flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 and 1/3 cups superfine sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
- 1, 15 oz. can or container of solid-pack pumpkin
- Turbinado or “raw” sugar for sprinkling (optional)
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the insides and top of the muffin pan with butter. Butter paper muffin cups, if using.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter at high-speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times, until the mixture is light in color and texture, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs until combined.
- Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Beat in the pumpkin until combined. The mixture may look curdled, this is OK. Now, in thirds, add in the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times as you add the mixture. Mix until smooth.
- Using a large ice cream scoop or spoon, portion the batter into the muffin cups. Sprinkle the batter with the turbinado sugar, if using. Bake the muffins for 10 minutes. Then reduce the temperature of the oven to 375 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes or until the tops of the muffins are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely. Serve.
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I love your “muffins by the chimney for the Great Pumpkin!!” (And the muffins look wonderful, too!)
Thanks! We can’t wait for the Great Pumpkin to come…but he/she never does…sniff…;-)
It’s funny that I actually thought, “Those look really light,” before I read that they were lighter than usual cakes or muffins. I think that’s a huge plus. The color is great too.
Thanks- they are much lighter than most pumpkin recipes…the spice notes are lighter too…
These look DELISH! I love pumpkin and these will definitely be part of my fall baking!
Hope you enjoy them!
I love the flavor combinations that you share. I wouldn’t have thought to pair a pumpkin muffin with fig jam.
Thanks- that turned out better than expected, it was a good match…worth trying..
Fig jam also works all sorts of ways…good stuff..
These look wonderful! What a great recipe!
Worth making…thanks for the visit!
can’t get enough pumpkin…and the fig jam?! well now i’m going to have to try this at some point!
That looks like heaven on a plate.
Scrumptious! I wouldn’t mind baking these with raisins!
The original recipe has a cup of raisins…we omit, but they would be great…
I might try it out, perfect fall breakfast treat. Some people are picky about raisins though, and it’ll ruin the whole thing. So maybe a good choice to take ’em out here.
Gorgeous colour, these remind me of the pumpkin scones my mum used to make.
Reblogged this on thesurvivalplaceblog.
These look really good!!! I’ll have to give them a try one day, I made pumpkin seed oil cupcakes the weekend just gone as it’s all pumpkin season here in Austria 🙂
Perfect timing for this lovely looking recipe. We have a pumpkin or two over this way as well 🙂
In the kitchen gathering all the ingredients to make these gorgeous muffins! I even have fig-strawberry jam to go along with them 🙂
Great- let us know how they turn out!
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Fig jam! Please provide the recipe. Also, glad to know there is another adult out there who loves the Great Pumpkin. I watch it every year 🙂
Can’t be halloween w/out the Great Pumpkin!
We will admit the fig jam was a gift.. but we will get / share the recipe… But it does go very well with the pumpkin and spice…
That soddy Great Pumpkin, constantly leaving us to our own devices! I think I’ll be mixing these up and using the pumpkin syrup for a spiced pumpkin coffee drink. Is that too much pumpkin? I hope not, I plan on following it up with a cocktail of such.
Not too much at all…sounds great..
And yes, the Great Pumpkin seems to choose his (her?) spots….
The color of the pumpkin muffins is beautiful. I am thinking icing with black food coloring….ready for Halloween!
That would be very cool, and the color really does work for halloween…
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We’ve been reading about pumpkins with my 6yo. Now I think we’ll have to make these pumpkin muffins!
That would be great fun- hope you enjoy them (our kids like these- more like cake)…
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