Pumpkin Cinnamon Crunch Muffins – Fluffy pumpkin muffins are topped with a cinnamon sugar pecan topping that crisps while baking and adds the perfect contrasting texture.
It may not be October yet but last week was the fall solstice so that means….it’s officially fall!!! It’s my favorite time of the year. I am so happy that I can enjoy it this year. Last year, I was neck-deep in the new-mom life that the season flew by. Now, I’m a little more comfortable in this new role and Lucy is so eager to see and try new things. I cannot wait to go pick pumpkins with her!
Speaking of pumpkins, I’ve got the first pumpkin recipe of the season. Because it’s not officially fall in my book without a new pumpkin recipe! Last year, I shared this pumpkin banana bread, these pumpkin scones, and these pumpkin oatmeal cream pies.
This year, my first pumpkin recipe of the season combines fluffy pumpkin muffins with a crispy cinnamon topping. Check out my Pumpkin Cinnamon Crunch Muffins!
How to make these muffins
These crunch muffins get their texture from a layer of cinnamon sugar spread on top of the pumpkin muffin batter and then baked to perfection. The pumpkin batter itself is a pretty classic muffin batter and super simple to throw together. Let’s talk through exactly what this recipe entails.
For the pumpkin muffin batter, it includes all the basics: sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder, and baking soda. For the perfect moisture, oil is used instead of butter. Butter is great when you need its flavor but it doesn’t add much to the texture. Since the pumpkin needs to shine here, butter isn’t necessary and thus oil is the better fat to use.
For the pumpkin, you’ll use canned pumpkin puree. What really brings out the pumpkin flavor is the pumpkin pie spices – ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg. The right combination of all of these make for a deliciously spiced fall treat.
These muffins are super simple to make. Similar to any other batter, you mix the wet and dry ingredients separately and them fold them together. I highly recommend using a rubber spatula to do the folding instead of a hand mixer or stand mixer to prevent overmixing. It’s okay if a little flour is still showing when you scoop it into the muffin cups.
Once the batter is combined, use an ice cream scoop to fill each muffin cup. I like using an ice cream scoop because it makes the process fast and neat. Next, mix the cinnamon sugar mixture together and spread it over the top of each cup of muffin batter.
Finally, bake the muffins for 5 minutes in a 425-degree oven. Then, reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Placing the muffins in a really hot oven for a few minutes causes them to puff up nice and tall. But then the temperature is reduce to ensure they don’t cook too fast on the outside.
Tips & Tricks
- I love my stand mixer but this is a recipe that I would avoid using it to prevent overmixing. Muffin batter can get tough if it is overmixed so don’t tempt yourself and just use an old fashioned wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir the wet and dry ingredients together.
- The key to tall muffins and perfect muffin tops is a hot oven – about 425 degrees. The high heat builds the muffins up quickly. Then, the temp is lowered to 350 degrees to finish cooking the muffins without burning them.
- The crispy texture of the cinnamon topping will loose its crispiness once you store the muffins in a covered container. When covered, the moisture is trapped and turns the crispy texture into a soft texture. The flavor is still amazing but if you really want to keep the crispy texture, do not cover these when storing them.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Crunch Muffins
For the pumpkin muffins:
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
For the topping:
- 4 tablespoons butter unsalted
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners. If not using liners, grease the cups with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugars, spices, and chopped pecans. Whisk together to combine well. In a medium bowl, add eggs, oil, and pumpkin. Whisk until smooth.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. This should take between 12-15 folds. It's okay if a little flour is still exposed. You don't want to overmix or else the muffins will be tough.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Fill the individual cups almost to the top. This will ensure a full, tall muffin. Make the topping by melting the butter in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Add all the other ingredients and stir together until combined. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the topping and spread it onto the top of each cup filled with muffin batter.
- Place into preheated oven to bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes. Then, reduce temperature to 350 degrees to bake for another 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of a muffin.
- Remove from oven and let the muffins cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes. Then, gently remove the muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack for another 15 minutes. Serve once cooled by themselves or with a little salted butter.
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