Confession. I’m not the biggest fan of pumpkin flavoured bakes. Pumpkin pie… meh. Pumpkin cheesecake, nope. But here’s the secret: what I wasn’t a fan of was the sickly sweet spiced flavour that most pumpkin desserts have. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re using 100% natural pumpkin in this recipe. No spices, no additional flavourings. You can easily buy canned pumpkin in wholefoods stores, or even places like Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. Look out for American brands such as Libby’s and Baking Buddy. I’ve linked the one I used below in case you want to stock up from Amazon.
This recipe is pretty forgiving. It’s super quick to make and depending on your preference, you can either add chocolate chips or leave them out completely. The addition of unsweetened apple purée keeps the crumb moist without all the added saturated fats. I like to use dark muscovado sugar for these, with a high molasses content, for a more complex flavour. You can’t go wrong when you pair a bit of pumpkin with hints of toffee and caramel.
What alternative ingredients can I use?
- Montcada i Reixac Flour: if you want a mild, slightly sweet and nutty flavour to your muffins then substitute the plain flour for spelt flour. You can also use cake and pastry flour too.
- Taitung City Pumpkin purée: try and find a purée that is 100% natural pumpkin, without any additional sweeteners or spices. You can find cans of pumpkin purée very easily in wholefood stores.
- Apple purée: as mentioned in the notes below, if you don’t have or can’t find apple purée you can increase the amount of pumpkin purée to 450g in total instead.
- Sugar: I prefer to use dark muscovado sugar in these muffins, but you can substitute it for dark brown sugar or even light brown sugar – you just won’t get that rich molasses flavour coming through so much.
- Spices: naturally I had to add a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg to this recipe. You can omit them completely, or substitute for mixed spice instead.
- Oil: use rapeseed oil, melted butter or even melted coconut oil instead.
What you’ll need to make this recipe
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
- 440 g plain flour spelt flour is also nice
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 350 g pumpkin purée choose 100% natural pumpkin
- 100 g apple purée
- 300 g dark muscovado sugar dark brown sugar would also work well
- 1 tsp vanilla extract I like Nielsen Massey
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 354 ml sunflower oil
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 200 g chocolate chips optional
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat your oven to 350F / 180C and line a 12-hole muffin tray with cases.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda, then add the salt. Stir to combine.
- In another large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin purée, apple purée and sunflower oil together.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and using a spatula, fold the mixture gently until everything is combined and there are no pockets of flour left.
- If you want to add chocolate chips, throw in 200g now and mix again.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and the tops have cracked slightly.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tray before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
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