Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Well, ’tis the season!  Falling leaves, the first fire in the fireplace, and the kids are getting serious about their Halloween costumes.  Personally, I’m fighting a losing battle with the giant aisle of Halloween candy in the supermarket, and the Southern husband isn’t helping any by bringing home a three pound bag of fun-sized versions from Costco.  It’s time to throw in the towel and make adorable pumpkin doughnut muffins.

These festive muffins are made with the usual muffin ingredients of butter, flour, etc…but the real magic comes with a few extra added goodies that you don’t usually find in other muffins.  First is pumpkin puree, which you should be able to find in big stacks in your supermarket right about now.  Make sure you get plain pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.  Next is a little bit of buttermilk, which gives the muffin a great tender texture (and if you have leftover buttermilk you can make ricotta cheese!  Double win!).

And last but not least is what happens to these muffins after they are all nice and baked. You brush them all over with melted butter, and then roll them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  Do not, not, not skip this step.  It’s what sends these muffins over the edge into doughnut territory.  It’s mandatory.  It’s wonderful.  And it’s better than all the fun-sized Almond Joys in the world.

Which doesn’t mean I won’t be eating a good-sized number of fun-sized Almond Joys, just for the record.

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
Serves: 12 muffins
  • 1¼ sticks butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 1¼ cups pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can)
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree.
  5. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine.
  6. Spoon ⅓ cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  7. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Working with one at a time, remove muffins from pan, brush all over with butter, then toss to coat in sugar mixture.
  8. Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack and serve.

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins, from Everyday Food


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  1. says

    I haven’t QUITE given into the halloween candy. Yet. I still have a few days. 😛 But the pumpkin…OH THE PUMPKIN! I can’t get enough of it. I’ve seen these around the blogosphere lately and I WANT.

  2. says

    I have all the stuff I need to make these. We are supposed to get a hurricane on Monday, so I plan to cook and bake a lot of food tomorrow to eat out of hand..These sound great!

  3. Karla in NC says

    Thanks for another yummy recipe Kate! Pumpkin is really good for you so I’m sure it will cancel out all the candy. I am going to give this recipe a try this weekend (my family devours anything with cinnamon in it) and bake them in a min-muffin pan so they will be like donut holes that we can just pop in our mouths.
    Winnie – we will be thinking safe thoughts for your family and home.

  4. Rachel says

    They look very far-out in a good way. If I use salted butter by how much would I need to reduce the salt by. I have all the other ingredients and don’t want to go to the store for unsalted butter as would like to make them tomorrow. Thanks!

  5. AuntJunie says

    Made these tonight (in my “mini-muffin” pan, using homemade pumpkin puree I froze last fall) and wow, they *were* delicious. Emphasis on WERE. My 9 yr old nephew took the first bite and exclaimed, “How did I live without you?!” And then he ate the whole plate! I’ll definitely be making these again. Thank you!

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