The best pumpkin muffins should be moist, tender, deeply spiced and lightly sweet. These maple glazed whole wheat pumpkin muffins aren’t cloying or overpowering. They’re perfectly balanced with heady spices and a layer of irresistible maple glaze. Use your favorite size muffin tin (I like the two-bite minis) for these fall spiced pumpkin muffins.
If you’re a pumpkin (and pumpkin spice) lover, this easy recipe is for you. It makes soft, tender, cake-like maple pumpkin muffins with a robust spice blend and blanket of sweet maple glaze. I used whole wheat flour for a nuttier, more rustic flavor, but all purpose flour works too.
Ingredients for spiced pumpkin muffins
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Baking Powder
- Ground Allspice
- Ground Nutmeg
- Ground Ginger
- Ground Mace
- Ground Cloves
- Pumpkin Purée
- Vegetable Oil
- Maple Flavoring
Spice blend options:
I’ve used a blend of seasonal spices in this recipe, but if you have a jar of pumpkin pie spice, substitute it in place of some of the spices I’ve included. Just use 2 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice + 3/4 teaspoon of extra cinnamon. It will give you that bold fall spice flavor you’re craving.
Why use maple flavoring instead of syrup?
Maple flavoring is much more concentrated than maple syrup and just a little adds a lot of serious flavor to these muffins. To get the same “oomph” from syrup, you’d have to use substantially more, which would turn your muffins into goop. That’s not what we’re going for.
How to make maple pumpkin muffins
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and spices. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the pumpkin puree, egg, milk, oil, sugar and maple flavoring and whisk until smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until just combined.
- Scoop the batter into prepared muffin tins and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Spiced pumpkin and maple muffins can be made in mini muffin tins right up to standard and jumbo sized muffins. It’s really up to you. I’ve got three muffin tin sizes in my arsenal and my favorite is the one that holds about 1 1/4 ounces of batter. It makes perfect 2 to 3-bite whole wheat pumpkin maple muffins. They’re not so big as to make light eaters shy away and no one feels guilty about going back for one more.
4 Muffin tin sizes and baking times
- Mini muffin tins make really small one-bite muffins that hold 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter. These typically take 8-10 minutes to bake at 350°.
- My favorite 2-bite muffin tins (and what I cooked these muffins in) is just slightly larger and holds about 2 1/2 tablespoons (about 1 1/4 ounces) of batter. The spiced pumpkin muffins were perfect after 15 minutes of baking.
- Standard sized muffin tins hold about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter and can take 18-20 minutes to bake.
- Jumbo Muffins hold 1/2 to 2/3 cup of batter and can take 20-22 minutes to bake through at 350°.
Make the maple glaze while maple pumpkin muffins cool
After they’re finished baking, transfer the spiced pumpkin muffins to a wire rack to cool completely before dunking them in the maple glaze. Otherwise, the glaze won’t set on the warm muffins.
This maple glaze gets a double hit of maple flavor. Starting with pure tree syrup the glaze is reinforced with maple flavoring. This really intensifies the maple and makes an irresistible topping on the spiced pumpkin muffins. I always take a swipe with my finger and taste it, for quality control — you know, in case.
For the best maple glazed pumpkin muffins
- Whisk the maple syrup and butter over medium high heat in a small saucepan until the butter is melted.
- Add the confectioners sugar, maple flavoring and salt and whisk until smooth.
Dunking the muffin tops
- If you’re making mini or small muffins, just pick one up by the base and dunk the top into the maple glaze. Transfer the muffins back to the wire rack to dry.
- If you’re making standard sized or jumbo muffins, you may want to drizzle the glaze over the tops, or double the glaze recipe and dunk.
The glaze creates a sheen of sweet maple flavor that balances with the heady pumpkin spices in the whole wheat muffins.
How good are they?
These are the BEST pumpkin muffins — seriously, SO FREAKIN’ GOOD. They’re moist, tender and fluffy. The whole wheat flour brings a nutty depth to the flavor and the pumpkin spices are definitely THERE. I munched three with a cup of coffee for breakfast and came back for more as an afternoon snack.
Amazing maple glaze
The sweet glaze is irresistible too — you’re going to want it on more than these muffins… I can see maple glazed cookies, maple glazed sweet rolls — all joking aside, if I could rim a cocktail glass with this glaze, I would.
The perfect ratio of glaze:muffin.Beth
Tastes like something my grandmother would make.Nancy
You could sell this in a high end café.Francesca
Can I freeze spiced pumpkin muffins?
Yes. These muffins are best the same day you bake them, however, you can make them in advance and freeze them until you’re ready to serve.
To do this, skip the glaze and stash the muffins in a zip top freezer bag. When you’re ready to serve, thaw the muffins to room temperature, then dunk them in maple glaze.
More fall muffin recipes:
- Cinnamon Blueberry Bran Muffins
- Maple Walnut Muffins
- Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins
- Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Maple Pumpkin Muffins
- Muffin Pan (I used a 24 count, 3.5 oz. muffin tin)
FOR THE MAPLE PUMPKIN MUFFINS:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour can use all purpose
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace optional
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup pumpkin purée not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
FOR THE MAPLE GLAZE:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
FOR MAPLE PUMPKIN MUFFINS:
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray your muffin tin with nonstick spray or line the muffin tin with paper liners and spray the liners with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, mace and cloves. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the pumpkin puree, egg, oil, sugar, milk and maple flavoring. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until smooth. Scoop muffin batter into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
FOR MAPLE GLAZE:
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the maple syrup and butter, stirring until the butter has melted. Add the confectioners sugar, maple flavoring and salt and stir until the glaze is smooth.
- Dunk the tops of each muffin into the glaze to coat and transfer back to the wire rack until the glaze dries completely. Serve.
BAKING TIMES FOR OTHER MUFFIN TIN SIZES:
- Mini Muffins (1 heaping tablespoon) 8-10 minutes.Small Muffins (2 1/2 tablespoons) 15 minutesStandard Muffins (1/3-1/2 cup) 18-20 minutes.Jumbo Muffins (1/2-2/3 cup) 20-22 minutes.