There is something so incredibly satisfying about homemade pumpkin puree. As a vegetarian, I feel like this is the closest I’ll probably ever get to head-to-tail cooking. Cutting open the pumpkin, scooping out the seeds, roasting everything in the oven, and then pureeing the cooked pumpkin.

Really, the worst part of the pumpkin is the seeds. Scooping them out, washing them clean, and the absolute worst part of all is shelling them for pepitas. Shelling pumpkin seeds, I learned this weekend, is one of the most tedious tasks in the world. It’s the kind of thing a kung-fu master makes the student do for 5 days in order for the student to prove that she’s mastered the skills of diligence and patience.

I had planned on sprinkling the tops of the muffins with pepitas along with sugar, but after 5 hours of shelling, I only got a couple tablespoons of pepitas. A kung-fu master I will (sadly) never be.

Pumpkin muffins

Sugar Crunch Pumpkin Muffins (57 of 750)

Adapted from 750 Best Muffin Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury
Makes 48 mini-muffins

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 sp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon sugar
  • 3 tbsp turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, eggs, pumpkin, yogurt, milk, and oil until well blended.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
  5. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Top with cinnamon sugar and turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until tops are firm at the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I’m so glad I made so much pumpkin puree, because I might just make these for breakfast for the entire month.

Don’t confuse these with pumpkin bread – they’ve got a much more subtle flavor. With pumpkin-flavored everything hitting the shelves this month, these muffins are a nice palate cleanser. There’s just the right amount of spice and the flavor of homemade pumpkin is so much more fresh and clean tasting than the store-bought stuff.

These muffins are so easy to make, the hardest part is really making the pumpkin puree. But trust me, it’s totally worth it.

Cinnamon sugar is the best kind of sugar

Happy, puffy muffin tops

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