Soft and moist pumpkin muffins made with grated fresh pumpkin and spiced with cinnamon are topped with an orange drizzle to make a simple yet special homemade muffin. Leave them plain or top with white chocolate or your favourite cream cheese icing.
Why we love this recipe
- These dairy free pumpkin muffins are soft, light and packed with flavour from the warming Autumnal spices.
- It is a great recipe for using up that tired bit of pumpkin sat in the fridge. Or if you have been carving pumpkins, an easy recipe for using up Halloween pumpkin!
- The orange drizzle may sound like an unnecessary extra step, but if you are using the zest of the orange in the cake batter then to save wasting the rest of the orange, it is good to use the juice in the syrup. Like this chocolate orange drizzle cake, adding an orange syrup over the cooked cake is a simple way to add extra flavour and add a lovely texture.
- Can be served as they are, sprinkled with coconut, drizzled with melted white chocolate or topped with your favourite cream cheese frosting or icing.
- They freeze well too, so you can make a batch (or two!) and freeze some for later.
Ingredients notes and substitutions
There are a number of ingredients in this recipe, but please don’t be put off by them!
- Pumpkin – grated fresh pumpkin keeps the muffins moist (think carrot cake).
- Oil – a neutral flavoured oil, such as vegetable oil, or light olive oil. Making muffins with oil helps produce a soft crumbed muffin.
- Soft brown sugar – this not only adds a caramel flavour but is another ingredient to help make your pumpkin muffins moist.
- Spices – ground cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg. Feel free to use mixed spice or pumpkin spice instead.
- Plain flour – or all purpose flour.
- Eggs – size large.
- Vanilla – vanilla essence or bean paste.
- Orange – fresh orange. The zest is used to add flavour to the pumpkin sponge, and the orange juice is used for the orange glaze.
- Granulated sugar if you are in the UK, white sugar if you are in Australia – for the orange glaze.
- Sultanas – or raisins. I use sultanas as they are cheaper.
How to make this muffin recipe
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan / 200˚C / 356˚F / 392˚F.
- Line 12-hole cupcake or muffin tin with cupcake cases.
- Mix the brown sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla together with an electric beater until light brown, fluffy and the sugar has dissolved.
- In another bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg with a pinch of salt.
- Add this to the whipped eggs and sugar and fold in with a spoon.
- When it’s nearly combined, add the grated pumpkin, sultanas, coconut and orange zest.
- Stir to combine then spoon into the prepared tins.
- Place in the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the muffin comes out clean.
- Tip the granulated sugar and orange juice into a small saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- When the muffins are out of the oven, leave for 2 minutes then prick all over the top with a skewer.
- Carefully spoon the orange syrup over the top of each muffin.
- Leave for another 5 minutes in the tin then remove the muffins to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- If you wish to ice them muffins, wait until they are completely cold before you do this.
Yes you can. This recipe will easily halve.
Yes you can make muffins with self raising flour instead of plain flour. Use the same weight of self raising flour and leave out the 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
My recipe tips
- Don’t over mix the muffin batter, a few small lumps of flour are ok! If you over mix the muffins can become tough.
- Don’t top the muffins with the syrup as soon as they come out of the oven, as the syrup can burn if it comes in to contact with the hot tin.
- Some varieties of pumpkin are more watery than others, and even these can vary by season, so if you have roasted the rest of the pumpkin and it is very watery, keep in mind that if you make muffins with it they could turn out a little more dense.
- Room temperature or if it is hot and humid you can store these muffins in the fridge. They will become slightly more dense, but actually not in a bad way!
- Freeze – wrap well and freeze for up to a month.
- With nuts – roughly chopped walnuts or pecans are a delicious addition to the muffins! If you toast them in the oven for a few minutes it will enhance their nutty flavour.
- Other add ins – you can add dried cranberries, dark chocolate chips or roughly chopped dark chocolate.
- Icing – drizzle over a water icing (icing sugar mixed with water) or eave out the glaze and make the icing with orange juice instead of water to make an orange icing.
- Top the muffins with melted white chocolate (see below) or sprinkle with desiccated coconut. White chocolate top: melt 90g (3oz) white chocolate either in the microwave or in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. I find Australian white chocolate can be particularly temperamental to work with, and I find Milky Bar, Nestle Plaistowe or Lindt to be the easiest to work with. Other makes tend to go grainy rather than melt. If you are in the UK, use Milky Bar, or supermarket own brand chocolate should be OK.
More delicious baking recipes for you
- 220g (7.7oz) raw pumpkin grated
- 2 eggs large
- 175g (½ c + ⅓ c) soft brown sugar
- 150ml (⅔ c) neutral oil vegetable oil or light olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla essence
- 200g (1⅓ c) plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- pinch salt
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 orange, zested approx ¾ tablespoon zest
- 30g (⅓c) desiccated coconut
- 75g (½c) sultanas
- 1 orange, juice approx 4 tablespoons orange juice
- 50g (3 tablespoons) white sugar granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan / 200˚C / 356˚F / 392˚F.
- Line a 12 tin muffin tin or cupcake tin with cupcake cases or muffin cases.
- Using an electric whisk or stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk the eggs with the brown sugar, oil and vanilla until light and fluffy and the sugar as dissolved.
- In another bowl mix the flour with baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg.
- Add this flour mixture to the whisked eggs and sugar and fold in with a spoon.
- When the flour is nearly combined, fold in the grated pumpkin, orange zest, desiccated coconut and sultanas.
- Spoon into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 16-18 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
- Just before you take the muffins out of the oven – around the 15 minute mark – make the orange syrup.
Make the orange syrup
- In a small saucepan combine the orange juice and sugar.
- Heat over a low-medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Take it off the heat before it begins to boil.
- Take the muffins out of the oven and leave in the tins for 2-3 minutes. Prick the tops of them all over with a toothpick or skewer then carefully spoon the orange syrup over the top of each muffin.
- Leave for 5 minutes then transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.
- If you are wanting to ice or frost the muffins, leave until they are completely cold.