Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping

Pumpkin Muffins2

I’ve been exploring all things pumpkin lately.  This week it’s been pumpkin muffins.  I tried a few different versions after looking at several recipes and I’m pretty sure I’ve hit the jackpot.  The first batch I made called for oil in the batter.  I usually substitute applesauce for oil, but this particular recipe called for both, so I tried it.  When they were done they were delicious, but there was yellow liquid left on the bottom of the muffin tins when they were done and I freaked out a bit.  If the oil was going to come seeping out, we probably didn’t need it, right?  t tried a recipe without oil and still, the bottoms of the muffin liners were damp and the bottoms of the tin still had yellow liquid.  Humph.  So, it’s not the oil.  My guess is that it’s pumpkin?  “It’s a mystery” is Matthew and Lindsay’s current favorite phrase.  Well, if it’s not the oil then after tasting them, we’ve decided we can live with a little moisture on the muffin liners.   Since both recipes revealed the yellowish orange moisture at the bottom, we decided that we preferred the recipe with the oil because the muffins turned out more moist whereas the one with a combination of applesauce and honey left them a tad spongy.

Pumpkin Muffins5

I also struggled with the perfect baking time and temperature.  The pictures that I took are after baking the muffins at 350 for 18 minutes.  My baking rack though, was towards the middle of the oven.  I think these would be better cooked towards the lower half of the oven.  I’m guessing the streusel topping will be able to stay lighter in color cooked lower.  I will probably make them again just to be sure where exactly to place the oven rack and then update this post.  Which means this paragraph won’t even be here…

Mike came home on the first night and said, “I could smell pumpkin as soon as I got to the door, and I was wondering if that was you.”  We ended up eating pumpkin muffins for dessert rather than waiting for breakfast, and as I watched Mike take a bite his eyes rolled.  No joke.  I was a little concerned and asked, “Do you like ’em?”

“They’re super yummy” he said with his mouth full.  I sighed with relief realizing that his eye roll was a good thing.  He even asked me to make more so he could take them to work with him.  That’s always a good sign.  And he finished the kids’ muffins when they said they were full.  And then Mike also made sure he got all the crumb topping off the napkin that fell off mid-bite.  All good signs.

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I really liked that these muffins have healthy ingredients.  There’s whole wheat flour, applesauce, & pumpkin.  In fact, I was so excited that they were going to not only be yummy but also good for us that I decided we had to splurge a little bit by putting a streusel on top.  Everything in moderation, right? 🙂  This streusel is slightly crunchy, but then perfectly crumbly.  The recipe is a whole lot like what I put on top of my zucchini bread minus the oats and walnuts.  I guess you could always add oats and walnuts to this too.  I was trying to keep them different, but you know, go for it.

Pumpkin Muffins

IngredientsPumpkin Muffins3

For Muffins:

  •  1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • dash ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

For Cinnamon Streusel Topping:

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into small cubes


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, with a fork, combine whole wheat flour, brown sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Make a well in the venter of the bowl.  Add pumpkin.  Create another well inside the pumpkin, pushing the dry ingredients towards the outside of the bowl.  Add eggs in the middle of the pumpkin and beat.  Add applesauce and oil.  Using a fork, stir the mixture just until the dry ingredients are absorbed.
  4. Using a 1/3 measuring cup, fill muffin cups.
  5. For Topping- combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a food processor.  Pulse to combine.  Add butter and pulse until the mixture has absorbed all the dry ingredients but resembles coarse sand.
  6. Sprinkle each muffin with cinnamon topping.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Allow the muffins to cool in the baking pan before removing.

Notes- Makes 12 muffins.  It’s best to store these muffins in the actual tin, but leave them uncovered.  Once you cover them up the streusel topping loses it’s crunchy-flakiness and becomes soft.  If you keep them in the pan the muffin stays moist without changing the consistency of the streusel.  You can add chopped walnuts or pecans to either the batter or the crumb topping.  These can also be frozen and then reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Recipe adapted from thecomfortofcooking.com

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