Healthy Pumpkin Muffins WWPP6

Even though the weather doesn’t feel like fall around here I’m so ready for one of my favorite fall flavors PUMPKIN. On it’s own pumpkin is rather plain but when you spice it up with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and of course nutmeg it becomes an amazing comfort food. Baking and pumpkin had been on my mind so the last time I was at the grocery store I stocked up on canned pumpkin. Once home I browsed through my recipes in search of something to bake and I rediscovered this Ellie Krieger recipe for pumpkin muffins that I use to bake a lot. These are super moist muffins that rise nicely creating a beautiful domed top.

The end result is a perfect bakery style muffin but without all the calories and fat. Bakery/restaurant muffins can have 400 plus calories per muffin since they are loaded with oil and sugar. Since I don’t eat a lot of sweets these muffins are like dessert for me. Seriously, they fall somewhere between a muffin and a cupcake – they are amazing!  In fact I think the next time I bake them I will make the muffins smaller by dividing the batter into 18 muffin cups instead of 12 and frost them with a light cream cheese frosting.  If you spray a non stick muffin pan liberally with non stick spray the muffins don’t stick and you can skip using cupcake liners. If you feel the need to use liners I prefer the foil ones since they peel off easier than the paper kind.

 Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

  •  Cooking spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour – I subbed King Arthur White Whole Wheat
  • 1 cup whole-grain pastry flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk or use Sacco Buttermilk Blend for baking
  • 1/4 cup unsalted raw pumpkin seeds – didn’t use


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking soda, salt, and spices.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, molasses, oil, and one of the eggs until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk, just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each one about two-thirds full, and sprinkle the surface of each with the pumpkin seeds. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Enjoy warm or let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Makes 12 muffins

Serving size: 1 muffin

Per Serving:

Calories 205; Total fat 7g (Sat fat 1g, Mono fat 3.5g, Poly fat 2 g); Protein 5g; Carb 32g; Fiber 2g; Cholesterol 36mg; Sodium 233mg WWPP 6

Recipe Adapted from Ellie Krieger TV Food Network

Nutmeg Notes

We have several home improvement projects going on right now. Even so we decided to take a little break from household chores over the weekend and have a day of fun. There was an air show in our area and I knew hubby Tom wanted to go, so yesterday while we were enjoying our morning coffee I suggested that we get ready and go. He was thrilled! We got there early so we got to park relatively close. We took our chairs, umbrellas for shade, bottled water, snacks and of course the camera.

We had a great time. It got really hot in the afternoon sun but the umbrellas gave us instant shade and kept us from being burned to a crisp!

 The home improvement work will still be here next weekend and that’s okay. Sometimes you need to do something fun to recharge your battery.


Add Your Thoughts

What did you do for fun over the weekend?

Do you like pumpkin, if so what’s one of your favorite ways to enjoy pumpkin?

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  1. Kim says:

    Okay, which muffins do you think my 12, 13, and 14 year old and husband would enjoy? I see you also have perfect pumpkin oat muffins. Cream Cheese Frosting sounds great on them too!!!! Maybe for a brunch? Do you have a tried and true recipe for that or should I just google one? Thanks so much for all your yummy recipes! I think I have told you before but I have made more of your recipes then from any cookbook I own (and I have quite a few). I just feel with your recipes they are tried and true….thank you!

    1. Tami says:

      I love both recipes but if your family is use to more bakery style muffins I would make this recipe first and the next time try the other muffin recipe. Both are delicious!

      A simple lighter cream cheese frosting is to take 8 ounces of Philadelphia 1/3 less fat cream cheese and beat it with 1 cup powedered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Set the cream cheese out on the counter and let it come to room temperature so it will be softer and easier to beat. Use an electric mixer to beat the ingredients all together so it will be fluffy and spread easily. This will frost about 24 cupcakes for about 45 calories per serving. Of course you can cut the frosting recipe in half for a smaller batch.

      Happy Baking!

  2. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    I like pumpkin a lot. The muffins sound great; I’ll have to make them soon.

    We mainly caught up on work and household chores this weekend, which felt good, and I feel a bit more relaxed today.

    1. Tami says:

      I love it when we get things caught up around the house and you can start Monday morning feeling like everything is right with the world!

  3. Sue says:

    This weekend I bought my favorite thin ginger cookies from World Market. I plan to make your pumpkin butter this week to spread on the cookies.

    1. Tami says:

      I love ginger thins Sue! Great fall snack/treat. Even better with pumpkin butter. 🙂

  4. Sharon says:

    Oh my gosh, I love all things pumpkin. And yes, I keep and use pumpkin all year round usually stocking up on canned pumpkin around the holidays when it’s often on sale.

    We had our first real blast of fall like weather over the weekend, so we just made it a point to be outside. Nothing really special, just lots of walks and sitting out in the back yard. It’s warmer back up a tad, but I hiked in the mountains today and it was absolutely GLORIOUS!

    1. Tami says:

      Sharon do you remember a couple years ago when there was a pumpkin shortage? It was difficult to find canned pumpkin on store shelves it was crazy.

      I’m jealous of your hiking this fall. I miss being out on the trail and in the middle of nature and beautiful views. It calms the soul. Enjoy, 🙂

  5. The Candid RD (Gina) says:

    I don’t just like pumpkin, I LOVE it! I’ve been eating it all year, and I’m still not sick of it. So, thanks for the recipe. And only 200 calories for that large muffin?? NOt bad at all.
    I’ve never been to an air show, looks pretty neat!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Gina. It is a big moist muffin – since you love pumpkin as much as I do you must try this recipe.

  6. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    Those look great Tami!!!! YUM! Send them my way – too lazy to bake with all those ingredients! 😉 My post Wednesday will talk about lazy me & cooking.

    GoDaddy was hacked yesterday so all my email is coming in slowly from yesterday….

  7. ann says:

    I don’t like plain pumpkin, or pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin bread. I have some pumpkin butter I got at the farmer’s market which is my FAVORITE on toast for a treat now and then. So healthy and SO good!

    1. Tami says:

      I like pumpkin butter too and its pretty easy to make yourself. 🙂

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