Whole Wheat Pumpkin Maple Spice Muffins

A few weeks ago we saw some pumpkin muffins at a bake sale. They weren’t anything special in terms of appearance, but they were just the right size for a lunch box. I bought a couple, gave one to Fuzz’s karate teacher, then packed the other in Fuzz’s lunch. After school she commented on her excellent lunch, which she rarely does. I asked her what made it so special and she said it was the muffin — not too pumpkinish, but just right. Needless to say, I’ve been trying to make pumpkin muffins just as good as the ones we bought.

Pumpkin Muffin

This recipe was adapted from a recipe that originally had sour cream rather than pumpkin. I replaced the sour cream with pumpkin, added buttermilk, used white whole wheat flour, and instead of using real butter, I used a stick of I Cant’ Believe it’s Not Butter, which I noticed is now completely non-hydrogenated (Woo hoo!). The tub always has been, but I think the non-hydrogenated sticks are new. Anyhow, these were very moist, had just the right level of sweetness. The topping was good, but next time I’d probably leave it off to cut calories.

maple pumpkin muffins

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Maple Spice Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Muffin with flavors of maple and pumpkin.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 16
  • 2 cups (9 oz) all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 8 tablespoons melted salted butter or a stick of I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter or from an ICBINB stick
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 16 muffin cups with flour-added baking spray or line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Stir well, then stir in the brown sugar.
  3. In a second bowl, combine the buttermilk, butter, syrup, pumpkin, egg and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until mixed (don't over-beat).
  4. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full. For topping, combine the flour, sugar, nuts and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.
  5. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

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  1. says

    Sounds really good, I love pumpkin recipes, and have recently stacked up on a bunch of canned puree (after Thanksgiving everything is on sale until Christmas 🙂 ). I’ve never really noticed sticks of margarine here, then again, I’ve never looked. Wish I would have seen this recipe before I went grocery shopping today :). Though I suppose I could use butter :), then I really wouldn’t believe it’s not butter… wait.. what ? :).

  2. says

    I love pumpkin and maple, but I’ve never tried them together. I have a lot of pumpkin cans from last year to use up so these will go on the list!
    They also have a good amount of vitamin A! Do you think whole wheat pastry flour could be substituted for some or all of the AP flour?

  3. CindyD says

    I’ve been pleased with the ICBINB baking sticks, too although I usually use the Smart Balance baking sticks. I’ve also looked for Katrina’s Best Life baking sticks but haven’t found them. A bake off comparing the three would be interesting.

  4. says

    Gloria, I’m sure it would but the muffins might be a little softer.

    I think my next experiment is going to be making these with sugar free pancake syrup and some kind of sugar free sweeter ( there are so many of them I can’t keep track) just to see if I can really cut the calories down without sacrificing the flavor or texture.

  5. KAnn says

    I love maple and pumpkin together….I make a pumpkin cake with maple cream cheese icing this time of year, too. I was thinking of trying this recipe but using organic canola oil instead of the melted butter. ( I make a lot of whole grain muffins and use canola oil in most of them.) This recipe looks great, Anna!

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