Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Coconut Oil

If you’re looking for a new pumpkin muffin recipe, here’s one made with coconut oil, coconut palm sugar and whole wheat pastry flour.

Coconut oil pumpkin muffin

I tried incorporating some true whole foods into the ingredient list, but having made multiple batches of these over the past few days, I can tell you that substitutes work pretty well. The muffin in the photo was made with organic cane sugar (evaporated cane juice crystals), while the one made with coconut palm sugar was darker and had more of a burnt caramel/coconut flavor to it.

If you’d rather just use an artificial sweetener like one of the Splenda blends, Fibrelle (if you can find it) or a Stevia based blend, I’m pretty sure any of those would work too. The only thing I haven’t tested yet is swapping out the two eggs for 2 tablespoons of ground flax and 6 tablespoons of water. That’s next on the list, since I’ll surely be making these again. I’ve actually been halving this recipe and making 3 muffins at a time.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Coconut Oil
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Coconut Oi
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • 4 tablespoons good quality coconut oil (60 grams)
  • 2/3 cups sugar, evaporated cane juice crystals, or packed coconut palm sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 7 1/2 oz canned pumpkin (210 grams) – not quite a cup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (160 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Sliced almonds for topping (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line 6 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the coconut oil and whatever type sugar you’ve chosen until mixed. Add the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla and beat until smooth..
  3. Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt together into a medium bowl, then stir that mixture into the pumpkin mixture until blended.
  4. Divide batter between the 6 muffin cups (it should come up to the top and will be thick enough to heap on) and sprinkle tops with sliced almonds.
  5. Bake at 375 for 23-25 minutes. Allow muffins to cool in pan, then lift from pan.

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  1. says

    I love coconut oil, I never thought to combine it with pumpkin though – I’ll definitely have to try these. For those who put additional butter on their muffins after baking, I would try coconut butter.

  2. says

    I love baking with coconut oil!

  3. says

    My uber-fit yoga instructor (who is also a personal trainer) is obsessed with coconut oil, flour, and sugar as a healthier way of baking. Maybe I should give it a try, even though I don’t like coconut (the substance)…

  4. Katherine says

    I made these with a few modifications. First, I didn’t have coconut oil, so I used canola oil and used white whole wheat in place of the whole wheat pastry flour. For sugar, I used granulated. I especially like the texture of these muffins, they are light and tender. Many times pumpkin bread/muffins are dense – but not these. They also have a nice high crown. My batch yielded 7 good sized muffins. I will absolutely make these again. I may throw in flaked coconut to taste the coconut/pumpkin flavor combination. Did yours taste like coconut from the oil and palm sugar?

  5. says

    Hi Katherine,
    Thanks for trying them and leaving a review. I really appreciate it.
    Right now the coconut oil I’m using is a brand called Kelapo and it does leave a faint (pleasant) taste. When I use LouAna brand, I don’t get any coconut flavor from the oil. Thanks for testing with the white whole wheat flour and canola oil. I was wondering how white whole wheat would work since it’s not quite as soft as pastry flour, and it sounds like it’s a winner. But yes, with those changes you made it might be good to throw in a handful of shredded coconut.

  6. Katherine says

    Made another batch and threw in shredded coconut and some dried cranberries. I used my mini muffin pan… they are cute and good 🙂

  7. Katie says

    Hi – this recipe sounds GREAT!!! Only one problem…I’m an Aussie…..what IS pumpkin pie spice?!?!?!?!?!?! And can I use normal pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin…cause I’m pretty sure we don’t get that here! I love baking with coconut oil, just made banana and walnut loaf with coconut oil..delish!!!!

  8. says

    Hi Katie, Pumpkin Pie Spice is just a mixture of spices used in typical American pumpkin pie. You can substitute a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. There are lots of recipes for making your own pumpkin pie spice, so that should be simple. Canned pumpkin is a very easy-to-find product here in America and most pumpkin recipes are developed using it. I’m afraid I can’t really give you advice on how to substitute fresh pumpkin.

  9. d says

    I just made these with coconut oil, whole wheat pastry flour and regular brown sugar. I loved the nice high crown and the texture. Lots of time 100% whole wheat baked goods are dense and these were light. Thanks for the recipe. I’d like to try them again with a sugar substitute so I’ll see which of the ones listed in the recipe are available here. Anna, do you know which of the two sugar substitutes work better in baking and which is actually healthier?

  10. d says

    PS- I can’t taste the coconut in the final product (with Costco’s coconut oil) and my double batch made 17 nice sized muffins.

  11. says

    Glad you liked them, D! Evaporated cane juice crystals are just a less refined form of sugar. They work almost the same was as granulated sugar in baking, but have more of a caramel flavor and are a brown color. Whole Foods has them in the bulk department. Coconut Palm sugar has larger granules and a very distinct flavor. It’s also supposed to have a lower glycemic index than sugar, so that might be its biggest standout quality. If you make these with 2/3 cup coconut palm sugar, you’ll probably get slightly less sweet muffins with higher crowns because you’ll be reducing the overall amount of sugar since coconut palm sugar weighs less per cup.

  12. d says

    Thanks so much for your information Anna. I think I’ll experiment with both sugar subs and see which we like better.

  13. DAISY MUI says

    This is my time using coconut oil in baking. Can you tell me whether the coconut oil is melted or in solid state when using for this recipe? Thank you!

  14. says

    Hi Daisy,

    That’s a great question since coconut oil changes depending on the climate or how it is stored. I made these with very soft coconut. I didn’t have to melt it because it was already so soft. If your coconut oil is really solid, melt it gently before measuring. For best results, weigh out 60 grams.

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