Pumpkin Muffins

I wish I could somehow bottle up what my house smells like after making these and share them with you.

I’ve had this recipe saved on my phone for a year. I’d planned on baking them last Halloween and never got around to it for some reason. I’m not sure why because it’s a pretty great recipe.

Simple, huh? I decided it was time to try this baby out. I did make a few variations of it. First, 3 cups of sugar was just too much for me to take. So instead of 3 cups of sugar I did 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 a cup of a Splenda mix.

I normally don’t change recipes before I try them out at least once–how are you going to know what to change, right? But with baking I can usually figure out additions easily. I used to bake A LOT as a big ol’ chubby girl living alone. Even if a baked goodie was a failure I’d still eat it…

I mixed all the dry ingredients together in my mixer and then added the eggs, oil, water, pumpkin, etc. Back in the day when I did a ton of baking I did everything by hand. If a recipe called for the batter to be hand whipped for 5 minutes I did it. Having a mixer is such a different experience. It takes all the work out of it, honestly. All I do is measure. 😛


I let the mixer do my work for me and blend everything together. It smelled magnificent–like Halloween and Thanksgiving Day!

I used the small measuring cup to scoop the batter into the Halloween cupcake cups and then popped them in the oven. While they were baking I perused the comments on the recipe website. Lots of people said it was too sweet, that they reduced the amount of sugar in the muffins (glad I did!).

“This made such a large batch of mix. I made cake instead and frosted it with cream cheese frosting. Amazing!!!!”

“I modified quite a bit: Used buttermilk in place of water (plus 1/2 tsp. baking powder), 2 cups agave nectar instead of sugar (added to wet ingredients), and folded in crystallized ginger, golden and dark raisins, and dried cranberries (total about 1 1/4 cups).”

“I cut the sugar down to 1 1/2 cups and used a bit of brandy in place of the water. FAB!”

Some Variations:

Add chopped walnuts or pecans.

Add dried cranberries.

Add chocolate chips.

I realized after I made the batter that this recipe makes an insane amount of muffins! Apparently over 30? Had I known that beforehand I would have made a half batch. So instead of just making 30 muffins, I made about 18 and then put the rest of the batter into a loaf pan.

I added a handful of chocolate chips to the batter for the loaf–probably about two servings worth of chocolate chips.

I’m so happy I was able to finally use my Halloween baking cups!

Mmmm pumpkin! I took the lazy route and used store-bought frosting. I really wanted to make homemade cream cheese frosting but was lacking the motivation after spending a few hours baking.


I used a vanilla frosting (store bought) and used it sparingly.

The pumpkin bread from the loaf pan went straight into the freezer for another day. So how many calories are in these cupcakes? Over 220 if you use the full sugar. If you don’t it’s a little less:

It’s not the healthiest treat to have (that pumpkin is deceptive!) but just one is enough honestly.

QUESTION: Do you have a Halloween tradition? What’s your favorite Halloween treat?


Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

8 thoughts on “Pumpkin Muffins”

  1. I like pumpkin anything, pretty much. They should freeze pretty well (at least the unfrosted ones). That is what is nice about pumpkin goods – they stay moist after freezing!

    No Halloween tradition. When we lived in IL, we would get between 75 and 100 trick or treaters at our house, so our tradition was to bring home Chinese food that night and eat it in between answering the door LOL!

    Now in a smaller town, not as many kids, so we can cook dinner.
    Lori recently posted..Pumpkins galore!

    1. I make cupcakes out of half the batter then a loaf with the rest and I froze that pumpkin loaf for later. And less temptation in the house!

      We used to get a ton of trick or treaters at our house but last year we didn’t have hardly any. And that was a bummer because we had a ton of candy. 🙁

  2. You could cut the calories even more by only using half the oil and the other half applesauce.
    My favorite Halloween treat is Mounds candy bars!

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