I tried making pumpkin muffins once or twice before and they have always been a fail. Once I tried making a crumb topped pumpkin muffin and the crumb on top was a disaster. Instead of creating a nice crust on top of the muffin it baked into the muffin. Which was weird since I mimicked the crumb topping from these blueberry muffins that have always turned out great. I am assuming it had something to do with the batter. And another time I tried making a pumpkin muffin similar to the recipe of the pumpkin bread I normally make. Once again, a fail in my book. It lacked any flavor. I wasn’t giving up though. I’ve made pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cake, a pumpkin tiramisu, and a few savory pumpkin dishes so I was not about to let a muffin get the best of my pumpkin baking.
Around this time of year Chobani gets in on the pumpkin craze and releases their pumpkin blended yogurts. For the past couple of years they had a Pumpkin Harvest Crisp Flip Yogurt that had pie crust pieces, glazed pumpkin seeds and pecans (YUM!) When I went looking for it this year they replaced it with an Autumn Harvest Crisp Flip Yogurt with pecans, cranberries and gingersnap crust. I like it, but definitely not as much the previous version. I think it’s the gingersnap crust that is throwing it off for me. Not really sure why they changed it… The Pumpkin Harvest Crisp was so good and had good reviews. While eating it for breakfast one day I thought that maybe a pumpkin muffin with pecans and cranberries would be a winner. I was thinking about converting a pumpkin cupcake recipe into a muffin recipe, but decided I didn’t want another fail so I turned to Google and did a few searches. Soon enough I came across a recipe for a Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin. It had some good reviews and pretty much used ingredients I already had on hand. I made one tweak to the recipe though. The original recipe called for just using cinnamon (1tsp.) and ginger (1/2 tsp.) and I just felt that that wouldn’t be enough spice to enhance the pumpkin flavor. So, I upped it to 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. This way not only would there be cinnamon and nutmeg in the batter, but also allspice, cloves and nutmeg.
One thing I should note about these muffins is that they are a 1-bowl muffin. Meaning, you add all of the ingredients to one bowl and then beat or stir to combine them. I honestly did try to whisk all of the ingredients together, but, the mixture was just too thick so I had to break out my hand mixer.
After mixing the ingredients until they were just combined I divided them into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners – about 1/4 cup of batter in each. The recipe called for 12 muffins, but, I ended up with 15. To ensure that the remaining three baked well I filled the empty cavities of that muffin tin with water about half-way up. I then sprinkled some of the muffins with coarse sugar.
After baking for about 20 minutes I removed them from the oven and transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once they were cool I tried one and I was very happy that I had switched up the spices. I think the original recipe of just cinnamon and ginger would have produce a muffin that was a bit on the bland side.
Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Coarse sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add in the pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, cranberries and pecans and using a handheld mixer on the low setting beat the mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake tin (about 1/4 cup in each). If you have remaining batter prep a second a cupcake tin and fill the empty crevices with water about halfway up.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean from the center. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe modified from Betty Crocker