I have a touch of holiday magic for you today in the form of Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins! Marvelously moist with tender centers and crunchy sugar tops, these splendid muffins offer the best of two all-star holiday flavors.
This recipe is sponsored by Land O’Lakes.
Pumpkin is a celebrity flavor whose tenure starts earlier and earlier each year, and for good reason. Its familiar cozy flavor and natural moisture make it a versatile gem in wholesome baking recipes ranging from Healthy Pumpkin Cookies to Healthy Pumpkin Muffins to Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese Frosting.
A lover of gingerbread’s intensity—there’s something refreshing about a flavor that’s up-front and there’s certainly nothing subtle about gingerbread’s spiciness and warmth—I always find the delay a bit of a shame.
Perhaps, I thought, pumpkin can ease us all into it.
Pumpkin + Gingerbread – A Match Made in Holiday Heaven
Combining pumpkin and gingerbread turned out to be one of the very best baking decisions I’ve made!
The innate subtly of pumpkin (pumpkin is actually pretty bland until you add the spices) is the ideal counterpoint to the spicy intensity of gingerbread. If there were a flavor dating app, surely these two would have been a swipe right.
I shared these muffins with a friend, and her feedback was that the balance was exactly 50/50 between pumpkin and gingerbread and she wouldn’t change a thing; not a fraction of a teaspoon of spice is misplaced.
Whether straight-up gingerbread hasn’t been your thing, you happen to love both pumpkin AND gingerbread, and the idea of not having to choose appeals to you, or you are looking for a stellar holiday breakfast recipe, these pumpkin gingerbread muffins will be a holiday gift to you!
How to Make Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins
These muffins are made with simple, wholesome ingredients including whole grains and pure maple syrup.
The batter is easy going – you won’t even need to bust out the mixer!
- Pumpkin. The first half of our holiday flavor tango. While it may not be a flavor powerhouse on its own, once combined with the molasses and spices, it shines.
- Molasses. The key to the signature gingerbread flavor. Molasses adds a rich, sweet warmth that’s full of flavor. Make sure to use regular molasses here (usually labeled “unsulphered”), as blackstrap will be too bitter.
- Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter in Half Sticks. My favorite butter for its quality, taste, and value for the price. I stock the convenient half-stick size most often. It’s ideal for smaller batch cooking and recipes like these muffins, where a lesser amount of butter is needed.
In addition to loving the way the butter tastes and its simple ingredient list, I appreciate that Land O’Lakes is a co-op, meaning the company is owned by its dairy farmers (more than 1,700 of them!). I also think it’s fantastic that the company has made highlighting female farmers a priority (fun fact: 30% of dairy farming in the U.S. is done by women). You can learn more about their farmer-owners here.
- Flour. I found that a mixture of all-purpose flour and white whole wheat flour worked perfectly here. You are getting whole grain benefits, and the muffins stay nice and fluffy.
- Spices. A combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves adds cozy spice to these muffins. The spices truly take their flavor to the next level.
- Maple Syrup. Wonderful in its natural sweetness and the way it pairs with molasses.
- Sparkling Sugar. A beautiful way to finish these muffins! The crunchy tops are worth devouring all on their own.
- Stir the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients.
- Stir until the flour disappears.
- Pour the batter into the wells of a muffin pan, then sprinkle sparkling sugar over the tops.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then DIG IN!
- To Store. Store muffins at room temperature for up to 5 days in an airtight storage container lined with paper towels.
- To Freeze. Freeze muffins in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw and enjoy as desired.
For additional muffin storage tips and tricks, check out my post on How to Store Muffins.
With pumpkin, deep gingerbread spice, and everything nice, these do-it-all muffins are the total (holiday) package!
Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup white whole wheat flour or additional all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup unsulphured molasses do not use blackstrap; it will be too bitter
- ¼ cup Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter in Half-Sticks melted and cooled to room temperature
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons coarse sparkling sugar or turbinado sugar
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In a separate, larger mixing bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, molasses, melted butter, and eggs until well blended.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then by hand with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir very gently to combine; stop as soon as the flour disappears. The batter will seem loose and a little lumpy.
- Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them no more than ¾ of the way to the top. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with ½ teaspoon sparkling sugar.
- Bake the muffins for 20 to 22 minutes, until the tops spring back lightly when touched and a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Place the muffin pan on a wire rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins from the pan and transfer to the rack to cool completely. These taste even better as they rest. Enjoy!
- TO STORE: Store muffins at room temperature for up to 5 days in an airtight storage container lined with paper towels.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze muffins in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw and enjoy as desired.
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I am sharing this post in partnership with Land O’Lakes. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you!