I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of all things pumpkin so I feel that I can adequately declare this recipe THE BEST for Pumpkin Muffins (Thank you, Alton!)
What makes this recipe so amazing is the fact that you DO NOT use canned pumpkin!
What did she say?? No pumpkin puree!? How can that be??
That’s right friends, in this recipe you carve up your own cute little squash (and you thought they were only good for decorating – Ha! I have been known to buy a bunch of “decorative” pumpkins for the fireplace and as the season goes on they disappear one by one … into my belly)! The natural juices in the pumpkin keep these muffins wonderfully moist and undeniably amazing.
Okay, okay – I’m already salivating (we just finished the last of our most recent batch this morning for breakfast … I knew I shouldn’t have given any to our neighbor and instead should have kept them all to myself). Let’s get started!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp. pumpkin spice (Add as much or as little as you like. I try and find an excuse to use the stuff whenever I can so I always add a lot.)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups vegetable oil
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups shredded pumpkin (About 1/2 of a medium pumpkin – And don’t even THINK about substituting canned pumpkin puree here!! I’m serious, they won’t turn out right and you will be doing yourself and whoever you give these to a great disservice by denying them the delicate goodness of fresh pumpkin.)
Directions (Makes a Dozen Muffins):
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Cut and shred pumpkin. I first remove the stem of the pumpkin (as if you were going to carve it) then remove the guts. Make sure you save the seeds so you can toast them later!! Don’t let that deliciousness go to waste. Last year when I made this recipe, I shredded the pumpkin by hand using a box cheese grater, which works perfectly fine (and gives you some nice tricep definition). However, since then we have acquired a food processor and I used the shred blade to do the job (SO much easier). But seriously, if you have to do it by hand, it’s not a big deal and it is SO worth it, I promise.
3. Mix flour, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
4. In another bowl, mix sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
5. Combine both mixtures (The mix in this step will be almost paste-like, it will loosen up to more of a batter consistency once you are finished adding the pumpkin).
6. Fold in shredded pumpkin (I do this in 3 additions, it just makes mixing easier).
7. Scoop about 1/3 cup batter into greased or lined muffin tins.
8. Pop in the oven and patiently wait about 30 minutes, or until an inserted butter knife comes out clean.
9. Enjoy with either cream cheese or frosting (or nothing) for the perfect autumn muffin!
I have also made this recipe with some toasted, chopped walnuts – They give an awesome crunch to each bite!