Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins




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Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins are moist, golden, high rise corn muffins, and a delicious answer to what’s going to round out dinner tonight. Make them in just minutes, in one bowl!

pumpkin cornbread muffins in a basket with napkin

These pumpkin cornbread muffins are savory, not sweet

I’ve been inaugurating fall with my pumpkin cornbread forever, but this year I thought it would be fun to scoop the batter into a muffin tin. I was rewarded with moist fluffy muffins with perfectly domed tops. Even with the touch of brown sugar, these muffins aren’t dessert, which makes them so much more versatile than those verging-on-cupcakes kind of muffins. They’ll make a meal out of your favorite chili or soup, and they’re the perfect side for just about any fall dinner, especially Thanksgiving. Pile them in a pretty basket and serve with some honey, cranberry butter, or maple butter on the side.

pumpkin cornbread muffins on a cooling rack, with butter

These muffins are an easy one bowl recipe, here’s what you’ll need:

Cornbread is famously quick and easy to make, and these muffins are no different (just dump into the bowl in the order listed!)

canned pumpkin ~ you can use fresh made if you like. I would recommend cooking it down in a saucepan to reduce some of the water content in that case. You want it to be a spoon-able not pour-able texture.

eggs

brown sugar ~ either light or dark

vegetable oil ~ you can substitute melted butter if you like

molasses ~ don’t skip this fabulous ingredient, it adds flavor, sweetness, and moisture. Avoid buying ‘blackstrap’ molasses, which is very strong and can be bitter.

buttermilk ~ substitute regular milk or half and half

cinnamon

salt

baking powder

cornmeal

all purpose flour

pumpkin cornbread muffins with muffin batter

Why I love to bake with pumpkin pureé

Pumpkin pureé does many wonderful things to baked goods, it works similarly to its relative, the zucchini. It adds:

  • moisture and softness
  • vibrant color
  • flavor
  • subtle sweetness
  • a nutritional boost!

Pumpkin can be used an an egg substitute: use 1/4 cup for each egg in a recipe

Pumpkin can be used in place of oil or butter: use 1:1 ratio for oil, and use just 3/4 of the amount for butter.

There’s something about pumpkin that creates the most amazing texture, I’m a big fan of baking with it. It troubleshoots the most common issue people have with cornbread, which is that it tends to be dry and crumbly.

pumpkin corn muffin split open with melting butter.

Pumpkin corn muffins are a last minute dinner solution

Not the best meal planner? It’s hard to think of another satisfying bread that is as quick and easy to cook. So even when you don’t plan ahead, you can have these in the oven in just a few minutes with pantry ingredients. They go especially well with chili (how about Slow Cooked Hatch Pepper Chili or Easy Meat Lovers Chili?)

Reheat your muffins

About 20 seconds in the microwave turns a room temperature muffin into a soft, steamy, butter-melting muffin. Yum!

They freeze well too

Cool completely, then wrap them individually in plastic. Then I like to put them in freezer containers or heavy duty zip lock bags.

Pumpkin corn muffin on a plate with butter

Because I know you’re craving pumpkin

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5 from 6 votes

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins are moist, one bowl, high corn muffins, and a delicious answer to what's going to round out dinner tonight.
Course bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Yield 10 muffins

Equipment

  • a muffin tin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (substitute milk or half and half)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (substitute cardamom or ginger)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F Grease and flour a muffin tin, or use paper muffin liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the first 8 ingredients together (pumpkin through salt.) Make sure everything gets well incorporated.
  • Whisk in the baking powder, corn meal, and flour, mixing until just combined, but don't over beat this. I usually switch to a silicone spoon at the end.
  • Use a standard ice cream scoop to fill 10-12 muffin cups fairly full. My muffin tin is on the large size so I got 10 muffins from my batter.
  • Bake for about 20-22 minutes until the muffins are fully risen. The tops should spring back when lightly touched. If your muffins are smaller than mine they will take a shorter time. Try not to over bake as they will dry out.
  • Let the muffins cool for about 10 minutes in the tin, and then run a blunt knife around the edges to loosen before turning out onto a cooling rack. If you use muffin liners you can pop them out immediately.
  • Serve warm with butter and honey. The muffins can be reheated for 20-30 seconds in the microwave.

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8 Comments

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  • Reply
    Ann
    October 21, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    These are so good. I used regular milk and cinnamon. Definitely will make these again

  • Reply
    Abi
    October 17, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    5 stars
    These are absolutely divine.. moist, not too sweet and just all round awesome. I got 12 large muffins out of the recipe and did cut back a bit in the sugar. Bookmarked to be made again.

  • Reply
    Mary Ann Bromley
    October 17, 2020 at 6:54 am

    Your recipe doesn’t give the size can for puree. I’m assuming the smaller 15 oz.?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 17, 2020 at 7:28 am

      The recipe calls for 1 cup, and I think it’s better to measure that way. You’ll generally get about 1 1/2 cups from a 15 ounce can, if that helps.

  • Reply
    Enid
    October 16, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    This looks so delicious! All of your recipes have been wonderful, I’ve been planning to make cornbread, and this looks perfect!

  • Reply
    Rose
    October 16, 2020 at 11:53 am

    5 stars
    Hi Sue, I’m not a cornbread fan for the reasons you mentioned (dryness, crumbs, etc.) so with the addition of pumpkin, I decided to give yours a try. Just pulled them out of the oven and gave them a taste test – delicious!!! I used only 1 tbsp. of molasses (again, not a fan), a little less brown sugar, and your suggestion of cardamom. Perfection!! Will definitely make again. Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    October 16, 2020 at 8:41 am

    5 stars
    What a unique and delicious sounding recipe! Never would have thought of this combination, you come up with some great ideas.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 16, 2020 at 9:45 am

      This one is tried and true Lisa, and I think you’ll be amazed at how lovely the two are together.