I grew up on pumpkin muffins. Every fall, without fail, my mom would make them by the dozens in her heart-shaped muffin mold, and I'd eat them for breakfast, sneak them into my lunchbox, frost them for dessert after dinner, and snack on them off courts at tennis meets.
But I live some nearly 800 miles away from my mom now and autumn isn't marked with heart-shaped pumpkin muffins morning, noon, and night anymore.
My pumpkin muffins are close to her recipe, but with butter instead of canola oil and brown sugar instead of white, I end up with something a little richer, sweeter but drier, subtler. They don't work well with frosting, but also don't want any. And if I'm forced to compare, this muffin makes a little more sense with my morning cup of coffee than my childhood mug of hot chocolate.
My version of Mom's pumpkin muffins
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (my mom uses canola oil)
- 3 cups brown sugar (my mom uses white sugar)
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 3 cups flour
- 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine butter (oil) and sugar in a stand mixer and cream together.
- Add eggs and mix until combined.
- Add milk and pumpkin and mix until combined.
- Add dry ingredients until incorporated. Be careful to not over-beat.
- Fill greased or paper muffin tins until they are 2/3 to 3/4 full and bake for 25-30 minutes if making normal size muffins. If making miniature muffins decrease time and watch carefully. Bake until lightly browned.
- Remove from pan and serve warm. These can also be frosted when cool if desired and eaten as a treat.
Yields 2 dozen muffins.