Sugar Crunch Mini Pumpkin Muffins

I couldn’t tempt you all with the picture of the incredible mini pumpkin muffins my friend Cassia made for her wine-tasting party and then not share the recipe. It would have been cruel and unusual. “Cassia,” I whined, “can I pretty please have that recipe for my blog, pretty please, because if I don’t share it people might get reeeallly angry, and I don’t want a blogmob on my hands! I’m frightened and scared and the only solution is for me to haaaaaave that reeeecipe!” It turns out I didn’t have to whine at all. Within hours, she had emailed me the recipe with all her instructions.

I popped over to Target to purchase a mini muffin tin. It will have been money well spent . . . even if I only ever make these once.

Which is not going to happen.

I’m considering making them once per day for the rest of my life. Except that I also want to be able to fit into my jeans, which are the perfect dark wash. I don’t think I could find another pair like them. I’ll let you know my decision after 24 hours of careful thought.

Cassia found the recipe on this website and proceeded to modify it by absconding with the nuts and then sprinkling sugar all over them before baking. I firmly believe that the sugar topping is 100% necessary. The little crunch it produces is faint-inducingly good. Cassia didn’t make the frosting, and neither did I, but I’ll include the recipe just in case you want to give it a whirligig.


(makes 72 mini muffins)

1 cup vegetable oil

3 cups sugar

2/3 cups water

2 cups pumpkin purée

4 eggs

3 ½ cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

Chopped walnuts, optional

2/3 c Cinnamon sugar mix

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Mix all of the ingredients together except for the cinnamon sugar and walnuts–first the dry ingredients:

And then the wet ingredients:

You won’t have to run your mixer for very long before it’s perfectly combined into a swirly orange fall festival that’s just begging to be dipped into immediately with a finger or two.

Fears of salmonella have never been able to keep me down.

Now let’s grease the mini muffin tin–I sprayed mine down with some baking spray. It feels so wrong, but also so right. Spoon the batter in. If you fill the little cups to the top, it will produce a larger mini muffin. I chose to make a variety. Or rather, my careless spooning produced a variety. But I say yes to diversity!

Sprinkle on some of the cinnamon sugar. With my first batch, I went pretty light on them:

But with the second batch, I really laid it on.

I like laying it on. I used about 2/3 tsp of cinnamon sugar per muffin in this second batch, but you must do what you feel is right.

If you’re a nutty kind of person, sprinkle the chopped walnuts on the top of each muffin, along with the cinnamon sugar.

The nuts by themselves are also vreeeerry good.

Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, or until the top springs back to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.  For some reason, my muffins took more like 30 min. If you make regular-sized muffins, they will need to bake longer.  And lastly, if you choose to go the loaf pans route, you’ll need to bake it for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Let the muffins cool for 5 in the pan–or not. I popped them out immediately because I wanted to get the next batch started (yes, I only have 1 tin). They should pop out easily, but if not, you can always run a knife around the edges to loosen them. Let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Take a chomp while you’re at it. It’s called ‘quality control.’

Then try not to scream as you realize that the pile of muffins keep growing . . . and growing . . . and growing. They’re cloning themselves. It’s the only explanation.

Cream cheese frosting:

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 tsp vanilla

4 cups powdered sugar

Mix all the ingredients until smooth. When the muffins have cooled down, either make a hole in the bottom of them and pipe some into the hole, or cut them in half and spread frosting on the halves. Or spread frosting on top! You can also choose to spread the frosting all over your face. And hands. Just so you have an excuse to lick it off.

I also experimented with adding ginger salt to the tops. Definitely good. When I make these next, I’ll do all the different toppings so that I can offer a variety to my guests. Because when 72 little sugar-laden muffins are set loose in a household of 2, guests are an absolute necessity.

Tomorrow, the PW weekend series, part 1: the Lodge. For those of you who are getting antsy, please continue to look at this picture and take deep breaths:

Click here for printer-friendly version: Sugar Crunch Mini Pumpkin Muffins

24 thoughts on “Sugar Crunch Mini Pumpkin Muffins

  1. Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon

    Dear Jenna, please post a Viewer Discretion Advised warning the next time you unleash this kind of weapon of (m)ass destruction on us.

    PS – want to turn these into an even bigger bomb? Omit topping the muffins with cinnamon sugar before they go into the oven. While muffins bake, melt one stick of butter and make your cinnamon (or other spice such as cardamom or allspice) sugar mixture. Remove muffins from the pan as soon as they come out of the oven, bathe in the butter and then coat in the cinnamon sugar. Allow to cool completely on a rack.

    1. Jenna

      Wendi, you evil and wonderful person!! I read about this in one of the PW’s recipes if I remember correctly (the French doughnut ones? Can’t quite remember). I would LOVE to try that. I’m just glad I didn’t think of it while I was making these–then the perfect fit dark wash jeans would have been out the window!

  2. Carol Ann Hoel

    These sugar crunch mini pumpkin muffins look just scrumptious! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I love the way you show photos of every step of the way. I think I’ll pour another cup of coffee and see if I can snatch one off the screen to nibble on. No, it didn’t work. I must bake them for myself. Blessings to you…

  3. norma

    Thanks for commenting on my post of the plantains and bacon.

    What a treat of a trip…

    I just signed up to receive your posts and looking forward to the.

    All the best.


    1. Jenna

      Cool–thanks Norma! I loved, loved, loved the looks of those plantains, in case I didn’t make it clear enough in my comment. Seriously. I have a trip to the grocery store coming up . . .

  4. Amy @ Serve At Once

    I am firmly convinced that mini-muffins are DANGEROUS. It’s that whole justification thing–to my brain, five mini-muffins equals one BIG muffin…which is, unfortunately, not how the world works.

    My eyes…they have always tried to play tricks on my brain. And my stomach.

    But these muffins scream holiday season. Because of its limited seasonal appropriateness, I take every advantage to include pumpkin in my life; I’ll add these to the list!

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