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Pumpkin-pecan mini muffins recipe


When you work at home alone, in a log cabin in the woods, you treasure the afternoon tea visits that mark the end of the business day and break the solitude. It's traditional, when someone stops in for tea, to offer a cookie or cheese and crackers, or some slices of fruit. Today I'm serving pumpkin-pecan mini muffins, easy to make without dirtying the mixer, and a perfect late afternoon pick-me-up. I swapped white whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour, to give the muffins a bit of whole grain goodness. These little two-bite muffins are sweet, but not too sweet, and if you don't like pecans, use walnuts or no nuts. Of course, if mini muffins aren't your thing, make full-figured muffins in a regular 12-muffin pan, and bake them for two or three minutes more.


Pumpkin-pecan mini muffins

From the pantry, you'll need: baking spray, all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, powdered ginger, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, brown sugar, molasses, canola (or vegetable) oil, eggs, pure vanilla extract, pecans.

Adapted from a recipe for pumpkin muffins by Ellie Krieger on Food Network, this recipe makes 36 mini muffins.


Baking spray
1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp unsulphured molasses
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 3 12-muffin mini-muffin pans (or whatever configuration will give you 36 muffins) with baking spray, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, oil and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg, and whisk well, then whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Then, whisk in the flour in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in the pecans, just until the batter is combined (do not overmix).

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pans (I use a small cookie scoop to do this, but a spoon will work also). Tap the pans on the counter to remove any air bubbles.

Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you're using multiple pans, you might want to rotate them midway through the cooking time.

Place the muffin pans on a cooling rack and, after 15 minutes, pop the muffins out into a basket. Serve warm or at room temperature.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Whole wheat lemon-lime yogurt cupcakes
Granola muffins
Peach vanilla muffins
Carrot cake cupcakes with lemon frosting
Chocolate double ginger cupcakes

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Sour cream cinnamon streusel muffins with pecan filling, from Pinch My Salt
Apple cake with butter pecan glaze, from Cooking on the Side
Maple pecan muffins, from Joy the Baker
Gooey pecan pie with a Nutella bottom, from What We're Eating
Brown sugar and banana muffins with pecans, from For the Love of Cooking

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


These sound delicious. I thought I might try them tomorrow since I have the day off.

I love to make pumpkin muffins for exactly the same purpose - the afternoon tea visit. I always add pecans, and I load them up with spices as you have in this recipe. I've never tried them with buttermilk, that's a nice twist.

It's the darndest thing, but my cat likes pumpkin muffins, too! More than one visitor has been confused to see her sitting at their feet, begging like a dog for a little bite of muffin. At least she's generally polite!

Yummm - I like mini things because I can eat more of them and not look like a glutton! LOL
Funny I have a pumpkin recipe in mind too - it seems like enough time has passed since Halloween that pumpkin things can be re-visited!

Yvonne, I hope you like them. One of my favorite things is that you can make them in a mixing bowl without a mixer.

Steve-Anna, we used to have a cat who ate doughnuts, specifically Dunkin' Donuts. We adopted him from a shelter, and figure he must have been a stray who lived behind the doughnut shop! Our (current) cats didn't go for these muffins, which left more for us.

Carol, I always buy a few extra cans of pumpkin puree around Halloween, and have them in my pantry all winter.

Great recipe!!

My kids love mini-muffins. I haven't made any pumpkin muffins since the holidays...time to whip up a batch.

I have a pantry full of cans of pumpkin (can't resist a sale), this recipe will come in handy.

Angela, thank you.

Jeanette, if you make these gluten-free, I'm sure they'd be delicious.

Pam, I'm exactly the same. I stock up in the Fall, when it's easier to find canned pumpkin puree, and then I forget to use it. Pumpkin is great in baking; the flavor isn't too pronounced, but it adds plenty of moisture.

This afternoon, when I saw this recipe, I went straight to the kitchen and gathered up the ingredients. I put them in the oven as my daughter and her daughter drove here. It made 12 pretty, delicious muffins that rose beautifully. The 6 year old loved the batter but not the muffins -- more for grandmom!

I did cut the sugar to 1/2 cup, up molasses to 1/4 cup -- enough for me. Thanks for a treat on a cold day.

Nice one for late Monday afternoon. Gonna give them a try :)

Susan, some people are just batter people, and some are muffin top people, and some are whole muffin people! So glad both you and your granddaughter liked these muffins. Stay warm!

Maria, thanks. Hope you like them.

Great looking recipe! I'm sure the taste is as good as it looks. I just scrapped some office paper to take some notes... couldn't wait to print the recipe!!!
Many thanks

These look delicious! I am feeling a little under the weather, and these muffins are calling to me...

How civilized, to have afternoon tea visits! I wish I lived closer :-)

Veronique, these little muffins satisfied my need for a sweet treat in the afternoon. Hope they do that for you, too.

Judy, I wish you lived closer, too. I would make muffins!

These are delicious - very gingerbready, and the half white whole wheat flour makes them hearty, too. I toasted the pecans, and added 1/2 cup of finely chopped dates. Now I can't stop eating them!

An interesting note: I always use Libby's canned pumpkin puree. I took a pie-making (one-time) class from a cookbook author, salt entrepreneur, and kitchen chemistry whiz, who told us that Libby's has the rights to the breed of pumpkin they use for their canned pumpkin puree, and he says it's the best.

I wonder if this can be done with sweet potatoes. I am not a big fan of pumpkins.

Judy, that's so interesting about Libby's. I happened to use that when I made these muffins also, but I'm a bit partial to our local brand, One-Pie. The dates are a great addition.

Easy, why not? If you try it, let us know how it works out. You can also substitute canned squash puree.

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