Whole wheat pumpkin and spice muffins

Pumpkin season is upon us, and the aroma of spices and fresh baking brings some fall joy to my kitchen on these chilly weekend mornings. They’re great for brunch or dessert, and keep well for a few days.

Notice that the recipe uses plain, pure pumpkin. If you’re buying it prepared, look for the undoctored cans or jars that contain nothing but pumpkin.


For the batter

  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup raisins (optional)
  • ½ cup walnuts (optional)

For the glaze

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup espresso or other strong coffee
  • 2 heaped tablespoons fresh or canned pure pumpkin puree 


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger and salt
  • In a large bowl (or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment) combine the sugar and the oil and whisk for 1 minute. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk for another minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then add the dry ingredients in 2 additions. Mix only until well combined
  • If adding raisins and/or nuts: roll these with a tablespoon of flour (this will prevent these ingredients from sinking and aggregating at the bottom of the muffin) and fold in gently
  • Put liners in muffin cups, and divide batter -- cups should be ¾ full
  • Bake until puffed, golden brown, and until toothpick comes out clean – about 25-30 minutes.
  • While the muffins are cooling make topping: combine sugar and coffee in a small pot, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer, add pumpkin, and simmer until mixture thickens and reduces to ¾. Let cool
  • Decorate the muffins with the glaze
  • Dust with a touch of cinnamon or powdered sugar

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. These will keep for about 3 days.

Makes 12-14 muffins.


Dr. Ayala