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Small Batch Pumpkin Crumb Cake Muffins
It's no secret that I'm a huge proponent for small batch baking recipes. They're perfect for those of us who live alone and lack self-control because it means there are less leftovers sitting around waiting for me to devour them all (lol), which was the inspiration behind my second cookbook, Simple Small-Batch Baking.
This small batch pumpkin crumb cake muffin recipe is actually from the "Weekend Brunch" chapter of my second cookbook, Simple Small-Batch Baking, which is available wherever books are sold! This scaled-down recipe makes just 6 muffins, which is perfect for small households! If pumpkin isn't your thing but you're still craving a delicious fall treat, then I'm sure you'll love my apple cinnamon muffins or other easy muffin recipes.
Why You'll Love These Easy Pumpkin Crumb Cake Muffins
These pumpkin crumb cake muffins are one of my new favorite fall treats (right behind pumpkin cinnamon rolls). Here's why you'll love them:
- They're super easy to make
- No mixer required
- Insanely moist and perfectly spiced
- They're eggless! And if you replace the butter in the crumb topping, they can easily be made vegan/dairy-free!
These are basically autumn in a muffin pan— one bite and you’ll be dreaming of crisp fall days, pumpkin spice lattes, and big slouchy sweaters.
Ingredients & Substitutions
For these small batch pumpkin crumb cake muffins, you need some pretty basic pantry ingredients:
- Butter– I prefer using unsalted butter in my baked goods, but salted is just fine too... you'll just want to omit the salt the recipe calls for in the crumb topping.
- Dark Brown Sugar– For the crumb topping. The color, moisture, and flavor you get from the molasses in dark brown sugar can't be beaten.
- Light Brown Sugar– For the pumpkin muffin base! You can obviously use dark brown sugar here if that's all you have.
- Granulated Sugar– It's nice to have a bit of balance as far as sweeteners are concerned.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice– If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/8 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves for the crumb topping and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon each of ginger and cloves for the muffins.
- Vegetable Oil– To help keep our muffins nice and moist. You could also use melted coconut oil instead!
- Pumpkin– Make sure it's pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
- All-purpose Flour– All-purpose flour consistently lead to the best results when testing these muffins.
- Fine Sea Salt– The salt helps balance all that sugar
- Baking Soda + Baking Powder– Our leavening agents to help these muffins rise.
How to Make Pumpkin Crumb Cake Muffins
Now, let’s make these muffins! For full details on how to make these pumpkin crumb cake muffins, see the recipe card down below.
1. The Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Crumb Topping
This crumb topping is dangerously good... you're gonna want to throw it on top of everything! To make, you'll begin by browning your butter on the stovetop. Once that's done, you'll simply add the dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to the brown butter. Then you'll stir in the flour, and mix with a fork until the flour is completely incorporated and crumbs form. Transfer the bowl to the fridge until you are ready to use the topping; this helps give the crumbs a chance to firm up.
2. The Pumpkin Muffin
These muffins are SO easy to make; if you can whisk/stir ingredients together, you can make these muffins! To start, you'll whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice until the ingredients are combined, then set aside.
In a separate bowl, you'll whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and pumpkin puree until they're combined. Then you'll just add in the dry ingredients and fold everything together gently until just combined and no flour pockets remain.
From there, you'll spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup almost full, and then top with the crumb topping before transferring the pan to the oven to bake!
Serving & Storage
Serving: These pumpkin crumb cake muffins need about an hour to cool down, however, you can serve them warm or at room temperature.
Storage: Leftover muffins should be stored in an airtight container and can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 days or kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Leftovers can also be individually wrapped in plastic wrap surrounded by tin foil and then be frozen for up to 3 months; thaw in the fridge or on the counter or reheat in the microwave briefly before serving.
Recipe Troubleshooting & FAQ
Can I reduce the sugar?
I wouldn't recommend it, no. It’s doing more than lending a sweet flavor; it’s actually helping with the overall structure and texture of the muffins. If you're dead set on reducing some of the sugar, however, I would suggest reducing no more than 1/4 cup (50 grams) of the granulated sugar that's in the pumpkin muffin base.
Can I double this recipe?
Yup, you can double the recipe and bake it in a standard 12-cup muffin pan; the bake time will be about the same! You can adjust the 'servings' slider from 6 to 12 to get the proper metric measurements.
How can you tell when the muffins are done baking?
A toothpick is your best friend when testing muffins for doneness. You’ll want to remove these pumpkin crumb cake muffins from the oven when your toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean. Make sure to let them cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Small Batch Pumpkin Crumb Cake Muffins
For the Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Crumb Topping:
- 57 g unsalted butter cubed
- 25 g dark brown sugar
- 18 g granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice see Ingredient Tip
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 60 g all-purpose flour
For the Pumpkin Muffins:
- 120 g all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice see Ingredient Tip
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 55 g light brown sugar
- 60 g vegetable oil
- 185 g pumpkin puree
To Make the Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Crumb Topping:
- Begin by browning the butter. Place the butter in a light-colored skillet. (A light-colored skillet will help you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it’s melted, the butter will start to foam. Keep stirring. After 5 to 8 minutes, the butter will begin browning; you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan, and you’ll start to smell a nutty aroma. Once the butter is browned, immediately remove it from the heat, and pour it into a medium heat-safe bowl.
- Add the dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to the brown butter. Stir until the ingredients are evenly combined. Add in the flour, and mix with a fork until the flour is completely incorporated. Transfer the bowl to the fridge until you are ready to use the topping.
To Make the Pumpkin Muffins:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Spray a 6-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray or line it with cupcake liners, then set it aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice until the ingredients are combined, then set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and pumpkin puree together until they are combined. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then fold everything together gently until just combined and no flour pockets remain.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup almost full; you’ll use 4 to 4½ tablespoons (90 g) of batter per cup. Take the crumb topping out of the fridge. Evenly sprinkle the mixture on top of the muffin batter. After adding the crumb topping, gently press the crumbs down into the batter so they stick when the muffins rise in the oven.
- Bake the muffins for 5 minutes. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C), and bake them for 15 to 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cover leftover muffins tightly, and store them at room temperature for 1 to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Ingredient Tip:If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/8 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves for the crumb topping and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon each of ginger and cloves for the muffins.
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Made a double batch (12) of these perfect muffins today! The perfect start to fall baking! I didn’t have pre-made pumpkin spice Mia on hand so THANK YOU for the recipe notes, it was easy to make my own! Everyone loved these! Perfectly moist and full of warm spice. Adding these to the keepers binder!
These muffins are delicious! Great for fall. Your recipes never miss the mark. Thank you for your content and can’t wait for your new book to come out. 🙂
Mike, these are absolutely delicious. Such an easy recipe with amazing results. I used vegan butter in the crumb topping and they came out perfect. This is my new go to pumpkin muffin recipe.
So glad you like them!!
Hi Mike! Saw this in the newsletter and couldn't click fast enough. Could I ask why there are no eggs in this recipe?
PS: Can't wait for your cookbook to be released.
Just the beauty of small batch baking; they aren't needed! 🙂 The pumpkin puree effectively acts as an egg replacement in this recipe; it provides both moisture and a little bit of fat and the leavening agents do the rest!