Yes, I know that’s a bold statement to call these the best. But they are ;) They are wonderfully light, have a slightly crisp and large muffin top and have the perfect pumpkin muffin flavour. Not only are they the best, they are legendary. I waited over 30 years to re-discover these muffins and now that I have, I just had to share because they are just too good to keep to myself.
Here’s the back story: When I was in High School, my friends and I would often stop at a local restaurant on the way home to enjoy a tea, a muffin and some “girl talk”. The muffins at this restaurant were fabulous. They only made one kind and it was pumpkin. They were large, light and flavourful with a lightly crisp top that was so good.
As years went by, I moved away to go to university and that local restaurant closed its doors. I never forgot those muffins though. Every time I saw a pumpkin muffin recipe, I would stick it away to try, in hopes of finding a muffin like that one. I never did find one.
Fast forward many years. I’m at my parents house and they mention something about pumpkin muffins. I relay my story about how I’ve spent decades trying to find a recipe like the pumpkin muffins I enjoyed in my youth. That’s when my mother tells me that her friend’s mother used to go in and bake at this particular restaurant. And what’s more, her friend had shared her mother’s pumpkin muffin recipe with my mother. “Maybe it’s that recipe” she says casually, as she goes for her recipe box to find it.
I quickly copied the recipe out and rushed home to try it. As soon as I looked in the oven as they were cooking, I knew this was the recipe. And when I took my first bite, I was positive.
Can you believe it? All those years searching and hoping to find this recipe and all the time my mother had it in her recipe box!!
Now, when I first saw the recipe, I realized why they were so light and yummy. 4 eggs, 2 cups of sugar, 1 1/2 cups of oil. True, these are not diet muffins. That said though, they are so very good and trying to reduce the fat in these would just be blasphemy ;) So my approach to these is to make them not too often, to sit down and enjoy one (slightly warm, with a cup of tea) and to freeze most of the rest to enjoy at a later time. All things in moderation, is my motto. I’d rather have one really good muffin than several inferior ones ;)
Summary: These are my favourite pumpkin muffins – tender and moist, with a crunchy top and perfectly pumpkin.
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
- 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- Optional: 2 cups raisins (I generally omit)
- Optional: 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, for sprinkling tops (I generally omit, but did use for the muffin pictured above. Its’ a nice addition but good either way)
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Prepare 18 muffin cups by greasing (both cup and top of tin) or lining with paper liners and lightly greasing top of tin. (These are fairly moist so paper liners are not really necessary unless you prefer.) Set prepared pans aside.
- Beat eggs slightly in a large bowl. Add sugar, oil and pumpkin and beat thoroughly. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in raisins, if using.
- Fill muffin cups as full as possible, with a dome of batter rising above the top (an ice cream scoop works well for this). If desired, sprinkle tops lightly with a bit of brown sugar.
- Bake at 375° F. for 20 – 25 minutes, testing with a cake tester to be sure they are cooked before removing from oven (If undercooked, they will collapse as they cool, so be sure to test. They will look done even when they’re not actually). Muffins should be very lightly browned on top and around edges when cooked.
- Allow to cool (or mostly at least!) in pans before removing (when warm, it is sometimes too easy to separate the top from the bottom when trying to remove as the tops are large and overlapping the top of the tin.
- These are at their best on the day they are baked. They lose their crunchy top as they sit too long at room temperature. If you aren’t eating right away, freezing is a good option to keep the crunch.
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 25 min | Total time: 35 min
Number of servings (yield): 18 muffins