These Perfect Pumpkin Muffins Are the Only Muffins That Got a 10/10 Rating From Us

published Oct 10, 2023
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Some of Lovely Little Kitchen's pumpkin muffins cooling on rack
Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

When it came time to choose contenders for The Kitchn’s pumpkin muffin recipe showdown, including Lovely Little Kitchen’s “best-ever” pumpkin muffin recipe was a no-brainer. It’s the first hit on Google when you search “pumpkin muffins,” has a 4.8-star rating (out of 5 stars), and has pages upon pages of glowing reviews. 

The more I read about these muffins, the more excited I got. According to the blog post, these muffins are perfectly puffy, kid-approved, and “anything but dry.” Plus, I appreciated that they could stand on their own — no glaze or powdered sugar needed. And while I had never cooked a recipe from Lovely Little Kitchen before, Julie, the creator of the blog, says she’s known for her sweets and baked goods

Could these muffins live up to their best-ever promise? I headed to the kitchen to find out. 

Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

How to Make Lovely Little Kitchen’s Best Ever Pumpkin Muffins

This batter comes together fast. In fact, the oven had barely finished preheating by the time I was ready to put the muffins in. 

You’ll start by lining a muffin tin with paper liners and preheating the oven to 375°F. Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices (cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg) in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, a full can of pumpkin purée, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. If you’re worried about the coconut flavor, don’t be: I used unrefined virgin oil and couldn’t taste it in the finished muffins. That said, Julie says you can use avocado, canola, or vegetable oil in its place. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir with a silicone spatula until just incorporated. The batter will be very thick. Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter among 12 muffin cups. You’ll have enough to fill each one basically to the top. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. The recipe doesn’t provide any cooling instructions, so I let the muffins cool in the tin on a wire rack for five minutes, then turned them out onto the rack to cool completely. 

Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

My Honest Review of Lovely Little Kitchen’s Best Ever Pumpkin Muffins

Wow. These muffins more than delivered on their promise. They baked up beautifully, with an impressive rise and a lovely orange hue, and filled the kitchen with the most delicious aroma. Because I filled the tins so high, I was worried they would overflow, but they simply puffed right up. 

Most importantly, these muffins were unbelievably moist — and stayed this way for days. It was the exact texture you hope for in any homemade muffin, and everyone who tasted one raved about it. I attribute the texture to the use of coconut oil, the full can of pumpkin, and the dark brown sugar, which contains slightly more moisture than light brown and also adds richer caramel flavor. 

The muffins are definitely on the sweeter side — the omission of a glaze or frosting is really the only thing keeping them from tasting like cupcakes — and the spice flavor is pretty subtle. But honestly, I think that’s what makes them so crowd-pleasing. They’re basically mini versions of Starbucks’ pumpkin bread — and if you know me, you know that’s the very best compliment I can give.  

Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

If You’re Making Lovely Little Kitchen’s Best Ever Pumpkin Muffins, a Few Tips 

  1. Use a large mixing bowl for the dry ingredients. Julie calls for a medium bowl, but because you’ll be adding the wet ingredients to the dry, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of room. 
  2. Add more spices, if you prefer. If you enjoy a boldly spiced muffin, try doubling the spices called for, adding some ground ginger, or sprinkling the tops with pumpkin pie spice.  
  3. Don’t wait for a toothpick to come out clean. Julie says to bake the muffins for 20 to 22 minutes, but mine needed 25 before the tops were set. Even then, my toothpick came out with a few moist crumbs attached.

Rating: 10/10

This article originally published on The Kitchn. See it there: These Perfect Pumpkin Muffins Stay Moist for Days