Sunday, February 9, 2014

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins

This past Christmas, my sister Lara and I received a couple of wonderful cookbooks. I got Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi which I had first checked out from the library and loved. Lara got Sarabeth's Bakery by Sarabeth Levine which she has been eyeing for some time now, and finally owns. We dug into Sarabeth's Bakery first. It was so difficult trying to decide what to make. Everything sounds so good and looks beautiful. We finally decided on our first recipe, these perfect pumpkin muffins. 

These muffins are pretty close to perfect. They came out of the oven looking absolutely gorgeous. Tall and domed as every muffin should be. Even with an entire can of pumpkin puree, these muffins actually aren't overly pumpkin-y. They are actually quite mild, and not overly sweet, exactly what I need on some days. But if you're feeling a little extra indulgent, I think a handful or two of mini chocolate chips would be an excellent addition, that's what I'm going to try next!

In the cookbook, it says this recipe will yield 12-14 muffins. Well, I got 24 out of it. They weren't huge, but they were the perfect size for me. I didn't have to bake them as long either, so if you make them smaller make sure to keep an eye on them so they don't over-bake. 

Like I above, these muffins aren't overly sweet, they are definitely muffins, not cupcakes, which is how I like it. The batter is super thick which helps them bake up beautifully domed and craggily. In fact, after they were baked I could still see where each individual scoop of batter was placed in the muffin tins, the batter is that thick. So if you want beautifully domed muffins, make sure not to smooth out the batter after you fill the tins, keep the scoops nice and rounded (this is where a cookie scoop comes in handy) because this is how they will bake up.

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins
Adapted from: Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours
  • Softened unsalted butter, for the pan
  • 3 2/3 cups pastry flour, sifted (I used about 17 ounces all purpose flour with a few tablespoons cornstarch)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 1/3 cups superfine sugar (I used 10 ounces granulated sugar that I processed in my NutriBullet)
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
  • One 15-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Brush the insides of 12 to 14 muffin cups with softened butter, then brush the top of the pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt together into a medium bowl. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until creamy, about I minute. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating, scraping the sides of the bowl often with a silicone spatula, until the mixture is very light in color and texture, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs. Reduce the mixture speed to low. Beat in the pumpkin; the mixture may look curdled. In thirds, beat in the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, and mix until smooth. 

Using a 2½ inch-diameter ice-cream scoop, portion the batter, rounded side up, into the prepared cups. 

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking until the tops of the muffins are golden brown and a wire tester inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean, about 15 minutes more.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely.

Bakers Note: If you use generous scoops of batter, the yield will be 12 muffins. For smaller muffins, use 7 muffin cups in each of 2 muffin pans. Distribute the batter in a random pattern (not in rows) in each pan so the muffins bake evenly. 


  1. Well this look incredible Jane! I love them. They look perfect indeed! I think I`ll give them a try next time!

    1. Oh do! I highly recommend! And you can always cut back on the sugar ;)

  2. I'm going to try these today. Except I don't have a ice cream scoop. What would be the equivalent to that?

    1. You don't need a cookie scoop, it can just sometimes make things a little easier/less messy. A spoon and your finger, or a couple spoons will work just as well. Enjoy!