This easy recipe for gluten-free pumpkin muffins combines brown sugar and pumpkin spice to make the best muffins. They’re lightly sweet with the perfect spicy flavor. The muffins come out moist and tender every time. To make a batch, mix the batter, spoon into a muffin tin, and bake. The cooled muffins freeze beautifully.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins
For a long time, I didn’t think I needed a recipe for gluten-free pumpkin muffins. After all, I’ve got a great recipe for gluten-free pumpkin bread. But just like gluten-free banana bread is different than gluten-free banana muffins, pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins are two separate treats. They aren’t as sweet or as rich. And like most gluten-free muffins, they’re really easy to make.
- Gluten-Free Flour. A gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan or guar gum makes these muffins light and tender. The recipe was developed with Bob’s Red Mill’s 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda. Using both baking powder and baking soda helps the muffins to rise and brown beautifully.
- Pumpkin Spice. For the classic “pumpkin” flavor, use pumpkin pie spice. This blend of spices usually contains cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. If you don’t keep pumpkin spice in the house, I’ve included a recipe for it below.
- Salt. A little bit of salt enhances the flavors. Muffins made without salt tend to taste flat. Table salt is best for baking because the texture is fine and it easily mixes into the batter.
- Pumpkin Puree. Canned pumpkin (also called pumpkin puree) brings moisture and flavor. Be sure to use pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Brown Sugar. Adds sweetness and flavor. You can use either light or dark brown sugar. Both work great! If you use dark brown sugar, the muffins bake a little darker and have a slightly stronger molasses flavor.
- Oil or Melted Butter. Oil or melted butter makes these muffins rich and tender.
- Eggs. Two eggs help give the muffins a nice cakey texture.
How to Make Perfect Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins.
Step One: Preheat the oven.
Muffins started in a cold oven can turn out dense and heavy. Full-size ovens take about 15 minutes to preheat. I usually turn mine on and then measure my ingredients. This way, the oven is at the right temperature after I’ve made the batter.
Step Two: Make the batter.
You need one large bowl to make this recipe. First, whisk the dry ingredients together. This helps evenly distribute the baking powder, baking soda, and salt throughout the gluten-free flour. Why does this matter? When baking powder and soda are mixed evenly into the flour, the muffins rise evenly.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth. You can use an electric mixer or a handheld whisk to make this batter. After mixing, scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to clear any flour that might be clinging to the bowl.
Line your muffin pan with paper liners or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Fill each muffin cup about ⅔ full. If the cups are too full, they can overflow as they bake and stick to the pan.
Step Three: Bake the Muffins.
These muffins take about 20 minutes to bake. Check for doneness by inserting a cake tester into the center of one of the muffins or gently press down on the top of the muffin. Look for it to spring back to the touch. If it feels damp or squishy, it’s not done.
Let the muffins cool for about five minutes in the pan. Then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely. A rack allows steam to escape quickly from the muffins. When the steam gets caught between the muffin and pan, the bottom of the muffin can get soggy.
How to Store and Freeze Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins.
These muffins are very moist and remain fresh for about three to four days when stored covered on the counter.
If you need to store the muffins longer than that, it’s best to freeze them. After the muffins are completely cool, place them into a freezer bag or container. They keep well in the freezer for up to three months.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins
These gluten-free pumpkin muffins are soft, sweet, and nicely spiced. This one-bowl recipe is so easy to make. (Gluten-free/dairy-free.)
- 2 cups gluten-free baking flour, see note 1 (9 ounces/ 260 grams)
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice, see note 2
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup lightly packed dark brown sugar (5 ½ ounces/ 155 grams)
- 2 large eggs (about 4 ounces; 113 grams)
- ½ cup oil or 1 stick butter, melted and slightly cooled (4 ounces; 113 grams)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk together the gluten-free flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Add pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs, and oil. Mix until a batter forms. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix any flour that’s clinging to the bottom of the bowl into the batter.
Fill prepared muffin cups about ⅔ full.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Store, wrapped, on the counter for up to three days or freeze for up to three months.
Note 1: Gluten-Free Flour.
This recipe was developed with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour. Use a gluten-free flour that contains xanthan or guar gum. If your blend does not contain xanthan or guar gum, whisk 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum into the flour before using.
Note 2: Homemade Pumpkin Spice.
To make your own pumpkin pie spice, whisk together
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon.
1 teaspoon ground ginger.
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice.