Zagreb is slowly starting the dance from summer heat to cooler temps, back and forth as we get closer to Autumn. Our neighbors gifted us with their first pumpkins and all kinds of white, orange and yellow varieties are popping up at the markets. The exciting start to the changing of seasons isn’t the only reason I’ve been making these delicious muffins, though. I make them year-round for our kids because they go absolutely crazy for them!
You can cook or bake something so delicious that it is a total joy to eat, but sometimes there’s far more joy in the cooking, when you know those smiles and happy little faces will run excitedly into the kitchen at the first smell of their favorite treat baking in the oven.
Our whole family loves these, but seeing that sweet face, I think I’m secretly the one who enjoys them the most!
Pumpkin Spice Muffins (Inspired by Smitten Kitchen)
(makes around 18)
15 oz canned pumpkin
1/2 C olive oil
1 1/3 C raw sugar + more for topping
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 C flour (substitute gluten-free if need be!)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon + more for topping
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 C – 1 C chocolate chips (optional but highly recommended!)
This is adapted from a recipe I found years ago on Smitten Kitchen. It’s now lovingly our own version here, but I’ve always stayed close to SK’s recipe thanks to how moist and flavorful these muffins are!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, 176 degrees C. Place liners in a standard muffin pan.
Gently combine the pumpkin, olive oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Gently add in the remaining ingredients except for the chocolate chips. If using, gently fold in. Pour batter into the liners at 3/4 full. Sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar on top.
Bake for 25 minutes (my oven cooks quickly!) and check with a knife or toothpick to make sure the muffins are cooked through in the center.