Pumpkin spice muffins are one of those magical treats everyone loves. Pumpkin is a unique vegetable that easily turns into a delightful dessert that you didn’t know you needed. This semi-homemade recipe is one that combines a dry cake mix, pumpkin puree, applesauce, and walnuts to create a muffin that makes you feel like a baking genius!
Another great breakfast or dessert we love are these pumpkin donuts with cream cheese glaze. An easy healthy baked donut you will fall in love with making for your family!
Pumpkin Spice Muffins Classic Fall Dessert
When it comes to most recipes here, I look for healthier options that can easily fit into a variety of dietary needs. While this recipe is using a processed cake mix, it still fits into a healthier lifestyle for most people. How? Because it is still low fat, high in nutrients thanks to the pumpkin and walnuts, and of course delicious.
Can this be made gluten-free pumpkin muffins?
Yes! If you need gluten-free or even sugar-free options, there are cake mix options that fit both of those dietary restrictions. Just substitute those mixes in place of a traditional cake mix. Most brands of gluten-free or sugar-free cake mixes are the same sizes a traditional cake mix. If for some reason there is not as much dry mix in the alternate options, you can cut back on the pumpkin puree needed by 1/4 cup and adjust if the batter feels too dry.
Tip: If not available in a spice flavor, use a yellow cake mix and add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.
Variations of the best pumpkin muffins
There are many ways you can mix up this muffin recipe to make it more unique to your tastes! Get creative and use some of the tips below to add flare to your muffin recipe.
- Add 1 cup mini chocolate chips or sugar-free chocolate chips to the mix
- Replace the walnuts with pecans
- Mix in white chocolate chips into the batter
- Add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the batter
- Mix in 1/2 cup diced apple pieces
- Replace 1/2 cup of cake mix with 1/2 cup quick oats
Can I freeze these cake mix muffins?
You can definitely pop these pumpkin spice muffins into the freezer to eat at a later date. In fact, one of my favorite tips for meal prep is to make things like this in bulk batches to freeze. I know I can grab just a few muffins at a time from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator to use with yogurt for a healthy breakfast or snack.
Make the muffins as directed below, then allow them to cool completely. Once cooled, drop them into a labeled and dated large freezer storage bag. When ready to eat, just pop them out and thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or microwave for 30-second increments until thawed and heated through.
Curious about how I meal prep? Check out my meal prep week 1 tutorial for some great recipes, tips, and tricks. You may also enjoy my pumpkin pie overnight oats as an easy breakfast that can be prepped a few days ahead of time.
- Dry spice cake mix
- Pumpkin puree
- Unsweetened applesauce
How to make pumpkin spice muffins
Preheat your oven as directed and prepare muffin cups. You can line them with parchment paper cupcake liners, or spray with nonstick spray. I also have used silicone muffin pans for this to prevent them from sticking.
Mix your batter as directed, and spoon into the muffin cups to bake.
Serve hot with a bit of butter, or alone as you prefer.
4 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins Recipe
- Muffin tin
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- 1 spice cake mix dry mix only
- 4 oz unsweetened applesauce
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp walnuts chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and line or spray a 12-count muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
- Chop walnuts and set aside
- In a large stand-up mixer or a bowl with a hand-held mixer, mix together the dry cake mix, applesauce, and canned pumpkin.
- Mix for 2-3 minutes, until mixed well and fluffy.
- Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, spoon equal amounts of cake mix into the muffin tins.
- Sprinkle the walnuts on top of each muffin before baking.
- Bake muffins until the edges are golden brown, 18-20 minutes.