Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins: skip the gluten, savor the flavor

Looking for a colorful addition to your autumn bread basket?

You won’t do better than these pumpkin muffins.

Pumpkin, aside from its compelling autumnal flavor, is just plain pretty.

And unlike most fruits and vegetables, baking doesn’t seem to affect its color; your beautifully baked pumpkin muffins are just as brilliantly gold coming out of the oven as the batter was going in.

Are you hosting brunch for a crowd? Providing treats for a bake sale? So many folks are eating gluten-free these days, you’ll want to include these GF muffins.

Thankfully, they’re so tasty that even the gluten-eaters will enjoy them – and never know the difference.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan, or line the pan with papers, and grease the papers.

Whisk together the following:

3 large eggs
2 tablespoons molasses
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin purée

Set the mixture aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the following:

1 3/4 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or brown rice flour blend*
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or substitute 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg)

*Make your own brown rice flour blend: Many of our gluten-free recipes use our King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour, which includes ingredients that reduce the grittiness sometimes found in gluten-free baked goods. Our flour also increases the shelf life of your treats, keeping them fresh longer. The following make-at-home blend, featuring stabilized brown rice flour, works pretty well when substituted; and it tastes better than a blend using regular brown rice flour.

Whisk together 6 cups (32 ounces) King Arthur stabilized brown rice flour; 2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) potato starch; and 1 cup (4 ounces) tapioca flour or tapioca starch. Store airtight at room temperature. Note: You can substitute white rice flour for the brown rice flour if you like; it’ll make your baked goods grittier (unless you manage to find a finely ground version).

Add 1/2 cup soft butter.

Mix with an electric mixer until crumbly. The mixture will look like coarse sand.

Add the pumpkin mixture a bit at a time, beating well with an electric mixer after each addition.

Really, do this a blob at a time; don’t just dump the entire bowl of pumpkin/eggs into the dry ingredients all at once.

Also, be sure to scrape the bowl each time you add more of the pumpkin mixture. GF batters can be quite sticky, and you want to make sure you’ve collected all the “goo” off the bottom and sides.

Once all the pumpkin is added, beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, mounding the cups full. An overfilled muffin scoop works well here.

The batter will rise above the level of each cup; that’s fine.

Let the muffins rest for 10 minutes.

Bake the muffins for 22 to 25 minutes.

When done, the middle of a muffin will spring back when lightly touched.

Remove the muffins from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

If your fingers can stand the heat, tip them in the muffin cups so their bottoms don’t steam. If you’re dexterous, you can do this with the tip of a table knife.

Break open and serve warm.

Butter is a good accompaniment, of course; as is apple butter, or pumpkin butter.

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Cindy

    These muffins came out great and I love King Arthur’s Gluten Free flour. I altered the recipe by adding honey instead of molasses and I added 1 full teaspoon of xanthan gum, as I tend to add 1 teaspoon per cup of gluten free flour. I didn’t have pumpkin spice so I added 1/4 tsp. of ginger, 1 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. of nutmeg. I also put on top a streusel like topping of brown sugar, gf flour and butter. Muffins definitely stuck to the baking cups since I didn’t grease them. But they taste great and I can freeze them and have them later. Even my non-gluten free sons like them.

    Reply
  2. Heidi

    I just made these this morning because I had 1/2 can of pumpkin that needed to be used. After I’d already started putting it together I noticed the recipe called for a whole can. I was about to add a banana or something but decided to wait until everything was mixed and see if it was moist enough. I didn’t quite measure the (blackstrap) molasses so I think I put too much but it helped with the moisture. The texture looked just great so I went ahead and baked a batch. I always make gluten-free muffins in mini muffin pans. They tend to cook better that way, I’ve found. I only cooked them at 350 for 10 mins (although I could have possibly done 11-12). (I didn’t let them sit first). After I put them in the oven I scrolled down the recipe and realized I’d forgotten the butter! But they turned out great! More like molasses cookies (even with that beautiful crinkly top). They were really good and my family loved them! I dipped the tops in a little butter and coarse sugar because the crinkly tops just looked like they need something crunchy added 😉 Saving this recipe as a favorite 🙂

    Reply
  3. Maureen

    I made these for the first time last week. It was a last-minute decision, so I ended up making some emergency substitutions: only had Eggbeaters, not eggs; had to substitute applesauce for half the butter; and I realized *after* we’d eaten a few that I’d used KAF GF baking mix, not GF flour! By rights, they should’ve been a disaster but they weren’t. They would have benefited from a few more minutes in the oven, but they were otherwise fine. I’ll definitely be making them again.

    Reply
  4. Maria

    How can I covert this recipe to use your GF Baking mix instead of just the GF multi-purpose flour? I’m almost out of the flour but have some baking mix on hand and wondered if that’s a better conversion than just using the muffin mix that I also have on hand. Also do you recommend sprinkling raw or roasted pumpkin seeds on top? Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Maria- Unfortunately, there is no good way to convert this recipe to work with the baking mix as that is a blend of ingredients that you won’t be able to properly imitate since we do not have the proportions of all the various specialty ingredients contained in the mix. We also do not recommend trying to add pumpkin into the muffin mix as it was very carefully balanced as is and the pumpkin puree would disrupt that balance and significantly change the resulting texture of the muffin. I would recommend using this recipe instead to make up pumpkin muffins as it is already balanced to work well with the multi-purpose flour: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free-pumpkin-cake-bars-recipe. I hope that helps and if you have any more questions, please feel free to contact our Baker’s Hotline at 1-855-371-2253. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      As well as most baked goods, Phyllis. Wrap well, and don’t expect them to remain fresh-tasting more than 3-4 weeks. PJH

  5. James Sklar

    I am planning on making this recipe with stevia. Since the molasses will be omitted, is there another substitute? Also, three eggs seems excessive, could I use 1 or 2? And I don’t use baking powder, I use baking soda, would it be a 1:1 sub?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I’m sorry to say that the changes you are asking for will greatly alter this recipe. The sugar and eggs in this recipe provide structure and the baking powder is required for leavening. While some alterations may work, I fear that changing these important ingredients will end in recipe failure. Good good with your substitutions, and happy baking! Jon@KAF

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