Make these easy pumpkin muffins with applesauce, autumn spices and golden raisins that will make your kitchen smell fabulous. They're moist with a tender crumb, and I include my tips for the best muffins you've ever made.
You can make these pumpkin muffins without any topping, or make the optional streusel made with pumpkin seeds. The post includes adjustments to make for baking these muffins at high altitude. See the section "Make These Muffins at High Altitude".Jump to Recipe
Want to make this recipe perfectly the first time? I want to help with that. So, check out this Table of Contents to see which sections of this post will help you the most.
Autumn is pumpkin season, and often make these pumpkin ricotta pancakes, lightened with whipped egg whites. And we also crave everything apple this time of year. A warm, soft muffins with my morning coffee, IMO, is one of the best ways to combine these two flavors. Or pumpkin bread, like this boozy adult pumpkin bread made with applesauce and (optional) apple brandy.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Pumpkin and apple is a fantastic combination, especially with warm spices.
- Make them ahead, and freeze half of them in an airtight container for you next muffin emergency.
- These muffins are so tender, they practically melt in your mouth.
- Not over-the-top sweet!
🧅 Main Ingredients + Notes
The secret to faster and easier meals often lies in the ingredients. For example, store-bought items and ingredients you make ahead and store in the refrigerator (or freezer) can turn a 60-minute recipe into a 30-minutes meal or less.
For the all of the ingredients, measurements and directions for these pumpkin muffins, go to the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Pumpkin pie spices - either individual spices as listed out in the recipe, or pumpkin pie spice already combined.
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Pumpkin puree - make sure it's not pumpkin pie filling. You want 100% pumpkin.
- Vanilla Extract
- Orange juice - apple juice works well too, if you prefer that.
- Yellow raisins
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🔪 Recommended Equipment
Having the right equipment for recipes makes prepping soooo much easier. If you want more fuss-free prepping and cooking, check out my updated list of favorite kitchen tools and equipment.
- Food processor - if you make the pumpkin seed streusel.
- Muffin tin
- Muffin liners
- Standing mixer fitted with a large mixing bowl
- Rubber spatula
📝 Instructions Overview
Detailed instructions for making this pumpkin applesauce muffin recipe are in the recipe card below, but here's an overview!
Make the streusel. The streusel topping is totally optional. But make it first and set it aside if you go in that direction.
Whisk together the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, leaveners, and all the spices in a medium mixing bowl, and set aside.
Mix the wet ingredients. Cream together the butter and sugar, and add the eggs one at a time, making sure to incorporate each egg before adding the next. Add the remaining wet ingredients.
Fold. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet using a rubber spatula. Add the raisins.
Bake. Spoon into a muffin tin lined with paper liners, and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
👩🍳 Can you use oil instead of butter?
Yes! It's easy to swap out the butter for oil. You can use a neutral flavored oil such as safflower oil or canola oil, but also olive oil or coconut oil.
Here's the ratio to use making this substitution:
When swapping butter for oil, use a 3:4 ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 cup butter, use ¾ cup olive oil.
🍎 How to Make Small Batch Applesauce
I don't always have applesauce on hand, but almost always have apples. So if you need to make a quick batch of applesauce for this recipe, here's all you need do.
- Peel and core 2 large apples, and thinly slice. You should have 3 cups of sliced apples when done.
- Pile them into a medium size pan with ¼ cup water and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
- Simmer over medium-low heat until very soft.
- Either add to the pumpkin batter as is, or use an immersible blender in the pot to make a coarse apple sauce.
You should end up with 1 cup fresh applesauce.
🏔️ Make These Muffins at High Altitude
The recipe card provides directions for making these at sea level. If you're at high altitude like I am, here are the adjustments to make. (I bake at 7100 feet.) The most important adjustments are the leaveners. Otherwise the muffins could either (1) rise too quickly and collapse in on themselves, or (2) puff up over the muffin tin and crack their top surface as they bake.
- Use 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda instead of 2 teaspoons.
- Adjust the baking powder down slightly from ½ teaspoon to ⅜ teaspoon.
- Add 2 tablespoons of additional apple sauce or 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt for a little more liquid.
- The baking time will be closer to 30 - 32 minutes.
🎃 More Pumpkin Recipes
I absolutely adore pumpkin muffins, and really any kind of pumpkin breads. If you feel the same way, go check these out!
Best Pumpkin Muffins with Applesauce
- Food Processor if making the optional streusel topping
- Muffin tin for medium size muffins
Optional Streusel Topping
- 3 ⅓ cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon sea salt)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée not pie filling
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup orange juice
- 1 ½ cups golden raisins
Streusel Topping (Optional)
- To make the streusel, add the flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a mini food processor and whirl around a few times using the pulse function.
- Add the oats, pumpkin seeds, and butter. Pulse until it becomes coarse crumbs about one-half the size of peas. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F and fill the cavities of two regular sized muffin tins with paper liners.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 - 4 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to be completely absorbed before adding the next. Add the applesauce, pumpkin, vanilla, and orange juice. Beat at a medium speed until well blended.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in one-half of the dry ingredients using a spatula. Add the second half of the dry ingredients and fold in until smooth, being careful not to over mix. There might be a few lumps. Gently fold in the raisins.
- Fill each of the muffin cups about ⅔ full using a large spoon, and divide the streusel over the top of the muffins. Slide the muffin pan onto the center rack, and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean.
- Slide the muffins out of the muffin pan, and set on a cooling rack or other wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Inspired by Karen Kitchen Stories Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins.