These Spicy Paleo Pumpkin Muffins are grain-free and vegetarian. Perfect grab-and-go breakfast!
Photography Credit:Sabrina Modelle
Pumpkin pancakes and cinnamon rolls are well and good, but what about those of us who like something savory instead of sweet for our weekday breakfasts? These Paleo muffins prove that pumpkin plays just as well with cumin and paprika as it does with cinnamon and nutmeg.
These muffins make a great grab-and-go breakfast or a healthy afternoon snack. They are also grain-free and very nutritious!
I used a small pie pumpkin in these muffins, though you could use any hard winter squash or carrots. Just avoid pumpkin puree because the muffins will end up too wet. (Also avoid the giant pumpkins used for carving jack-o-lanterns; those aren’t very tasty!)
If Paleo baking feels daunting, this is a great recipe to start with. You only need a few special paleo flours and the recipe is really easy to mix together. Be sure to let the batter rest for a few minutes before baking the muffins to give the flour time to absorb the moisture.
Here’s a brief run down of the flours we’ll be using in this mix:
Ground Almond Flour: Ground almond flour is made from blanched almonds with the skins removed. Look specifically for “fine ground” flour for this recipe. This is key for muffins with a light texture. Coarse almond flour will be heavier and have a tendency to clump.
Almond flour a great base flour for Paleo baking because it has a very neutral flavor. It also gives baked goods a tender crumb and it has pretty good binding power (something non-gluten flours are often missing). Because of the high fat content of almond flour, we don’t need as much other fat in the recipe.
Coconut Flour: Coconut flour is made from the fibers of ground coconut. It will absorb up a TON of moisture in recipes, so it’s usually used in conjunction with other flours. Coconut flour tastes mildly of coconut, but because we’re using just a small amount, it won’t add a lot of flavor to this recipe.
Tapioca Flour : Tapioca flour, also known as tapioca starch, is the pure starch of the cassava. It has very good binding power and also lightens up a batter made with the almond and coconut flours. It is neutral in taste.
You can find all these flours at natural food stores, like Whole Foods. Many nationwide grocery stores are also starting to stock them more regularly. Look in both the baking aisle and the bulk bin section.
The muffins are also very forgiving to first-time Paleo bakers and quite versatile. I’ve made them with carrots instead of pumpkin and even added a 1/2 cup of crumbled feta into the batter – both versions turned out great. You could even add in some cooked sausage or crumbled bacon for extra protein!
The muffins are moist, flavorful, and keep well. We stored them covered at room temperature for a couple of days. For longer storage, wrap tightly and refrigerate.
Spicy Paleo Pumpkin Muffins Recipe
You can substitute any hard winter squash or carrots for the pumpkin.
To grate the pumpkin, cut it into large pieces, scoop out the seeds, and grate the flesh on a box grater until you hit the skin. Alternatively, you can cut away the skin and grate in a food processor.
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 3/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon crushed chili flakes (I used chipotle chili flakes)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup olive oil, melted ghee, or melted butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 packed cup grated raw sugar or pie pumpkin (avoid jack-o-lantern pumpkins)
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3/4 cups toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds (divided)
- 12-cup muffin tin
1 Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with muffin papers
2 Sift together the dry ingredients: Sift together the almond flour, tapioca starch, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. I like to sift at least twice with Paleo baked goods to make sure there are no clumps and everything is well-mixed.
3 Mix together the wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then whisk in the oil, honey, and vinegar.
4 Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently until combined.
5 Gently stir in the grated pumpkin, bell pepper, onion, and 1/2 cup of pepitas. Save the rest of the pepitas for topping. Rest the batter for at least 10 minutes so that the flours can hydrate.
6 Fill each muffin wells up to the top. Top each muffin with a few of the remaining 1/4 cup of pepitas.
7 Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. When done, the muffins should look toasted around the edges, be dry on top, and a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean.
8 Cool and serve (or store): Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack. Cool briefly before serving, or cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days (or refrigerate for up to a week).
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Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
These Paleo Pumpkin Muffins are so easy to make and incredibly delicious! Gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free- they make a great snack or dessert.
It’s September and I am so ready for fall! We had a very hot summer here in Michigan and I’m looking forward to cooler temps and all things pumpkin and apple! I just couldn’t wait any longer to break out the pumpkin and these muffins did not disappoint! They are kind of a cross between a muffin and pie- not quite as dense as pie, but not quite as fluffy as a traditional muffin. They are absolutely perfect and I couldn’t quit eating them!
My Paleo Pumpkin Coffee Cake is so good and everyone that tries it loves it (just read those comments!), but sometimes you need a pumpkin treat that is quicker. This are made and ready to eat in 30 minutes- yay!
They are so easy to make. Everything is mixed in one bowl, by hand, and they are in the oven in under 10 minutes. The smell that fills your house while they’re baking is another reminder why I love fall so much! The cozy, comforting aroma of fresh baked goods is the best! Once they’re baked they are best stored in the fridge after 24 hours. Paleo baked treats tend to not last as long at room temperature- eat them cold or warm them up for a few seconds. Both ways are so good!
These muffins are tender, just the right sweetness, and perfectly spiced. If you love pumpkin pie then you will love these muffins! All the flavor, but easier to make and hand-held!
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How To Make Pumpkin Muffins
Once you make this pumpkin muffin recipe the first time and you figure out how amazing they are, you will want them on a weekly basis… all… fall… long. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Ok, let me show you how to make these luscious pumpkin spice muffins I keep talking about:
- Mix the paleo pumpkin muffin batter. Combine the almond flour, arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and sea salt together.
- Stir in the wet ingredients. Mix in the eggs, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla. Fold in paleo chocolate chips.
- Bake the healthy pumpkin muffins. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin and bake for 5 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Make chocolate ganache. Mix together the coconut milk, maple syrup, chocolate, and vanilla by heating with low heat.
- Top the muffins with ganache. Allow the muffins to cool after baking and top with chocolate ganache frosting.
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Packed with all the flavors of pumpkin pie, these pumpkin spice muffins will sweeten up breakfast in a nutritious way, so that you don’t, you know, actually eat pie for breakfast.
These are exceptionally quick and easy, requiring only a handful of ingredients and less than an hour of your time. Eggs, pumpkin, coconut and coconut flour combine to make an especially moist muffin, while the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in pumpkin pie spice provide festive flavor. With only a few dashes of maple syrup, they’re not overly sweet, making them a more balanced breakfast. But if you’re looking to indulge, an optional dusting of a coconut sugar and pumpkin spice blend helps sweeten things up.
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Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between a cupcake and a muffin – especially nutritionally. But with a good dose of superfood pumpkin, the healthy fats of coconut oil, gluten-free tapioca and coconut flours, and minimal low-glycemic sweeteners, you can feel good about eating these pumpkin spice muffins. Thanks to pumpkin being packed with dietary fiber, two of these smaller-sized muffins will be sure to fill you up.
This recipe is simple and straightforward, but there are many ways to dress it up. Add nuts like pecans, walnuts or almonds for crunch. Go for a decadent twist and add chocolate chips. For even more seasonal flavors, try adding cranberries and orange zest. You could even attempt to top them with a Paleo crumb topping: Just combine nuts, almond flour and coconut oil (or pastured butter) and crumble over the muffins’ tops before baking.
You’re also welcome to leave your muffins naked, so to speak. We topped ours with a quick swipe of coconut oil and a blend of coconut sugar and pumpkin spice once the muffins cooled. Definitely enjoy these with your warm beverage of choice!
How to make paleo pumpkin muffins from scratch
The basic ingredients for muffins include flour, leavening agent, egg, oil, salt, and sugar (we use maple syrup here). To make paleo pumpkin muffins, we incorporate natural ingredients, such as almond and coconut flour, pumpkin puree, and coconut oil.
Similar to regular muffins, dry ingredients (i.e. flour, salt, and baking soda) are mixed together before combining with the wet ingredients (i.e. pumpkin puree, egg, maple syrup, and oil). Then we spoon the batter into paper liners and bake at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes.
And, of course in our recipe we also add in chopped pecans, orange zest, and orange juice. The final step we did was to top the muffins with pecans.
What You Need for Paleo Pumpkin Spice Muffins
You can definitely carve a pumpkin, remove the seeds, roast it until tender and then blend it to form a purée. Or, you can buy a can of pumpkin purée and make your life that much easier. My only word of advice is to select a canned pumpkin that is 100% pumpkin purée. Many brands will sneak in sweeteners and preservatives that are unnecessary.
To keep things gluten-free and grain-free, I use a combination of almond flour and coconut flour. I like to combine these two flours for two reasons:
- Almond flour is expensive so combining it with a different alternative flour will save you money.
- Coconut flour is more dense than almond flour and I find that it gives the muffins more structure.
If you have a nut allergy or dislike the flavour of coconut, read my note below on substitutions.
Using a full-fat coconut milk will add some richness and texture to the paleo pumpkin spice muffins. It’s important to use a brand of coconut milk that tastes good to you, otherwise there’s a chance you won’t like the muffins. My personal favourite brands are Aroy D and Savoy.
I typically prefer to make my own spice blends because it’s more affordable and I can control the amount of certain ingredients, like sodium. In this case, however, I actually like to buy a pre-made pumpkin spice blend. The reason is because I rarely use some of the key ingredients in pumpkin spice, namely ground clove, so I don’t want to buy an entire package or jar of it only to have it sit in my cupboard for a year.
Just be sure to purchase a pumpkin spice blend that is free of sweeteners and additives.
Rather than use refined sugar, I like to sweeten the muffins with an all-natural maple syrup. The flavours pair great with the warmth of the pumpkin spice. If you don’t have maple syrup, you can use honey.
For some extra protein and healthy fat, I like to add some almond butter to the muffin mix. It’s the same trick I use in my Paleo Banana Bread recipe.
Making the Pumpkin Muffins
These paleo pumpkin muffins are simple and great on their own. The muffins are made with cassava flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, eggs, ghee, maple syrup, and a full cup pumpkin puree (bring on the pumpkin flavor!), and they’re seasoned with cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and vanilla extract. And of course, they need a little baking soda to help them rise.
To make the base, you’ll simply whisk the dry ingredients together, and then fold in the wet ingredients until everything is combined. Pour the batter into parchment paper liners in a muffin tin and you’re in business.
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Mocha Muffins
Can we officially call it pumpkin season yet. I know, I know… summer doesn’t end until the end of September BUT everyone else seems to be jumping on the pumpkin train early this year and I couldn't be left out, so I whipped up the paleo pumpkin spice mocha muffins of your DREAMS.
These moist (sorry not sorry it’s the perfect word to describe them), decadent, DELICIOUS paleo pumpkin spice mocha muffins are like the best of ALL worlds - pumpkin, chocolate and coffee, without the grains, gluten, dairy or refined sugar.
Honestly, does it get better than this!?
No matter the time of year, I always love baking, but especially in fall. There’s just something about being able to wear my coziest sweatshirt and turn on John Mayer and bake my little heart out (without sweating when the oven turns on) and eat whatever I create with a steaming cup of tea that makes my heart want to burst.
And it’s funny, thinking back on my childhood, I was always the one who loved baking. During the holidays I was in charge of dessert or cookies or our weekly stash of baked breads or muffins. At that age I would just follow the recipe in whatever cookbook or magazine I found in my mom’s stash, but even without the recipe development part, baking always lit me up.
I think a lot of it had to do with making something that brought joy to the people around me. Food, (and I believe especially baked treats) has the power to heal and bring people together. It can make a bad day a little better and can make a good day great.
Now I get even more joy out of baking because I’m able to make sweet treats and goodies that can bring joy to SO many, despite how messed up our guts are or how limited our diets are.
So when I bite into one of these paleo pumpkin spice mocha muffins I’m reminded of why I love baking and why I love creating recipes - because it brings people together, it makes those of us with health issues feel a little more normal, and it gives tangibility to all of the reasons why I love fall.
Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
These Paleo Pumpkin Muffins, made with coconut flour and almond butter, are moist, fluffy, and lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. These healthy muffins make a great breakfast or snack and freeze well.
So I’ve been in my apartment for a few weeks now, and even though I’m still not done furnishing and decorating because I’m so darn picky, I’m loving it here SO much!
The place is bathed in natural light during the day thanks to the floor to ceiling windows, which makes it perfect for taking photos and makes it a wonderfully happy place to spend the day. I also finally got a kitchen island from IKEA just set up yesterday, which will makes my kitchen even more functional.
It’s all starting to come together! Whenever I look around and realize this is my first apartment and it’s SO awesome, I have to pinch myself that it’s all real. I promise I’ll share pictures soon!
For now, though, I’m sharing the latest treat to come out of my new kitchen :) these paleo pumpkin muffins! Pumpkin muffins are a classic, right?
The best ones have to be moist, fluffy, and lightly spiced – not too dry, not too wet, and definitely not bland. The spices can’t be too overpowering though, either – when it comes to spices, everyone has their own preferences.
The amounts listed in the recipe are perfect for me, but if you love spice, add more cinnamon and nutmeg, and if you prefer it super subtle, reduce the amounts. This recipe uses a good deal of pumpkin, and the warm spices help to highlight the pumpkin flavor.
This recipe gets moisture and fat from coconut and almond butter. Any nut butter you’d like can be used in place of the almond butter, but I think the almond butter adds a nice subtle nuttiness to the flavor of the muffins.
This is a coconut flour recipe, and because I know someone will ask, no other flour will work!!Coconut flour is a unique beast and it’s much more absorbent than any other flours. Because of it’s absorbency, we only have to use a small amount. If you subbed in another flour, the muffins would be way too wet. Thankfully, coconut flour is pretty cheap and a little bit goes a long way!
The muffins are topped with a mix of cinnamon and coconut sugar, and a sprinkle of pepitas adds some color. The resulting muffins make the perfect breakfast or snack, and they keep super well in the freezer. Just pop one in the microwave when you’re ready to enjoy!
This recipe is just waiting for you to add your favorite goodies to it – toss in some chocolate chunks, dried fruit, or nuts for an even better, customized treat ) how good would chocolate chunks and Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Snapchat
Why we love this delicious pumpkin muffin recipe
- This healthy pumpkin muffin recipe is so easy to make and comes together in just ONE bowl with NO mixer required.
- Made with wholesome grain-free, dairy-free, paleo and gluten-free ingredients that you can enjoy as a healthy breakfast, afternoon snack or after dinner dessert.
- Full of cozy warm spices and delicious pumpkin flavor.
- An easy and healthy pumpkin muffin recipe made with simple ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen pantry.