These pumpkin pecan muffins are a delicious and classic fall treat! The tender, richly-spiced muffins pair perfectly with the crackly cinnamon sugar pecan topping. They’re also quick and easy to whip up by hand, no fuss required.

Small plate filled with pumpkin muffins topped with a brown sugar cinnamon pecan crunch topping.

The absolute fastest way to feel like a domestic goddess or god embracing all the beauty of fall? Whip up a batch of pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins. Your home is guaranteed to smell amazing, and adoring friends, neighbors, or family members are highly likely to sing your praises.

I’ve been playing around with variations on pumpkin muffins for years, mostly derived from Smitten Kitchen’s extra-large, deliciously craggy pumpkin bread recipe. Of all the experiments, these classic pumpkin muffins with a pecan crunch topping are the ones that have made the most co-workers and friends swoon over the years. One particular group of colleagues nicknamed them “insane pumpkin crack muffins,” which I especially liked. 🙂

These tasty treats are:

  • Easy to make by hand in one bowl. No electric mixer needed.
  • Tender and sweet. But not cloyingly so; I’ve actually reduced the amount of sugar slightly over the years to no complaints.
  • Perfectly spiced. As all fall treats should be.
  • Full of texture. Which part is your favorite: the crackly golden lid or the moist crumb of the muffin? Discuss.

My family devours these for a breakfast treat, which I’ll serve the kids along with some scrambled eggs and fruit, and for afternoon snacks. I do leave pecans off of some for my son, which is easy to do.

These muffins would also be lovely to serve to any houseguests you may have this season – or bring a batch to offer as a knock-your-socks-off thank you to hosts! You can also bake them ahead of time and serve for a lovely simple Thanksgiving breakfast. Yum!

Related: Feel-Good Pumpkin Muffins (a little more wholesome!)

Ingredients & Substitutions

Labeled overhead photo of flour, white sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, canola oil, pumpkin puree, eggs, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking soda, and baking powder all measured into prep bowls and ready to bake.

Here are a few notes and shopping tips about the ingredients you’ll need to make this, as well as possible substitutions. Find full amounts in the print-friendly recipe card below.

  • One can of pumpkin puree. Be sure to use 100% canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling! They are typically sold right next to one another in the store, but the pie filling is pre-loaded with spices and will not work in this recipe.
  • All-purpose flour. You can substitute at least half of the all-purpose with white whole wheat flour.
  • Canola oil. I have successfully substituted coconut oil in this recipe, too.
  • Three eggs.
  • Granulated sugar.
  • Baking powder and baking soda.
  • Spices: ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves, and table salt. If you prefer, swap in 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. Be sure to still add in the salt.
  • For the topping: brown sugar, finely-chopped pecans, and ground cinnamon.
Close up of a pumpkin pecan crunch muffin cooling on a black wire rack.

How To Make Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Muffins

This is a general overview. As always, you will find full instructions with exact ingredients and times in the print-friendly recipe card below.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and prepare a muffin tin. I like to just coat it with cooking spray and save the hassle of paper cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk the pumpkin, oil, eggs, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the dry ingredients, except the flour, on top of the pumpkin mixture and whisk again.
  4. Gently fold in the flour with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mixing just until combined, and divide batter among prepared muffin cups. They should be about 3/4 full.
  5. Quickly stir the topping ingredients together with a fork and sprinkle on top.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then, without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 12-15 minutes.
  7. Cool briefly in the pan, then twist muffins to remove from the wells and set on a wire rack to cool completely.

How to tell when muffins are done?

When done, these muffins will have a copper-like crust on top. A toothpick or a thin, sharp knife inserted into the centers will ideally come out with moist crumbs, but no large streaks of batter.

Wire cooling rack filled with pumpkin pecan muffins.

Pro Tip

Bakery-style muffin hack! Baking muffins at high heat for a few minutes helps to quickly activate the baking powder, which encourages the muffins to rise and develop those large domes that are a signature of professional bakeries. Just 5 minutes at 425 degrees F is enough to get this effect; after that amount of time, reduce the oven temperature to a medium heat (350) to let the muffins bake through without burning or overly browning on top.

Related Recipes

Diversify your fall breakfast menu: maple pumpkin pecan granola is actually my favorite ever.

In the mood for more fall treats? An old-fashioned apple crisp or apple cinnamon cookies always satisfy. You can also get your pumpkin fix in a savory way with Crockpot pumpkin chili, pumpkin hummus, and this dreamy brown butter sage sauce for pumpkin ravioli.

Overhead view of a plate of pumpkin muffins with pecans, surrounded by a blue cloth and decorative pumpkins.

If you try these Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Muffins, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.

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5 from 7 votes

Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Muffins

Moist, richly-spiced pumpkin muffins dressed up with a sweet pecan crunch topping are a classic fall treat.



  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour see note


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar light or dark
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly coat a muffin tin with baking spray or line with paper cups. (This recipe usually yields 15 regular-sized muffins for me, so I just bake 12 and then another 3 in the same pan.)
  • In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs, and sugar. Whisk until smooth.
  • Sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves over the liquid ingredients. Whisk again until evenly combined.
  • Add the flour and fold in with a spatula or wooden spoon, mixing just until combined. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin wells.
  • In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and stir with a fork. Sprinkle the mixture evenly on top of the muffins.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then, without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 12-15 minutes. When done, the muffins will have a copper-like crust on top, and a toothpick inserted into the centers will come out with moist crumbs, but no large streaks of batter.
  • Let cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Spices: If you prefer, swap in 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for the nutmeg, ginger, and cloves in the muffins. This will give your muffins more of a cinnamon-y flair. Be sure to still add in the salt.
  • Flour: Feel free to substitute up to 1/2 of the flour with white whole wheat flour.
  • Recipe: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s pumpkin bread.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 248 kcal, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Protein: 4 g, Fat: 10 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g, Trans Fat: 0.03 g, Cholesterol: 33 mg, Sodium: 148 mg, Potassium: 145 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 21 g, Vitamin A: 4461 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 38 mg, Iron: 2 mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!

This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been updated with new photographs and more helpful information on ingredients, substitutions, and the method.