Recipe Redux: Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins

When you say fall, I say …pumpkin. Yes, pumpkin is one of the iconic symbols of fall and was the first thing that popped into my head when I read this month’s Recipe Redux theme, “Orange you glad it’s fall”.  The challenge is to cook up something with carotenoid antioxidants (the pigments responsible for the bright orange color of some of my favorite fall vegetables). These substances are your body’s defense against free radicals.  Now is  the perfect time to cook seasonal orange vegetables to boost your immune system and fight back against aging! Please use my recipe and the links below this post to help you  get started!

Although I was quick to choose pumpkin as my carotenoid containing ingredient, I had a hard time narrowing it down to just one recipe! Pumpkin is good in everything from soup to smoothies. So how did I come to a decision? Well,   I approached this month’s Recipe Redux a little differently than I usually do. I am modifying an existing recipe from The Frog Commissary Cookbook to show  how you can replace one-half of the fat in a baked good with  pumpkin (or any pureed fruit or vegetable for that matter), and reduce calories and fat. Use of pumpkin gives the added bonus of adding carotenoids! With the holiday baking season getting closer, you’ll want to remember this tip to help avoid holiday weight gain and increase the nutritional value of your homemade goodies!

Interestingly enough, the recipe I am modifying, Cinnamon Butter Muffins, is a true calorie bomb with 500 calories/muffin. By replacing pumpkin for half the fat, swapping skim milk for whole milk and changing the topping, I was able to slash calories by half, fat by 75%  and sugar by 4 teaspoons. I have included a nutrition profile of both for your reference.

Before Modifications | Nutrition Profile: Cinnamon Butter Muffins: serving 1 muffin (The Frog Commissary Cookbook)

500 calories, 28 grams total fat, 18 grams saturated fat, 108 mg cholesterol, 379 mg sodium, total carbohydrate 58 grams, sugar 34 grams, 5 grams protein, 18% DV for vitamin A

After Modifications | Nutrition Profile: Cinnamon  Pumpkin Muffins : serving 1 muffin (modified recipe)

250 calories, 7 grams total fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 51 mg cholesterol, 67 mg sodium, 43 grams total carbohydrate, 19 grams sugar, 5 grams protein, 26% DV for vitamin A

What fruits and /or veggies do you add to foods as a hidden ingredient?

Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients (serves 12)

For the Muffins

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

For the Topping

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place baking cups in muffin-pan cups. Cream butter, sugar and pumpkin. Beat in eggs, salt and nutmeg. Stir in the flour and baking powder alternately with the skim milk until the mixture is just combined. Fill the muffin cups full. In a small bowl mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of muffins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. When muffins are done, let them cool for a minute and then turn onto cooling racks.

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