Healthy Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Muffins


(Updated 09/21/22)

A muffin to celebrate fall (but worth eating all year around!). These nutritious spiced muffins celebrate seasonal pumpkin, feature protein-packed almond flour and use heart-healthy olive oil instead of butter. They're a great breakfast or wholesome snack to take on the go.

If there was ever a healthy baked good to represent Autumn these pumpkin muffins would be a hot contender. They’re rustic and homely, are made with warming spices, and hero seasonal pumpkin – the quintessential root veggie of fall!

Like all recipes on Nourish and Tempt, they’re nutritionally considered too. Almond flour bumps the protein content, and swapping butter for olive oil boosts the heart-healthy fats. They’re also not overtly sweet – they require just half a cup of pure maple syrup for the whole batch, with fall spices and pumpkins natural sweetness making up the rest🤙.

Unlike others abroad, it’s not all that common to bake sweet treats with pumpkin in New Zealand. Bananas? Yes. Carrot (cake)? Absolutely. So, if this is your first time using pumpkin this way, I hope these muffins squash (geddit?) any further apprehension.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Homemade or canned pumpkin purée. For homemade pumpkin purée, simply blend boiled and skinless pumpkin until silky smooth. If opting for canned pumpkin (common in the USA), make sure it’s not pumpkin pie filling. We’re after pure pumpkin here, without added flavours.
  • Plain flour. Go for regular or gluten-free. I use gluten-free and love it!
  • Almond flour aka ground almonds. Ideally look for a blend made from blanched peeled almonds as it has a finer crumb and texture compared to unpeeled.
  • Olive oil replaces butter which make these dairy-free and brings a good source of heart-healthy fats into the mix. Go for a mild olive oil as otherwise the flavour can be strong. It’ll state this on the bottle.
  • Warming spices. I use a mix of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. You could sub in a pumpkin pie spice mix in equal quantities.
  • Pure maple syrup to sweeten and for that delicious fall flavour.
  • Eggs provide structure and stability. I use size 7 eggs, around 62g each.
  • Baking powder. Our leavening agent to make these rise!
  • Salt to oomph the flavours.

After a sweeter muffin? Try tossing through a handful of sultanas or dark chocolate chips!

Kitchen Tips

Here are tips to help your kitchen flow:

  • Measure flour accurately. Packing flour into a cup (like by pressing it up against the inside of a bag or container) is a one way ticket to a heavy muffin. Boo! Instead, spoon flour into a measuring cup and level off with a knife.
  • Use puréed, not mashed, pumpkin. By weight, 1 cup of pureed pumpkin will be heavier and denser than 1 cup of mashed.
  • Don’t over mix the batter, I repeat. For light and tender muffins, gently fold wet and dry ingredients together with a spatula until just combined.
  • Use an ice cream scoop with a trigger to load batter into muffin cups. It’s so efficient and way less messy then using a spoon. Your baking life will never be the same!
  • Use non-stick liners, silicone muffin cases or grease your tin well to prevent these sticking. I find a quick brush of the pan with olive oil does the trick!

Storage and Serving Suggestions

These make for one delicious breakfast slathered in almond butter or a sweet snack paired with a mug of tea.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge (the will last longer in the fridge!). I like to keep a paper towel in the container to absorb moisture, keeping them fresh for longer.

Thanks for reading! If you give this recipe a go, I hope you love it😊 Are you after more recipes with pumpkin? Try this vegan-friendly cream of pumpkin soup!

Healthy Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

Cook Time: 18 minutes
Serving Size: 12 muffins


Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour (regular or gluten free)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup pecans
  • Pinch of salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • cup light or mild olive oil
  • 2 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


  • Preheat oven to bake 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a non-stick 12 hole muffin tray with olive oil.
  • Sift plain flour into a large mixing bowl. Add all remaining dry ingredients, reserving 12 single pecans to garnish with later. Mix until evenly incorporated.
  • Into another bowl add wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  • Add wet to dry ingredients and gently mix with a spatula until just incorporated.
  • Evenly divide batter into the muffin tray. Garnish each with a single pecan.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Remove from oven and let the tray sit for five minutes. Using a small cheese knife, gently loosen the muffins from their holes and then let cool on a cooling rack.

Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

If you enjoyed this dish, please consider giving it a star rating when you post a comment. Star ratings help others discover my recipes online (and your reviews make my day! 🙂 ). Happy cooking and baking. Danijela x

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I was looking for an interesting recipe for pumpkin pecan muffins and I came across this one. Just baked them to celebrate All Saints Day in Italy: they’re delicious, fragrant and very comforting for a rainy day with a nice cup of tea. I love the fact that they’re sweetened only with maple syrup! They’ll enter in my favourite recipes notebook. Thanks for this inspiration:)

  2. 5 stars
    I made these yesterday absolutely delicious! I did change maple to agave syrup and oil I used canola ,

  3. 5 stars
    These are so yummy!! I substituted the maple syrup for honey as that’s what was in the cupboard and they came out perfect. Just reheated one as I made them yesterday and still one of these best muffins I’ve ever made 🙂 Defs going to make this a regular x