Spiced Pumpkin (or Squash) Muffins with a Streusel Topping

I have been greatly enjoying the surplus of local winter squash available. I love how versatile squash is. You can make it savory, you can make it sweet, you can serve it as a side dish, you can make it into pie, ice cream, and baked goods!

This recipe for muffins is a wonderful way to use leftover roasted squash or pumpkin. Part of having a frugal kitchen involves not letting anything go to waste. That cup of leftover squash doesn’t seem very appetizing to reheat, but when added to baked goods, it makes it moist and delicious.

Though admittedly, I have been roasting squash just so I could make these muffins! I have used both pumpkin puree from roasted pumpkins and roasted kobucha squash with great results.

The streusal topping adds a sweet crunchy layer on the top of the muffin that is delicious and special! But it’s not completely necessary. You can also make it without.

For those of you following this blog for a while, I am proud to say that I finally made a muffin recipe that makes, if divided right in standard sized muffin tins, 12 muffins! This will make it easier to double recipes, and won’t leave you with an odd amount of muffins. I also, have a higher concentration of sweetener and oil in this recipe for a more decadent result.

Spiced Pumpkin (or Squash) Muffins with a Streusel Topping
-Makes 12

This recipe is soaked for better nutrition, read about it here and here. But it would be possible to skip that step. I have also included dairy options for those who prefer dairy, otherwise this recipe is dairy free.

1 3/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup of coconut milk tonic (for baked goods, I use the one just mixed with water)
2 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar (or, use 1/2 cup of buttermilk, thinned yogurt, or kefir, in place of the vinegar and coconut milk tonic)
1/3 cup of coconut oil or melted butter
1/3 cup of honey or maple syrup

1 egg
3/4 cup of pumpkin puree or roasted squash
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Streusel Topping
3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, white flour, or sprouted flour
3 tablespoons of maple sugar, rapadura, or sucanat
3 tablespoons of cold coconut oil
n1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of salt
1/3 cup of chopped walnuts

1-The night before, in a saucepan, gently melt the coconut oil and the honey together until liquid.

2-In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut milk, vinegar, and the honey/coconut oil in a bowl, stirring just until combined. Cover and leave out overnight.

3-12-24 hours later, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease with coconut oil 12 muffin tins.

4-In a small bowl combine the streusel ingredients, except for the chopped nuts, and cut in the coconut oil with a fork, until there are no big pieces left. Then stir in the chopped nuts.

5- In a small bowl combine the egg and pumpkin, and add it, with the rest of the ingredients to the bowl. If your house is cold, the coconut oil will have hardened, making the dough a bit stiff, but it will loosen up as you gently fold in the rest of the ingredients.

6-Using a spoon, or an ice cream scoop, evenly distribute the batter between the 12 tins. They should be about 2/3’s full. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of the streusel mixture over the top of each (you will have a bit extra leftover).

7-Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle. Let rest for ten minutes in tins, then remove from the pans (gentle! they are fragile when hot) and let cool on cooling racks.


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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. Mary (Mary's Nest) says

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I’m going to give it a try. I have not had very much luck with making muffins the NT way. With the overnight “soak” I find that when I have to add the egg, etc. the next day, it’s just too much mixing to keep the muffins light and fluffy. Do you have any tricks of the trade to share.

    Thanks so much,


  2. Sarah says

    Yum! Looks great! I still have a bag of frozen pumpkin puree from last fall, and seeing as how I have four more pumpkins just waiting to be roasted and pureed . . . this is the perfect way to use up the old to make room for the new!

    I’m still on the cusp of trading out my traditional sugars so I appreciate your recipes! My main confusion is what to replace white sugar with, and what to replace brown with in standard recipes (since the specific sugars change the softness/crumbliness, etc. depending in what they’re used). I’ve used honey and maple syrup quite a bit when possible, but the dry sweeteners are still my stumbling block . . . 🙂

    Thanks again!


  3. Kimi Harris says

    Hi Mary,
    I know what you mean. 🙂 I think that if you find your muffins too dense, there are a few things to think of. The obvious one being the over mixing of the batter, which develops too much gluten. I mix in a “folding in” motion, rather then circular, as that is more gentle. That definitely helps. The other thing you can do is to add some gluten free flour, like millet flour, in place of some of the wheat flour. It can’t develop as much gluten that way. Of course, using pastry whole wheat flour, instead of bread flour make a difference as well.

    The other thing to look at is it’s rising agents. I think? Sally Fallon just uses baking soda to rise her soaked baked goods. It is true that baking soda is all you need, but I have found that using some baking powder produces a better product. So, like in this recipe, I use some baking soda to react with the soured soaked product, and then I add some baking powder to help it rise even more. I think this makes a huge difference.

    This muffin is not as light as some of the other ones I will be sharing in the near future because the topping and the pumpkin weigh it down a bit (though it being a little more dense is so worth it! The topping and pumpkin make this muffin!), but I still consider it light enough. But the next muffin I plan on sharing is very light!

    I hope that helps. Let me know how your muffin endeavors go! 😉

  4. Kimi Harris says

    Hi Sarah,
    It can be a little hard to figure out the sugar thing sometimes. I find that recipes a more flexible then you would think, though. Have you tried rapadura? That is a dry sugar that you can use in place of white sugar. I have been planning on doing a post about natural sugars since I started this blog, but I am finally planning for sure on doing one next month. 🙂 I hope that it will help with some of those questions.

  5. glutenfreeforgood says

    This recipe looks like it will be easy to convert to gluten-free and I have some kobucha squash on hand as well. Thanks for the inspiration!

    I also use coconut milk for everything and make Sally’s mixed version when I don’t use it from the can. I used to make my own from baby coconuts, but it was way too much trouble! I agree, it’s a perfect DF option. And healthy too!

  6. Amanda Williams says

    I made these today and instead of the topping, I made a cream cheese frosting. (Homemade cream cheese, agave nectar and a little coconut flour.) SO delicious! Thanks for sharing! I love your blog. 🙂

  7. Kathy says

    I made these today and had a little trouble. I used regular whole wheat flour since that is what I had on hand and the batter turned out very stiff! I do have the very cold house issue, so I’m sure the coconut oil was pretty solid in there, but there was no gentle folding that was going to incorporate the rest of my ingredients.
    I was just wondering if the change of flour would be what would make that difference or if you have another thought. I think I followed everything else carefully.
    They did eventually turn out very good, but it took quite a bit of adjusting and adding more liquid and heating up the batter a little. Since I had to mix it so much I also added a little extra BP and BS.
    Thanks for the yummy recipe and any thoughts you have for future attempts!

    PS. This was my very first attempt at my own pumpkin puree, too, and it turned out great thanks to your tutorial!

  8. Kimi Harris says

    Gluten free for Good,
    Yes! I think it would be. 🙂 Let me know if it works out for you. I love using coconut milk. It has certainly been a life saver for me.


    I am so happy that it turned out for you. Your frosting sounds delicious! I have always loved cream cheese frosting (just wish I could still have it!)

  9. Kimi Harris says

    Hey Kathy,

    Thanks for the feedback, maybe “gentle’ folding isn’t the right wording for a cold house! I have made this recipe several times now, and a few times, when it was fairly cold in our house (maybe 65 degrees), it was stiff enough to make folding in the other ingredients hard to do. In fact, the first time I made this, I thought “Oh my! This isn’t going to work at all!” (So I imagine that it was the coldness, not the flour that was the problem for you. ). In fact, usually I can stick a finger in the dough and leave an impression of my finger in the dough because it is so hard.

    But I found if I kept on mixing/folding that it would soften up beautifully after giving it a chance. The motion of the mixing motion warms the dough and the other ingredients soften and relax it a bit more. This is one of the steps I wish I could show a little video of. It can seem like it isn’t going to work at first, but then it almost magically mixes in. You do have to mix a bit longer to do a thorough job, then you would in a normal muffin recipe.

    If it’s fairly cold, it just takes a little longer. That has been my experience, at least!

    The other option would be to leave out the coconut oil in the soaking step, and add it in the next day. I think that the dough would be moist enough overnight, and then the coconut oil wouldn’t have the chance to harden. That may be a good solution.

    In the end, I am so glad that they still turned out for you, but sorry that they caused you a little stress!

  10. amy best says

    Made these tonight- very good. And I didn’t even have to adjust it myself to make it dairy free- you’ve done all the work for me! Thanks for all the great recipes. 🙂

  11. Zena says

    I made these last night/this morning and both my kids loved them! (One is particularly hard to please, so I am just about ecstatic here! :o) They like them so much that they want me to make some more for tomorrow.

    Oh, and the batter was stiff after being left out over night, but if you don’t mind using a microwave, 20 seconds did the trick and made mixing in the other ingredients a lot easier. I’m sure that putting it in the oven on the lowest setting for a minute would work too. Since the oven is about to go on at that point anyway, I’m going to try that next time.

    Thanks for posting this yummy recipe, and thanks for your site too. I just found it, after recently discovering Nourishing Traditions at the library. I love your site!

  12. says

    I made these this past week and my whole family loved them. I left out the walnuts, because they are not big “nut” fans. But, my baby couldn’t get enough…all day long I heard, “I want a muffin, mama.” 🙂 My daughters loved them. And, my husband said these are some of the best muffins I have made! 🙂 (and then I got to tell him they were healthy!) 🙂 They were scrumptious. I will be making anther batch here in the next couple days.

  13. says

    Hey girl! You are so awesome and I love your site! I have some of this same squash ready to eat now and I was wondering if I need to puree it after I roast it? And I am assuming I need to peel it, but is that right?? Obviously, it is the first time I have grown this particular variety;)

  14. Michelle says

    Hi there! I’m about to make these for the second time and was wanting to make two batches; wondering if you think these would freeze well?

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