Let’s all just agree that the crumbs are the best part of crumb cake. Funny story, actually. I was at the dentist this week– I have a small cavity. Though I’m not really surprised. Looking at you, candy addiction. (I’m sort of embarrassed about the cavity! I haven’t had one since I was little!) While sitting in with the dental hygienist, we got to talking about crumb cakes. No idea how we got on that subject. Maybe she was looking at my cavity. Anyway, she said she recently made a crumb cake, brought it into the office, and people were just eating the crumbs off the top. Like, not even cutting themselves a piece.
I giggled because I totally do this at home. I don’t think I’d do it in a public setting– though I wouldn’t judge you if you did!!– but absolutely at home. No shame. Again, the crumbs are DEFINITELY the best part.
I feel like there is an exception when it’s pumpkin below that tasty crumb topping though. As in pumpkin crumb cake. Or even better– individual pumpkin crumb cakes, aka muffins, topped with pumpkin spice crumbs. (Yes, pumpkin spice crumbs!) Both the muffin itself AND the crumbs are equally awesome. No picking the crumbs off these orange beauties. Top it all with a little maple icing and there’s basically no need for any other breakfast food, ever.
Whip out that can of pumpkin and let’s do this.
Instead of using my iced pumpkin coffee cake recipe as the base, I decided to use my pumpkin chocolate chip bread. I LOVE using that bread recipe to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. So here all you’ll do is take out the chocolate chips (sad face), reduce the sugar, and use milk instead of orange juice. Though you could definitely use orange juice if you’d like! Great flavor.
I reduced the sugar in these pumpkin crumb cake muffins because they’re getting an extra dose of sweet in the crumb topping and the maple icing. With that, I also reduced the salt to make sure the muffins didn’t taste salty with less sugar. It’s a super simple recipe and you don’t even need a mixer. Whisk the dry ingredients together in 1 bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together in another bowl. Then whisk together. Takes only a few minutes of prep work, max.
You’ll use oil in the muffins themselves. It makes them so dang moist! Then you’ll use melted butter in the crumb topping. F-L-A-V-O-R. The crumb topping also has brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, and pumpkin pie spice. All repeat ingredients you used in the muffins, so it’s not only an easy recipe– a convenient one too.
Maple icing is optional, but I don’t think we should ever label icing as an option! Honestly though, they taste great even without it. Also honestly, the maple icing seeping into the crumb topping is better than you can imagine.
It’s been chilly and rainy here all week, which I’ve secretly loved. We no longer hear city hustle and bustle outside our front door, we just hear the rain drops and the wind howling around the house. It really feels like fall these days! And I’m looking forward to making these tomorrow morning when my parents visit. I’ll make them on Snapchat if you want to follow along!
More festive fall muffins to try soon:
- Cranberry orange muffins
- Glazed apple crumb muffins
- Simple morning glory muffins
- Whole wheat apple cinnamon muffins
- Pumpkin cheesecake muffins
Soft and moist pumpkin crumb cake muffins with pumpkin pie spice and maple icing topping.
- 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (120ml) canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups (340g) canned pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60ml) milk, at room temperature*
- 3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
- 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, melted
Maple Icing (optional)
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk*
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. This recipe makes 15 muffins, so prepare a second muffin pan in the same manner. Set aside.
- Make the muffins: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs and milk together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain.
- Spoon the batter into liners, filling them almost full.
- Make the crumb topping: Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice together until combined. Stir in the melted butter until crumbs form. Spoon crumbs evenly on top of the batter and gently press them down into the batter so they’re snug.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425 then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 16-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 21-22 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin pan as you make the icing. *For mini muffins, bake for 11-13 minutes at 350°F (177°C) the entire time.
- Make the icing: Whisk all of the icing ingredients together until combined and smooth. Drizzle over muffins and serve warm. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: For longer storage, freeze muffins (with or without icing) for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or warm up in the microwave if desired. Top with icing before serving if needed.
- Special Tools: Muffin Pan | Muffin Liners | Mixing Bowls | Spatula | Whisk
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of prepared pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/4 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves, and ground allspice. Sometimes I use closer to 1 and 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice. I like a lot of spice flavor!
- Milk: Any milk works. I’ve tested with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, whole milk, and skim milk. You can use any, dairy or non.
Keywords: pumpkin crumb cake muffins, pumpkin muffins