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Whole Grain Pumpkin Streusel Muffin Recipe

by Jeanette on September 21, 2011 · 65 Comments
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Whole Grain Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Whole Grain Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Now that school is back in full swing and fall is in the air, whole grain muffins have made their way back into my boys’ breakfasts, as has hot oatmeal. Along with a fruit smoothie, these whole grain choices provide a quick and healthy breakfast, enough to tide them over until lunchtime. 

Just a little planning ahead is required if you want to serve muffins during the week. I usually try to bake a batch of whole grain muffins or quick breads every couple of weeks, and sometimes freeze them, so the boys don’t get tired of eating the same thing every morning. Their favorites are pumpkin muffins and banana bread, although I’ve also made mocha chocolate chip muffins and carrot coconut muffins using whole grain flours. 

Although I bake mostly gluten-free these days to make things simpler since my youngest is on a gluten-free diet, I decided to make these pumpkin muffins with white whole wheat flour since I had a whole bag sitting in the pantry — I hate to see anything go to waste.

If you’ve never tried baking with whole grain flours, using white whole wheat flour is an easy place to start, especially when making heartier, darker quick breads like pumpkin and banana muffins, rather than lighter, more delicate ones like blueberry lemon muffins or lemon poppyseed muffins. White whole wheat flour is milder in flavor and lighter in color than brown whole wheat flour, and makes an easy substitute for white flour.

When I first started baking with whole grain flours, I substituted half of the white flour in recipes with whole wheat flour. As my kids grew accustomed to the heartier taste of whole grains, I was able to use 100% whole grain flours in muffins and quick breads. I still prefer white whole wheat flour over brown whole wheat flour in muffins and quick breads, it’s milder tasting and doesn’t detract from the fruit flavors that you’re using in the recipe.

Although I’m not a big briber when it comes to getting my kids to try new foods, I do think introducing kids to whole grains is sometimes easier if you distract them a little from the wheatier flavor when you first start substituting whole grain flours for white flours.

So, to make these pumpkin muffins even more kid friendly and fun to eat, I topped these muffins with a nutty streusel topping. If your kids don’t like nuts, just leave off the streusel topping. If you’re feeling extra nice, throw 1/4 cup of chocolate chips in the batter – what kid doesn’t like chocolate chips after all.

I’ve made this recipe into mini-muffins and mini-loaves, which ship more intact. I’ll be sending off these mini-loaves to my son who’s in college…apparently, he’s just been rolling out of bed and going straight to class with no breakfast. 

These mini loaves of Pumpkin Bread ship better than muffins.

We’ve had lots of giveaways to celebrate Whole Grains Month already, and today, I am pleased to offer another generous giveaway, sponsored by King Arthur Flour, America’s oldest flour company and producer of high quality flours, including whole wheat flours and gluten-free whole grain flour mixes.

King Arthur Flour is giving away a gift package to get you started baking with whole grain flours. Not only are they offering a copy of their voluminous King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook, but they’re also throwing in a bag of their White Whole Wheat Flour, Hi-Maize Whole Grain Cornmeal and premium Whole Wheat Flour. 
For gluten-free bakers, we have an alternative giveaway – packages of King Arthur Flour’s Gluten-Free Brown Rice Flour, Ancient Grains Flour Blend, Gluten-Free Whole Grain Flour Blend, and Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour Blend (since the cookbook does not have any gluten-free recipes, it is not included in the gluten-free giveaway; however, you will receive this larger selection of flours).

How To Enter:

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment sharing a muffin or quick bread recipe (links are welcome) that you’d like to try substituting whole grain flours in, or that you’ve already successful tried, or how you plan on adding more whole grains to your daily diet. The deadline for entering this giveaway is 9/27/11, 12 midnight EST. One Winner will be chosen using random.org and will have 4 days to respond or a new winner will be selected (please be sure to include your email address in your comment). For U.S. residents only.

You can earn additional entries by doing any of the following. Be sure to leave a separate comment for each additional entry so I know you did it:
  1. Stumble this post and follow me on @JeanettesHealth on Stumbleupon 
  2. Pin this post on Pinterest (@JeanettesHealth)
  3. Tweet this giveaway, being sure to include my Twitter handle (@JeanettesHealth).
  4. Sign up for my Email or RSS Feeds
  5. Follow @JeanettesHealth on Twitter
Disclosure: King Arthur Flours provided this giveaway as part of Whole Grains Month, to help encourage all of us to add more whole grains to our daily meals :)

Whole Grain Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Adapted from 500 Best Muffin Recipes. To make this muffin recipe healthier, I used whole wheat flour and raw coconut sugar in place of white flour and white sugar. If you’re new to whole grain flours, try using half white flour, and half white whole wheat flour first. I cut the oil in half by substituting apple butter. The streusel topping is completely optional. This recipe is gluten-free adaptable; simply substitute your favorite gluten-free whole grain baking mix for the flour.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Printable Recipe

Muffin Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour or whole grain gluten-free flour mix
  • 1/2 cup raw coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix (or a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup apple butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk (e.g., almond, coconut, rice)

Streusel Topping Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons raw coconut sugar or jaggery
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease mini-muffin pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice mix.
  4. In another bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, applesauce, olive oil and milk.
  5. Add to flour mixture and stir just until moistened and blended (do not over mix)
  6. Spoon batter into greased mini-muffin pan.
  7. Mix Streusel Topping ingredients together. Sprinkle on top of muffins.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Makes 24 mini muffins.

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  1. Caroline @ chocolate and carrots says:

    What a great giveaway! I love making my Healthy Apple Pecan Muffins. Mmm! http://chocolateandcarrots.com/2011/01/healthy-apple-pecan-muffins

  2. You would definitely not have to bribe me to eat these muffins! Although I'll never say no to streusel topping either. Love that these are whole grain and so pumpkin-licious!

  3. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says:

    These look fabulous! Wish I had some this morning with my coffee

  4. ahhhh pumpkin muffins, i love!!! i love to bake with whole grain flours and gluten free flours, though the texture just isn't the same. :) whole wheat pastry flour is a nice healthy option that comes out less coarse!

  5. I have been doing half and half, hoping to switch our tastes over to 100% whole wheat. We are a muffin loving family, and I know we'd love this!!

  6. As Junia points out, whole wheat pastry flour is a nice lighter alternative to wheat flour. I often use that as well, especially when I'm looking for a lighter texture.

  7. Pretend Chef says:

    Oh my Jeanette! These muffins look so delicious and tempting with the streusel topping. I'd love to receive a care package from you. Your son is so lucky to have you as his mama. I have been swapping my white flour with white whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour. My family hasn't had a single complaint on the taste. I would love to make a batch of these for easy an easy breakfast option. What a great giveaway as well!

  8. Pretend Chef says:

    I just recently was accepted to be a part of the Pinterest community. This was my first time pinning something so I hope I did it correctly.

  9. I would love to try Banana muffin from Fat Free Kitchen http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/04/cherry-walnut-banana-bread.html

  10. I am RSS subscriber for your site.

  11. I am adding this to my list of recipes to try out this fall to work towards a healthier diet for my husband and I. I am hoping to add more whole wheat flour to my baking of crackers and muffins. Already substitute it in my granola bars with some flax meal.

  12. busycookinthelou says:

    I have been wanting to try to make this: http://www.ilanafreddye.com/2011/09/pull-apart-palooza.html both whole grain and gluten free. My husband requires a gluten-free diet, so I bake GF for him quite a bit.

  13. thepreggersplan says:

    Those muffins look great and I love anything with pumpkin!

    I'm getting ready to switch to pumpkin for my fall baking, but I've recently been making a lot of breads and muffins with blueberries, thanks to a ton of summer blueberry picking! One of my favorites was this whole wheat blueberry bread: http://thepreggersplan.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/whole-wheat-blueberry-banana-bread/ It was moist and just sweet enough!

  14. Kathy - Panini Happy says:

    Maybe these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins could do well with a whole grain makeover:


  15. Kathy - Panini Happy says:

    I stumbled!

  16. Kathy - Panini Happy says:

    I follow you on Twitter!

  17. marla {family fresh cooking} says:

    Love this generous giveaway Jeanette. All of my baking is with whole grains both GF and products like the one you share here. Count me in on the fun giveaway :)

  18. Claire Smith says:

    I am eating oatmeal every other day for breakfast. Just threw out my AP flour as well!


  19. The first time I made these muffins I used 1/4 whole wheat flour and 3/4 AP flour and now I'm down to about 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 AP. They taste sooo good even with whole wheat flour! And I would love to win the giveaway to continue to experiment with whole wheat flour.

    Here's the link to the muffins: http://www.bakingserendipity.com/2010/09/banana-chocolate-chunk-muffins.html

    And my email address is channy891@aim.com

  20. I also stumbled your page and followed you on stumble

  21. FInally, I signed up for your email feeds. Thanks!

  22. I'd really like to try my pizza crust with whole grains instead of cheapo all-purpose flour. It can only improve it, and I think that the more rustic look will go well into autumn.

  23. I added you to my google reader, as well!

  24. love KA products ….
    already have the cookbook but for econcomic reasons could really use the flours so i'm going to go ahead and enter the giveaway.

    jacquieastemborski AT comcast DOT net

  25. already a subscriber

    jacquieastemborski AT comcast DOT net

  26. Cookin' Canuck says:

    My kids would love for me to set these muffins in front of them for an afternoon snack. It's time for me to pull out the pumpkin.

  27. Love seeing all the recipes you all are making, and including whole grain flours in. When we first switched over and used 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white, I was surprised that you really couldn't taste the difference.

  28. I am looking for a gluten-free flour to substitute in my favorite pumpkin muffin recipe:
    1 small sugar pumpkin, or 2 c canned
    3 cups [all-purpose flour]
    2 cups white sugar
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    2 teaspoons ground cloves
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
    1 teaspoon ground allspice
    1 teaspoon salt
    2/3 cup vegetable oil
    3 eggs
    Mix, bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. So good. I miss them!

  29. Molly Ongaro says:

    I am following you on Twitter!

  30. Molly Ongaro says:

    I really want to make this gluten-free: My grandmothers recipe for Croatian Potica. Its a family tradition, something I miss dearly. I have the recipe if anyone is interested :)

    Thank you!

  31. Molly Ongaro says:

    Stumbled you on StumbleUpon and following you on there not too!

  32. Now that it is cooling off here, I'll be doing more baking. I'll be trying to incorporate more whole grains into my muffins and breads. My family is gluten-free, so I am very interested in the King Arthur gluten-free whole grain flour.

    thecroleys at yahoo dot com

  33. PancakeNinja says:

    Pumpkin sounds great! I am making pumpkin chocolate chip granola bars today except I'm using sweet potatoes because the pumpkins didn't grow.

    my favorite muffin recipe right now: http://pancake-ninja.blogspot.com/2011/09/blueberry-muffins-best-blueberry.html

  34. This Apple Walnut Donut recipe can be baked into muffins too:

  35. I've been haunting the bulk aisle at my favorite grocery store & stocking up on all kinds of grains, tried & true favorites as well as things i haven't attempted before – once you put your mind to it, it's easy to find new ways to use them :) we made stuffed peppers with barley tossed in pesto the other night, and i may never go back!

    Kim Boyce's whole wheat chocolate chip cookies (recipe here, in post from Orangette: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2010/11/i-am-sold.html) have become my go-to cookie recipe, too. they're just like the best chocolate chip cookie you've ever had, only with the added bonus of a nice, nutty flavor :)


  36. christopher sorel says:

    I started swapping out whole grain flour in muffins for awhile and blueberry are my favorite. My new favorite is to make then using http://feastonthecheap.net/the-best-damn-bran-muffins/

  37. christopher sorel says:

    stumble this post and follow you

  38. christopher sorel says:
  39. christopher sorel says:

    follow you on twitter

  40. christopher sorel says:

    email subscriber

  41. I'm so enjoying all of the pumpkin recipes that are appearing! Love the inclusion of apple butter in these delightful muffins and the pecan topping is perfect. Delish!

  42. I get your RSS feed.

  43. We are fairly new to GF lifestyle, but with myself and 2 boys having to go GF, we must certainly learn to bake GF! I have an old bread recipe passed down to me that I would love to try the GF whole grain flour mix in, as I miss this recipe, but haven't had the knowledge or courage to try to mix my own flours!

  44. Here are my healthy muffins – http://delishhh.com/2011/03/23/apple-and-carrot-bran-muffins/ Awesome blog post!

  45. AWesome! i follow you on twitter !

    Richa @Hobby And More Food Blog

  46. pinned this to pinterest!

  47. The link I'm adding is really adaptable either with flours or extra ingredients. Really love it!


    immortalb4 at gmail dot com

  48. I tweeted


    immortalb4 at gmail dot com

  49. I follow @immortalb4

    immortalb4 at gmail dot com

  50. Hi! I'd love to follow your blog and to win the cookbook-If I don't win it I'll have to buy it! I've always tried to feed my kids healthy but have had to take it to the next level as my 13 year old has insulin resistance from a hormone imbalance so the doctor has said no white flour, sugar or potatoes-and her favorite activity to do with me is…bake cupcakes..we've been trying many-with not so much luck in pleasing her palate.

  51. Wow! wonderful. I’ve just discovered your site. I see I have some catching up to do.

  52. I’d love to make pumpkin muffins using whole wheat flour! I bet the density that whole grains bring to the table would be fab with the density of pumpkin puree.

    • White whole wheat flour is surprisingly light compared to regular whole wheat flour, so although these muffins might be a bit denser than regular muffins, they’re really not that heavy. I think you would really enjoy them.

  53. They look delish!

  54. We have just switched over the no highly processed flours and sugars. I am having a wonderful time exploring all of the many possibilities. I was just looking for a muffin recipe to make for when we bring my daughter to college next week. I was tickled that you ship these to you son IN college. Perfect for me…can’t wait to try it…I just bought this antique muffin mold (old fashioned fruit shapes) that I am going to try and bake them in. Thanks!

    • I’m sure your daughter will appreciate all your baked goods to get her started. I’ll be taking my son back to school soon and stocking him up with food too. What fun using fruit shape molds to make muffins – I’d love to see how they turn out.

  55. I would love to try this recipe with the whole grain mix!!


    (On a seriously banana craze right now!!)

  56. I follow your boards on Pinterest

  57. I follow you on Stumbleupon

  58. I follow you on Twitter

  59. I’m subscribed to your emails

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