Make a batch of these moist, spiced pumpkin muffins for  Halloween or for a lovely brunch. Crunchy pecans, raisins, and warm spices make them delightful. Packed full of pumpkin, each muffin is a tasty treat. And you can freeze some for later.




1 cup raisins
3/4 cup orange juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup butter or trans-fat free vegetable oil sticks (such as Earth Balance), melted
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup honey
3 large eggs
1 15-ounce can pumpkin (or 1 pound fresh pumpkin purée)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted if desired


1. Heat oven to 350° F. Place raisins and orange juice in a small bowl, microwave for two minutes, and set aside. Grease muffin tins.

2. Combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl, and set aside.

3. Combine butter, brown sugar, honey, and eggs in a large bowl and mix well. Stir in pumpkin. Gently fold in dry ingredients, alternating with the raisin/juice mixture. Stir in the pecans.

4. Generously fill muffin pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. (Bake baby muffins about 15 minutes.) Cool muffins in tins for 15 minutes, then remove from tins and serve warm, or let cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container for up to three days or freeze.

Tip: Lower fat version: Simply omit 1/2 cup of the butter.

Makes 18 muffins.

Article originally published in the October 2013 issue of Missouri Life.