Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins - Chef Abbie Gellman MS, RD, CDN

Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

Chef Abbie Gellman RD

My Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins make for a delicious snack or dessert! It combines staple ingredients you most likely already have along with canned pumpkin. If you want to make them a bit more decadent, keep reading to learn about my maple glaze and crumb topping recipe!

#1 Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffin Mistake: Overmixing!

My Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins are delicious, they are just the right amount of sweet and the pumpkin make them moist and pillowy. As long as they are not overmixed! Overmixed muffins became tough, gummy and chewy––no thank you! It’s a common mistake that I made all the time when I started baking.

Too much mixing causes the baking powder, the leavening agent, to “go flat”. Baking powder is a mix of a base, usually sodium bicarbonate and an acid such as cream of tartar. Baking powder is activated when it is combined with water or another liquid, causing the acid to start bubbling the base.  This leads to carbon dioxide production, which makes for fluffy Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins!1

When the batter is overmixed, the carbon dioxide runs out before the muffins can even reach the oven.  To avoid overmixing, add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the dry ingredients are no longer visible.  If any lumps remain the heat of the oven, that is totally fine! Repeat, lumps are ok! They will hydrate quickly in the heat of the oven.2

Since we are making Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins we do not have to worry about over development of gluten.  When making wheat-based muffins, too much stirring leads to a super sturdy structure, which makes for flat and tough muffins. The best muffins have minimal gluten development.

Canned Pumpkin

As a baking purist I was resistant to pumpkin in a can, but it makes for delicious and simple Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins.  It also saves time and money compared to using freshly roasted pumpkin.  Check out my post for Pumpkin Overnight Oats, where I explain the difference between pumpkin and squash. HINT-there is no difference! The most widely available brand of canned pumpkin is most certainly Libby’s.  There are certified organic alternatives as well.


These Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins are delicious and healthy as is and make for a great breakfast or snack. If you want to turn them into a decadent dessert, try adding a maple icing or crumb topping!

Maple Icing

A glazed finish dripping down the sides of the Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins will look almost as good as it tastes! It’s a super simple mix of just 3 ingredients: 1 ½ cups of confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons milk (any milk will do, dairy or plant-based).  Mix the 3 ingredients together and drizzle on top of the muffins, while still warm preferably.

Crumb Topping

Just like the icing, the crumb topping is optional, it will add extra flavor, texture and take only a few minutes to mix together!  If you are a butter fan, I definitely recommend using it here. It has the richest flavor and makes for the best crumble effect.  Mix together these four ingredients: 1/2 cup gluten free flour (same as used in muffin),  ¼ cup brown sugar (light or dark), and 4 tablespoons of butter (half a stick).

I like cutting the butter into small pieces, this will make it “crumb” better. Then, mix all the ingredients together. Alternatively, coconut oil makes for a good plant-based alternative.  Add the crumb on top of my Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins just before baking.

Let’s Get Baking!

As always mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately. Then, add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Make sure to not overmix!  Pour the batter into a greased muffin tin or into muffin liners placed inside a muffin tin.  I like checking that the muffins are done with a toothpick, they are ready when the toothpick comes out clean.  Lastly, allow the muffins to cool for just a few minutes in the tin. Then, transfer to a cooling rack (if you have one), otherwise the muffins will continue to cook and dry out. Enjoy!

Similar Pages

Looking for more desserts to try? Try my Chocolate Covered Pecans, Toasted Coconut Chocolate Bark, or my Healthy Vegan Mousse.


  1. Chemical Leavening Formulation | Baking Processes. BAKERpedia. Accessed November 21, 2020.
  2. The Most Confusing Recipe Instruction, Debunked & Demystified. Food52. Published 00:00 500. Accessed November 19, 2020.

Side Shot, Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

Gluten free pumpkin muffins

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, brunch, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: gluten free, muffins, pumpkin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
Author: Chef Abbie Gellman RD


  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7.5 ounces 1/2 can pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves


  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla and whisk together well. Mix in pumpkin and water and combine thoroughly.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and cloves.
  • Add dry mixture to wet mixture and incorporate well without overmixing.
  • Scoop out batter into muffin tin, filling each spot approximately 2/3 full.
  • Place in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool before serving.


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