Spiced Pumpkin (Savoury) Muffins

Halloween is nearly upon us again, and just as night follows day, food blogs across the world are making things using pumpkin.

Never one to ignore an obvious trend, I’m doing likewise, but not for me the sweetness of pumpkin pies, ice-cream or cupcakes. And, while we’re on the topic, something I just really do not get is the new phenomenon in the UK, the sudden appearance of pumpkin spice lattes. I’m sure they are delicious, but I like coffee that tastes like coffee, and prefer any extra hit sweetness and spices to come in biscuit form. I mean, does it even include pumpkin flavour? Or is it just the spices? Well, I guess it will just remain a mystery to me.

Forsaking sweetness, I’ve opted instead for something savoury. Spiced pumpkin muffins, not unlike a savoury cake I made a while ago, with roasted pumpkin, various seeds, cheese and spices. In a bit of a nod to pumpkin pie, I’ve added a dash of allspice to give it extra flavour, so when you combine it with strong savoury flavours like Parmesan and dried tomatoes, it really is very different and absolutely delicious.



I made these muffins with red kabocha squash, which is ideal. It looks a lot like a traditional pumpkin, but it has bright orange, sweet flesh. This really matters, because the pumpkins you see for carving into lanterns can end up a bit watery and pale-looking. Kabocha stays bright and firm. I cooked it by roasting it with a drizzle of honey and some pumpkin oil, so it developed its sweetness further and took on a slight nutty flavour too.

The list of ingredients on these muffins looks rather long, but it is actually a doddle to make. It is the traditional muffin method – mix the wet ingredients in one bowl, and the dry in another. The just mix, spoon and bake. The result is really quite delicious – the sweet pumpkin, the spices and the strong savoury flavour from the cheese and the tomatoes. The spices can be customised according to taste, but I think the mixture of dried herbs, turmeric and allspice is great.

Now all we have to do is sit back and ride out the mega-storm that is brewing off the south-west coast of Britain. It’s all predicted to be chaos tomorrow morning…well, at least I’ve got enough to eat in the meantime!

To make pumpkin muffins (makes 15):

• 50g olive oil
• 110g sour cream
• 275ml milk
• 2 medium eggs
• 150g self-raising flour
• 150g wholemeal flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 50g Parmesan, grated
• 25g pistachios, chopped
• 2 sun-dried tomatoes, finely sliced
• 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
• 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
• 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
• 1 teaspoon dried herbs
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
• 200g chopped cooked pumpkin
• pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and grated Parmesan, to decorate

1. Line two muffin trays. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

2. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, sour cream, milk and eggs until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, combine all the other ingredients until well mixed. Add the liquid ingredients, and mix quickly until just combined – don’t worry if there are little lumps, it’s better to under-mix than over-mix.

4. Add two tablespoons of mixture to each muffin case. Top each muffin with a few pumpkin and sunflower seeds and a sprinkling of cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen.


Filed under Recipe, Savoury

15 responses to “Spiced Pumpkin (Savoury) Muffins

  1. These muffins look delicious, love the savory twist on them! [I couldn’t agree more with your “coffee should taste like coffee” statement…no flavorings for me] 🙂

  2. Unfortunately, the US trends are striking the UK! 😦 I walked into my favorite grocery store the last two times only to have my nasal passages assaulted by the strongest smell of cinnamon one could imagine!! Americans LOVE cinnamon, so this store has been selling Cinnamon Brooms! Ugh! I had to run in and out! I must say, I’m not a cinnamon hater, in fact I LOVE Cinnamon Rolls, however, there is a line. The pumpkin/cinnamon thing seems to have gone a bit out of control over here. I wish you all the luck over there.

    • Hi Christina – I think some people like to go overboard with cinnamon aroma, which can be a bit fake, and boy is it strong, so it can get a bit overpowering. And I say that as a MASSIVE fan of a good cinnamon bun. One of my friends came out in an allergic rash when handling cinnamon-scented pine cones at a store in New York once, which kind of makes me want to avoid touching odd aromatic items!

  3. India Alexandra

    Hmmmmm, this looks really tasty – Much more preferable for me then all those sweet things at halloween!!! Love the pistachios into the mix too!

    • Hi India – I know what you mean, there gets to be a point when you’ve just had too much sugar. I get something similar at Christmas after too many mince pies! I added all the nuts and seeds here to try to make them into little super-muffins, I like the result.

  4. These muffins are fantastic and yummyyyy. Compliments! Perfect for Halloween! :-*

  5. Love this savoury take on all the pumpkin that’s doing the rounds. PS also love your seasonal header. Very spooky!

    • Hi Kathryn – glad you like the header, I’m rather pleased with it. My cat Persy does exactly that pose when someone or something surprises her, she looks like a proper (and very sweet) little witch’s cat.

  6. I have to admit that I love pumpkin spice lattes. Only at this time of year, though!

    This recipe is definitely unique. I’m looking forward to seeing more here!

  7. blancdelait

    Wow, it looks delicious!

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