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Soft and Caky Pumpkin Muffins with Dates and Nuts

Soft and Caky Pumpkin Muffins with Dates and Nuts

These soft and caky pumpkin muffins are studded with dates and nuts. They’re perfect alongside coffee or tea for breakfast or an afternoon snack! 

The fall cooking and baking bug has officially got its teeth in me. I am finding myself craving time in the kitchen and feeling all sorts of creativity and inspiration flowing. I think the start of new seasons tends to bring this since you’re presented with a whole new array of ingredients and flavors to work with!

Soft and Caky Pumpkin Muffins with Dates and Nuts

My first pumpkin baked good of the season was these delicious pumpkin muffins with dates and nuts. They feature just the right balance of spice and sweet while also being  very caky, fluffy and moist. I know you’ll love them! I adapted the recipe from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, Joy of Cooking.

Pumpkin Muffin Ingredients

The ingredients line up features the good stuff – butter, sugar, flour and eggs. What makes these muffins special is the pumpkin pie spice along with the addition of dates and nuts. No pumpkin pie spice? You can easily make your own at home. Here’s a great resource.

Pumpkin Muffin Batter

The batter is simple to prepare and comes together in under 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Muffins Baking Pan

It yields 12 regular sized muffins. You can bake them in liners or in a greased pan. As you can see here, both work. (I ran out of liners.) I love baking muffins these pans. They cook extremely evenly and well.

Soft and Caky Pumpkin Muffins with Dates and Nuts

After about 25 minutes in the oven they come out smelling all sorts of amazing.

Soft and Caky Pumpkin Muffins with Dates and Nuts

The first time I baked these Tanner and I both agreed that the sugar could be cut back a bit. We also agreed that they would be delicious topped with icing (haha) so clearly we didn’t have that big of an issue with the sugar but I did cut back on it this go round and it made a big difference in the flavor. I think that backing off the sugar a bit really allowed the pumpkin spice flavor to come through.

Soft and Caky Pumpkin Muffins with Dates and Nuts

I hope you guys will add these muffins to your list of fall baking projects. They’re sure to be a hit with the whole family and I’m pretty sure your co-workers would love to see these show up at the office too!

And a note, I was tempted to leave out the dates and nuts but don’t do it! These two elements add a lot to the muffins. I’ve used pecans and walnuts and both are great.

Freezer-Friendly Pumpkin Muffins

If you can stop yourself from polishing off the batch of muffins when they’re fresh and warm from the oven, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in a gallon bag. They freeze wonderfully. Just pop one out of the freezer anytime you want to enjoy a muffin and defrost in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds on power of 50%.

Here’s the recipe for my soft and caky pumpkin muffins with dates and nuts.

Soft and Caky Pumpkin Muffins with Dates and Nuts

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: 12 muffinsTotal:

These soft and caky pumpkin muffins are studded with dates and nuts. They're perfect alongside coffee or tea for breakfast or an afternoon snack! 

You'll Need...

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaping tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk (non-dairy milk works fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position baking rack in center of oven. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners or grease with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In another small bowl, whisk together milk and vanilla.
  4. In the bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy and lightened in color, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add eggs in one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.
  6. Reduce mixer speed to low and add in pumpkin puree.
  7. With mixer speed on low, begin to add flour and milk mixtures. Alternate so that you begin and end with the flour. (So 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 milk mixture, 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 milk mixture, 1/3 flour mixture.) Be careful not to overmix...keep your mixer speed low and turn it off once everything is mixed together.
  8. Fold in the dates and nuts with a spatula.
  9. Distribute batter between the 12 muffin tins, filling each a little more than 2/3. Bake for 22 minutes and then start checking muffins. You might need to go an extra 3-6 minutes depending on your oven. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean OR when you press lightly on the muffin tops, they spring back.
  10. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, if you'd like to freeze these muffins, wrap each individually in plastic wrap and then place in a gallon bag. Muffins will keep well in freezer for a month or two.

Additional Notes

Recipe adapted from the Joy of Cooking.

More pumpkin favorites:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Paleo Pumpkin and Banana Muffins

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl

Pumpkin Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Favorite pumpkin baking recipe? If you had to pick just one!? 

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Andrea October 5, 2017, 6:32 am

    Did you use fresh dates or dried dates?

    • Jen October 5, 2017, 10:00 am

      you definitely want to use dried!

  • Aimee October 5, 2017, 9:54 am

    Yum! These looks delicious – I love baking with dates.

    • Jen October 9, 2017, 3:17 pm

      Me too! I just love how versatile dates are.

  • Paula October 5, 2017, 10:02 am

    I love my mom’s pumpkin bread recipe so much that I have trouble convincing myself to try other recipes, but this looks divine! I wouldn’t have thought to put dates in, and yet they seem like such a no-brainer for pumpkin goods.

    • Jen October 9, 2017, 3:17 pm

      I hope you’ll give them a try but trust me, I know how hard it is to break from tried and true favorites…especially when they’re family recipes!

  • Erin October 16, 2017, 6:29 am


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