Pumpkin Muffins with a Candied Walnut Streusel

I know, I know-pumpkin muffins are hardly original and what can I offer that the other 500 dozen recipes out there haven’t done already? Nothing really, so I set out to make a pumpkin muffin with a crumb that would fall on the lighter side rather than the more traditional heavy crumbed version. I stayed with the classic for flavoring and kept the deep fall spices, but finished my muffins with a crunchy streusel that I kicked up with some candied walnuts.

Pumpkin Muffins with a Candied Walnut Streusel

I also made me these for my little guy, who specifically requested them. Now the kid has never requested any dessert, at least not unsolicited. He doesn’t even like desserts, so he was quick to explain that a pumpkin muffin is breakfast food, not dessert—”Whatever, son.

This is a close start – so yay, me, for making him an “almost dessert” he likes. Of course his was without the streusel, but I highly recommend making these pumpkin muffins with the candied walnut streusel. It adds a whole another layer to the ensemble that’s not too sweet and a whole lot crunchy.

this recipe

Pumpkin Muffins with a Candied Walnut Streusel

Yield: Makes 12 muffins


Pumpkin Muffin

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Candied walnut streusel

  • 1 cup candied walnut
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted



Line wells of a muffin tin with paper liners. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

To make pumpkin muffin

  1. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine; set side.
  2. In a separate bowl combine sugar and eggs and whisk to until well combined and mixture becomes thick and light in color, about 1 minute. Drizzle cool butter into mixture and whisk to combine. Add oil and buttermilk to mixture and whisk to combine. Add in cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla and whisk to combine.  Add pumpkin puree to mixture and whisk to combine.
  3. Pour flour mixture into wet mixture, and using a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, gently fold the batter until no flour streaks or pockets remain (do not over mix).

To make streusel

  1. Chop candied walnuts and place in a large bowl with flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar and whisk to combine. Drizzle melted butter while tossing with a fork or spoon until large chunks form with small pea size pieces.


  1. Fill liners to almost full. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of streusel on top of each filled well. Bake at 425 degrees for 17-20 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool.

A few notes:

  • For the candied walnuts, I bought them pre-made from Trader Joes.
  • For ease of assembly, I used an ice cream scoop to fill the wells with batter.
  • Make sure to fold the batter until no pockets or streaks of flour remain or else there will be large holes in the finished pumpkin muffins.
  • I like my muffins deeply spiced, so you'll notice the cinnamon reads 1 tablespoon and the remaining spices follow the higher ratio. To bring down the spiced flaovrs, use 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon of cloves--just keep in mind, I did use the lower ratio for the spicing on the first run, but found the pumpkin muffins lacked a strong flavor.


  1. says

    I find it shocking that any offspring of yours doesn’t like dessert :) Adopt me instead!

    These look wonderful! As do all your recipes and pictures! I don’t think I’ve commented before but thought I should to tell you that you’re amazing and I pretty much drool and then bookmark every single recipe you post!!


  2. Sherina :) says

    Oh my goodness this looks delicious! Going to make it tomorrow. Just one question though, did you use dry or liquid buttermilk? I often get confused as to which one to use when baking. Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe! :)


    • Naomi replied: — October 8th, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

      Sherina-I used liquid buttemilk.


  3. Diane says

    So Funny I just made a banana muffin the other day that I thought was on the boring side so I added a pecan roasted brown sugar crumble, really turned them into extraordinary.


  4. says

    you know this year i’m into pumpkin, last year–nope.
    i made this pumpkin coffee cake and was hooked.
    so now i must create muffins….
    can i just make a pumpkin-walnut topping? lol


  5. Lisa says

    saw this on pinterest today and had some leftover pumpkin I neded to use up. Happened to be the exact amount in your recipe. Had one for my nightcap with a hot cup of coffee. OMG these were so good! I can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow :)


    • Naomi replied: — October 9th, 2012 @ 1:26 am

      Lisa-I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Yeah, I sorta loved them quite a bit as well and they do dome up nicely, to the point I scraped up all the streusel that fell off and smooched it back on to the muffin.


  6. Lisa says

    Should also mention mine made 15 muffins. Not sure if I have smaller muffin cups or what. But I stuffed them to the top added the streusel which I thought was all going to fall off so I pressed some into the batter. They plumoed up nicely and looked fabulous coming out of the over. I should have taken a picture. I also had to make my own candied walnuts which is a cinch if someone doesn’t have them on hand.


  7. Lisa says

    you are good to put the streusel back on the muffin…I may or may not have smooched the crumbs right into my mouth 😉


  8. says

    I can’t get enough of your blog! The pictures and rustic settings make me want to curl up in a snowy mountain house with a roaring fire and a plate of those muffins (don’t forget the milk!).

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful work :)



    • Naomi replied: — October 9th, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

      Blayre -Wow, so so so kind of you! Thank you so much for leaving such a generous and kind comment.:)


  9. Susan says

    425? srsly? i’ve never baked muffins at that temp… i feel a little unsure except there are more than enough posters to confirm (unless they didn’t reveal their baking temperature secrets). is this because the streusel covers the batter and has enough heat to get it all toasty? but wouldn’t it risk burning the bottoms?


  10. Susan says

    since i didn’t hear back before i needed to make these muffins, i took some liberties where i didn’t trust fully. firstly, 425F worried me! i decided i should trust a little bit, and opted for 400F instead. 1 1/2 cups of sugar looked like way too much, so i took out half a cup (am i ever glad!! i wouldn’t want them ANY sweeter). the batter seemed too thick, so i added an extra 1/4 cup of buttermilk. 20 minutes in the oven and these babies were perfect! delightfully moist and pumpkin spice – just what i was hoping for!

    as an aside, i used my own streusel topping because i live in vancouver and can’t justify a 1-2 hour trip with my little ones just to buy candied walnuts from trader joe’s, even though i can’t stop thinking about their cookie butter (never heard of it until a few days ago). in retrospect, i should have used your recipe! but the muffins themselves are divine.


  11. ania says

    I made these muffins this past week. There were excellent! Fab spice and moisture :) Thank you.


    • Naomi replied: — October 26th, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

      Ania-I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed them!


  12. Shayna says

    Is there a non dairy substitute for buttermilk? Id LOVE to make these muffins!


    • Naomi replied: — October 26th, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

      Shayna-I’m sorry to say, I don’t work much with non-dairy, so I’m not sure. :(


  13. Chris says

    Great recipe, although in your directions when mixing all the spices you include vanilla but that ingredient is not listed in the list of ingredients.



  1. […] Where to start?  The possibility for delicious treats is endless with pumpkin adding a moistness to bread, cakes and muffins and with the inclusion of a vegetable, these sweet treats count as one of your five a day, right?  I quite often make pumpkin muffins but this year I’m tempted to take things one step further with a positively scrummy sounding walnut streusel topping.  The recipe can be found on Bakers Royale. […]

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