Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins

4 Posted by - October 23, 2013 - Food & Drink, Halloween & Autumn

I know I said there would be a video today. There will not be. I am newly returned from a visit with my 2-year-old and 4-month-old nieces and their snotty boog noses, and now I have a snotty boog nose and cramps (the cramps are unrelated to the boog nose) and no one needs to see me in that state. (By the way, snotty boog nose is totally worth it because the nieces’ cuteness outweighs any cost of visiting with them.)

Instead, I decided to make these Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins because I had all the ingredients in my pantry…

… “all the ingredients” being 2 things.

pumpkin muffin ingredients

Yep, I know I said I’m tired of pumpkin, but I still have a whole lot left, and hey, when is it a bad time to add pureed vegetables to cake mix, really?

Now is the moment where I make all the real bakers upset because I get out my fancy fucking KitchenAid stand mixer to mix up cake mix and a can of pumpkin, but hey, I’ve got it, so why not use it?

kitchenaid for cake mix

Also, this is way easier than mixing by hand, and I am teh lazy.

kitchenaid pumpkin mixed

I was a little worried at this point because, even in my limited baking experience, the batter didn’t seem watery enough for cupcakes. It was kind of thick and lumpy, really. (TWSS? Ew…) But I spooned it in the muffin tins because, really, what the hell else was I going to do with it?

And then the dog and I cleaned up the pumpkin leavings because pumpkin is good for dogs and therefore must also be good for people, the end.

I stuck them in the oven for 20 minutes.

muffins in the oven

During those 20 minutes I managed to rid the kitchen of all evidence of my husband’s bachelor living over the past four days, including the half-eaten bowl of chili left on the counter, I assume, as a science experiment to see how long it would take to get stinky and grow moldy polka-dots. (Conclusion: Less than four days.) I didn’t take a picture of that. You’re welcome.

So you know that magical cupcake chemistry that occurs when you put cupcakes in the oven, kind of lumpy and half-full, and they come out all smooth and fluffy and spilling over the tops of the cupcake tins? Yeah, that didn’t happen.

pumpkin muffin glop

These look, in fact, pretty much exactly they way they did when I glopped piles of pumpkin mixture in the muffin tins. They did not smooth out, they did not rise. They did get baked and crusty.

So they get no points for presentation. For texture, they also score a big fat ZERO, because they’re sort of rubbery and unpleasant. Surprisingly, they actually taste pretty good if you can get past how ugly and rubbery they are.

I have 23 of these left, and I’m too embarrassed to send them to work with my husband because they’re way ugly, so I guess my dog and I will finish them off.


Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Article Name
Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Yes, the Pintester is mightily tired of pumpkin-flavored stuff, but these were easy, she has a cold, and she needed to write a blog post.


  • kittnen October 23, 2013 - 2:06 pm Reply

    It feels like if you’re using cake mix, you should also add the other ingredients (water, eggs, oil). That may have given your muffins a non poop-like appearance and a better texture too.

    • KimJ October 23, 2013 - 2:18 pm Reply

      Seconded. I’m no science expert, but I’m pretty sure the pumpkin alone isn’t going to make that shit rise. Apparently pumpkin isn’t a turn-on for the cake mix. (giggidy)

      • Guest October 23, 2013 - 4:57 pm Reply

        Maybe leave one of the cupcakes out for a few days and see what happens to it. It looks like it could fend off mould pretty well………

      • MGM444 October 25, 2013 - 10:48 am Reply

        The baking soda or powder or whatever makes it rise, and that should be in the cake mix. I think the egg helps “bind” baked goods and hold them together. And generally the more dense or moist the baked good, the more oil is in it. That’s all the baking science I know!

    • Aara Sallinger October 23, 2013 - 2:31 pm Reply

      Yeah, but isn’t the whole point to test pins as they’re actually presented? And the original ‘recipe’ omits the other cake-making ingredients.

      • kittnen October 23, 2013 - 2:49 pm Reply

        Oh sure. I’m just saying this for anyone who wants to try it correctly, not the way it’s presented in the original pin (which obviously doesn’t work that well, just makes pumpkin poops).

      • molly October 23, 2013 - 3:31 pm Reply

        I like how you put quotation marks around “recipe.” (I did it, too!) When it comes to baking, two ingredient anythings usually end up looking and tasting pretty darn unappetizing.

        • molly October 23, 2013 - 3:32 pm Reply

          I should clarify: Two ingredient recipes found on Pinterest with tags like “Super easy!” “Only two ingredients!” and “Super healthy!” usually end up looking and tasting pretty darn unappetizing.

  • FluffyGirl October 23, 2013 - 2:13 pm Reply

    Yeah, I’ve done that pin, too. I still make them, but smooth out the embarassing lumps (would that I could do that to my thighs). I’ve found that the CoolWhip Chocolate Frosting is the perfect topping for these. My vegetable-averse husband and daughter love them, and I get to snicker to myself because they’re eating healthy’ish.

  • Kelly724 October 23, 2013 - 2:24 pm Reply

    Boys are so gross.

  • lizard_spit October 23, 2013 - 2:27 pm Reply

    I saw this on Spark Recipes and the comments said it was much better with carrot cake than spice cake so I tried that and LOVED it! Then I tried it with the Duncan Hines decadent caramel apple mix (it had a separate small pouch to make the caramel that you mix into each cupcake) and it was AMAZING. I ate all of them in about 2 days! I suggest trying that one instead!

    Edited to add that they still didn’t rise like normal cupcakes, but let’s be honest, I’m not making normal cupcakes. I’m making somewhat heathy-ish cupcakes the easiest way possible ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Aara Sallinger October 23, 2013 - 2:29 pm Reply

    Maybe it would have worked better with the Betty Crocker Super Moist mix? Notice that the box on the linked page says “As always… pudding in the mix.” I don’t know that it would make them rise, necessarily, but it might help improve the consistency a bit.

    • ChickieD October 24, 2013 - 3:14 pm Reply

      No shit. Duncan Hines sucks so I agree this is probably a major issue.

  • Jennifer Bickford October 23, 2013 - 2:35 pm Reply

    When I made these they were gross and lumpy too. Next time I cheated and added an egg…MUCH better! I’d make them again but spice cake mix is impossible to find around here. Maybe I’ll take lizard_spits advice and try it with carrot cake?

  • Melissa October 23, 2013 - 2:37 pm Reply

    I know it ruins the whole two ingredient thing, but if you add an egg and some pumpkin pie spice they turn out a hell of a lot better.

  • brigidkeely October 23, 2013 - 3:16 pm Reply

    Part of the point of the “recipe” is that the pumpkin puree has fat and protein already in it, so you can skip the oil and egg in theory. My instincts are that it’s still going to be dense, much denser than a typical cupcake, but some people prefer that or even just want a quick bread type texture. However, this looks pretty awful and I’m going to jump on the stand mixer for that… not that you’re awful for using it to make cupcakes from a mix instead of making artisinal bread or home made yoghurt or whatever, but because the stand mixer is powerful and the cupcakes got over mixed. Any cupcake or cake that’s over mixed will turn out dense and rubbery, whether you add the egg to it or not.

    Probably you don’t care! But I’d be really interested if other people who followed the recipe as written but mixed by hand had different texture results.

    • Midnite79 October 23, 2013 - 8:56 pm Reply

      Hi brigidkeely- I have made various combinations of the 2-ingredient cupcakes and I just mix them up with a fork in a bowl, and they come out great. They are super moist and not dense in a bad way, they just hold together better than regular cupcakes. I use a fork bc I’m too lazy to get out and then wash a whisk, and a fork pretty much does the same thing- breaks up the chunks. I usually have little lumps in my batter as they go into the cupcake tin, but they always turn out beautifully. I think the Kitchen-Aid does over mix them, as you said. Also, I’m surprised Sonja used hers, bc I don’t use mine unless I’m making something fancy/complicated bc they’re a pain in the ass to clean up. My favorite combo is Devil’s Food cake mix and cherries…yummy. Hope this info helps ๐Ÿ™‚

      • brigidkeely October 28, 2013 - 6:41 pm Reply

        yeah. I have a wonderful stand mixer that I use a LOT and leave out on the counter constantly, but I use it for very specific things (creaming butter, kneading dough, whipping cream). Baked goods are pretty delicate and get over mixed so easily. Also: I’m lazy as fuck and if I use my mixer I need to clean the beater RIGHT AWAY and the bowl’s really big and if I use a fork or spoon and a mixing bowl I can leave them in the sink for later. LAZY WINS.

    • Midnite79 October 23, 2013 - 8:59 pm Reply

      And I forgot to mention….I saw a few other posters mention their cupcakes didn’t rise but mine always do, even when I make it as a cake it rises perfectly. It does take much longer to bake than the pin suggests though.

  • Ali October 23, 2013 - 3:42 pm Reply

    I suggest lining them up under a jack o’lantern. I made the puking jack o’lantern one year & the neighbor kids loved it. I suspect they would also appreciate a “taking a dump” jack o’lantern.

  • Kelly October 23, 2013 - 3:46 pm Reply

    I tested these a while back for the first Pintester movement, I had similar results except my recipe called for white cake.

  • libraryofbird October 23, 2013 - 4:08 pm Reply

    My dog loves pumpkin. I have bought her more pumpkin flavored things this fall then I have for my self.

  • Jenni October 23, 2013 - 4:13 pm Reply

    I actually add a little bit of milk to smooth out the mix a bit, and these are one of my (and my 4 and 2 year olds’) favorite pins yet. Every time I make them, my kiddos and their friends just devour them.

  • ThetaSigma October 23, 2013 - 4:49 pm Reply

    I made the mistake of leaving food out while my parents were gone for days *once*. The chewing out I got afterwards was totally not worth it (plus, when I did that, I was 16, and now I’m 22 and still living at home, so technically they could kick me out (NOT that they would, but why make them even consider it?))

  • NotJustRocks October 23, 2013 - 4:59 pm Reply

    Maybe leave one of the cupcakes out for 4 days and see what happens to it. It looks like it could fend off mould pretty well.

  • DigitalChick October 23, 2013 - 5:18 pm Reply

    I was told to give my dog pumpkin to stop him up AND I was told to give him pumpkin to loosen him up. Which is it? i.e., is your dog now constipated or does he have the runs?

    • libraryofbird October 23, 2013 - 6:26 pm Reply

      It’s both! It does a balancing act on dogs digestive system.

  • Stefanie Hilvers October 23, 2013 - 5:36 pm Reply

    But the cookies made this way are amazeballs! Definetly go with a carrot cake mix, or add some pumpkin pie spice to it. Gives it that little extra umph!

  • Michelle October 23, 2013 - 8:01 pm Reply

    My suggestion? Add some frosting on top. It’ll improve the taste and you can hide the weirdness! Cream cheese frosting would be great!

  • Pattie October 23, 2013 - 9:13 pm Reply

    When I make this recipe, I add water to thin the batter. Then it ends up acting like regular cake batter. Devil’s Food cake mix, pumpkin and water makes AMAZING cupcakes. And with the chocolate, you don’t even notice the pumpkin.

  • Ilana October 24, 2013 - 12:28 am Reply

    When I made these, I was told that they were supposed to be cookies so I baked them on a cookie tray. They kept their (albeit slightly lumpy) shape and with a little bit of cream cheese frosting, they were delish.

  • Kendra October 24, 2013 - 9:35 am Reply

    You use that fancy, fucking KitchenAid Stand Mixer any way you want! You paid for it. If you want to mix oil and gas for your lawnmower in it, go ahead!! I dislike “inside the boxers.”

    • Kendra October 24, 2013 - 9:37 am Reply

      On a side note, if you do mix oil and gas for your lawnmower in it, you should probably not mix up a batch of easy pumpkin muffins afterwards. Just sayin’.

    • Llama spit October 24, 2013 - 4:58 pm Reply

      First of all, I dislike boxers, too. I’d much prefer to see what’s inside taken out and flapping in the breeze, as it were.
      Dude. I LOVE my kitchenaid and I use it for all kinds of things! As much as they cost, you might as well use it for every little thing that you can. I’ve actually used mine to shred boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Just the regular old paddle, dump a couple of chicken breasts in, turn it on, and try not to jump when it turns violent for a minute before pulling the stuff apart. It saves a lot of time when you want to shred, like, five pounds of chicken and you really don’t want to do that shit by hand and besides those chicken pieces are HOT and you burned yourself already just pulling them out. See? Silly uses for kitchenaids are kind of a given. Fuck you, “inside the boxers!” (heh, giggity giggity goo!) You don’t get full use out of an expensive piece of equipment that can handle whatever whacked out idea you have!

  • Ann Avants October 24, 2013 - 2:21 pm Reply

    I have an awesome brownie bar recipe for Halloween that involves 6 layers of candy, pretzels, and other unhealthy things. I use a can of pumpkin and a box of Devil’s Food Cake mix for the base instead of a standard butter and egg brownie to cut a little fat out of the recipe. I’ve never had anyone complain or notice that the base was anything other than a standard brownie. However, I have tried this technique with cupcakes and was less impressed with the results. I would say this process works well with chocolate cake mix if you smother the results in other sugary and fatty things.

  • Teresa T October 24, 2013 - 3:53 pm Reply

    I LOVE making these for the holidays and I actually get told now to make them… or else! Tricks I use though are to stick a toothpick in and make sure I bake them just until the toothpick comes out dry and clean…. make them as cookies, not muffins…. and to add chocolate and butterscotch chips to them!! Works every time!!

    • Teresa T October 24, 2013 - 3:57 pm Reply

      Oh!! forgot to mention!! The only person that I’ve really grossed out with these though was my bf’s mom when I told her I think they looked like little orangey poop cookies…cuz well.. that’s kinda what they do look like since they don’t flatten out like normal cookies or cake!! She made a face, said “okaaaayy…..” and walked off! haha

  • Rebecca Amos October 24, 2013 - 3:53 pm Reply

    I did this with yellow cake mix, and they were ugly as hell but tasted pretty good. Only problem, this recipe makes like 20+ muffins/cupcakes, and since I’m the only one who eats pumpkin in my house, that’s a bit much. And those bitches get stupid sticky and gooey if you don’t eat them all on the first or second day after their made.

  • Llama spit October 24, 2013 - 5:11 pm Reply

    Am I the only one who thought it was funny that there’s an add for “touching blog posts” at the top? If we were going to read touching blog posts, wouldn’t we be on that type of blog already?! Dude. Maybe more like, “keep these touching blog posts in mind for when you go all hormonal in the next month and won’t make jokes about where the posts are touching you.” It IS us, after all.

  • MGM444 October 25, 2013 - 10:47 am Reply

    There is a skinnytaste recipe like this, but it also calls for 1 cup of water. Water’s not hard, but technically it’s still 3 ingredients. They rose more than yours did and were pretty tasty.

    Also if they were chewy or rubbery, it could be that they were over-mixed. The more you mix flour, the more the gluten is activated, and the chewier things get. Great for pizza dough, not great for baked goods!

  • Pinteste Round-up: Cha Cha Cha | Pintester October 30, 2013 - 6:36 pm Reply

    […] loves pumpkin almost as much as she loves bacon, and she begs hard whenever I get out one of the pumpkin muffins I made. I think she thinks I made them for her. More ideas of you need […]

  • Xtina Elisa November 2, 2013 - 2:28 pm Reply

    I just made these the other day with spice cake mix. I made them as 24 mini muffins & only cooked for 15 minutes. If you cook them too long they are rubbery. 15 was perfect & they were really good. I’ve also made them with carrot cake mix.

  • Involuntary Housewife November 3, 2013 - 5:03 pm Reply

    I think the whole point of spending a ton on a Kitchen Aid is to use it ALL THE TIME! If there is even the possibility that I can use it I go for it….I am way to lazy for hand mixing stuff!

  • L. Elizabeth Hewitt November 16, 2013 - 8:09 pm Reply

    I actually love this with the Betty Crocker streusel muffin mix…

  • Aimee November 25, 2013 - 4:05 pm Reply

    As Xtina Elisa said, bake them for 15 minutes. Also, they are even more yummy if you add a bag of cinnamon chips. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • itsmeD December 15, 2013 - 5:27 pm Reply

    I would have loved to stay on your page until I saw your trashy profanity. No reason for trashy talk.

  • Melissa December 24, 2013 - 11:16 pm Reply

    Haha! I was totally googling pumpkin spice muffins and landed on what I thought would be a great recipe! But it was even better! ๐Ÿ™‚ That last pic with “Tastes kinda okay” cracked me up.

  • Leslie Creech March 1, 2014 - 2:25 pm Reply

    Just made these–got the recipe from another site and it came with a multitude of great reviews. However, I agree with you. They were dense, rubbery, and ugly. I would rather take an extra 5 minutes and make regular pumpkin muffins. I just don’t get what everybody loves about these!

  • Alisa April 14, 2014 - 10:02 pm Reply

    My recipe calls for 1 cup of water with the can of pumpkin and cake mix…turns out much smoother and not chewy. Great topped with a little whipped cream!

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