My grandma was the best baker I have ever known. She won ribbons at the county fair for everything from her buns to her cakes to her pies and of course, for these delicious muffins. I can still remember the smell in her kitchen.
I spent about a week with her one summer learning how to bake. I don’t know how well I retained what she taught me that year as I was still quite young, but I have fond memories of our time together in that kitchen.
My grandma was kind and patient and she sure would have had to be to try to teach me how to bake! We entered my offerings in the fair that summer and I won some ribbons and prize money. She was so proud.
When I was 14, my grandma lost her battle with breast cancer. Years later, I received this small recipe card, my inheritance from her:
I treasure it. It is worn and has oil spills on it, but it is in her familiar handwriting and each time I bake these muffins and then again while I smell them baking in my own kitchen, I am taken back to a time when my grandma and I shared a connection in her kitchen, where she taught me about more than just measuring ingredients. She taught me about life.
These pumpkin muffins are not the healthiest, nor are they fat or sugar free! They are however, delicious! They are my go-to for giving someone when they have a new baby or are going through a hard time and when I’ve shared the muffins, the requests for the recipe always follows. This is by far my most requested recipe.
These freeze really well and I like to have at least a dozen in the freezer so that if I’m running out the door on my way to an appointment, I can grab one as a quick breakfast.
The butterscotch chips ensure that they are a favourite among kids as well. One of my daughters, Miss Optimism, does not eat fruit or vegetables so these muffins and zucchini cake or loaf are about the only way she gets those nutrients so I reason that the pumpkin cancels out the butterscotch chips!
I had to adapt the recipe slightly by doubling most of the ingredients to accommodate for the larger cans of pumpkin because our local grocery stores stopped selling the smaller ones a number of years ago. Depending on the size you make the muffins, this makes about four dozen.
My Grandma’s Famous Pumpkin Muffins
4 cups of sugar
Then add and beat:
2 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 – 796ml can of pumpkin
Stir together in another bowl:
6 cups of flour
2 tsp. baking soda
dash of salt
4 tsp. baking powder
4 or 5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. Stir in:
one bag of butterscotch chips
Grease muffin trays (unless using a stoneware muffin tin) and fill 3/4 full. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
If I’m freezing them, I let them cool and then put them in a large resealable freezer bag and then freeze.
I’ve tried to make these pumpkin muffins healthier by substituting applesauce for half of the oil and by trying other sweeteners in place of the sugar, but they have never tasted as good.
It could also be that for me, the taste is so connected to childhood memories that this is one recipe I just shouldn’t try to change so feel free to experiment.
- 4 cups of sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 - 796 ml can of pumpkin
- 6 cups of flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- dash of salt
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 4 or 5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
- 1 bag of butterscotch chips
Cream together sugar and eggs.
Add vegetable oil and can of pumpkin and beat.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and pimpin pie spice or cinnamon.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix.
Stir in butterscotch chips.
Grease muffin trays (unless using a stoneware muffin tiand fill 3/4 full.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
If I'm freezing them, I let them cool and then put them in a large resealable freezer bag and then freeze.