My warmly spiced, deeply delicious Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins were inspired by the gorgeous British countryside, our Lake District, and days gone by.
One cool British summer day some years ago, after lunch at the Wordsworth Hotel, my family and I took a walk through the beautiful village of Grasmere. We were drawn to a small 17th century cottage by the heady scent of gingerbread. It was utterly irresistible.
The cottage was formerly a school that boasted poet William Wordsworth amongst its teachers. In the mid 1800‘s this cottage became home to one Sarah Nelson and her family. To make ends meet, Sarah began to make and sell gingerbread. The locals loved it, and eventually Sarah’s Grasmere Gingerbread became famous far and wide. Today it is still made in Sarah’s own kitchen, using the same recipe that she used all those years ago.
Deep, treacly and heady with the scent of the Indies, Grasmere Gingerbread was like nothing I had ever tasted before. It was tender and moist with a deep, haunting flavour. It left me with a mild obsession with all forms of ginger.
Bringing My Gingerbread Dreams To Life
A long time ago, the lovely and talented Karen of Trilogy Edibles shared a recipe for Pumpkin Gingerbread Streusel Muffins. The recipe was so deeply, madly, richly gingerbready it immediately reminded me of that day in the Lake District and the taste and smells of Sarah’s cottage.
As an homage to Sarah’s gingerbread, I decided to adapt Karen’s recipe a bit. I substituted brown sugar for white, adjusted the spicing and incorporated crystallised ginger for even more depth. Buttermilk added a bit of extra tang. It isn’t exactly like Grasmere Gingerbread…but it’s pretty close. Just biting into one of these muffins takes me back all those years ago to that lovely little cottage in the Lake District.
A Long-Time Family Favourite
As you can see from the photos below, I first blogged this recipe some time ago – back in 2013 in fact.
The muffins, the blog, and I have evolved a little bit since then. Now, instead of using a spice mix in this recipe, I use individual spices in a bespoke combination. It’s not a big difference, but it is a good difference.
Perfect with a cup of tea, coffee or a cold glass of milk, these muffins taste even better after a day’s keeping. They are the perfect warming breakfast or snack on a cold or wet winter day.
Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins also freeze really well. Thaw the muffins overnight in the fridge and serve them slightly warm. Four or five minutes at 325°F or about 160°C usually does the trick.
Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins Printable Recipe
- For the streusel:
- ¼ cup all purpose (plain) flour
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons cold cubed butter
- For the muffins:
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2½ cups all purpose (plain) flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons very finely chopped crystallised ginger
- For the streusel:
- Combine the flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon and ginger.
- Add the butter and cut in with a knife or pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
- Set aside.
- For the muffins:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Grease and flour or line 18 muffin cups.
- Cream the butter and sugar together.
- Add the pumpkin puree, buttermilk and molasses.
- Beat in the eggs.
- Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.
- Stir through the crystallised ginger.
- Add this to the creamed mixture. Blend thoroughly with a wooden spoon but do not over mix.
- Scoop into the prepared muffin pans using an ice cream scoop. Sprinkle with the the streusel.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool before eating. If you can resist, leave the cooled muffins in a sealed container overnight before serving as it allows the flavours to develop.
- Muffins will keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, or can be frozen.