Pumpkin Oat Muffins with Cranberries and Pecans


This morning I woke up with a strong urge to bake. There was no controlling it. The welcome outcome was a warm, special breakfast treat for Ima (me!), Littlest Guy, Snu Magoo – and even Abba! He happened to pop in briefly from work – just as the muffins were coming out of the oven. Suspicious, to say the least. He must have muffin spy’s reporting back to him at the hospital!


Our family loves pumpkin muffins in the Fall – and I am guessing your may, too! This morning, I challenged myself to create a healthy, yet positively toothsome pumpkin muffins. This recipe is rich and tasty! It highlights aromatic, warm Autumn spices. The moist, decadent cake-like texture is not to be missed.


The earthy, sweet pumpkin pairs with soft cranberries and crunchy pecans. My husband is a Georgia boy, so the pecans are a necessity. Of course, any salty, savory nut you enjoy will be a perfect juxtaposition the concentrated fruit sugars and forward flavor of the dried, honeyed fruit. Feel free to substitute – and play!


Of course, this seasonal favorite is more nutritious than others. The recipe is 100% whole grain and features less oil and sugar than the typical pumpkin muffin. Food should be delectable – and also make you feel good. It is satisfying to share comforting food with my children that is delectable and nourishing. I hope that you share this healthful breakfast nosh with your family, too. The recipe couldn’t be more quick. Despite morning baking, the family was ready for their day – and Snu Magoo at preschool – by nine o’clock. Score one, Mom!

Let’s get baking!

DSC_1811Combine your wet ingredients…


…And mix well.


Place the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients…


… including the gorgeous roasted pecans and succulent, sweet cranberries.


Mix the dry ingredients without disturbing the wet ingredients.


Completely combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients underneath.


Use an ice cream scoop to place the batter into thirteen muffin cups.


It requires an extra muffin tin to make the “baker’s dozen” of thirteen muffins.

However, I will not complain about an extra muffin for Ima.


Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, just until moist and scrumptious!

As opposed to baking them until they are not moist and scrumptious.

Enjoy, friends! Thank you for visiting our family at Curls and Carrots.



Pumpkin Oat Muffins with Cranberries and Pecans


Wet ingredients:

1 1/3 cup pumpkin purée

2 large eggs

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup canola oil

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. 0% Greek yogurt

Dry ingredients:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cloves

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup pecans, roasted and chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350•F or 177•C.
  • Whisk wet ingredients in a large bowl until completely combined.
  • Place dry ingredients on top of wet ingredients and stir the dry ingredients only. Take care not to disturb wet ingredients.
  • Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to place batter into muffin cups.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire racks. Enjoy!


©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.



40 thoughts on “Pumpkin Oat Muffins with Cranberries and Pecans

  1. Looks yummy Shanna. I had the urge to bake this morning too but managed to hold off until this afternoon. Time will tell if it turns out. I made a mistake with my peanut butter graham crackers and improvised, not sure it will work!

    1. Hi, Gretchen,
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving some kind and supportive words! 🙂 I hope that your afternoon baking went well… and those graham crackers turn out well. How creative to integrate peanut butter.
      Be well,

  2. Hey, Shanna! You know, I’ve made plenty of muffins but never pumpkin. (Quelle horreur!) Thinking about it, it’s probably because I make and freeze so many (blueberry, cherry, & strawberry) muffins in the Summer that by the time Fall and pumpkins arrive, I’m all muffined out. Your do sound good and I do have the freezer space now that all of the other muffins are gone. Maybe it’s time I sail into uncharted waters and make pumpkin muffins. 🙂

    1. Hi, John,
      It sure sounds like you have a freezer FULL of delicious summer muffins. I also love to freeze muffins (and, sadly, I do not get muffined out. If I did, I would be five pounds less. HA). An alternative would be to try a pumpkin bread. This recipe makes two loaves (or six mini loaves). Some to keep, some to share:
      I am thrilled that I have inspired you to contemplate pumpkin! Have a wonderful day. I appreciate your visit and kind words.

  3. Yum yum yum! You’re making me jealous as pecans are impossible to get here (i’ve looked everywhere!) and cranberries also are impossible to bet (though I haven’t looked everywhere. Your muffins look fantastic Shanna. Besos.

      1. Hi Shanna, I tried your recipe this afteroon! However, to avoid running out to the grocery store, I had to make a couple of substitutions. On hand I had dried cherries instead of cranberries and used oat bran instead of quick oats. I thought the oat bran might be better than the slow cooking oats I also had at home. All in all it turned out well. I served them to a friend who was visiting and my son, and tomorrow I will pack some for my husband to take for his snack while at work. Thanks so much! Have a great evening!

      2. Hi, Martine,
        I am so glad that you tried them! The dried cherries sound fabulous – probably better than the cranberries. How was the texture of pumpkin muffin with the oat bran? I am very curious to try this substitution now! Thanks for stopping by to give some feed back.

  4. Spicy, healthy and delicious muffins. Great for breakfast or mid-morning snack or should I eat them in the afternoon? I love the addition of cranberries and roasted pecan. You have a medley of all the ingredients I love. I have bookmarked this one too!

    1. Hi, Liz,
      Oh, I am also a fan of a bit of warm spice in muffins – especially with a nut and dried fruit fit for Fall. You have some great baked goods on your site! 🙂 Thank you for your generous comments. Have a great day!
      Best wishes,

  5. Yummy! So jealous of you guys’ pumpkins surplus over there (yummy, cheap, low-calorie), but then again it’s getting into Summer here in NZ so not feeling so not feeling so dejected 🙂 Will need to do lots of tweaking with this recipe though for my mum who doesn’t eat eggs, and me who’s on a low-sugar diet, any tips? 🙂

    1. Hi, Liz,
      Well, these muffins have 50% less sugar than the standard pumpkin muffin. I think that you could reduce it 15% more and still have a light sweetness. You could also substitute stevia baking “sugar” for part of the sugar, if you wished. As for not eating eggs – hmm, this is hard. We have free-range, organically fed chickens and adore their eggs in baking and cooking – they have myriad health benefits. I have never tried baking without eggs, but I did come across this article: http://www.wikihow.com/Replace-Eggs-in-Your-Cooking
      Thank you for all of your lovely comments and for your visit, Lz. Have a great evening.

      1. Hi Shanna,
        Thanks for the advice! I just wanted to know how much sugar I can possibly reduce from the recipe but still obtain the right texture. I’ve bought ‘stevia’ “sugar” form a while ago, from the brand equal (is this what you were referring too?) And gosh, it was nasty 😛 The taste was just pure chemical, I wonder what the ‘natural’ plant extract tastes like. But that granulized stuff obviously have been heavily chemicalized (my $6!!).
        I eat free-range/organic eggs but my mum is a strict non-ovo veggie, she said it’s mostly to control her weight (after I’ve discovered the wonders of baking, she has been bombarded with vegan cakes though haha)

      2. Lz – Sugar – I would go as low as a half a cup. There is stevia extract available here by the brand Truvia and others. I like the taste of the Truvia: I despise those chemical-laided artificial sugars, too! Your mom sounds like she eats a lot of vitamins and healthy fats. 😉
        Take good care! Warmly – Shanna

      3. I’m trying to diverge from artificial sugars, and sweeteners, but may try stevia out (it’s the cost that’s repelled me from buying them thus far).
        My mum is a 40+ year old with incredible metabolism – she eats cakes for breakfast and sometimes 3 platefuls of noodles for dinner! I need to constantly keep her more in line! Haha.

      4. Hi Izzy,
        I think simply reducing the sugar would be fine. I generally reduce the sugar in all recipes greatly – and don’t even notice! Most recipes use way, way too much sugar. Pure stevia without artificial ingredients is quite costly, you are right. Take good care of your mom – though some noodles and cake now in then are good for the soul. You’ll find a way to make what she loves to eat more nutrient rich.
        Be well!

      5. Hi Shanna,
        I agree that some recipes use way too much sugar, but the thing is, people actually get used to the sweetness after a while, then that amount of sugar becomes tolerably normal.
        I found the stevia extract at the ‘Lotus Heart Cafe’ gift shop, (I actually blog about dining there here http://obsessivenutritioncompulsive.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/delicious-vegetarianvegan-restaurant-outing-mate-tea-review/ and here http://obsessivenutritioncompulsive.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/lunch-at-the-lotus-heart-cafe-vegan-pizza-and-cheese/ if you feel like a read), I love looking at all the strange and wonderful foods at organic/health shops!
        I’ve been reconstructing her normal staples into healthier versions i.e. low-fat/sugar cakes, scones, or vegan cheese. Slowly converting her to healthiness 🙂

      6. Hi, Izzy,
        Good to see you around these parts again. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. I am glad to hear that you are taking good care of your mum! Yes, you are right about sugar tolerances. I am used to less, so my palate has become more sensitive. I think salt is a similar issue – except that I really dig seasoning well with salt and pepper. Fortunately my blood pressure is low! Have a great day. Best – Shanna

      7. Hi Shanna,
        That’s great that although you’re a bit OTT about salt, your blood pressure is still unaffected. I guess slightly high salt consumption is alright as long as you’re without conditions like kidney’s and heart’s. However, excessive salt consumption still leads to bloating and water retention, which can often not look so awesome. When I add salt to my food for a time, I tend to get used to it too which is not so great. I prefer to be nicer to my body 🙂

  6. My daughter always throws different textured additions to her muffins! This recipe sounds delicious! She will add pecans, coconut, oats and different dried fruits. This will be one I need to pass on to her!

    1. Hello! Thank you so much for all of your likes and warm, kind comments. Your blog is also fantastic and I shall pop over soon for a visit. I do hope that your sweet daughter tries this recipe. It is quite versatile – as any good recipe should be. Let me know what sort of fun she has throwing in this or that. Take good care! Best wishes, Shanna

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