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Pumpkin Banana Muffins with Crumb Topping

These pumpkin banana muffins are super moist on the inside with the best crumb topping. Because pumpkin and banana both are excellent substitutes for butter and oil, they are even just a little bit healthier. 

 

Pumpkin banana muffins on a cake stand.

 

Why you’ll love this recipe

 

You will love this recipe if you love banana bread. They really do have a great banana flavor to them. You will also love them if you like pumpkin spice and other warming spices.

 

In addition, they are so easy to make, using just a bowl and no special equipment. They can be made just when the craving hits! It is also a great way to use up that extra pumpkin puree

 

Oh, and who doesn't love crumb topping? I had a poll on my Instagram stories a while back asking what you guys preferred (for this recipe) and it was no competition!

 

More crumb topping recipes:

 

Or simply search for crumb top in the search field and there are even more ideas for you!

 

One muffin with crumb topping on a small plate.

 

Ingredients

 

To make the pumpkin banana muffins you will need:

 

  • Ripe banana - ripe bananas are great in baked goods. They provide moisture, sweetness, and a delicious banana flavor. So if you don't like bananas in baked goods, you shouldn't make these as is (but keep reading the Variations step below). 
  • Pumpkin puree - pumpkin puree is another way to add moisture to the muffins. However, more like carrots in carrot cake, they don't get a lot of pumpkin flavors, just a mellow hint.
  • Pumpkin pie spice - but to get that pumpkin vibe, we will definitely go with all the delicious pumpkin pie spices. They are also great in combination with bananas, so they are a super comforting and warming treat.
  • Brown sugar - to keep with the warming and comforting reasoning, brown sugar is better to use than white sugar as brown sugar has a robust butterscotch flavor. Brown sugar also makes the muffins moister, but not super light and airy such as angel food cakes. That doesn't matter in banana and pumpkin baked goods, if you ask me!
  • All-purpose flour - providing strength and structure to the pumpkin banana muffins.
  • Baking powder and baking soda - are two leavening agents providing more air to the muffins. Baking soda needs acid to be activated, in this case, brown sugar. However, it is not enough and so it requires some help from baking powder which does not need any acid.
  • Egg - eggs have multiple functions in baked goods. Eggs provide structure by having a binding effect, they are also emulsifying the fat with the other ingredients and should not be omitted. In addition to this, they also provide moisture and flavor although the pumpkin and banana have this property as well.
  • Salt - should never be omitted in baking as salt enhances both flavor and texture. Salt has a binding and strengthening effect, making the flour stronger. There is also a bunch of more nitty gritty stuff you can read more about in Understanding Ingredients for the Canadian Baker.
  • Milk - milk is used as the liquid for the leavening agents to ensure that the chemical processes will start, providing a fluffier texture.
  • Pure vanilla extract - more warming flavors! Vanilla extract can usually always be omitted, or you can use vanilla bean sugar (in the dry ingredients) instead.

 

Ingredients to make pumpkin banana muffins.

 

Step-by-step instructions

 

Start by preheating the oven to 430℉ (220℃) and then make the crumb topping. In the later years, I've come to prefer the melted butter way to make crumb topping as you don't have to worry about the temperature of the butter. 

 

Melt butter, combine with the other ingredients, and pour onto a lined baking sheet or a large plate. Set aside to cool and dry out while you prepare the rest.

 

Step by step for how to make crumble topping.

 

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients together: all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.

 

Bowl with the finished batter.

 

In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients together: Brown sugar and egg. Once combined, then add the pumpkin puree and mashed banana. Finally, add the milk and pure vanilla extract.

 

Carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet, and avoid over-mixing. I like to add a little of the dry ingredients at a time and stir with a spatula.

 

To make domed muffins like bakery-style muffins, fill the muffin liners to the brim with the muffin batter. Then sprinkle on the crumb topping.

 

Two images, one image of the batter in muffins tins and one with the crumb topping too.

 

Bake for 5 minutes to give rise to the muffins, then reduce the temperature to 375℉ (190℃) to ensure the muffins get done without burning the top. Bake for another 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a few moist crumbs. 

 

If you have leftover crumb topping, store it in a tight jar and use it for other muffins or cakes, like blueberry muffins, cranberry muffins, pumpkin muffins, apple cake, lemon cake, and many more!

 

Let cool on a wire rack before enjoying.

 

Storage

 

I find that the best way to store muffins with crumb topping is by placing the baked and cooled muffins back into the muffin tin (cleaned) and then loosely covering them with aluminum foil. 

 

This way you are ensuring that the muffins themselves stay moist by encapsulating them in both muffin liners and the muffin tin. And by only loosely covering the top, you are letting some air circulate to keep the crumb topping crunchy

 

This is my crumb top hack and I always use it! I've read multiple ways how to do it, and I will not even restate them here because this is the best way and I haven't gotten any other way to work so well. 

 

This way they will last for 3-4 days in a cold room. But anyway, they are always best on the first day!

 

Closeup of a stack of pumpkin banana muffins.

 

Recipe FAQs

 

What does pumpkin do in baked goods?

In short, pumpkins provide a light sweetness and moisture, and they can be a substitute for fat. You can also use pumpkin puree instead of eggs, for structure (try ¼ cup puree per egg). Don't overdo this of course, as the texture will never be exactly the same!

 

Make sure you try my healthy pumpkin scones too!

 

What does banana do in baked goods?

In a similar fashion to pumpkins, bananas provide sweetness (more than pumpkins), moisture, and fat. Thus, it can be a substitute for oil or butter in a recipe. It is a substitute for eggs as well. When using pumpkin or banana as an egg substitute, extra leavening may be required. 

 

Why are my pumpkin muffins so dense?

It can be that you used homemade pumpkin puree and forgot to strain it through a cheesecloth, resulting in a very liquid puree. That way you have too much moisture in your pumpkin muffins, making them gummy and dense. 

 

Also, when substituting fat with pumpkin or banana, you will need more leavening. So it may also be that you used too little leavening (or that it has expired!). 

 

Pumpkin banana muffins on a wire rack.

 

How can I add more flavor to pumpkin?

Making homemade pumpkin puree often yields better flavor, although canned is perfectly fine too. Other than that, pumpkin is like made for warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.

 

Try mixing in some pumpkin spice (as I do in this recipe), or chai spice, and gingerbread spices are delicious too. 

 

Blue plate with ingredients for masala chai.

Chai Spices

 

How can I use old/ripe bananas?

 

Let's dig out all those banana recipes! Ripe bananas are fantastic in baking and in smoothies.

 

  1. Smoothies: if I only have one ripe banana, it is perfect for smoothies. Try this mango pineapple smoothie, green smoothie, or even some of my rainbow smoothies in the 99 Summer Drinks book!
  2. Baking: for example this healthier honey banana bread, double chocolate banana muffins, banana snickerdoodle cookies, or banana pancakes


If you have too much to handle right now, you can freeze it for later. Slice the bananas and place them on a sheet, freeze for at least an hour, then place the banana slices in a ziplock bag. That way they won't stick together!

 

One muffins on a small plate.

 

Expert tips

Variations

You can make these as only pumpkin muffins or as pure banana muffins with a super easy substitution. Just replace pumpkin puree with mashed banana 1:1 or the other way around!

 

If you want to make straight-up banana muffins, you don't have to use pumpkin pie spice (although you can of course!). Spices that are perfect with bananas are cinnamon and nutmeg

 

Another way to spice it up is to add nuts to your crumb topping, like hazelnut crumb topping, or even oat crumb topping. It can also be omitted!

 

The muffins on a cake stand seen from above.

 

Did you like this recipe? Here are more pumpkin recipes I think you’d love:

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. 

 

As thanks, you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year. 

 

 

To keep the blog up and running this post may contain affiliate links, it will be at no extra cost to you, please read the disclosure for more information.

 

📖 Recipe

Pumpkin banana muffins on a cake stand.

Pumpkin Banana Muffins with Crumb Topping

Yield: 15-16
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

These pumpkin banana muffins are super moist with the best crumb topping, and they are made a bit healthier without you even noticing.

Ingredients

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

  • 2 ⅓ cups of all-purpose flour (300 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar (100 grams)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree** (250 milliliters)
  • 1 cup mashed banana (250 milliliters)
  • ½ cup milk (125 mililiters)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Crumb topping

  • ¼ cup butter, melted (60 grams)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons white sugar (35 grams)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons brown sugar (35 grams)
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cups flour (90 grams)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 430°F (220°C). Add cupcake liners into a cupcake tin.
  2. Make the crumb topping: Melt butter, and combine with all the dry ingredients. You will get a lumpy texture. Pour it onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread it out to dry and cool.
  3. For the muffins, mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients together. Egg and brown sugar. Mix until well combined, then add in the mashed banana and pumpkin puree, mix, and then finally the milk and pure vanilla extract. Mix again.
  5. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Do not overmix, just until there are no visible flour lumps.
  6. Fill the cupcake tins with batter up to the brim. This makes a nice dome to the muffins. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top.
  7. Bake for 5 minutes to get a tall dome, then reduce to 375°F (190°C) for 15 minutes or until no lumps when inserting a toothpick in the center of a muffin.
  8. Let cool on a wire rack.

Notes

* Pumpkin pie spice recipe

** Pumpkin puree recipe (store-bought is fine)

Storage tips: Clean the muffin tin and place the cooled muffins back into it (with the muffin liners still on). Loosley cover with aluminum foil to let air circulate to keep the crumb topping crunchy. Keeps for 3-4 days, but always best on the first day.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 298mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 13gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information isn't always accurate, estimate for informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

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