Healthy Pumpkin Muffins–No Oil!

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I hate cooking with my kid.

I love cooking with my kid.

You understand, right? When my two-year-old helps me bake or cook, she’s even more messy than I am (and that’s saying something). And it takes forever. And she likes to double dip. In my batter. With raw eggs.

But we have so much fun! She loves to be mommy’s helper! And why else do we have a dog if not to let the dog do the first round of clean up when an entire cup of flour gets spilled all over the kitchen floor?

So I usually invite Miss A to help me bake. She holds the measuring cup while I pour in the ingredients. She counts the eggs as I crack them into the bowl. She likes to sniff the cinnamon and then dump in way too much. She likes to have her own spoon so she can “bate, bate, stir, stir.” (That’s the only time she voluntarily speaks in Spanish, by the way.)

A few weeks ago, I found a recipe in Family Fun magazine called “Better-For-You Muffins.” The ingredients were normal. The directions were simple. So we decided to give it a try…with a few adjustments that, in my opinion,  made our muffins even better.

Pumpkin Muffins

Better “Better-for-You Muffins” Family Fun


1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin

1/3 cup oil (I substituted no-sugar-added applesauce. Seems like an obvious “better for you” swap!)

2 large eggs (since my little one sneaks bites of batter, I substituted flax. 1 egg = 1 T flax + 4 T water. I ground the whole flax seed and water in the food processor.)

1 teaspoon vanilla (or more if your little one helps you pour/measure!)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups flour (I forgot to try whole wheat!)

2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (we don’t actually have pumpkin pie spice. We just throw in a bit of nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves, and cinnamon)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

pumpkin muffins


Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom only of muffin cups.

Combine ingredients.

Pour into muffin cups and bake until muffins are slightly puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes.

They’re pretty moist, so I suggest refrigerating them if you don’t eat them all right away! Another adjustment would be to add a touch more flour.

And, just for the record, if we ever bake for you, I won’t let her double dip. I’m thoughtful like that.

Want more recipes? Check out our kid-friendly food board on pinterest!


10 thoughts on “Healthy Pumpkin Muffins–No Oil!”

  1. I was so excited when I saw this recipe in my Family Fun magazine! Then I lost it and couldn’t find it on their website. So I did a search and YAY, here it is! I subbed 2 cups gluten free flour and 1/2 cup flax seed meal for the flour (the kiddos and I are gluten intolerant) and used 1/2 banana for the sugar in these and they were awesome! I used real eggs from our own backyard free range chickens.

    1. Those changes sound awesome! (I’ll have to share your changes with my gluten-free friends.) And banana for the sugar? Brilliant! Thanks for sharing!

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