Easy Pumpkin Muffins {With Cake Mix}

Quick and easy pumpkin muffins recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Starts off with spice cake mix. Soft, moist, topped off with crunchy sugar topping!

This moist pumpkin muffin recipe is a doctored cake mix recipe and much better than any scratch recipe I have tried. They are also known as “pumpkin spice muffins.”

You guys may have heard of the 2 ingredient pumpkin muffins that are made with just pumpkin puree and cake mix but I find them to be super dense and heavy. They don’t have that perfect muffin texture, which should be very similar to a rich dessert bread. It should only be slightly dense but also soft and moist.

Easy Pumpkin Muffins With Cake Mix

More Pumpkin Desserts

Fall and Thanksgiving is all about enjoying pumpkin in our cooking and baking. These are some of the most popular recipes that you should definitely be trying this year. Some of them are old-fashioned classics and others are a creative spin on traditional recipes.

Moist Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

How to make pumpkin muffins?

  1. Prepare muffin batter– Mix together eggs, water, pumpkin puree, cake mix powder until just combined.
  2. Pour batter in pan– You can use cupcake or muffin liners or just pour batter in a greased and floured muffin pan.
  3. Add sugar topping– Sprinkle sanding sugar on top of each muffin which will add a nice crunch.
  4. Bake– Until they are golden brown and an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  5. Enjoy! Let them cool down and dig in! They actually taste better the next day, when the flavors have had a chance to deepen and develop.
Pumpkin Spice Muffins


  • Pumpkin banana muffins– Reduce quantity of pumpkin puree by half and replace that with mashed bananas.
  • Pumpkin cream cheese muffins- Make a cheesecake mixture and swirl that into the muffin batter OR you can just top off the baked muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins– Mix in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips in the batter. Make sure they are tossed in a little flour first so that they don’t sink to the bottom.
  • Pumpkin oatmeal muffins– Mix in 1/4 cup quick cooking oats in the batter. You can also add some oats in a crumble or streusel topping.
  • Pumpkin zucchini muffins– Reduce quantity of pumpkin puree by half and replace that with shredded zucchini (excess water squeezed out).
  • Pumpkin streusel muffins– Make a simple crumble/ streusel topping and sprinkle on top of each muffin, prior to baking.
  • Add apples– Mix in 1/2 cup finely diced apples into the batter. Make sure they are tossed in a little flour first so that they don’t sink to the bottom.
  • Add cranberries– Mix in 1/2 cup roughly chopped dried cranberries in the batter. Don’t use fresh cranberries since they will release a lot of juices during baking and yield soggy muffins.
  • Add nuts– Mix in 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans or walnuts in the batter.
  • Add a drizzle– Just prior to serving, drizzle some Homemade Caramel Sauce or Homemade Dulce de Leche or Nutella Syrup or a simple spice glaze or even chocolate ganache.
  • Make mini muffins– Use a mini muffin pan or cupcake pan. They will be cute and bite-sized and perfect for kids.
Best Pumpkin Muffins with Sanding Sugar Topping

Tips and Techniques

  • Double recipe– This recipe only makes 17 muffins. To make a bigger batch, just double all the ingredients.
  • Can you freeze muffins? Yes, you can freeze them but I recommend not adding any streusel topping or sanding sugar topping to them, which don’t thaw well.
  • Use pumpkin puree– NOT pumpkin pie filling. Those are two different things and cannot be used interchangeably.
  • Don’t replace water with milk– This is one of those instances where I won’t recommend using milk since it makes the muffins too dense.
  • All ingredients must be at room temperature– That’s because they blend together smoothly and evenly.
  • Sanding sugar is optional– These muffins will taste great even without them. Sanding sugar is NOT the same as granulated sugar. Granulated sugar will end up melting during baking , unlike sanding sugar.
  • Canned pumpkin puree vs. Fresh pumpkin puree- Either can be used.
  • Don’t over-mix muffin batter– Because that will yield tough, dense and glutenous muffins. This batter will be thick. Don’t try to thin it out by adding more liquid. Don’t worry if there are some lumps. That’s perfectly fine!

More Muffin Recipes

Easy Pumpkin Muffins With Cake Mix
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Pumpkin Muffins (With Cake Mix)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Quick and easy pumpkin muffins recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Starts off with spice cake mix. Soft, moist, topped off with crunchy sanding sugar topping!
Yield: 17 Muffins


  • 1 can Pumpkin puree, 15 oz. can
  • 3 Eggs, Large
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 box Spice cake mix
  • 1/2 cup Sanding sugar, Optional, For topping


  • In a large mixing bowl, add pumpkin puree, eggs, water and mix until smooth.
  • Add cake mix and mix until just combined. The batter will be thick.
  • Pour batter in cupcake liners or a greased muffin pan.
  • Sprinkle sanding sugar on top of each muffin. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow them to cool down and enjoy! 


  • Read all my tips above. 
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. They can also be stored in a covered box at room temperature for about 3 days.  


Calories: 175kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 212mg, Potassium: 165mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 3935IU, Vitamin C: 1.1mg, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 1.9mg
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 175
Author: Abeer

Until next time, tata my lovelies!

4 comments on “Easy Pumpkin Muffins {With Cake Mix}”

  1. I love these! I’ve done a similar recipe that just does the cake mix and pumpkin and find it a bit dry. This was the perfect tweak.5 stars

  2. Thanks for this recipe. My store was out of spice cake mix, so I used a butter pecan cake mix and added 1 T. pumpkin pie spice, 1 t. cinnamon, pecans, and dried cranberries. Definitely will repeat! I should have used greased muffin pans instead of cupcake liners, though.5 stars

  3. Something held me back from making the two-ingredient cake mix and pumpkin recipe after making these I am glad I didn’t, I am sure they’d have been dense and dry without eggs and water. Made these this morning, I did add 3/4 cup of fresh chopped cranberries, yummy and adding pumpkin takes away from the sweetness of the spice cake mix alone. I used extra-large muffin tins and recipe made 9, baking for 27 minutes at 350.5 stars

    • I have never had any success with that 2 ingredient recipe. I have tried different brands of cake mixes too! You need the additional ingredients for that perfect texture. So glad you enjoyed it.

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