These Low Carb Pumpkin Muffins are perfect for pumpkin season. A moist, spiced pumpkin muffin complete with a spiced maple cream cheese drizzle. They're decadent and easy to make, totally gluten-free, and only 4 net carbs per muffin!
Disclosure: This post is brought to you in partnership with our friends at Bob’s Red Mill. We love using Bob’s Red Mill products to craft the most delicious keto friendly eats and treats. Thank you for supporting the brands that help to bring fresh new content to A Full Living!
If you're in the mood for pumpkin flavor, you gotta try these almond flour pumpkin muffins. These make a great breakfast, snack, or dessert and they're made with just a few staple ingredients.
❤️Why we love this recipe
- Low carb, keto friendly, and gluten-free - These muffins hit various diet types and are made with wholesome ingredients! They're just as tasty as traditional baked goods, but with only 4 net carbs per muffin, making them perfect for the keto diet.
- Bursting with pumpkin spice flavor - These taste like fall, truly! Warm and comforting flavors made more nutrient dense. What's not to love?
- Made with simple ingredients - If you keep a well-stocked keto pantry, you likely won't even need a trip to the grocery store for this recipe. You can find what you need at most grocery stores if needed.
- Great for meal prep - We love having a big batch hanging around so we can grab one or two during busy days. For us keeping healthier for you sweets on hand can be a life-saver some weeks, and helps us to stay on track with our eating goals!
- Freezer-friendly - Often, we freeze half of the batch right away before topping with glaze, then thaw them as needed.
Here are the ingredients you'll need for the muffins. You can find full quantities and nutritional information in the recipe card.
For the muffins
- Bob's Red Mill almond & coconut flour - We use a mixture of both low carb flours to create the best texture for these muffins. These ingredients are not interchangeable, however, so we don't recommend swapping one for the other. You will need both.
- Baking powder & baking soda - We use both to leaven the muffins.
- Pumpkin pie spice - You can use store-bought or make your own. It's generally a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger.
- Kosher salt - To balance the sweetness.
- Xanthan gum - An essential in gluten-free baking, this holds the muffins together and helps them rise. If you omit this, the muffins might become a bit crumbly.
- Canned pumpkin - Pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has added sugar and spices, you just want canned pumpkin, with pumpkin as the only ingredient.
- Large eggs - Room temperature.
- Unsalted butter - Melted. Using unsalted butter helps us control the salt level completely.
- Vanilla extract
- Apple cider vinegar - To help give us a soft and tender muffin.
- Sugar replacement - Use something that bulks and bakes like regular sugar. We like using erythritol, Brown Swerve (affiliate link) is our favorite. Monk fruit works too. You can use granular sweetener instead if you prefer, we just love the molasses-like flavor that is added by using a brown sugar replacement.
For the cream cheese glaze
- Cream cheese & unsalted butter - Softened.
- Vanilla bean paste or extract - The vanilla bean paste in the cream cheese drizzle gives nice little flecks in the glaze. You can use vanilla extract instead.
- Sugar-free maple syrup - You can also use regular maple syrup, which will increase the carb count slightly but has a really nice flavor.
- Powdered sugar-free sweetener - We like Swerve confectioners.
- Pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
- Milk of choice - Any milk, cream, nut milk, or half and half will work. It's added slowly to thin the glaze to your desired texture.
You can add a few things to the muffins if you like! Here are a few ideas.
- Garnish the top with crushed pecan pieces.
- Fold in some sugar-free chocolate chips.
- You can also add pumpkin seeds (pepitas) to the top of the muffins.
- Allow eggs, cream cheese, and butter to sit out at room temperature for a few hours.
- Line a muffin tin with paper liners, and spray lightly with baking spray if the muffin liners aren't parchment paper liners. Parchment paper liners don't need to be greased, as nothing will stick to them. You can also use a silicone muffin pan or liners. Pro tip: We started leaving space between the muffins, meaning we only fill half of the muffin pan with liners and batter. This helps the muffins rise more! If you don't like paper liners, you can use silicone molds instead.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Step 1 - Cream sweetener and butter
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the brown sugar replacement with melted butter with a hand mixer on medium speed. This should take roughly 2 minutes.
Step 2 - Add remaining wet ingredients
Add in the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar.
Mix together to combine.
Add eggs, mixing one at a time until completely combined. The batter will become a bit lumpy and separate but don't worry, it will all come together.
Step 3 - Sift in dry ingredients
Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then fold together until completely combined.
Step 4 - Add to muffin liners
Using a large (#20) cookie scoop, add muffin batter to the tins, filling the liners up most of the way.
Only filling half the tin (by alternating spots) helps the muffins rise better!
Step 5 - Add to muffin tins
Add to the middle rack in the oven at 425°F and bake for 5 minutes, then, with the oven door closed, drop the heat to 350°F and continue baking for 15-18 minutes. You will know the muffins are done when a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
Allow the muffins to cool in the baking tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 7 - Make the cream cheese glaze
While the muffins are cooling, make the optional glaze. In a medium bowl, cream together softened cream cheese and butter.
Sift in powdered sweetener, salt, and cinnamon. Mix to combine.
Add in vanilla extract or paste, and then, slowly pour in the milk and sugar-free maple syrup.
Mix gently, adding in more milk as needed until the mixture is thin enough to drizzle.
Step 8 - Garnish and enjoy!
Once the muffins are cooled completely, drizzle with the cream cheese glaze.
If desired, you can crumble pecans over the top of each muffin.
✨Tips & tricks
- Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale. Measuring cups vary in size. Weighing ingredients will ensure you have the proper amount every time.
- Make sure your oven is at the right temperature before baking. Many ovens run hotter or cooler, so it's important to make sure it's at the right temperature before beginning.
- Use muffin liners and grease them if necessary! If using parchment paper liners or silicone liners, you won't need to grease them. However, if using regular liners, this ensures they will come right out of the pan. If you don't have muffin liners, be sure to grease the pan really well.
- Fill your liners up most of the way. These muffins don't rise as much as traditional muffins do, so you'll need to fill the muffin tin more.
- Bake fewer muffins at a time! Using two 12-muffin pans seems like an extra step, but allowing the muffins more room will encourage them to rise more.
- High heat to low heat creates the best muffins. Again, seems like an extra step, but the high heat allows the muffin tops to rise quickly. Dropping the temperature will prevent them from baking too much or burning, giving you the perfect muffin. Just make sure not to open the oven door!
- Always use room temperature ingredients. This ensures ingredients cream together properly.
- Don't let the muffins cool too long in the tin. These muffins do need an ample amount of time to cool and set up properly. Gluten free flours tend to be on the delicate side, due to the fact that they lack the gluten that all purpose flour has, so they just need longer to cool. With that being said, don't let them sit in the muffin tin after baking for much more than 5 minutes. This is because the muffins are so hot, and the tin traps the heat, making the bottoms too moist.
- Use fresh baking soda and baking powder. Since this recipe uses melted butter instead of softened butter, fresh baking powder and baking soda are crucial to making the muffins rise! Both baking powder & soda should be replaced about every 30 days or so. To test if your baking soda is fresh, add about a teaspoon to a small bowl. Add in lemon juice or vinegar and if the mixture bubbles vigorously, it's good to go. For baking powder, add 1 teaspoon to a bowl with hot water. If it bubbles, it's fresh!
🎃How to make pumpkin spice
Pumpkin pie spice is easy to make at home with just a few spices. The best part about making your own is that you can adjust the spices to taste. You can also buy it easily at almost any store in the fall.
- 4 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- & about ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
This makes a large batch, just under 8 tablespoons worth. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place and use in other recipes!
The ingredients are pretty straightforward, but here are a few simple swaps you can make.
- Butter -To substitute regular butter, use your favorite oil. A butter substitute can also be used. We'd recommend using melted coconut oil, avocado oil, or a dairy free or vegan butter.
- Cinnamon - No pumpkin spice? No problem. You can simply swap cinnamon 1:1.
- Almond flour for almond meal - You could use almond meal in place of almond flour if you prefer! The texture will be a bit "grainer" sort of like a whole wheat or seeded type of mouthfeel.
- Maple syrup - You can use maple extract in the glaze instead of a maple syrup replacement to give a maple taste if you like. Alternatively, you can use regular maple syrup, but this will increase the carb count a bit.
Unfortunately, we are unable to make any recommendations for swapping the flours, eggs, apple cider vinegar, or xanthan gum.
💭Frequently asked questions
Muffins need gently mixing once the dry ingredients are incorporated to the batter. This recipe rises due to the baking soda and baking powder, and it doesn't need creamed butter to rise.
The butter in this recipe provides flavor, moisture, and a nice golden brown color. We also love to use melted butter because it helps dissolves our low carb sweeteners easier, reducing the risk of a gritty or crystallized texture.
Luckily, this recipe is pretty standard and you really don't need much to make it.
- An electric hand mixer might make your life a little easier for this recipe. While you can certainly use a whisk, we love our cordless hand mixer. (affiliate link) It keeps a charge for a while, is high-powered, and very convenient to use.
- We'd also recommend using a good oven thermometer to make sure your oven is at the right temperature before baking.
- A kitchen scale is now crucial to us when baking. It ensures you will have the right amount of your ingredients, as cup sizes can vary. Plus, it saves dishes which is always a win!
- As mentioned we like using parchment paper muffin liners, since you don't need to grease them.
🛒Shop this recipe
These muffins will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days if you don't glaze them. After 3 days, transfer to the fridge for another 3-4 days.
To freeze, allow muffins to cool completely, and do not add the glaze. Freeze on a baking sheet for an hour or so, before transferring them to a freezer bag. They will keep for up to 6 months.
To thaw, allow to sit out at room temperature for an hour or so or reheat in the microwave.
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Keto Pumpkin Muffins
For the muffins
- 224 grams Bob's Red Mill almond flour (2 cups)
- 28 grams Bob's Red Mill coconut flour (¼ cup)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 192 grams brown sugar replacement (1 cup)
- 1.5 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 160 grams pumpkin puree (¾ cup)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 whole eggs, room temperature
For the glaze
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 36 grams powdered erythritol (¼ cup)
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar free maple syrup (can use regular maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (can use vanilla extract)
- 6-8 tablespoons milk (or any milk of choice, cream, or half and half added to thin to the consistency you prefer)
- crushed pecans to top (optional)
Make the muffins
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a muffin tin with liners. (Only fill 6 of the slots in a 12-muffin tin to help encourage the muffins to rise more if desired!)
- Cream together brown sugar replacement with butter, then add in vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, and apple cider vinegar and mix until completely combined.
- Add in eggs one-by-one and mix until combined.
- Sift in the dry ingredients, then fold together until combined. Using a large cookie scoop, fill the muffin liners most of the way full. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F, then reduce the heat to 350°F without opening the oven door. Bake for an additional 15-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the glaze
- To make the glaze, cream together softened cream cheese and butter on medium-speed with a hand mixer. Sift in powdered sweetener, cinnamon, and salt, then add in vanilla extract. Mix to combine, and slowly add milk and sugar-free maple syrup until your desired texture is achieved.
- Once the muffins have cooled completely, drizzle with the cream cheese glaze and top with optional crushed pecans. Enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If not glazed, these muffins can be stored at room temperature for 3 days before being transferred to the fridge for another 3-4 days.
- Glaze is optional but is included in the nutrition facts.
- Regular maple syrup can be used in the glaze, and it will increase the net carbs per muffin to 6 instead of 4.
- Always use fresh baking powder and baking soda for best results.
- Make sure to use an oven thermometer to ensure the proper temperature.
- Filling the muffin tins halfway allows the muffins to rise better.
- Sifting dry ingredients into the wet ingredients ensures there are no lumps.
- Always use room temperature ingredients for best results.