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Copycat Panera Pumpkin Muffin Recipe {+ High Altitude Adjustments}

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This copycat Panera Pumpkin Muffin Recipe is just as fluffy, delicious, and moist as the original with the option to make regular size or jumbo pumpkin muffins! Filled with pumpkin spices the fragrant fall aroma that fills the air when you bake this pumpkin muffin recipe in your kitchen! Includes high altitude adjustments!

It is that time of year! Perfect for breakfast on a cool and crisp Autumn Day, these Pumpkin Muffins Panera Style are a soft and scrumptious way to welcome the morning. Pair the muffins with a hot chai tea latte and a thick slice of Prosciutto & Gruyere Quiche with Hash Browns, and you’ll be transported.

But this Panera Pumpkin Muffin Recipe is not only for breakfast; it is great any time of the day. Serve a jumbo pumpkin muffin on the side of your Fall Harvest Salad for lunch.

Perhaps you want a muffin for dessert? I agree wholeheartedly! Top your pumpkin muffin with a dollop of Homemade Whipped Cream or a scoop of Old Fashioned Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and you have an envy-worthy evening treat – add a Hot Buttered Rum too!

Where are my Panera lovers?

If you love a good Panera copycat recipe, you are certainly not alone! For instance, you may want to try my Orange Scones and my Cinnamon Crunch Scones recipe. Then there are the soups that are to die for at Panera! Try out one of these tried-and-true copycat recipes like my Panera Autumn Squash Soup or my copycat Broccoli Cheese Soup.

Of course, there are those iconic Panera Pickled Red Onions made quick and easy in the refrigerator right at home! What’s not to love about Panera copycats in your kitchen?

Why You Will Love Panera Pumpkin Muffins

  • Neighbor Gifts | surprise a neighbor or favorite teacher this fall with these portable pumpkin muffins
  • Quick and Easy Recipe and much cheaper too! I made 12 regular muffins and 6 jumbo muffins for the cost of about one from Panera!
  • Powdered Sugar Streusel Topping | what’s not to love about streusel topping? This one whips up quickly and chills in the fridge while you get the batter ready.

Healthy Twist

  • These muffins are not overly sweet, with a reduction in sugar.
  • I used organic flour and all-natural cane sugar for this recipe.

Key Ingredients For Panera Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

For the full ingredients and instructions see the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Labeled ingredients for Panera Pumpkin Muffin recipe.
  • Vegetable Oil | For these muffins, I used avocado oil. But you can use coconut oil, veggie oil or canola oil. If you choose coconut oil, use refined unless you want them coconut tasting.
  • Sugars | You will need both white sugar and brown for this recipe. For High Altitudes, the sugars are reduced. As for the brown sugar, feel free to use light or dark brown.
  • Honey | Honey not only provides rich color in baked goods, but it locks in moisture and keeps the muffins deliciously moist!
  • Eggs | Be sure your large eggs are at room temperature; they give the structure of the muffin and keep them light and fluffy.
  • Pumpkin Puree | Please, not pumpkin pie filling. You want pure pumpkin puree to get the authentic flavor of pumpkin.
  • All-purpose Flour | Baked goods always combine flour as the base of the cake or muffin. You can use enriched or whole wheat flour.
  • Kosher Salt | Salt in a recipe balances out the sweet.
  • Baking Soda & Powder | These two add the fluff to your muffins. They are the leavening agents. If your baked goods don’t rise well, check that these are fresh!
  • Warm Spices | Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice brings together the distinct spicy fall essence, with hints of ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg.

Tips for Two

  • Make the whole batch and freeze or my favorite, surprise a neighbor with a few!
  • This recipe easily doubles or is easily cut in half, just remember fill the empty muffin cups with a little water so that it bakes evenly.
  • Wrap individually and freeze, removing only when you “need” them.

How to Make Pumpkin Muffins Panera Style

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (400 F for high altitude) to get ready to bake this fluffy Panera Pumpkin Muffins recipe.

Step 1 | Making the Crumb Topping

Let’s start with the delicate gorgeous crumble. Take a small bowl and combine all the crumb ingredients called for in the recipe card. Use a fork to stir until a crumble texture forms. Then place that bowl into the fridge while you make the pumpkin batter.

Step 2 | Mix the Wet Ingredients

Now you are ready to begin mixing the spiced pumpkin muffin mix.

In a large mixing bowl, measure in the oil, sugars, honey, eggs, and canned pumpkin. Whisk the pumpkin batter until smooth and creamy. 

Step 3 | Mix the Dry Ingredients

Now we can mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Measure out the dry ingredients: flour, salt, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk by hand until all are combined. This way, no one gets a big clump of baking soda in their muffin!

Step 4 | Combine the Two

Time to combine the two bowls to make the pumpkin spice batter. Add the bowl of dry ingredients to wet ingredients a cup at a time and fold with a rubber spatula to combine.

Now — do not overmix the ingredients. That is the point of folding– but make sure no flour streaks remain. 

Step 5 | Fill the Muffin Tin

Place the muffin liners in your 12 regular size muffin tin or a 6-muffin jumbo muffin tin. The choice is yours. Then use an ice cream scoop and drop batter to fill each of the cups 2/3 full to allow for expansion and prevent overflow.

Scooping batter into lined muffin tin.

Step 6 | Add the Crumble on Top of the Muffins

Break the crumble apart with a fork. Then, using a tablespoon, add the streusel crumb topping to the tops of each muffin batter-filled cup.

Now you are ready for the oven! This is the reason I love these tulip cupcake liners, they hold everything in from tumbling onto the muffin tin!

Step 7 | Bake and Cool

Place your pan of batter with crumble in the oven and wait for that comforting smell to waft throughout the house!

Jumbo pumpkin muffins topped with crumb topping.

You will want to bake the muffins according to the size of the muffin tins. See the recipe card for instructions.

When time is up, and a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean, remove the pan from the oven to a cooling wire rack. Let them cool for 10 minutes in the pan, before you burn your fingers trying to get them out. Trust me on this one!

Baked Panera Pumpkin Muffins in ton on cooling rack.

Once they have cooled completely, dust the tops with the powdered sugar and serve.

Dusting top of cooled pumpkin muffin with powdered sugar.

Pro Tips

  • Don’t overwork the batter! You see, if you mix the batter for too long, it will lose the fluffy good texture and become heavy and tough.
  • Don’t overbake should go without saying. But these muffins are best when just barely all the way finished cooking. A few crumbs on the toothpick is fine!
  • Using softer butter or mostly melted butter makes it easier to combine the crumb topping. Then you will need to firm it up again to get it ready for the oven. So be sure to place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes or in the freezer if you are short on time.
  • I love my greaseproof Tulip Parchment Baking Cups. They hold the toppings in much better without spilling onto the muffin tin. 
  • Allow pumpkin muffins to cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely.

Variations & Substitutions

  • Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitute | If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, (make your own!) or replace it with ¾ teaspoon cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon of each of these spices; ginger, allspice, cloves, or nutmeg (or some combination, omit spices you dislike, increase spices you love!)
  • Additions | Want to change up the recipe and get a little adventurous? Feel free to add chopped walnuts, grated carrot pieces, or even raisins. Heck- why not add chocolate chips?! You can even pipe in a cream cheese filling.
  • Dairy-Free Pumpkin Muffins | This is an easy recipe to make into a dairy-free recipe. The only ingredient you need to switch is the butter in the crumb topping. Just use a dairy-free butter substitute in the crumble, and you are good to go!
  • Out of Muffin Cups? No problem. Either grease your muffin pan or use squares of parchment paper pressed into the muffin form.
  • Want Cream Cheese Frosting? Skip the Crumble topping and frost away! Use my cream cheese frosting from these to-die for cinnamon rolls. Or try my carrot cake cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting. Sigh!

High Altitude Adjustment

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then REDUCE to 375 for baking.
  • Increase all-purpose flour to 1 ¾ cups.
  • Decrease granulated sugar to ⅓ cup. 
  • Reduce brown sugar to ⅓ cup.
  • Decrease baking powder to ½ teaspoon.
Jumbo Pumpkin muffin on plate with streusel crumbs on top.
Look at that crumb topping!

Storage Tips

  • For your convenience, store the satisfyingly familiar muffins on the counter in an airtight container for 3-7 days. Muffins are best when not refrigerated as it can dry them out!
  • Freeze: These muffins may be frozen up to 3 months when wrapped in plastic wrap or foil and sealed well in a freezer bag or container. To enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Panera pumpkin muffins have dairy?

Panera pumpkin muffins used to be dairy-free, but they have since changed their ingredients to include dairy based ingredients. But you can easily adapt my Pumpkin cupcakes to be dairy-free and even vegan! Swap the butter for coconut oil or plant-based butter and use your favorite egg replacement or try using 2 small ripe mashed bananas.

How much sugar is in a Panera pumpkin muffin?

According to the Panera website their pumpkin muffin has 40 grams of sugar, not to be confused with the pumpkin muffie which has 270 calories. Each pumpkin muffin contains 560 calories, my copycat version has 335 calories and 27 grams of sugar — WIN!

Do Pumpkin Muffins need to be refrigerated?

Refrigerating muffins and other quick bread type recipes can actually dry them out. Cover them well in an airtight container and leave them on the counter for 2-7 days. Freeze if needed up to 3 months.

How long are Panera muffins good for?

Typically they will last between 2-7 days depending on storage, house temperature and humidity. Pumpkin muffins are always best served warm or at least room temperature.

Does the muffin tin size matter?

As long as you adjust the cooking time, any size is great. Make jumbo, traditional muffin tops, mini muffins, and even a mini donuts Panera muffin would be great.

How to Serve Pumpkin Muffins

  • Serve Warm! Place a muffin on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 10 to 30 seconds, depending on your microwave and be sure to serve with a generous pat of butter. Dreamy!
  • Instead of cornbread or biscuits, serve these delectable pumpkin muffins instead!
Panera pumpkin muffin on wooden pedestal, sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Jumbo Pumpkin Muffin ready to eat!

Gluten-Free Panera Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

I am a firm believer that somehow, every allergy or preference can be accommodated with home baking. That said, I have not tried to make these GF, but from past experiences I have had great luck substituting. My typical substitution is to replace the unbleached flour with ½ almond flour and ½ GF All-Purpose Flour <== my favorite mixture!

Panera pumpkin muffins recipe copycat on cooling rack, dusted with powdered sugar.

More Fluffy Muffin Recipes to Enjoy

  1. Healthy Banana Streusel Muffin
  2. Honey Bran Muffins <<== a crazy popular muffin recipe, Mimi’s copycat!
  3. Healthy Strawberry Bread Muffins

More Copycat Recipes You’ll Love

10+ Ways to Use Leftover Pumpkin Puree

  1. Make these incredible Copycat Noosa Pumpkin Yogurts — NOM!
  2. Add a tablespoon to your coffee or chai tea even! Stir in well!
  3. Stir it into your oatmeal for a delicious fall twist.
  4. Spread it like jam onto your favorite toast or bagel.
  5. Make a pumpkin milkshake, add a generous scoop, a little cinnamon and milk along with your vanilla ice cream and whir!
  6. Stir into soups to thicken or chili — nobody will even know!
  7. Add into pancake batter for the best pumpkin pancakes ever! Waffles too!
  8. Mix in butter or cream cheese for a delicious spread or cracker dip!
  9. Stir into apple cider or your favorite fall cocktail for a pumpkin flare!
  10. Make a pumpkin pie smooth! YUM!

More Pumpkin Recipes

Panera pumpkin muffin recipe pin with image of large pumpkin muffin, topped with streusel and dusted with powdered sugar.

Whether you make the regular sized Panera Pumpkin muffins or the Jumbo pumpkin muffins, you are going to love this recipe and I’d love for you to share your creation on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest? And be sure to comment below!

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30 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    That crumb topping is perfection!!! My girls are going to flip when they see these pumpkin muffins on their plates for breakfast. Thanks for another winning recipe!

    1. Hi Samantha, if you hit the metric conversion on the recipe it will show you the weight in gram. By heaping just fill a cup measure and mound it, I tried to make that a bit more clear in the recipe after your question.

      Hope that helps!
      Kathleen

  2. 5 stars
    These are just the PERFECT muffins and taste just like Panera’s! My daughter and I baked a batch this morning, and we barely have any leftover for tomorrow morning!