Panera Pumpkin Muffins, an easy copycat recipe for the moist and best jumbo pumpkin muffins with a quick crumb topping. Great for breakfast, snack, or even dessert. These big muffins also make a great fall gift idea.
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These jumbo copycat Panera Pumpkin Muffins have been so popular over the years that I thought it was time to update this post a bit with more tips and information. We are big Panera Bread fans here but sometimes can’t always make it to one of their locations. These easy homemade pumpkin muffins are perfect to make in the fall for your family for breakfast, snack, or dessert. They also make a great homemade gift. Try them today if you haven’t already!
After I tried one of these moist delicious pumpkin muffins at Panera, I knew I had to give them a try. The next thing I knew, I was looking at the ingredient list on the Panera website and trying to recreate them. I tried a few times and think these are fairly close. I also couldn’t help myself from coming up with other Panera copycat recipes like these…
- Kitchen Sink Cookies – Jumbo cookies with chocolate, caramel, and pretzels.
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Thick and creamy soup with cheese and broccoli.
- White Cheddar Mac and Cheese – Easy homemade macaroni and cheese with white cheddar cheese.
- Cranberry Orange Muffins – Another jumbo copycat muffin recipe perfect for fall.
These Panera Pumpkin Muffins are very close to the original in my opinion. Always hard to get things EXACT since we’re not using commercial ingredients and equipment at home but these are close.
Actually, my kids said these jumbo Panera Pumpkin Muffins were better than the ones at Panera and the BEST pumpkin muffins they ever had! I’ll take that. Ha!
Not sure I’d go THAT far, but I have to agree these Pumpkin Muffins are really good!
If you don’t want to make them “jumbo” you can also make them regular size, mini, or could also try making Panera Muffies (muffin tops). See more info on that below in the FAQ.
You don’t have to use a jumbo muffin tin for these muffins but to keep them as close to the original as possible you may want to consider getting one.
Tools & Equipment
Here are a few suggestions of things you may need for this recipe…
- Jumbo muffin pan – This recipe makes 6 jumbo pumpkin muffins like the same size at Panera. Therefore, you’ll need a pan that fits all the batter. Or you can try making this recipe into min muffins, regular-sized muffins, or even Panera muffies (muffin tops). More info on that below in the FAQ.
- Jumbo muffin liners – You could grease and flour the pan, but liners make it so much easier for cleanup!
- Large scoop – If you don’t’ already have one of these large scoops they are great for cookies, cupcakes, and muffins.
- Sugar shaker – A great addition to any kitchen. These shakers are perfect for dusting baked goods with powdered sugar.
(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)
Panera Pumpkin Muffin Ingredients
- Flour – Just regular all-purpose flour.
- Granulated sugar – Regular white sugar, not powdered sugar.
- Honey – Usually sugar or brown sugar is in a crumb topping but Panera had honey listed as an ingredient so went with it.
- Cinnamon – Or you could use pumpkin pie spice.
- Vegetable oil – Usually butter is in a crumb topping, but again, Panera has vegetable oil listed in the ingredients so went with it again. You could try melted butter or cutting in cold butter if you’re more comfortable with that.
- Flour – More regular all-purpose flour.
- Baking powder – To help the muffins rise.
- Pumpkin pie spice – You can use cinnamon instead if you’d like.
- Salt – Just a little
- Granulated sugar – Again, regular white sugar, not powdered sugar.
- Pumpkin – Plain UNSWEETENED pumpkin (like Libby’s or homemade roasted pumpkin). NOT pumpkin pie filling.
- Vegetable oil – You could try melted butter, but I have not tried.
- Eggs – Regular large eggs.
- Powdered sugar – For dusting over the finished muffins.
Some of these ingredients may seem a little strange, but as I mentioned I went with the ingredients listed on the Panera website at the time. Feel free to make changes BUT I can’t guarantee results if you start changing things.
This recipe does not have a HUGE amount of pumpkin in it like other muffin recipes and baked goods. I personally find that too much pumpkin in baked goods can create a gummy heavy texture which I’m not a fan of. I also didn’t think the muffins from Panera were overly pumpkin flavored or have a heavy gummy heavy texture do it seemed to work.
(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)
How to Make Panera Pumpkin Muffins
- PREHEAT. Preheat oven and line pan with liners.
- CRUMB TOPPING. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, honey, and vegetable oil to small crumbs.
- DRY INGREDIENTS. Combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
- WET INGREDIENTS. Mix together pumpkin, oil, and eggs.
- COMBINE. Add wet ingredients into dry, and stir until just combined. Scoop into pan. Sprinkle crumb topping on top.
- BAKE. Bake muffins until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Cool then dust with powdered sugar.
When making muffins be sure to combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients until JUST combined. Don’t overmix the muffin batter.
Cool the muffins completely before dusting with powdered sugar. Otherwise, the sugar will melt right into the muffins, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but just be aware. haha!
- Serve warm or at room temperature. I personally like them a little on the warm side, but not hot.
- Cool completely, if you dust with powdered sugar. If the muffins are too hot, the sugar will melt.
- Serve with tea, coffee, cider, or your favorite fall drink.
Quick Tips for Best Results
- Be sure to use unsweetened pumpkin, and not pumpkin pie filling that has sugar and spices in it.
- This recipe makes 6 jumbo muffins, if you’d like to make a different size or muffin tops see below in the FAQ.
- The muffins will be done when they are golden brown around the edges but be sure to also insert a toothpick in the middle of the muffin and make sure it comes out “clean” with no wet batter to make sure they’re done.
- I like to bake these muffins a little on the lower side in the oven so that the crumb topping doesn’t brown too much. If you find that your crumb topping is browning too much before the muffins are done you can loosely tent some aluminum foil over the muffins.
- These muffins are best the same day. If you need to make them ahead, you can reheat them in a warm oven for a little while if you’d like.
Panera Pumpkin Muffins FAQ
How should I store the pumpkin muffins?
Store the muffins in a covered airtight container on the counter at room temperature.
Can I freeze the pumpkin muffins?
Yes! You can definitely freeze the muffins. Make sure to wrap them well. The crumb topping might be a little soggy when defrosted but still delicious.
How long will the muffins last?
The muffins should last at least a few days on your counter or a few months in your freezer.
You can use pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon interchangeably. Or use your favorite spice blend.
Can I use low-fat ingredients?
You can try a lower fat oil substitute but not sure how well it will work.
What else can I add to this recipe?
I haven’t tried any of these but I bet fresh cranberries (or defrosted frozen cranberries), chocolate chips, nuts (such as pecans or walnuts), or even toffee chips would be delicious. These Gingersnap Roasted Candied Pecans would be delicious on top after the muffins are baked. A little maple, vanilla, or even almond extract in the muffins would be delicious. A cream cheese drizzle on top of the muffins would be a great idea too. If you like a lot of streusel or crumb topping you can double the crumb topping ingredients for even more topping. Yum!
How can I make these pumpkin muffins in a regular standard-size muffin pan?
To use a standard muffin (cupcake) pan, I would line the pan with standard paper liners or grease and flour. Or if you’re using a nonstick pan or silicone pan and comfortable with it, the muffins should be ok. I’m guessing you’ll get about 12 muffins. Bake the muffins at 375 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes but still be sure a toothpick comes out clean out of the middle. Some people also like to bake these muffins at 350 degrees F which is fine, but they may need a little longer to bake.
How can I make this in a mini muffin pan?
To use a mini muffin (cupcake) pan, I would line the pan with mini paper liners or grease and flour. Or if you’re using a mini nonstick pan or silicone pan and comfortable with it, the muffins should be ok. I’m guessing you’ll get about 36 mini muffins. Bake the muffins at 375 degrees F for about 12-15 minutes but still be sure a toothpick comes out clean out of the middle. Some people also like to bake these muffins at 350 degrees F which is fine, but they may need a little longer to bak
How I can make this into Panera Pumpkin Muffins (muffin tops)?
I would suggest following this Blueberry Muffin Tops recipe for more details. Use a baking sheet and line with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Or you could use a muffin top pan. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the batter onto the prepared pans for each top, leaving about 2 inches of room between each. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean and muffins are slightly browned around edges. I haven’t made this particular recipe into muffin tops, so I’m just providing general guidelines to help you get started.
Can I make this vegan/vegetarian/low carb/gluten-free?
Here are some suggestions, but I can’t guarantee results. Be sure as always to check particular brands and ingredients if you’re following a specific diet or have diet restrictions or allergies.
Vegan – Instead of honey you could use your favorite liquid sweetener like maple syrup. For the eggs, you could substitute a vegan-friendly alternative.
Vegetarian – These muffins are vegetarian.
Low-Carb – These muffins would be tough to make low carb but to make them lower carb use your favorite sweetener instead of the sugar.
Gluten-Free – Instead of the flour, try a gluten-free baking flour that has a 1:1 substitute ratio.
Other Pumpkin Recipes You May Enjoy
- Pumpkin Dump Cake (Snappy Gourmet) – Another great pumpkin dessert for this time of year.
- Pumpkin Salsa (Snappy Gourmet) – A fun fall appetizer.
- Pumpkin Crunch Cake (Snappy Gourmet) – A delicious cake that also has a crumb crunchy topping.
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Snappy Gourmet) – A great combo of pumpkin and chocolate.
- Pumpkin Earthquake Cake (Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt) – A fun fall cake that will surely become a family favorite.
Yum! Who is ready for some muffins? Tell me in the comments what you think.
Panera Pumpkin Muffins Video
Here’s a quick video so you can see how easy these Panera Pumpkin Muffins come together…
Panera Pumpkin Muffins
- Prepare crumb topping. In a small mixing bowl mix together the 1/3 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, honey, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil with the back of a fork until small crumbs form. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until well combined.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the 1 1/4 cups sugar, pumpkin, 1/3 cup oil, and 2 eggs with a whisk or large spoon until well combined.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture over the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon muffin batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle crumb topping on top of muffins.
- Bake muffins at 375 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown around edges and toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Cool slightly, then remove muffins from pan and place on wire rack to finish cooling. When completely cool, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.
This post was originally published in October 2017, but updated in November 2020 with additional information.