Pumpkin Sourdough Muffins

It’s cooler weather, and you’re craving something seasonal. Enter Pumpkin Sourdough Muffins—a great way to use your extra sourdough starter or sourdough discard. These sourdough pumpkin muffins are super soft and tender with a delicious buttery streusel top.

baked pumpkin muffins with streusel.

The sourdough starter discard isn’t used for the leavening process in these muffins. Instead, they use baking powder and baking soda for the rise. The leftover sourdough discard gives these muffins a delicious flavor, and the acid in the discard creates a tender muffin with a fluffy texture. Perfect if you have a lot of discard!

If you want, you can give the batter an overnight ferment. This creates an even taller muffin, increases the flavor, and the fermented flour can make things easier to digest. If you want to bake them right away, though, you can.

Don’t have your own sourdough starter yet? Learn to make a homemade sourdough starter.

The crispy streusel topping is one of the best parts of this pumpkin sourdough muffin recipe. It’s like bites of a shortbread cookie, giving another texture element. 

unwrapped muffin.

Ingredients

Here’s a rundown of the simple ingredients for these sourdough pumpkin muffins. Find the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for full details:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Brown sugar and granulated sugar
  • Baking soda and baking powder
  • Sea salt
  • Mild olive oil, melted coconut oil, or vegetable oil
  • Spices and vanilla extract. You can add spices individually or use pumpkin spice.
  • Pumpkin puree – Make homemade pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin or use canned. Don’t use pumpkin pie filling.
  • Large eggs
  • Milk
  • Sourdough discard – unfed sourdough starter works best
  • Optional – Chocolate chips if you like a pumpkin chocolate combo.

Method

dry ingredients for sourdough pumpkin muffins.

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

pumpkin muffin ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, add oil, eggs, milk, sourdough discard, brown and white sugar, and pumpkin puree.

pumpkin muffin ingredients.

Whisk until well combined.

stirred pumpkin batter.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the large bowl. Fold until combined.

The muffins can be baked right away or cold-fermented overnight.

Overnight sourdough muffins

Cover the bowl tightly and place it in the refrigerator for up to 20 hours. Cold fermenting allows the flour to absorb more moisture from the batter, which can lead to a more tender and moist crumb.

Additionally, slow fermentation helps break down the proteins in the flour.

Streusel and Baking

In a small bowl combine melted butter, granulated sugar, and all-purpose flour for the streusel. Use a fork to combine into a coarse crumb, then set it aside.

streusel.
unbaked sourdough muffins.

Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick or line it with 12 paper liners.

Divide pumpkin muffin batter evenly over 12 muffin cups. They will be full. 

Generously pile the crumbly streusel mixture on top of each muffin. Gently press it on top of each muffin to keep it in place.

Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F/220°C, then reduce the temperature to 350°F (180°C) and bake for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. This initial hot temperature creates a tall bakery style pumpkin muffin. 

Let the muffins cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.

baked sourdough pumpkin muffins.

Storing

Store any leftover muffins loosely covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze them in a Ziplock bag or airtight container. Rewarm them gently in the microwave. 

bitten muffin.

More sourdough recipes

If you enjoyed this sourdough discard recipe, you might like these too!

bitten muffin.

Sourdough Pumpkin Muffins

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Soft and spiced sourdough pumpkin muffins with crispy streusel topping.

Ingredients

Pumpkin muffins

  • 188g (1 1/2 cups*) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 100g (½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 100g (½ cup) soft brown sugar
  • 105g (½ cup) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 226g (1 cup) pumpkin puree
  • 100g (1/2 cup) unfed sourdough discard starter
  • 60g (¼ cup) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste

Streusel

  • 45g (3 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 63g (½ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 65g (⅓ cup) granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add oil, eggs, milk, sourdough discard, brown and white sugar, and pumpkin puree. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the large bowl. Fold until combined.
  4. The muffins can be baked right away or cold-fermented overnight.

Overnight sourdough muffins

  1. Cover the bowl tightly and place it in the refrigerator for up to 20 hours. Cold fermenting allows the flour to absorb more moisture from the batter, which can lead to a more tender and moist crumb. Additionally, slow fermentation helps break down the proteins in the flour.

Streusel and Baking

  1. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, granulated sugar, salt, and all-purpose flour for the streusel. Use a fork to combine into a coarse crumb, then set it aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick or line it with 12 paper liners.
  3. Divide pumpkin muffin batter evenly over 12 muffin cups. They will be full. 
  4. Generously pile the crumbly streusel mixture on top of each muffin. Gently press it on top of each muffin to keep it in place.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F/220°C, then reduce the temperature to 350°F (180°C) and bake for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
  6. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.

Notes

*The cup sizes given are US-sized cups. Note that these are smaller than metric cups. For best results use grams.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 279mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 4g

This is an informational estimate only. I am not a certified Dietitian or Nutritionist

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