a cupcake tin full of Pumpkin Muffins (originally called plumkins)

Healthier Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins are a fall favorite – and adding prune puree to this classic recipe only enhances the flavor of this seasonal snack. Our friend Leslie Bonci, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN and Sports Dietitian for Super Bowl Champions the Kansas City Chiefs, created this healthier version of this popular recipe. Isn’t it great when healthy swaps turn out to be delicious?

ingredients used to make pumpkin muffins

Baking with Prunes

You probably know that prunes are great for gut health. But did you know that they can add moisture and depth of flavor to your favorite baked goods, like these pumpkin muffins? And that’s not all…with the addition of prune purée, bakers can reduce refined sugar by up to one-third, as well as reducing the amount of needed eggs and fats. Whether you are trying to reduce refined sugar, cut unhealthy fats, or simply make healthier baked goods, California Prunes and Prune Purée are ingredients more and more bakers are relying on to enhance their cakes, cookies, muffins, and more.

Why we love this recipe

Making pumpkin muffins is a fall tradition. The soft, pillowy muffins are a family favorite and get gobbled up in a flash. By using prune purée in her recipe, Leslie was able to create a tender, moist muffin, while drastically reducing the amount of oil and sugar needed. So go ahead, get seconds (or like sixths, if you make mini muffins).

Larger pumpkin muffins and pumpkin mini muffins on a plate.
a bowl of pumpkin muffin batter and a mini muffin tray

Make a big batch

This recipe feeds a crowd – it yields 120 mini-muffins or 40 traditional muffins. Luckily, they keep for about four days in an airtight container, and they freeze beautifully. We like to store our muffins in the freezer. On busy mornings, simply pop one in the microwave for about 30 second and enjoy! Best grab and go breakfast ever.

a cupcake tin full of Pumpkin Muffins (originally called plumkins)

Healthier Pumpkin Muffins

Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN
Pumpkin muffins are our favorite fall treat. Our friend Leslie Bonci, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN and Sports Dietitian for Super Bowl Champions the Kansas City Chiefs, used prune purée to create a healthier version of this popular recipe.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine RD Creations
Servings 24 muffins
Calories 104 kcal


For the Prune Purée:

  • 1⅓ cups pitted Prunes
  • 6 TBSP hot water

For the Pumpkin Muffins:

  • 15 ounces pumpkin purée one can
  • cup California Prune purée
  • ¾ cup + 1 TBSP sugar
  • cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup California Prunes chopped
  • 2 tsp baking soda (bicarb)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cloves


  • Preheat oven to 350F (180C) degrees.

For the Prune Purée:

  • In food processor, process prunes and water until puréed.

For the Pumpkin Muffins:

  • Mix together pumpkin purée, Prune purée, sugar, oil, vanilla, orange zest and eggs in a large bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Place paper muffin cups muffin tins. Fill ⅔ of the way with batter. Bake 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.



For mini muffins, reduce baking time to 10 minutes. Will yield 75 mini muffins. 
These muffins are delicious as is, but try them with a Walnut Streusel topping!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1/2 cup chopped California walnuts (60g)
1/3 cup brown sugar (70g)
1/4 cup flour (120g)
3 TBSP butter, melted 
3/4 tsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients and sprinkle on top of muffins before baking. Streusel recipe courtesy of California Walnuts!


Calories: 104kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 96mgPotassium: 125mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 110IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg
Keyword muffin, pastry, pumpkin muffins
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