Pumpkin Pie-Olive Oil Muffins or Cupcakes {Gluten-Free Recipe}

Pumpkin Pie-Olive Oil Muffins or Cupcakes {Gluten-Free Recipe}What’s the best compliment one can get about the food they cook?

Of course we all find it delightful to hear people say how delicious it is, how beautiful it is, etc.  However, my favorite compliment is when someone tries something they actively don’t like, and they love it.

Take my cousin Beth for example.   I offered her one of these pumpkin cupcakes last night and she said, “Oh, I don’t like pumpkin in desserts at all — pumpkin has no business being in anything sweet.  In fact, I think pumpkin pie should might as well be called a vegetable side dish.”  (She’s funny, that cousin of mine.)Pumpkin Pie-Olive Oil Muffins or Cupcakes

I didn’t want to force her to try a bite, but fortunately her sweet 7-year-old daughter did.  I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that she loved them.  Yep!  Not “liked,” but “loved!”

She said she loved that the pumpkin flavor wasn’t too strong, they were super moist and just sweet enough to be a scrumptious dessert.  And I might add they’re also light, fluffy and full of comforting, flavorful fall spices, that will keep you coming back for more. And please forgive me if I’ve said this before, but I think this is my favorite, most successful gluten-free baked good ever!

I call these muffins if it’s before 11:30 AM, and cupcakes for the rest of the day. 🙂

Pumpkin Pie-Olive Oil Muffins or Cupcakes

Pumpkin Pie-Olive Oil Muffins or Cupcakes {Gluten-Free Recipe}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Makes 1 dozen
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon palm sugar (see notes)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, adjust a rack to the center, and line a 1-dozen cup muffin pan with paper cups.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the pumpkin with ¾ cup of the sugar, eggs, egg yolk, honey, vanilla, all of the spices and the salt. Once it's smooth, gradually pour in the oil, whisking constantly but gently.
  3. Now add the flour with the baking soda and mix.
  4. In a very small sauté pan or saucepan, bring the apple juice to a boil and then immediately mix it into the batter.
  5. Fill each paper cup almost all the way up, but be sure it's at least ¼-inch from the top.
  6. Sprinkle each one with a bit of the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
  7. Bake in the preheated 325 degree F oven just until they become solid, about 25minutes.  
  8. Let the muffins cool in the pan on a rack for about 10 minutes.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I love the subtle caramel flavor that the palm sugar adds, but golden or dark brown sugar is great, too.
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  1. says

    People are funny about pumpkin. And I have never yet met anyone from the UK who will touch any pie, mousse, muffin or cake that has pumpkin as its main ingredient! “Squash pie ?!”

  2. says

    I guess I never realized what a lightning rod pumpkin is for people! Funny, the humans… 🙂 These sounds terrific and I don’t think they need a label other than “Tasty!”

    • valentina says

      Hi Jill! I think almond flour might make them a lot more dense and less “fluffy.” I think coconut flour might be a better choice, but use much less as it absorbs much more liquid than other flours (maybe a little more than half the amount). All of this said, I’ve never made them with these flours so I’m not totally certain. LMK if you try it. 🙂

    • valentina says

      Hi Addie! This is just a small detail, and you don’t have to do it — but, heating a liquid before it’s added to a batter will help bring out all of the flavors and dissolve any lumps. All of the small details like this add up to delicious results. 🙂 xo

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