These pumpkin spice muffins (otherwise known as dirt bombs) are like cinnamon donuts in muffin form! Super easy recipe, incredible flavor! (Jump directly to the recipe.)
“So what is a ‘Dirt Bomb’ muffin?” I asked the guy behind the counter at the local bakery a few years ago. I had never heard of it before and it didn’t sound too…appetizing. Turns out it’s a muffin dipped in melted butter and cinnamon sugar. In fact, it’s pretty much a cinnamon donut in muffin form. Which sounded WAY more exciting than the name. I was sold and order one up along with my coffee. I rarely go to that particular bakery but the idea of dirt bombs have floated in the back of my head ever since and when the season came around, I decided I needed to make my own version of it appropriate for the season: the Dirt Bomb – Pumpkin Spice Edition, the perfect pumpkin spice muffins.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am NOT a huge fan of pumpkin spice. No, I take that back, I actually love pumpkin spice but I don’t love the fawning adoration is tends to get and the explosion of instagram shots of folks showing off their pumpkin spice lattes. I’m a total curmudgeon about that sort of thing. But I can also grudgingly understand why people get excited. The blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger is pretty intoxicating. Darn it. I guess I AM a fan of it after all.
So that’s why I decided I needed to make these pumpkin spice muffins. And yeah, they’re everything you expect them to be. The addition of the pumpkin in the muffin batter (I can’t believe that some pumpkin spice products don’t even have pumpkin in it!) makes them soft and tender. And I can delude myself into thinking they are have some semblance of health (pumpkin is a vegetable right?). Of course rolling the muffins in melted butter and dipping them into the pumpkin spice sugar probably negates the vegetable goodness. But it’s all about balance. Excuse me while I go get a latte to accompany these…
Pumpkin Spice Muffins (aka The Dirt Bomb – Pumpkin Spice Edition)
By Irvin Lin
These autumnal muffins are similar to cinnamon sugar donuts but don’t require a special donut baking tray. The addition of the pumpkin puree in the batter makes them soft and tender. Don’t be alarmed if they bake up and look a little dry and not very sweet. You’re rolling the final muffin in melted butter and pumpkin spice sugar. It’s more than enough sweetness. Make sure to let the muffins cool completely before rolling them in the butter and sugar. Otherwise the sugar will melt off and you’ll have a soggy mess of a muffin.
2 1/4 cup (315 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/2 cup (115 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup (100 g) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (115 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup (200 g) granulated white sugar
2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Spray a regular 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. Place the flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin spice in a medium bowl. Using a balloon whisk, stir the dry ingredients together vigorously until they are well-blended and uniform in color.
3. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the ingredients together on medium speed until they are light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally while beating. Add the egg and beat to incorporate. Again scrape down the side of the bowl.
4. Stir together the pumpkin puree and milk in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Add half the dry ingredients to buttery sugar and beat to incorporate. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the pumpkin milk to the batter and beat to incorporate. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the remaining dry ingredients, beating to incorporate.
5. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin cups. Bake in the oven 25 to 27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then carefully remove each muffin from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Melt the butter for the coating and pour into a wide bowl. Place the sugar, pumpkin spice and salt in a different wide bowl and stir with a fork until well-blended and uniform in color. Once all the muffins are cool, dip one muffin in the butter, making sure to coat the entire muffin. Then roll the muffin in the pumpkin spice sugar mix, again making sure it is completely coated all the way around. Place back on the cooling rack and repeat with the remaining muffins.
Makes 12 muffins.
If you like these pumpkin spice muffins, check out these other pumpkin recipes on my blog:
Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino with White Chocolate
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Spice Eclairs with Chocolate Beer Pastry Cream and Ganache
Pumpkin Monkey Bread with Chocolate
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
And check out some other pumpkin spice recipes from around the web:
Shutterbean’s Pumpkin Spice French Toast
The Comfort of Cooking’s Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats
I am Baker’s Chocolate Cupcake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream
Jen’s Favorite Cookies’ Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
Pinch my Salt’s Pumpkin Spice Scones
Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous) says
i feel like pumpkin has puked everywhere (i love trader joe’s, but have you seen it recently? still very uncertain about pumpkin mochi ice cream). these sound delicious; fall-spirited without being crazy, and how can you go wrong with melted butter and cinnamon sugar?!?!
Elle @ Only Taste Matters says
These look incredible! I love the idea of dipping them in butter and rolling them in sugar. Pinned!
I love this time of year with all the pumpkin recipes. This will be the first one I try and I can’t wait! Thanks!
Marica Bochicchio says
I’m plenty of pumpink and this recipe is good for me! Happy Pumpink day ciao Marica
These look delicious! I am all about finger foods that people can walk by and sample.
claudia harris says
Thanks for the deliciousness~but can we please get an update on AJ? Thanks!
June @ How to Philosophize with Cake says
Admittedly dirt bomb doesn’t sound too appealing, but if it means cinnamon sugar? Yess! These sound awesome, love the pumpkin spice flavors added 🙂
Jeff the Chef says
I love pumpkin muffins. I’m not sure if there’s anything good-tasting thing that would taste even better rolled in butter! And sugar! Thanks for the recipe!
Made these yesterday. I upped the spice in the sugar coating to a tablespoon. Not sorry I did, the are delicious. I have made several recipes from this site and I have never been disappointed