In case it isn’t blatantly obvious… I’ve been on a pumpkin kick lately. There are just so many yummy things you can make with it! And as soon as the weather turns cool, I start dreaming of warm fires, mom’s comfort foods, and pumpkins. When I told my sister I was making these, her response was “You’re obsessed!” To which I simply replied “So?”
These little balls of fall deliciousness lend themselves perfectly to so many occasions – your morning coffee, your next tailgating shindig, a family brunch, etc. They’re best right out of the oven, but if you have any leftover (and that’s a big if) warm them for a bit in the oven or microwave before enjoying. There are many versions of this recipe online (HWescott blog, Food Network, Martha Stewart, etc.), but I’ve tweaked this one to be, what I think, is the best combination of sweet and spice.
The recipe is very easy and takes about 30 minutes or so to cook both batches and top them. I use a half tablespoon measuring spoon for portion control when filling the mini muffin wells. I almost always end up with 48 little poppers at the end.
To begin, preheat your oven to 350 and grease the wells of a mini muffin tin. Set it aside.
Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine. In a larger bowl, combine your wet ingredients. The wet ingredients will look very thin and soupy. No worries… We’re about to fix that. Now dump the dry ingredients into the wet and stir just until combined. You don’t want to overwork the batter.
Now scoop out batter (I use the 1/2 Tablespoon measuring spoon) into the little wells. Tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles, then pop ’em in the oven.
While your poppers are baking, start preparing your assembly line. Melt 1/2 stick butter in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
Note: When it comes to Cinnamon Sugar, it is so much cheaper to mix it yourself than to buy premixed at the store. I like to mix up a nice size batch and store it with my spices. Then when I need it for a recipe or topping, it’s ready to go. The perfect ratio of sugar to cinnamon in my opinion is 1/3 cup sugar to 1 tablespoon cinnamon. For this recipe, I start with 1/3 cup of my premixed Cinnamon Sugar and add more to the bowl if needed as I go. You can always add more, but if you start with too much then you waste what’s left. Like my dad always said, “You can always get more, you can’t get less.”
When your poppers are done baking, let them rest in the pan for a couple minutes.
Then turn them out onto a cooling rack. I find a mini spoonula is the perfect tool. It tucks down in the well and scoops them up perfectly.
While your first batch is cooling, fill the tin up again and get your second batch in the oven.
After your poppers are cool enough to touch, brush them with the melted butter…
then sprinkle them with the Cinnamon Sugar.
You can just roll them through the butter and topping, but they will absorb A LOT of butter. My 1 1/2 year old was wanting to “hep Mama!” so ours took a bath in the Cinnamon Sugar… and they were super delicious… probably mostly because they were made with Harper love!
When you’re done topping them, I like to let mine rest on paper towels so any excess butter is absorbed by the towels and not by the poppers on the bottom of the pile. Repeat with the second batch, and you’re done! Now it’s time to enjoy some Pumpkin Poppin’ Goodness!
Prep Time: 5 min before baking, 10 afterwards
Bake Time: 10 min per batch
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350. Grease the wells of a mini muffin tin and set aside.
Step 2: Combine flour, baking powder, and spices in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
Step 3: Combine oil, egg, pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add dry mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined.
Step 4: Scoop batter into greased wells and bake 10-12 min, or until popper springs back when touched in the center.
Step 5: Melt the butter and add to a shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
Step 6: When the poppers are cool enough to handle, brush them with butter then sprinkle or roll in the Cinnamon Sugar. Place poppers on a paper towel lined dish while finishing.