Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour
Makes about 2 dozen

Muffin cup capacity will vary depending on pan manufacturer. Yield may increase if smaller muffin cups are used.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

Step 2

Stir together melted butter and next 2 ingredients. Spoon 1 rounded teaspoonful butter mixture into each cup of 2 lightly greased 12-cup muffin pans, and top each with 1 rounded tablespoonful pecans.

Step 3

Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl, and make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together pumpkin, next 2 ingredients, and 2/3 cup water; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.

Step 4

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans, filling three-fourths full. Place an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan on lower oven rack to catch any overflow.

Step 5

Bake at 350° on middle oven rack for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Invert pan immediately to remove muffins, and arrange muffins on a wire rack. Spoon any topping remaining in muffin cups over muffins. Let cool 5 minutes.

Step 6


Step 7

Pecan-Pumpkin Bread: Omit butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Substitute 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans for 2 cups pecan halves and pieces; toast as directed in Step Omit Step Prepare batter as directed in Step 3; stir in pecans. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 9- x 5-inch loafpans. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour). Makes: 2 loaves. Hands-on time: 20 min.; Total time 2 hr., 40 min.

Ratings & Reviews


January 22, 2019
My husband is a sticky bun freek, so this review is based on his rating.  I thought the flavors were good.  I made the pecan-pumpkin bread from step 7.  

justjohanna's Review

September 22, 2011
This recipe made enough for 30 regular muffins. The sticky bun filling oozed out of the sides of the muffins while baking, so they were not as gooey as expected. Also, put the muffin pans on top of lined cookie sheets or your oven will look like mine right now. They tasted good, but not exceptional.

georgiagirl76's Review

November 14, 2011
These turned out great! Even though I followed the recipe exactly as stated, I had enough leftover batter to make 2 dozen mini pumpkin muffins. (That's A LOT of extra batter!) I put a cream cheese icing over them. They turned out just as great as the sticky bun muffins. So, the only reason that I didn't give it 5 stars, is because the recipe should have been more accurate to not have so much leftover batter... it would've been a lot wasted. Otherwise, they turned out just like the picture! And tasted delicious! Best straight out of the oven or warmed.

LorraineJoyce's Review

October 30, 2011

blavigne's Review

December 11, 2012
I had these at a friend's house and they were loved by all.

TPeirce's Review

April 30, 2013
Yes, there is a lot of prep work involved, but the result is well worth it. I've made these several times and done the "bread" solution for the extra batter but the easiest solution the the extra batter is to make extra "goop" for the tops and have more muffins. Made these for a meeting one night and people were grabbing extras on their way out the door. No leftovers!! Is a definite "go to" muffin recipe, especially in the fall.

casherc's Review

October 10, 2011
These tasted fine, but not wonderful considering the work and the calories involved. I agree with others that they were not very gooey and some of the sauce oozed out of the muffin cups. I soaked my pans in hot water immediately after removing the muffins so they would be easier to clean. After 24 muffins I had enough batter for one loaf of pumpkin bread. I used 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all purpose and the texture was still lovely and light. Overall, I have other pumpkin bread/muffin recipes that are easier, more healthful and just as good.

ddcute's Review

October 04, 2011
Wonderful muffins! Made my own pumpkin pie spice mix: 2 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon, 1/2 tsp each ground ginger, ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground cloves. Made 27 muffins with this recipe. Made 12 according to recipe, 6 plain and then the rest of the batter I stirred in some mini chocolate chips. Sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top before baking. Moist muffins with great texture and flavor. Everyone loved them!

mtw785's Review

October 18, 2012
They definitely didn't look as pretty as the picture, and I agree with the other reviewers...For the work and calories involved, I think you could probably find a recipe that's a little better. I replaced 1 c. AP flour w/ whole wheat and only added 2 c. sugar -- and it still tasted great!

LucyDogg's Review

October 07, 2011
I had so much batter and not enough muffin pans, so I made 12 muffins and dumped the rest of the mixture into a loaf pan (after mixing in the remaining pecans). I saved the leftover sticky bun mix and spread it on top of the pumpkin loaf. The sticky bun mixture in the muffins did spill over into the oven quite a bit and had to be caught by a cookie sheet. Muffins were good and great with a warm cup of coffee.