Healthy Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins with Maple Vanilla Bean Glaze

Fall just wouldn’t be complete without pumpkin muffins. They’re my favorite! You’ve probably noticed that I already have quite a few recipes for them in my index. This time however, I thought we’d lighten things up, make them a little bit healthier. Sure they’re topped with a maple vanilla bean glaze, but that’s totally optional- the muffins themselves are pretty hearty and wholesome.

Healthy Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins with Maple Vanilla Bean Glaze

I like to call these my “feel good about eating 5 of them in one sitting doughnut muffins.” They’re that delicious and good for you. How could a doughnut muffin be good for you? Well to start, let’s just go ahead and define doughnut muffin. I use this term because of their rough and bumpy tops and dense texture. They’re sort of like baked doughnuts. Cool? Ok, now let’s move on to the good stuff, the ingredients…

Healthy Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins with Maple Vanilla Bean Glaze

To start you’re going to want to whisk together a combination of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Using both flours ensures that these muffins are healthy while maintaining a light and tender crumb. Add some baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt to the flours and you’re dry ingredients are ready to go. In a separate bowl combine the pumpkin puree (I like to use organic because it’s slightly more moist), oil (any kind of oil works, I used olive and you cannot detect any of its flavor), pure maple syrup (yep, it’s the good stuff), brown sugar (I love Zulka’s brown pure cane sugar– it’s less processed and more flavorful), orange juice (don’t worry, you can’t taste this one either), and eggs. Whisk those together and then slowly incorporate your dry ingredients into the wet. A soft batter should form, it will look relatively thick for muffin batter, but don’t worry, it’ll all turn out in the end 😉

Scoop the muffins into a well greased pan (I love to use my Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray) and pop them into the oven. Bake them for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees until the tops are set and they look rough and bumpy. Did I mention they look like little mountains? Mountains that are desperately begging for some snow. That’s where the maple vanilla bean glaze comes in.

Healthy Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins with Maple Vanilla Bean Glaze

It’s divine. Don’t skip out on it. Heat your butter and syrup, add you vanilla bean paste, milk and some powdered sugar. Again, I used Zulka’s powdered pure cane sugar because I wanted to go as “natural” as possible. Once you’ve got that whipped up, dip (or dunk) your muffins in it. Not only will they look gorgeous but they’ll taste AMAZING too, I promise. When you give these to your friends and family to try they’ll never know how healthy they are! Suckers. If you love pumpkin muffins and crave them like I do, you’ve gotta try this version… you’ll never go back!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Healthy Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins with Maple Vanilla Bean Glaze
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These pumpkin doughnut muffins are so moist and flavorful, you'd never guess that they are full of healthy wholesome ingredients! Perfect for breakfast or dessert!
Yield: 12 muffins
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • ¼ c. coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil
  • ¼ c. pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 eggs

  • For the Vanilla Bean Glaze:
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • ½ c. powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 1½ tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a standard size muffin tin with baking spray (I like coconut oil spray), set aside.
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin, oil, maple syrup, orange juice and eggs. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the the dry and wet ingredients, stirring together until just combined.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin (I like to use my large scoop or a #20 which is approximately 3.5 tablespoons) and place into the oven to bake for 18-20 minutes or until tops spring back when touched. Remove the muffins from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the glaze, heat the butter and maple syrup in a microwave safe bowl until the butter has melted. Add powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste, adding 1 tbsp. of milk or more until a smooth glaze forms. Dip the tops of the cooled muffins into the glaze, swirl to remove any excess.
-If omitting the glaze, try topping the muffins with coarse sugar.
-Nuts, chips and fruit make great additions to these muffins. About ¾ c. of one or a mix will do!

Recipe source: adapted from Pinch of Yum

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About the Author


Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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  1. I made these tonight with a few changes since I didn’t have any maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, nor did I have orange juice, I substituted honey for the maple syrup in the muffins and brown sugar for the maple syrup in the glaze, I used extra cinnamon and nutmeg instead of pumpkin pie spice and milk instead of orange juice, they were still amazing!!!!!! The only difference I noticed was the glaze was a bit darker but still tasted wonderful!

  2. These look really good and I want to make them, but I definitely would not call them healthy. Maple syrup and brown sugar are just sugar.

    1. At restaurant supply stores, some grocery stores and online. I use the brand Nielsen-Massey. You can also use a combination of vanilla bean and extract or vanilla bean powder and extract.