Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins

These pumpkin cheddar muffins are unique, surprising, and extremely delicious. They’ll be a new favorite!

These pumpkin cheddar muffins are unique, surprising, and extremely delicious. They'll be a new fall favorite for breakfast or brunch. Get the recipe on RachelCooks.com.

What is the first thing you do when you pick up a new cookbook?

Do you read the information on the back?

Look at the pictures?

Check the table of contents?

I’m a flipper. I flip through the pages to see what catches my eye. Then I delve in deeper.

One of the first things I noticed about Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito was the friendly layout, deep, rich colors and wide variety of recipes.

Other things I loved:

  • There are sections about kitchen tools/equipment and terms/brand recommendations. Both include very educational and helpful information, especially if you are a new baker.
  • The authors have a sense of humor which makes the cookbook really enjoyable to read.
  • Each recipe includes a “Baked Note,” which is helpful information about the recipe or an educational/interesting tidbit about that particular dessert. I love this feature. It makes this book different than any other baking cookbook.
  • Huge variety of recipes from Black and White Cookies to Monkey Bread to Strawberry Jello Salad.

Things I wished were different (because I’m always going to give you my honest opinion!):

  • I wish there was more pictures. I’m a very visual person and I love my cookbooks to be jam packed with color photographs. I’m greedy–I want a picture of every recipe. However, the photos definitely make up in quality what they lack in quantity–they are gorgeous. (Photos by Tina Rupp.)
  • That’s all I have. It’s a good book!

The book’s stats:

  • Complete Title: Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented
  • Authors: Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
  • Photos by: Tina Rupp
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang
  • ISBN: 978-1-58479-850-7
  • 35 color photographs/75 recipes/208 pages
  • Authors’ bio (from publisher): “Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito left their day jobs in advertising five years ago to open their bakery, Baked, in Brooklyn, NY, to immediate praise from fans across the country. The authors have been featured on Oprah, the Today show, the Food Network, and Martha Stewart. Their first book, Baked, was an IACP award nominee. Lewis and Poliafito live in New York City.”

Some recipes that I really want to try: 

  • Whiskey Pear Tart
  • Chocolate Mint Thumbprints
  • Orange Creamsicle Tart
  • Sweet and Salty Brownie
  • Maple Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

I mean, really. How good do those all sound? In reality, I should just say that I want to try:

  • every
  • single
  • recipe
  • !

So, if you even have the smallest sweet tooth, make sure you order the book.

The recipe I tried was Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins and they did not disappoint. They are positioned in the breakfast portion of the book, and let me tell you–they are good. Especially if you’re someone who doesn’t love super sweet breakfasts.  They have the perfect balance of sweet and savory with a touch of cayenne to keep things interesting.

These pumpkin cheddar muffins are unique, surprising, and extremely delicious. They'll be a new fall favorite for breakfast or brunch. Get the recipe on RachelCooks.com.

The authors suggest topping with pumpkin seeds which would look beautiful and add a great crunch, but I used all mine for these recipes and didn’t have any left.

These pumpkin cheddar muffins are unique, surprising, and extremely delicious. They'll be a new fall favorite for breakfast or brunch. Get the recipe on RachelCooks.com.

Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins

These pumpkin cheddar muffins are unique, surprising, and extremely delicious. They’ll be a new favorite!

Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »


  • 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin purée
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (about 4 ounces) grated sharp cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, optional


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray each cup of a standard 12-cup muffin pan with a little bit of vegetable spray and use a paper towel to spread the oil evenly along the bottom and up the sides of each cup.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and sour cream. Add the eggs and butter and whisk until combined.
3. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, and brown sugar. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well, and fold until just combined. Fold in three-quarters of the cheese.
4. Dive the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and the pumpkin seeds on top of the muffins. Bake them for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the muffin pan cool on a rack for 10 minutes before turning out the muffins. Serve them warm.
5. Muffins taste best when eaten fresh, but they can be made ahead of time and reheated in a 200-degree oven.

Recipe used with permission from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

All images and text ©Rachel Cooks.

Verdict: So tasty! I loved the flavor complexity of these muffins. They would be really great with the pumpkin seeds on top to add some textural variety.
Husband’s take: He never tried them. I think know he was a little freaked out by the cheddar-pumpkin combination. My parents were visiting and tried the muffins though and loved them. My mom asked for the recipe. Here it is mom!
Changes I would make: Not a single one. These aren’t low-fat, with a whole stick of butter plus the cheese, but they are a great treat. They would be fantastic for a brunch. Also–I have a good helping of butter on them for the pictures, but they really don’t need it. They are very moist and delicious without it. But…a little extra butter is never a bad thing.
Difficulty: Easy!

These pumpkin cheddar muffins are unique, surprising, and extremely delicious. They'll be a new fall favorite for breakfast or brunch. Get the recipe on RachelCooks.com.


Disclosure: I was sent a free book to review and free brownies to try. However, all opinions expressed in this post are, as always, 100% my own. I was not compensated for this post other than the free book/brownies.

These pumpkin cheddar muffins are unique, surprising, and extremely delicious. They'll be a new fall favorite for breakfast or brunch. Get the recipe on RachelCooks.com.
When you make a recipe from my site tag it with #RachelCooks!
I love to see what you're creating!


  1. Excelente receta. Sencillamente exquisitos.

  2. Pingback: 50 Savory Pumpkin Recipes - Rachel Cooks

  3. Pingback: Cooking 'Round The Web - Thanksgiving Edition - Cooking In Stilettos™

  4. Pingback: Cooking 'Round The Web - Thanksgiving Edition | Cooking In Stilettos

  5. This book, and the brownies, look amazing!

  6. Those muffins look delicious, really lovely photos!

  7. I commented on another Virtual Bloggers post!

  8. I shared this on my Fanpage (BigFatBaker) :)

  9. I liked Baked on Facebook

  10. I like you on Facebook :)

  11. I follow you on Twitter :)

  12. OMG I have been wanting this book forever! All of the recipes sound so good and homey. The pumpkin muffins look amazing, and I’m sure they didn’t disappoint! Great giveaway!

  13. WOW this will make a great addition to my family Christmas Holiday brunch! I can’t wait to try them – thank you!!!!

  14. I liked BAKED on FB

  15. I liked Not Rachael Ray on FB.

  16. I entered Farmgirl Gourmet’s giveaway :)

  17. Thank you for letting me enter this giveaway.

  18. Also, I liked Baked on fb!

  19. I followed you on twitter!

  20. They look so delicious!

  21. Those sound very very interesting. I might have to try pumpkin/cheese muffins.

  22. Mentioned you on my FB page, Bake Shop.

  23. “liked” Baked ages ago

  24. I “liked” your FB page

  25. I also entered the How to Cook Indian Food giveaway here – http://www.diabeticfoodie.com/2011/11/laziz-tikka-masala/

  26. I’m already subscribed to your blog via email :)

  27. Your muffins look yummy! And I’d love to win this cookbook… thanks for the chance to win!

  28. And I liked VP on fb.

  29. I just left a comment on 30aeats steak and potato recipe.

  30. Just left a comment on Diabetic Foodies Laziz Tkka Masala.

  31. Oh how I love pumpkin everything!!

  32. friends with susan benton at 30A eats & that’s how i found you. now following you on twitter & liked you & baked both on fb. think the “virtual potluck” is a super creative idea!

  33. I “Like” BAKED on Facebook

  34. I am already Subscribed to my RSS feed

  35. I “Like” Not Rachael Ray on Facebook

  36. I Follow @not_rachaelray on Twitter

  37. you have me drooling over those muffins!

  38. Wow – these muffins look great! Different flavor combination, but sounds delicious!

  39. I now follow you on Twitter @GoddessFoodie

  40. Gorgeous muffins.

  41. I’m so intrigued by this recipe!! I’ve flipped through the book a few times and would LOVE to own it!

  42. This is one of the cookbooks I adore and have bookmarked this recipe to try!

  43. Liked BAKED on Facebook!

  44. liked you on Facebook!

  45. great blog also!

  46. I shared this recipe on Facebook, and one of my friends made it. He said there were none left! Looking forward to making it myself!

  47. I’m a flipper too…glad you flpped to this great recipe :)

  48. Those muffins look so good. I would have never thought of cheese and pumpkin, but it makes such perfect sense, doesn’t it?

  49. This cookbook looks great! I’m with you on the pictures. I love my cookbooks jam packed with pictures. I think it’s because I visually need to see what the recipe should *fingers crossed* look like :)

  50. These look so delicious, I have been so into all of the pumpkin recipes this year!

  51. Hooray! – I am now following BAKED on FB too! :-)

  52. I am now a VERY happy follower of yours on FB :-)

  53. What a fascinating combo – pumpkin and cheddar….why not! I’ve been eyeing this lovely cookbook for awhile now. I want it more than ever now! :-)

  54. Oooh, those look really good Rachel. I think the combination of cheddar cheese and pumpkin actually sounds really good. Oh, and I’m a flipper too :-)

  55. I like you on FB! (you’re getting so close to 1000!!)

  56. Those look awesome! I’m not sure I’ve ever paired cheese with pumpkin but I can see how it works!

  57. I LOVE this recipe. I’m a big fan of cheddar and pumpkin, but haven’t had them together. Now I will :)

  58. I “liked” Not Rachel Ray on Facebook.

  59. I know what you mean about husbands and trying somthing different…I put coffee flavoring in my brownies and my husband wouldn’t eveb try them!

  60. Just “liked” on FB

  61. I visited FARMGIRL GOURMET and signed up for her contest :-)

  62. I liked BAKED on FB.

  63. Shared this giveaway on FB.

  64. I added my name/email on your email subscription.

  65. Um, wait, I was suppose to post separate? U Liked Not Rachel RAy on FB.

  66. Also left a post on the Shanghai Carmel Apples from the Sugarbaby cookbook.

  67. I have commented here, “Liked” Not Rachel Ray on FB, added my name/email to your email subscription, shared this giveaway on my FB page, “Liked” BAKED on FB, and visited FarmGirl Gourmet and signed up for her contest :-)

  68. I also left a comment on Theresa Greco from Foodhunter’s Guide chose the book Dolci: Italy’s Sweets
    I am posting Anonymously because I don’t have a profile and their pages want a profile.
    I like yours it lets me use a name and email.

  69. I visited Cooking with Books and left a comment (virtual potluck participant). :)

  70. I also left a comment on the page with the Sticky Cinnamon Scrolls.

  71. I have already left a comment on Miss in the Kitchen’s page.

  72. VP is a great idea! I can’t wait to try some of these recipes.

  73. I Like you on Facebook! :)

  74. Hi Rachel! These muffins look fantastic and I have really, really wanted that cookbook. I have flipped through it several times and have put it on my Christmas list!

  75. WOW! I’m a “flipper” too and those recipes look awesome! Plus, My DIL is a baking fiend, trying out new recipes all the time and posting them in her blog about baking and having a new baby :-) Hope I can give her this book for Christmas!

  76. Already subscribed to your emails :)

  77. Liked Baked on FB

  78. Like you on FB!

  79. Yum! I love Baked!

  80. I’m a picture gal too! I loved Cooking Without Borders, but it also lack many photos. I am all in on this recipe, in moderation, as I adore cayenne, cheese and the pumpkin combo!

  81. I entered the 30AEATS (Susan Benton) giveaway.

  82. The muffins look so yummy.

  83. I visited Farmgirl Gourmet and entered her giveaway.

  84. I shared a link on my FB page about contest & recipe!

  85. These muffins rock. So good. Maybe you’ll join us for Baked Sunday Mornings? We’re working our way through the book! http://bakedsundaymornings.com

  86. I have not gotten a confirmation email back yet for subscribing to emails!

  87. What a cool idea for a virtual potluck! I have never tried the cheddar pumpkin combo before.

  88. These look amazing! Totally my style. Would it be overkill to eat these with FarmGirl’s butternut squash mac and cheese? See ya round the #virtualpotluck on Twitter!

  89. I am a flipper/photos draw me in. Basic recipes are key, leaving room for those of us who just have to venture off into our ‘variations’.

  90. Visited Farmgirl Gourmet, signed up! Gotta try those sticky buns!

  91. Following your tweets now! Where have you been? lol or….why am I just now finding you!!!

  92. I subscribed to your emails. Looking forward to this!

  93. Friended ‘baked’ on FB

  94. Tweeted about new cookbook/recipe/contest on twitter!!! My followers will love it!

  95. Following ‘not_rachaelray’ on twitter now!!!!! yeah!

  96. And last but not least, I subscribed via email address submission. Thank you very much!

  97. I’m a subscriber- wouldn’t want to miss a thing!! ;)

  98. I ‘liked” Baked on FB

  99. Insane giveaway!! How cool that they are throwing in some goodies?!

  100. I am going to do a mini version of these muffins for our Thanksgiving Morning breakfast/brunch! They will be perfect! I ‘liked’ baked on FB; subscribed to email; shared link on FB; tweeted post; posted comment here and will now go to another’s giveaway to register with them! This is F U N!!!

    • Make sure you leave separate comments for each of the methods you used to enter, or I can’t count them as multiple entries! :) PS: Mini versions sound GREAT, especially with how dense and rich these muffins are. Great idea!

      • Thanks Rachel! It’s kinda a trick that I use for muffins. Older ladies watching there weight (lol) will eat 2-3 mini muffins where they won’t touch a regular size one; they would rather starve ;) Doing the mini version, they can ‘sample’ heehee!!! Really looking forward to trying them. Prob do a trial run Thursday on my day off!

  101. I visited Farmgirl Gourmet and entered the giveaway there.

  102. And now I just tweeted about the giveaway. Whew, this is keeping me busy when I’m supposed to be working <_<

  103. I entered Little Miss Kitchen’s, Farmgirl Gourmet’s, and Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine’s giveaways.

  104. I subscribe to your RSS feed

  105. looks like an awesome book

  106. I just followed you on Twitter :)

  107. I “like”d Baked on Facebook.

  108. I went to Brooklyn (from Portland, OR) in August and vistited the Baked Bakery just to meet those fellas. I have been obsessed with their recipes since I saw them on Martha a couple years ago. I don’t have this cookbook yet, and would love to have it! I “liked” your FB page, “liked” Baked ages ago, subscribed to your blog, mentioned you on my FB page, and commented. Please pick me!

    • Wow, how fun to visit the bakery! Please leave a separate entry for each of the actions you took, otherwise I cannot count them as entries—and it sounds like you need this book! :)

  109. I can not wait to try this recipe! sounds delicious.

  110. I am subscribed to your RSS feed.

  111. Just liked “Baked”. Good thing you offered a link, there were a lot of choices!

  112. I just “Liked” Not Rachael Ray on Facebook

  113. Those muffins sound perfect. I’m not afraid of a cheddar/pumpkin combo :)

  114. I entered to win the book from farmgirl.

  115. I like baked on FB.

  116. I tweeted giveaway

  117. Love new recipes and new cookbooks! I’m with you – lots of pictures will pull me in. Lack of or none at all will turn me off. There have been books on my lists before that I completely turned down due to no pictures!

  118. I subscribe via RSS feed.

  119. I follow not Rachel ray on twitter.

  120. I follow not Rachel ray on FB.

  121. I would love to win this cookbook. These look SO good.

  122. Omgosh..these look delicious. I can’t wait to make these. Heading to Sprouts today to purchase all the ingredients.

  123. I entered FarmGirl Gourmet’s cookbook giveaway :)

  124. I “like” Baked on Facebook

  125. I “like” you on Facebook

  126. I love Baked! This recipe looks amazing!

  127. Love your summary of the book. I’ve been on a pumpkin streak so I think these will be made soon!

  128. These muffins sound great, although I’d probably make a few changes to make them a bit healthier. Love the idea of pumpkin and cheddar together. BTW, I’m a flipper too!

  129. I am already a subscriber to your emails.

  130. I follow you on FB

  131. I love cookbooks. Can’t wait to try the recipe too! Thanks for the chance to win!

  132. Entering miss in the kitchens and 30aeats giveaways!

  133. “Liked” BAKED on Facebook.

  134. Tweeted from @goturcrazy “Enter to win Baked Explorations from @brooklynbaker & @not_rachaelray! http://wp.me/p1AwA6-vY #virtualpotluck #giveaway”

  135. subscribe via email

  136. like you on facebook

  137. Followed @not_rachaelray on Twitter

  138. I’m not a baker. Just like your husband is not a vegetarian. But i try. I can make cake out of boxes very well… but when i try to bake say, beer bread muffins? nope. hard. as. rocks. maybe i’ll try this

  139. I also subscribe to you by RSS

  140. These muffins look SO good.

  141. I entered Farmgirl Gourmet’s giveaway

  142. I want these!

  143. I liked Baked on FB

  144. I shared about the contest on my FB page

  145. I subscribe to your rss feed

  146. I like you on FB

  147. This book sounds fantastic!! I have a family Thanksgiving thing this weekend I am going to make these muffins!

  148. entered cooking with books sugar baby book giveaway

  149. liked baked on fb

  150. shared giveaway on fb

  151. tweeted about giveaway

  152. subscribe to your rss feed

  153. like u on fb

  154. follow u on twitter

  155. omg. i need this book!

  156. I love the color pix of the muffins!

  157. Muffins look great, two of my favorite foods combined!

  158. I shared the giveaway on my Facebook page

  159. I also entered over at Miss in the Kitchen

  160. I tweeted about your giveaway

  161. I subscribe to your RSS feed

  162. I like you on Facebook

  163. I’m a Twitter follower now, looking forward to reading your tweets! :)

  164. I follow you on Twitter

  165. Wow, looks like a beautiful book! Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

  166. and of course I follow you on twitter.

  167. This looks like an awesome cookbook! Would love to try it. :)

  168. I also entered a giveaway contest over at Miss in the Kitchen (for the Boyardee cookbook!).

  169. Just tweeted about the giveaway.

  170. I’m following Not Rachel Ray on Twitter. Are you?

  171. *And* I subscribe to you via RSS Feed!

  172. I’m not a big fan of super sweet things in the morning, so these sound perfect. I’ve never thought about combining pumpkin and cheddar, but now I totally want to. Thanks!

  173. Comment. Comment. Oh my goodness, comment! I have wanted this book for aaaaages. :D

  174. Goodness….they look so amazingly good!!! I can almost taste them. Great post!


  175. The muffins look and sound amazing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *