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!
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  1. The muffins look and sound amazing!

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


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

  4. 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!

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

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

  7. Just tweeted about the giveaway.

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

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

  10. and of course I follow you on twitter.

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

  12. I follow you on Twitter

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

  14. I like you on Facebook

  15. I subscribe to your RSS feed

  16. I tweeted about your giveaway

  17. I also entered over at Miss in the Kitchen

  18. I shared the giveaway on my Facebook page

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

  20. I love the color pix of the muffins!

  21. omg. i need this book!

  22. follow u on twitter

  23. like u on fb

  24. subscribe to your rss feed

  25. tweeted about giveaway

  26. shared giveaway on fb

  27. liked baked on fb

  28. entered cooking with books sugar baby book giveaway

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

  30. I like you on FB

  31. I subscribe to your rss feed

  32. I shared about the contest on my FB page

  33. I liked Baked on FB

  34. I want these!

  35. I entered Farmgirl Gourmet’s giveaway

  36. These muffins look SO good.

  37. I also subscribe to you by RSS

  38. 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

  39. Followed @not_rachaelray on Twitter

  40. like you on facebook

  41. subscribe via email

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

  43. “Liked” BAKED on Facebook.

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

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

  46. I follow you on FB

  47. I am already a subscriber to your emails.

  48. 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!

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

  50. I love Baked! This recipe looks amazing!

  51. I “like” you on Facebook

  52. I “like” Baked on Facebook

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

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

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

  56. I follow not Rachel ray on FB.

  57. I follow not Rachel ray on twitter.

  58. I subscribe via RSS feed.

  59. 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!

  60. I tweeted giveaway

  61. I like baked on FB.

  62. I entered to win the book from farmgirl.

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

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

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

  66. I am subscribed to your RSS feed.

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

  68. 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! :)

  69. I “like”d Baked on Facebook.

  70. I just followed you on Twitter :)

  71. looks like an awesome book

  72. I subscribe to your RSS feed

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

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

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

  76. 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!

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

  78. I ‘liked” Baked on FB

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

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

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

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

  83. Friended ‘baked’ on FB

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

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

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

  87. 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’.

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

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

  91. 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

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

  93. I visited Farmgirl Gourmet and entered her giveaway.

  94. The muffins look so yummy.

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

  96. 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!

  97. Yum! I love Baked!

  98. Like you on FB!

  99. Liked Baked on FB

  100. Already subscribed to your emails :)

  101. 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!

  102. 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!

  103. I Like you on Facebook! :)

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

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

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

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

  108. 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.

  109. 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 :-)

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

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

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

  113. Shared this giveaway on FB.

  114. I liked BAKED on FB.

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

  116. Just “liked” on FB

  117. 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!

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

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

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

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

  122. 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 :-)

  123. 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! :-)

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

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

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

  127. 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 :)

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

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

  130. 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!

  131. great blog also!

  132. liked you on Facebook!

  133. Liked BAKED on Facebook!

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

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

  136. Gorgeous muffins.

  137. I now follow you on Twitter @GoddessFoodie

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

  139. you have me drooling over those muffins!

  140. I Follow @not_rachaelray on Twitter

  141. I “Like” Not Rachael Ray on Facebook

  142. I am already Subscribed to my RSS feed

  143. I “Like” BAKED on Facebook

  144. 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!

  145. Oh how I love pumpkin everything!!

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

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

  148. And I liked VP on fb.

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

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

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

  152. I “liked” your FB page

  153. “liked” Baked ages ago

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

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

  156. They look so delicious!

  157. I followed you on twitter!

  158. Also, I liked Baked on fb!

  159. Thank you for letting me enter this giveaway.

  160. I entered Farmgirl Gourmet’s giveaway :)

  161. I liked Not Rachael Ray on FB.

  162. I liked BAKED on FB

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

  164. 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!

  165. I follow you on Twitter :)

  166. I like you on Facebook :)

  167. I liked Baked on Facebook

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

  169. I commented on another Virtual Bloggers post!

  170. Those muffins look delicious, really lovely photos!

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

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

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

  174. Pingback: 50 Savory Pumpkin Recipes - Rachel Cooks

  175. Excelente receta. Sencillamente exquisitos.

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