Brown butter honey pumpkin cornbread muffins made with delicious toasty brown butter, pure pumpkin, plenty of spices, and of course pure pumpkin. These muffins have the best flavor and are perfect alongside a hearty bowl of chili or your next holiday meal.
Cornbread is one of my most favorite foods on the planet and I love experimenting with my classic cornbread recipe to make more delicious and flavorful combinations.
These brown butter honey pumpkin cornbread muffins are my newest obsession. They’re made with all my favorite things – toasted brown butter, sweet honey, pumpkin (and plenty of pumpkin pie spice), and rich buttermilk.
Watch How to Make This Recipe
Whether you are serving these muffins alongside a huge bowl of your favorite soup or chili or passing them at the table at your next holiday meal, these are the perfect fit. This recipe is gluten free and I’ve also included dairy free options and substitutions if you need them, below!
Full list of ingredients & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
Gluten Free Flour: to keep these muffins gluten free, I like to use a measure for measure gluten free flour. If you don’t need to keep them gluten free, you can use regular all purpose flour.
Corn Meal: I prefer the texture of finely ground corn meal, sometimes called corn flour. If you like your muffins to have a bit more texture, you can use a medium-grind corn meal.
Pumpkin: pumpkin puree keeps this cornbread soft, tender, and adds a beautiful rich orange color. Can’t find pumpkin puree? You can make a batch of homemade pumpkin puree using my easy method.
Baking Powder: this helps to give the muffins their beautiful rise.
Spices: for the ultimate cozy flavor we’re using a combination of pumpkin pie spice and ground cinnamon. If you can’t find pumpkin pie spice, you can make a homemade batch using my go-to recipe.
Butter: the butter is kind of a huge star in this muffin show so be sure to use a high quality, unsalted butter for the best flavor. If you need to keep these muffins dairy-free, I recommend using a vegan butter and just melting it instead of browning.
Honey: to sweeten things up a little bit. You could use maple syrup instead of honey if your prefer.
Buttermilk: I always use full fat buttermilk whenever I make cornbread. I love the richness, the tang, and I think it gives cornbread the best texture.
How to Make a Dairy Free Buttermilk Substitute
If you would like to use non-dairy milk, instead of buttermilk, or if you’re just out of buttermilk you can make a quick substitute that mimics the flavor of traditional buttermilk. Here’s how:
Pour one cup of full-fat coconut milk Or the plant based milk of your choice) into a measuring cup.
Add one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to the milk.
Let the milk sit for 5 -10 minutes and allow it to curdle.
That’s it! The acid in the vinegar or lemon juice will begin to curdle the coconut milk and create a similar texture and tangy flavor to traditional buttermilk. I highly recommend using full-fat canned coconut milk instead of another plant-based milk like almond or soy. Full fat coconut milk has a higher fat content than other plant-based milks and will give you results most similar to buttermilk.
Complete list of instructions provided in the Recipe Card, below.
Step One: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Step Two: Add the diced butter to a small skillet or pot. Heat the skillet to medium heat. The butter will start to melt as the skillet heats up. Allow the butter to bubble and “cook” until it begins to change from a bright yellow color to a golden brown color. You will know the butter has “browned” when you see brown bits beginning to form in the bottom of the skillet or pot. Once brown, remove the butter from the heat and set aside. If you need a bit more instruction, this post on how to make brown butter will give you more details and our favorite brown butter recipes!
Watch How to Make Brown Butter
Step Three: Add the gluten free flour, cornmeal, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to a mixing bowl and whisk together until well combined.
Step Four: To a separate mixing bowl, add the buttermilk, honey, eggs, pumpkin puree, and browned butter. Whisk everything together until well combined.
Step Five: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently fold everything together until the batter is combined.
Step Six: Transfer the cornbread batter to a greased or lined muffin pan.
Step Seven: Bake the muffins for 15-18 minutes at 400 degrees until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the tops of the muffins are golden brown. They should bounce back if lightly pressed.
Step Eight: Serve the muffins warm. A drizzle of honey, butter, and cinnamon is always a delicious touch!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make these pumpkin muffins dairy free?
Yes! Just follow the directions on how to make buttermilk substitute above or you can swap the buttermilk for the plant-based milk of your choice. For the butter, you can use your favorite vegan butter substitute instead of traditional dairy. Instead of browning the butter you can simply melt it.
Can I use almond flour or coconut flour instead of gluten free all purpose flour?
No. I don’t recommend using almond flour or coconut flour as a one to one replacement for the gluten free all purpose in this recipe.
Can I make the cornbread in square baking pan instead of muffins?
Yes! To make a pan of cornbread instead of muffins, just transfer the batter to an 8×8 dish that has been lined with parchment paper or well greased. Bake the cornbread at 400 degrees for twenty-five to thirty minutes or until golden brown and puffed up.
How to Store and Freeze Cornbread Muffins
If you have leftover cornbread muffins, or if you would like to prep a batch in advance, you can easily freeze and reheat them later!
To freeze the muffins: Let the cornbread muffins come a complete cool and then transfer them to an air-tight and freezer safe storage bag. The muffins will stay fresh in the freezer for up to three months.
To reheat the muffins: When you are ready to reheat the muffins, remove them from the freezer and let them come to a complete thaw on the counter. Then, wrap each muffin in foil and reheat in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes until hot.
Serving These for a Holiday Dinner? Here are a Few More Delicious Recipes to Love
Add the diced butter to a small skillet or pot. Heat the skillet to medium heat. The butter will start to melt as the skillet heats up. Allow the butter to bubble and “cook” until it begins to change from a bright yellow color to a golden brown color. You will know the butter has “browned” when you see brown bits beginning to form in the bottom of the skillet or pot.
Once brown, remove the butter from the heat and set aside.
Add the gluten free flour, cornmeal, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to a mixing bowl and whisk together until well combined.
To a separate mixing bowl, add the buttermilk, honey, eggs, pumpkin puree, and browned butter. Whisk everything together until well combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently fold everything together until the batter is combined.
Transfer the cornbread batter to a greased or lined muffin pan.
Bake the muffins for 15-18 minutes at 400 degrees until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the tops of the muffins are golden brown. They should bounce back if lightly pressed.
Serve the muffins warm. A drizzle of honey, butter, and cinnamon is always a delicious touch!
Keywords: pumpkin cornbread muffins, easy pumpkin cornbread muffins, gluten free pumpkin cornbread muffins, pumpkin cornbread recipe, best pumpkin cornbread, how to make pumpkin cornbread
Leave a comment
These are delicious! Made to serve with turkey chili, and my husband loved them.
These were a hit at Thanksgiving!
I love these muffins! The flavors are to die for. One of my new favs.
thank goodness for leftovers because I was munching on these all week long!! smeared with some local honey and sooo good!
I just made these cornbread muffins and they are SO good! The honey and pumpkin add so much to the flavor and texture. I’ll definitely make them again.
I was so happy when I found this website! I keep strictly kosher, sometimes I can modify the recipes but sometimes I can’t 😬 my question is what can I substitute the buttermilk that it will be vegan?
Hi, Helen! I include an entire section in the blog post dedicated to answering this question. I hope you love the muffins!