top of page
  • Melissa Orquiza

Pumpkin Muffins w/Sugar & Spice Streusel, Halloween Decor Fails, Smashing Pumpkins, & Beethoven

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

Pumpkin Muffins w/Sugar & Spice Streusel. The pumpkin base is one of the most flavorful I've come across and the streusel, you can make ahead and store in the freezer.

Pumpkin Muffins w/Sugar & Spice Streusel, Halloween Decor Fails, The Smashing Pumpkins, & Beethoven

This morning, upon opening our front door, the Fall chill finally arrived in Southern California. Our neighborhood is ripe with Halloween decorations and we love it. I look forward to the neighborhood's weekly changes. Last year, to insure a festive holiday, I bought Halloween pillow covers and decorated inside the house. I did the same this year and have started planning the fall crafts my daughter and I will drive my husband crazy with. Like most people, enduring and thriving during these last two years has been a mental practice of fortitude, absurdity, and most importantly, humor. The change in the weather (surprisingly) made me smile, act giddy, and focus on relishing the play with my young daughter. It’s in the mundane, where our true characters can shine and hopefully, paper over cracks that you may think, may never heal or get stronger.

Although the Fall air still has a cast of looming uncertainty, I choose to focus on the cold briskness of change, of boundary setting (the winds here can be INSANE), knowing what I am responsible for in my yard (again, the winds are INSANE), and looking up to the sun and your friends when you need a good laugh. Here’s to a good start to the Fall for us ALL.

In the meantime, here’s some great Halloween decoration FAILS.

26 Halloween And Fall Designs That People Clearly Didn't Think Through

Did you know that string players from the Chicago Symphony backed Billy Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins on “Tonight, Tonight”? Here’s to musicians and their hometown love. (Apparently a string player told him it reminded him of Mahler.)

The Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight, Tonight (Official Music Video)

And yes, here is the Chicago Symphony in its full force, playing Beethoven 9 with Riccardo Muti. Precise, dazzling, exciting, full of contrast and electricity, it’s refreshing to see some zing in a orchestral workhorse. 33 million views and I must say, others, including non-musicians, have felt the same way.

Beethoven 9 - Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Riccardo Muti

Thanks for reading! I hope this makes you think, laugh, and hopefully approach your life in a new way. Have a wonderful week! Here’s to a new start to fall! Xo, Melissa

Pumpkin Muffins with Sugar and Spice Streusel. Intense fall flavors, make-ahead streusel, and a moist, flavorful, muffin. Perfect for some memory making!

Pumpkin Muffins with Sugar and Spice Streusel

(It’s a hybrid of Joanne Chang’s Pumpkin Muffins with Candied Pepitas and Margarita Manzke’s streusel topping from her recipe, “The Best Easiest Baked Dessert: Nectarine and Blackberry Crisp.")

Here’s Joanne Chang’s original link.

I added these spices to the streusel for more Fall flavor. Enjoy!

Used Fruit topping from crisp: added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 cup brown sugar

Makes 12 muffins


Candied Pepitas (original recipe)

3/4 cup (170 grams) pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1 egg white

1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar

Pumpkin Muffins

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks/170 grams) unsalted butter

2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar

3 tablespoons unsulfured light or dark molasses

4 eggs

3/4 cup (180 grams) fresh orange juice (about 3 oranges)

1 can (16 ounces/454 grams) pumpkin puree

3 cups (420 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Recipe Tips

The muffins taste best on the day they are baked, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you keep them for longer than 1 day, refresh them in a 300-degree-F oven for 4 to 5 minutes. Or, you can freeze them, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 1 week; reheat, directly from the freezer, in a 300-degree-F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.


Here’s the original recipe and the candied pepitas. (I didn’t do this because I didn’t have pepitas. but had leftover streusel in the freezer.)

1. To make the candied pepitas. Line a small tray with parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir together the pepitas, egg white, and sugar to make a loose slurry. Pour the seed mixture onto the prepared tray and leave out, uncovered, to dry overnight. The next day, using your fingers, break apart the pepitas into separate pieces. (The pepitas can be prepared up to 1 week in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)

2. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin, coat with nonstick cooking spray, or line with paper liners.

3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a hand-held mixer), cream together the butter, sugar, and molasses on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

4. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition to combine the eggs and butter-sugar mixture thoroughly. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once more. On low speed, add the orange juice and pumpkin and beat until combined. The mixture will look somewhat curdled. Don't worry. It will all come together once you mix in the flour.

5. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves until well mixed. Dump the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and fold carefully just until the dry and wet ingredients are well combined. (The batter can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly and filling them to the rim (almost overflowing). Sprinkle the tops evenly with the candied pepitas (which I didn't do. Is substituted the streusel. Next time, I'll put tons more streusel.)

7. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown on top and spring back when pressed in the middle with a fingertip. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan.

The Best Easiest Baked Dessert: Nectarine and Blackberry Crisp

from Baking at Republique, by Margarita Manzke with Betty Hallock

(I added these spices to the streusel for more Fall flavor. Enjoy!)

Used Fruit topping from crisp: added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 cup brown sugar


180g/ 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

150g/ 3/4 cup granulated sugar

165g/ 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/4 tsp fine sea salt


1. To make the streusel: Combine the flour, sugar, butter and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix and then, using your fingertips, rub cold butter with the flour until it forms pea-size pieces. The texture should be crumbly. Put the streusel in a covered container and set aside in a cool place or freeze in a resealable bag for up to 1 month.

2. Top the muffins with the streusel before baking. Enjoy!

@margheritamanzke, @joannechang, #pumpkinmuffinswithcandiedpepitas, #nectarine&blackberrycrisp, #streusel, @smashingpumpkins, @beethoven9, @chicagosymphony

28 views0 comments


bottom of page