There’s a battle brewing at my house. My husband keeps announcing that he’s cold. He puts on a sweatshirt and some slippers and he shivers and he asks me if I think he might be coming down with something (oh please, oh please, don’t let him be coming down with something–have you ever seen The Man Cold video? Welcome to my life.) Then he wanders over to the thermostat and discovers that I have turned it down to chilly, sweater-wearing levels. This is because it is still 90 degrees outside and I refuse, refuse to accept the fact that if I got a caramel apple cider from Starbucks, I would end up lying on the couch, sweating to death and wondering if we could move to a cooler climate. So then he turns the thermostat back up, higher than we normally keep it, and I wonder why the house smells like heater when it’s 90 degrees outside and I discover what he’s done and I plot buying a lockbox for the thermostat. The weather had better cool off soon, lest we find ourselves in thermostat-related couples therapy. Until then, I’m keeping it cool and baking fall goodies. Starting with Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.

You’ll need a Duncan Hines spice cake mix (check out this post to see how strongly I feel about Duncan Hines cake mixes), pumpkin puree, sour cream vegetable oil, eggs, and chocolate chips. And vanilla, but I forgot that.

And because this is NOT the Weight Watchers version, we’re adding a streusel topping made with flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and butter.

Preheat your oven to 350. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside. Check out these cupcake liners that I found in the cake decorating aisle of Walmart the other day!

I love that they hold their shape and have a more unique look than traditional cupcake liners.


Ignore the directions on the box. We’re getting crazy here. Place the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds or until the dry ingredients are moistened, then beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners.

Whisk together the dry streusel ingredients (flour, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice)…

and then cut in the butter with two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture over the muffin batter…

and then bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes. Yes, I realize that’s a huge span of time. Without going too far off course, let me just say that my new gas oven is throwing me for a loop. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a gas oven or if it’s just because it’s a different oven than what I’m used to, but things are not baking the same and my world has been rocked to its core. The thick and fudgy Tim Riggins Brownies? Yeah, they baked in much less time and came out fluffy and cake-like when I made them this weekend. So because I’ve been reminded first-hand how widely baking times can vary, I’ve given a pretty generous window for how long these will need to bake. There are just a few things to keep in mind: 1) They will probably take longer than the cupcake instructions on the cake box (because of the pumpkin), 2) You’ll want the tops to be turning golden, 3) When you insert a toothpick into the centers to test for doneness, you don’t want anything to come back out, not even crumbs. Because you’re adding the pumpkin and the sour cream, these will be very moist, so if you underbake them at all, they will be on the gooey side. These ones were not baked long enough (my other pan was, though), and you can see the tops of some of them are sinking.

When they’re done baking, remove the pans from the oven and allow them to cool completely. And if you call them “muffins,” you can eat them at all hours of the day, whereas if you call them cupcakes, it’s not socially appropriate to eat them for breakfast. So these are muffins, even if they do involve chocolate. And streusel. And cake mix.



  1. I love the cupcake (uh…I mean muffin) liners! And, I love that you are using that little green bottle in your photo and can hardly wait until mine show up in a few days. I also love that you are using pumpkin pie spice as I have way too much of that at my house, due to buying it several times when I already had some. These sound so fantastic, and I hope you and your new oven resolve your issues with each other soon.

  2. LOVE those cupcake liners, I’ll have to grab some next time I go to Walmart. Muffins look awesome I wish I had one right now for breakfast… it’d go great with my pumpkin spice coffee I’m sipping on right now!

  3. These look awesome!!! My kids love the regular pumpkin muffins…so I’m sure they will LOVE THESE!!! Can’t wait to make them!! Just added this to my new OBB recipe box, but it came up with the wrong picture…some noodle dish…hmmm…the noodle dish looks yummy too, I’ll have to figure out what it is and make it too!

    LOVE THE NEW recipe box feature…and the shopping list too!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. Anne, I think you have to click on the recipe title (so it’s the only recipe showing up on the page) and then it will connect the right picture with the recipe. I know that’s annoying. Hopefully we can fix that (and by “we,” I mean the super-smart computer people behind Zip List, not Sara and myself!)

  4. Ok, found out which picture showed up with my muffin recipe! It was the picture for Quick & Easy Noodle Stir-Fry that popped up! Just added that recipe to my box too! 🙂

  5. all i can say is… you had me at hello :)! seriously… these look SO yummy – going to make them today! something about streusel and pumpkin… *sigh*…. 🙂

  6. I just switched from electric to gas as well and my baked goods have generally been finished way earlier than they had been in my old oven. Really not sure if its the fact that it’s gas or just that all ovens are different in general. Can’t wait to try these muffins, they look delicious!

  7. OMG! (Oh MY GOODNESS!) I have been putting off making the Pumpkin Chocolate chip muffins that I’ve promised people at my office multiple times – and NOW I KNOW WHY 🙂

    See.. I just needed this recipe to come out 😉

  8. Regarding liners, this might be the ultimate in cheapness but I buy the aluminum foil liners. They’re hung right next to the regular paper ones and usually have the same count and the same price, but the foil liners have an inner paper liner too. They’re not attached to each other so I just pull them apart and I get a paper liner and a foil liner – two for the price of one. I haven’t noticed any difference in my muffins or cupcakes regarding how they cook in paper vs foil. I just know I got twice as many liners as the regular pack!

  9. I am all about streusel topping!! One of my favorite things ever.

    I love to keep the house cold too. I can’t sleep unless I have a huge pile of blankets on me and I can’t have a huge pile of blankets on me unless the house is cold. So yes…this makes sense. 🙂

    1. Um, me, too!! In fact, I was just thinking this morning about how I need to wash our heavy blanket for the bed so we can pile on the cozy covers when our house is freezing at night because I’m about to husband-proof that thermostat… 🙂

  10. I love this recipe! I use a similar one for cookies, but then I only use the pumpkin pie filling and the spice cake mix. I don’t have to measure anything else. The house always smells delicious afterwards as well!

  11. I have never seen streusel on a cupcake – so these are definitely muffins!

    Gas ovens are picky and it took me a long time to get used to mine. My general rule is err to the lower side – better to stick it back in for a few minutes than burn it! On a plus side, you can stick stuff in to start before the oven is fully preheated (I ALWAYS forget to turn on the oven until I’m ready to put whatever I’m baking in). Beware of broiling – SO HARD with a gas oven! In my dream kitchen, I would have a gas stove with an electric oven!

  12. Sounds so yummy! And it’s cold here in Ohio (40’s at night) BRRR! I’m not ready yet! I have a little story about your blog…I was reading it the other night…both stories about the room makeovers and my hubby was in the kitchen retipping (is that a word? LOL) his pool sticks. I was laughing so hard he wanted me to read it out loud to him….well apparently he couldn’t listen, laugh and do tips because he cut his finger with his utility blade and I thought he was going to need stitches. YUCK! I guess I won’t be reading him your blog when he’s working with sharp objects. LOL! Loved your rooms…are you sure you wouldn’t want to add home decorating to your blog??

  13. Those look delicious!

    I have a gas oven, things do seem to take longer to bake. Should we bake them for 30 minutes then?

  14. Looks delicious — can’t wait to try it. But even more importantly, please tell me about that cute green bottle that has milk in it in the pic. 🙂

  15. taking this recipe to helen’s this week and we will make them. yum!!!! i dislike so much cupcake liners because they DON”T hold their shape!!!! so these are great! thank you!

  16. Now I am torn–I opened up your blog to find the recipe for the “Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins” and see this post and now don’t know which one to make. What would you say is the difference between the taste of the two (besides the streusel topping)?

  17. I make a similar muffin recipe every fall (it’s become quite the tradition). But to cut back on ingredients and calories in the muffin batter all I use is the spiced cake mix (or sometimes butter pecan), 1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin, and 1/2 cup apple cider. I then top with my version of a streusel topping (because really what’s a muffin without a streusel topping?). I love, love, love these muffins!

  18. Question. Can u use the sweet chili sauce that u use in the asian noodels for the Tia peanut noodles I can’t find the one u used with green lid.

  19. These look fabulous! I love anything and everything pumpkin (well, except pumpkin pie… I know, I’m strange!) Anyways, my little guy is allergic to eggs so am wondering if I could omit them. There’s a similar recipe that just calls for the cake mix, pumpkin, and chocolate chips. I like the sounds of adding the sour cream and streusel though. Yum, yum! Any tips you might have I’d love to hear. Thanks!

  20. Oh my gosh I had to make these TONIGHT! I couldn’t wait. I didn’t do a streusel topping but I sprinkled the tops of mine with some ginger-infused raw sugar that I bought at a specialty spice shop. YUM! Thanks for the recipe!

  21. How do you think these would hold up if you made them and froze them? I’m wanting to make them a few days before a party and then get them out the night before. Wondering if you think that would be ok?

  22. Okay, I absolutely LOVE your bottle of milk, shown in the last picture, you posted of the muffins. Where did you find that? Oh, and the muffins look delicious too.

  23. Mmm! I love fall food! Especially the pumpkin treats. Thanks for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

    Oh and I totally get the man cold thing. UGH! Us moms get a cold (or a stomach bug) and we still have to be super woman. Men get to take it easy and get pampered. I want a sick day!!

  24. So I was planning on making the other version on here (aka Weight Watchers) until seeing these. They are so good! Thanks for pushing me off the weight loss wagon! Thankfully, they are so good, some are going to be wonderful snacks for the neighbors!

    1. As long as you use Duncan Hines cake mixes, I think doctored up cake mixes are every bit as good (if not better) than a lot of cupcakes/cakes/muffins made from scratch. Not all, of course, but really, if you take a look at the cake mix ingredients, it’s everything you’d be putting in your cake anyway. The benefit is that these companies turn out HUUUUGE quantities of cake mixes, so it eliminates a lot of variables that cause people trouble (expired baking soda or baking powder, not measuring the flour correctly, not using the right kind of flour, etc.) When you mix them with high-quality fresh ingredients, you can get really fantastic results.

      That said, I am and forever will be a homemade brownie snob. And this lemon cake? Nothing from a box can beat it. 🙂

  25. Hi 🙂 Just thought I would comment… and I am sure I am not the first to post something like this, but I found out (totally by accident) that you can actually do without the liquid and oil just by adding the pumpkin. I even just add 2 eggs 🙂 and it does well. I would definitely only recommend the DH Spice Cake mix… best flavor overall no question! The resulting cake/cupcakes are so incredibly moist and flavorful!!! (I am not one that loves to do low fat… it just happened this way when I was out of oil, and forgot to add the water :)) I will definitely be trying your version tho… sounds so yummy!!! Thanks for the recipe! As usual… it’s going in my box! You guys are amazing!

  26. I love your site, I dont think I have ever commented before but I am a fan. I just wanted to let you know your links for your zucchini bread recipes are not working.

  27. Waiting for these to cool down enough for me not to burn the roof of my mouth. Just an FYI: The recipe says it makes 24, but when I fill the cupcake…oh I mean muffin liners 2/3 of the way full it makes more like 31. Which I think is totally fine because that way I can present 24 at a party and act like it’s normal but in reality I have 7 of those beauties sitting at home on my counter for my “kids” aka me to eat. I find this to be true of all the doctored up cupcakes I make. Love the site, but my waistline doesn’t.

  28. Kate! Have you had the cream cheese frosting at “Nothing Bundt Cakes”? It’s amazing! Can’t wait to try yours too, sounds like it’s similar to NBC’s.

  29. I made these this weekend for a birthday party and everyone raved about them! I love anything with pumpkin and chocolate chip, but these were really something special. Great recipe!!

  30. I made these tonight, mmmmm. I didn’t make the topping and substituted most of the sour cream with plain nonfat greek yogurt. I had to go to 3 stores to find spice cake mix. Finally found it at Smiths.
    I wonder if you could use carrot cake mix, canned carrots and raisins for another twist on the theme.
    Thank you for this recipe, not only does it taste great, our house smells so good.

  31. just pointing out, not that i’m ocd or anything, but in the post, when talking about mixing the ingredients you omitted the sour cream. it WAS included in the recipe, just not in the paragraph part of the post! cheers! and yum!

  32. These were SOOOOO delicious. Me and my two sons (1 and 3) have been eating them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the last few days…really good with dark chocolate chips!

  33. Do you think this could also be made as a cake instead of muffins/cupcakes? If so, how would you change it?

    1. I’m sure it could be done, I’ve just never made it that way, so I can’t say for sure! 🙂 Just keep an eye on the cake in the oven and use the instructions on the box as a rough guideline for baking times. 🙂

  34. I baked these tonight and although they taste great, I had to bake them for 35 minutes (the first batch fell)and still a tooth pick inserted would not come out clean. I got 20 muffins! I think there is to much wet ingredients in these muffins.

    1. If you only got 20, my guess is that the cupcake liners were filled too full, which is probably why they took so long. You should get at *least* 24–some people have gotten even more.

  35. I made these last night with my toddler right before I put her to bed. They weren’t done baking so I told her she could have some in the morning. What was the first thing she said when she woke up? “Are the muffins ready?” So we sat down and had a muffin. After she has eaten the top off she got distracted and walked away. Queue 9 month old. This little munchkin pulled herself up and ate the remainder of the muffin. Moral of the story, these muffins are freaking awesome enough that the WHOLE family enjoyed them quite thoroughly 🙂

  36. On the blog it says to mix the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil, vanilla. But in the recipe box it says sour cream also.. just a little discrepancy that wasn’t to hard to figure out. anyways, I made them and they are delish!

  37. This recipe is my go-to pumpkin baking recipe. When I make the cupcakes (errr muffins) I usually leave off the streusel (for some reason I didn’t get it right the first time) and add cream cheese frosting. Today I turned this recipe into a cake, put chocolate ganache in the middle and smothered it in caramel cream cheese frosting. Everyone raved about the moistness and airiness of the cake. Thanks as always, ladies 🙂

  38. Is it ok to substitute Greek non-fat yogurt for the sour cream? Just wondering if they would be as good without the sour cream? Thanks!

  39. Thanks for reposting this! Made them tonight and learned the hard way to make sure the toothpick came out spotless…every single muffin fell 🙁 even though all the chips appear to have fallen to the bottom and they were a bit gooey they still tasted wonderful…added a dollop of whipped cream for some extra yum! Will definitely make it again and make sure they cook long enough! I got 30 out of my first batch…

  40. I’m curious…I clicked on the link for your PB Chocolate cupcakes to see why you prefer Duncan Hines cake mixes and noticed that that recipe called for canola oil and this one calls for vegetable. I’ve recently been trying to figure out which oils are best to use and so am curious, what’s the difference? Also, why DO you prefer Duncan Hines?

    Thank you! I can’t wait to make these muffins tomorrow!

    1. Megan, you can use vegetable oil and canola oil interchangeably, but usually we recommend canola. It’s recognized as being a healthier option, and comes from a single source (whereas vegetable oil can come from a blend of several sources.)

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