Copycat Recipe: Panera Bread’s Pumpkin Muffin Tops

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A copycat recipe for Panera Bread’s Pumpkin Muffies, otherwise known as muffin tops, with a powdered sugar streusel topping.  No special pan required!

Copycat Recipe: Panera Bread's Pumpkin Muffin TopsWe were in Nashville this weekend visiting friends.  What a whirlwind!  When you have a 17-month old running around your friends’ entire house grabbing anything he can get his hands on, you definitely don’t rest or slow down.  Our friends’ home is very kid-friendly, yet Simon still wanted to get into the things he could break or whatever was of the most destruction.  The first thing I said to our friends when we arrived their house?  “You’ll be reminded real quick of how you’re glad to be past this baby stage!”

So imagine me chasing after Simon, arms straight out ready to grab him, just about the entire weekend.  To add to the baby chaos, two of the restaurants we tried going to didn’t have high chairs!  Seriously!?  I get it if it’s a fine dining establishment or something of the like, but these were both restaurants that can handle kids…I guess they just don’t want babies??  C’mon, guys, get at least ONE high chair!

Copycat Recipe: Panera Bread's Pumpkin Muffin TopsNonetheless, we had a very enjoyable time visiting with my bestie and her family, catching up on life, and also getting a girls’ night out with two of my favorite gal pals in one of my favorite Nashville districts.  Ahhh, I love Nashville.  I miss living there, but glad we are within driving distance to make weekend trips.

Saturday, we spent the morning hours at a pumpkin farm celebrating our Nashville friends’ daughter’s 8th birthday.  It was our first pumpkin farm experience for this season, so it definitely got me in the mood for Fall!  In a couple of weeks, we’ll be heading up north for our annual fall Michigan trip to visit family, pick apples, chow down on pumpkin donuts and guzzle apple cider.  I.cannot.wait.

Copycat Recipe: Panera Bread's Pumpkin Muffin TopsIn the meantime, I’ve been making this copycat recipe for Panera Bread’s Pumpkin Muffies.  (Yeah, weird name for them, I know. haha.)  Have you had them??  When I was pregnant with Judah way back in 2009, I ate a Panera Pumpkin Muffin or Muffie every single morning of my first trimester!  Whoa!  Might be why I gained 50 pounds with him!  Anyway, we no longer have a Panera near us here in Mississippi, so I figured out a good ol’ homemade version.  And, it’s fantastic, y’all.  Like, seriously, I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow morning and have another one for breakfast…and I’m not even pregnant this time!

Copycat Recipe: Panera Bread's Pumpkin Muffin TopsYou do not need a special muffin top pan for this recipe.  Instead, you just scoop large mounds onto a lined baking sheet, just like cookies!  But, they bake up like muffin tops, perfectly shaped on their own.  Right before serving, sprinkle it with the yummy powdered sugar topping.  Soooooo good with a hot cup of coffee!

Copycat Recipe: Panera Bread's Pumpkin Muffin Tops

Copycat Recipe: Panera Bread’s Pumpkin Muffin Tops

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 26 minutes

Yield: A baker's dozen (13 muffin tops)

Serving Size: 1 muffin top

Copycat Recipe: Panera Bread’s Pumpkin Muffin Tops

A copycat recipe for Panera Bread's Pumpkin Muffies, also known as muffin tops, with a powdered sugar topping. No special muffin top pan required!

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • For the topping:
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Adjust oven rack to the center position.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir in the oil, pumpkin and vanilla extract until combined.

In a separate medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just blended.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner. Using a large cookie scoop (3 to 4 tablespoons), scoop 5 mounds onto the baking sheet, spaced about 2 1/2 inches. Bake for 8 minutes, rotate pan and bake an additional 8 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Scoop 5 more mounds of dough onto baking sheet, and repeat.

When the cookies are completely cool, stir together the powdered sugar and brown sugar. Sift or sprinkle evenly onto the tops of each muffin. Store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. For best results, wait to sprinkle on the sugar topping right before serving.


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  1. These look so light and fluffy and delish for fall!! We’re hosting a party tomorrow night so I may try to whip these up!

  2. oh my gosh!

  3. I made these yesterday and they were absolutely delicious! This may be my new favorite Fall recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. My hubby and my son LOVED these!! Second batch already requested 🙂

  5. This is right up my alley! So delicious!

  6. Diane Hutchings says:

    Just made these, and they’re SO delicious! How do I stop eating them??!

  7. Made these tonight. We loved them and will for sure make them again and again! 🙂

  8. I made some just now in under half an hour. Oh my word. So good. They weren’t as sweet as Panera ones so I added some more brown sugar and these new ones are baking as I write. I also wonder how Panera makes their tops a slightly crispy. But they are SO GOOD!

  9. thank you for the PERFECT recipe !! Oh my , it was delicious!!! This is my favorite pastry from panera and I don’t think I will ever go back to buy one.. I will make it myself. Thanks again for an easy and delicious recipe.

  10. WIll canned pumpkin do the same as the pumpkin puree??

  11. Just made these. I made them in my muffin top pan and baked them for about 15 minutes. I sprinkled cinnamon-sugar on top before popping them in the oven and they are really good. I’m going to make these again and will add raisins and chopped nuts next time. Great recipe!

  12. Justin Barnard says:

    will this dough freeze so I can make a batch cook a sheets worth then keep the rest for a later day?

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Justin,
      I freeze a lot of cookie dough, but this is more of a cross between cookie dough and a cake batter. It might work to freeze in mounds/balls (I would flash freeze in a single layer for 20 minutes then transfer to a freezer bag) but I have never tried it. You have made me want to, though! Sorry I’m not more help. If you do give it a try, come back and let us know how it turned out!

  13. Any chance you have nutritional info or calories per muffin?

    • I do not. Sorry, Liz! I think there are nutritional calculators available online that might be able to calculate for you. 🙂

  14. These are my absolute favorite from Panera! Thanks, can’t wait to make these…right now!

  15. Panera bread makes the best pumpkin muffin tops and your recipe was spot on. The only question I have is the topping, you sure it was both lt brown sugar and powdered sugar? I made mine at night so the one I tried had a funky taste due to a container I used to hold the topping mix. Gonna try again tomorrow but was just wondering about the brown sugar. Thank you

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Cynthia,
      I actually don’t know for sure what Panera uses for their topping, but this was my favorite way of topping it that was close enough. 🙂

  16. I used fresh pumpkin puree and gluten free flour. They turned out amazing.

  17. How did you get yours nice and round. Mine are still tasty but not round. I think I will make a second batch and put in a ziplock bag and squirt out to a circle

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