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Sticky Pecan Upside-Down Pumpkin Muffins

An irresistible sticky pecan topping stars in these soft pumpkin spiced muffins---like a cross between a sticky bun and a muffin all rolled in one!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 dozen muffins


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


  • Make the topping: Preheat oven to 425F. Bring butter and sugar to a low simmer over medium-high heat. Stirring occasionally, cook caramel until a deep golden brown and slightly thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in whipping cream and a pinch of salt. Divide chopped pecans between a greased 12-cup muffin tin, placing nuts in the bottom. Top each with about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon caramel sauce. Set aside.
  • Make the muffins: In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin, sugar, eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Gently fold flour mixture into liquid, stirring until just combined.
  • Divide muffin batter evenly between muffin cups, carefully spooning batter over nuts and caramel. Smooth tops. Bake muffins at 425F 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 375F and continue baking 15-16 minutes or until a toothpick tests done.
  • Cool muffin in pan 5-10 minutes, then very carefully, run a knife around muffins and quickly invert onto a cooling rack. Enjoy muffins warm!


Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.