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Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans

These Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans are a low-glycemic pumpkin treat that’s still delicious with less sugar. Replace the small amount of brown sugar with more sweetener if you want a pumpkin muffin that’s even lower in sugar. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

Click here to PIN these low-sugar and whole wheat pumpkin muffins!

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans found on KalynsKitchen.com


Once in a while I shine the spotlight on recipes that are a bit higher in carbs or more indulgent than my usual low-carb offerings; these treats are not always sweet, but they’re always something delicious that you might enjoy once in a while for a healthy treat! These Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans would make a perfect breakfast for Halloween or Thanksgiving morning. And just a bit of history here: although now I have my favorite pumpkin recipes, I think this is the very first pumpkin recipe ever posted on Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Back in 2010 I got an e-mail from a reader named Sommer asking if I had a South Beach Diet friendly recipe for pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins. I can’t always take recipe requests but Sommer’s timing was great, because I’d recently shared a huge collection of Pumpkin Recipes at BlogHer.com, and I’d been thinking about experimenting with pumpkin muffins or bread ever since.

For these delicious healthier pumpkin muffins I used all white whole wheat flour and Stevia in the Raw Granulated Sweetener with just a touch of brown sugar. The lowest-carb and most South Beach friendly version would be ones made with all Stevia granulated, but even with the small amount of brown sugar I used they’re lower in sugar and more healthful than most pumpkin muffin recipes you’ll find.

If you need something a bit less sweet to feed the little goblins on Halloween morning, Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins might be just the thing. (Use the sweeteners of your choice, and of course you can also make the muffins with a combination of sugar and brown sugar if you don’t care about making them lower in sugar.)

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans found on KalynsKitchen.com

I used pecans, but I think walnuts or almonds would also be good in these muffins. Coarsely chop 2/3 cup nuts to go in the muffins and finely chop 3 T nuts for the topping. Mix the finely chopped nuts with 2 T Stevia Granulated (or sweetener of your choice) and 1 T brown sugar to make the topping. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together white whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt.

In another bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, Stevia Granulated (or sweetener of your choice), brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, egg, egg white, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. As you can see from this spoon standing up, the batter will be stiff! Then fold in the coarsely chopped nuts. Spray muffin tins or silicone muffin cups with nonstick spray, then fill cups with batter and top each with a heaping teaspoon of the topping mixture. The cookbook said 15 minutes baking time, which must have been a typo because I baked my muffins at 350F/175C and it took 27 minutes until the toothpick came out clean.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Low-Sugar Muffins You Might Like:

Low-Sugar Whole Wheat and Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins with Lemon from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Sugar-Free Colombian Cocoa Muffins from The Perfect Pantry
Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten Free) from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans

These Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans are a pumpkin treat that’s still delicious with less sugar.


  • 2/3 cup + 3 T pecans (or use any nuts of your choice)
  • 2 C white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (see note below for substitute for this)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned, but you can make your own pumpkin puree)
  • 10 T + 2 T Stevia in the Raw Granulated Sweetener (or use sweetener of your choice or regular white sugar if you don’t care about low-sugar)
  • 2 T + 1 T brown sugar (or replace all the brown sugar with Stevia or other sweetener if you want to reduce the sugar even more)
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or coconut oil)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C and spray muffin tins or silicone muffin cups with nonstick spray.
  2. Coarsely chop the 2/3 cup of pecans and set aside.
  3. Finely chop the 3 T pecans, combine with the 2 T Stevia (or other sweetener) and 1 T brown sugar, and set topping mixture aside.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl combine the white whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice (or combined spices as described above), cinnamon, and salt.
  5. In another bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, 10 T Stevia in the Raw Granulated Sweetener  (or other sweetener), 2 T brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, egg, egg white, and vanilla. (The mixture will be stiff.)
  6. Fold in the 2/3 cup chopped nuts.
  7. Fill muffin cups with batter mixture, sprinkling a heaping teaspoon of the topping mixture over each muffin.
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. (I baked my muffins exactly 27 minutes.)
  9. These muffins were light and just slightly sweet, with a good flavor that reminded me of pumpkin pie. I put half my muffins in the freezer (to help with portion control) and I’ll reheat them for about a minute in the microwave when I want to eat one later.


NOTE: If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice you can use 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. ground Allspice, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp. ground cloves to equal 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice.

I use Saigon Cassia Cinnamon from The Spice House. I used canned pumpkin, but you can make your own pumpkin puree if you choose.

Recipe adapted from pumpkin muffins in The Splenda World of Sweetness, a cookbook that was sent to me by my blogging friend Amy Sherman.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low- Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Using white whole wheat flour, grapeseed or coconut oil, and mostly Stevia Granulated (or another approved sweetener) makes these Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans a better choice for the South Beach Diet than most pumpkin muffin recipes, but definitely a version made with all sweetener would be best for South Beach if you’re actively trying to lose weight. Made with all sweetener, these muffins could be an occasional treat for phase 2 on South Beach, and if you used partly brown sugar like I did, they’re probably best saved for phase 3. Even if you used all sweetener, muffins made with flour are too high in carbs for a traditional low-carb diet plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans found on KalynsKitchen.com

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53 comments on “Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Pecans”

  1. Sorry I deleted my first post without noticing you had answered.

    I'm afraid I'm one of those who don't look at the photos – I just follow the directions, as if it were an old-fashioned recipe card.

    I used half Stevia and half sugar (the packet equivalent of 5 T, which turned out to be right).

    They were in the oven when I posted before and they're now out (right on your 27 minutes) and incredibly delicious. The consistency is perfect – not dense like many healthier muffin recipes. It's amazing that this is all the sweetener a muffin needs. I can't rave enough about them. Thanks so much for this and all the other wonderful recipes.

  2. Ann there is a link to my post on Stevia in the Raw Granulated sweetener, showing the bag, and also a photo showing the bowl and the spoon where I combined the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients. Sorry if that was not clear.

  3. Had to use regular sugar (it was all I had) with brown sugar, but I thought these were delicious. I made them this morning. Thanks.

  4. Oh these muffins look good! Perfect treat with morning coffee.

  5. Lorene, great idea to substitute butternut squash.

  6. Just made a double batch for the freezer. Yum!


    PS – As our pumpkins pooped out on us this year, I used butternut squash and they are just fine!

  7. Suann, glad to know that variation worked. (And I'm all for cream cheese too!)

  8. I made this tonight with applesauce instead of oil as my husband is on Weight Watchers through his work. Not using oil cut down the points as the applesauce had no sugar & doesn't count. Made it with all Splenda and Splenda/brown sugar mix. Very tasty & I personally would like just a very little creme cheese on it to make it perfect!

  9. thanks for this amazing recipe 🙂 It turned out way better than i expected, and i love the lack of sugar!

  10. Regina, I love the idea of adding cranberries! Thanks for sharing.

  11. I made these muffins for my family today and added a cup of fresh cranberry's and it was a hit! Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Margo for this type of recipe you might want to try the new granular Stevia for baking made by In the Raw. I just bought some but haven't tried it yet.

    And it's an individual thing because I don't like the taste of Stevia, at least not the ones I've tried so far.

  13. It's not that I "don't care about" being low sugar, it's just that I can't stand the taste of Splenda (and I'm not a picky eater either). I have a stevia plant and use stevia ice cubes in my smoothies and liquid stevia (stevia steeped in water) for my hot cereal. Even stevia has a taste that I had to mask in my hot cereal by adding plain unsweetened cocoa to the cereal. I haven't tasted it in my smoothies yet though.

  14. Janice, that's great! Thanks for letting me know they were kid-approved. (BTW, you could sub raisins for the nuts if you're making them for kids. I don't use raisins because they add to the sugar content for South Beach, but they would be great for kids.)

  15. I just made these this morning (half nuts, half without). My 8 year old gave them a big thumb-up "Yum!"

  16. PJ, thanks. And go for it, the pumpkin muffins were great. I still have about six of them in the freezer.

  17. this looks to be the healthiest pumpkin muffin recipe i have seen around the blogs recently and needless to say its tempting me a lot to bake some pumpkin muffins.

  18. Corinna, so glad you enjoyed the muffins, and by all means use less Splenda if you like them a bit less sweet.

  19. These make for a wonderfully satisfying & seasonal SB-friendly snack, with a cup of black coffee. Thanks again, Kalyn!
    A little sweet for my taste, so next time I will use less Splenda and/or increase the spices.

  20. The recipe says 1 cup pumpkin. (Don't scare me like that!) So whichever size can you have, there will be some left over. Just freeze it to use later.

  21. How much pumpkin do you use? 14 oz or 28oz?

  22. SmilingGreenMom, hope it works for your family. It sounds like you're good at adapting to make it work.

  23. This sounds like a very healthy and tasty autumn recipe! I would definitely want to try it using Kamut Wheat flour though since it has so many nutrients! Also – since our son has allergies, I would have to use egg replacer and omit the nuts but I think this will still be a winner in our home 🙂 Thanks so much!

  24. Dara, it's true for all of us I think. My friend Bonnie and I were talking this morning when we walked about how we wanted to try to resist temptation a bit more this holiday season, but it's hard!

  25. These are so pretty, Kalyn! The low-sugar version is very welcome, considering that we're entering the season of gorging and gluttony (speaking for myself, at least).

  26. South Beach doesn't recommend using butter at all, although occasionally I will use a very small amount in a sauce. I've been pretty happy using grapeseed oil for baking; I think I learned about that from Elana at Elana's Pantry.

  27. I often cut the butter down to 1/2 a stick at times. Not sure how much SB allows in terms of sat. fat, but the recipe is pretty flexible, I think, due to the fat in the almonds.

    You just have to have something to cream the sweetener in.

    Someday I'll experiment with olive oil or grapeseed oil as replacements for butter.


  28. Karina, we were writing comments at the same time. Thanks, coming from a master baker like yourself that means a lot. I'm getting better, but it's mostly luck!

  29. Aubrey, thanks. Glad you are enjoying the blog.

    Alicia, you're welcome; glad it is helpful.

    Joanne, that's the story of my life! No matter what I weigh, I always want to lose 5 pounds, lol!

    Trish, thanks for the link, always appreciate it.

    Paula, glad you like it.

  30. You are becoming quite the baker! Those look fabulous.

  31. oh, what a great blog! everything here looks so delicious!

    have a nice time,

  32. Hey Kalyn,
    I started SBD today and when I was looking for information and recipes,stumbled upon your blog.I have linked you up,hope that's ok?
    Here's the link:

  33. These are perfect since I've really been in the mood to bake some pumpkin goodies but am trying to lose a few pounds! Awesome. Thanks Kalyn!

  34. thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! for creating this blog site! it's exactly what i have been looking for 🙂

  35. Hi Kalyn!
    I am really excited to make these fall-ish muffins, and fyi I just made your Sausage and Red Russian Kale Soup tonight, delicious!!

    Your blog is such a relief to me because I'm a big South Beach fan and I am a HUGE fan of seasonal cooking- and it looks like you have a great variety of recipes.


  36. Chris, thanks. Glad you like it.

  37. Love these! And, as I love back to how I ate while living out there…these will work perfectly!


  38. Thanks Maria. I am improving, but you can still bake circles around me!

  39. And you say you can't bake:) Your muffins look perfect!

  40. Hi M, thanks for commenting. I did take a look at your recipe. It looks interesting, but using a stick of butter would make it off limits for South Beach (which has restrictions on saturated fat)

  41. Hi Kalyn–I've read your blog for a long time and I don't think I've ever commented.

    I just wanted to add I have a pumpkin cranberry muffin with nut and flax flour that comes in around 11g carbs and is delicious. (If anyone is interested!)


  42. Nikki, you're welcome. Hope the little goblins like them.

  43. THANK YOU!!! I've been wanting to find a sub for my mom's pumpkin bread recipe that has 2 (or is it 3?) cups of sugar…. uuuggghh! LOL Can't wait to try these… my little goblins (and I) are big pumpkin bread/muffin fans!

  44. Sommer, you're welcome. Thanks for the nudge!

  45. Thanks Kalyn!


  46. Lydia, I bet you would like them (unless you hate pumpkin pie?) The tiny amount of brown sugar does make the flavor much better.

  47. Okay, you've convinced me to give pumpkin puree another try. I'm sure the flavor is not so very different from the squash puree I love, though I'll bet either would be delicious in these muffins. Combining just a tiny bit of brown sugar with the Splenda is such a good idea.

  48. Anonymous, I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly because I didn't want to calculate calories, carbs, or points, so if you need the nutritional information you'll have to calculate it yourself.

  49. Do you have the nutritional info on these?

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