Northern Maine Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Homemade pumpkin muffins

It might be really basic of me to post this. But, if "basic" leaves me on Caltrain eating a chocolate chip pumpkin muffin on the way to work every morning.. bring it.

I once showed you these super easy three ingredient pumpkin muffins. They were a delightful staple in my childhood home. But, last year my sister Katie sent me the recipe for Northern Maine Pumpkin Bread, and since most of the ingredients were things I already had in the kitchen, I decided one lazy fall morning to give it a whirl. Di-vine. This fall, in SF, I wanted to bring the comforts of home to my little studio apartment. So here you have it, modified from bread to muffins, for the freezer-friendly single life ;D

I now know, the recipe Katie initially sent me from allrecipes.com called this "Down-East Maine Pumpkin Bread." But all this time, it's been Northern Maine in my head... so, call it what you will, but I'm sticking with Northern for Ida Street :D

Northern Maine chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.
Elsewhere known as: Annie's breakfast for the past two weeks.

Main Ingredient: 1/2 cup 60% cocoa ghirardelli chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients
1 can of pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups sugar

Dry Ingredients
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons (t) baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
1/4 t ginger


Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, mix together wet ingredients until blended. In separate (equally large) bowl, whisk dry ingredients. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Pour into lined muffins tins and bake approximately 20 minutes (or until a fork comes out clean).

This recipe makes a TON (over 2 dozen muffins). Freeze what you don't eat right away. They are so, so good in ice cream. Or for breakfast. Or both ;D

Photo: Nikond3200 / Edits: VSCO Filters for Lightroom

Pumpkin recipe round-up

Last year I went  a little crazy with pumpkin recipes the last week of October. So I thought this year I'd knock it all out early, and in one post. Here's a round up of all the pumpkin recipes you'll find in the Ida Street archives & below that, a list of what I'll be cooking up here in SF this year :D

That was last year. But, I have a love for pumpkin that just won't quit, so up for this year...

Pumpkin french toast (what?!?)
Pumpkin bread
or pumpkin chocolate chip bread (yes.)
Pumpkin baked oatmeal
Pumpkin beer biscuits
Pumpkin grilled cheese

& apparently.. the best pumpkin beer in SF? Jury is out until I get my hands on this to compare to Mad Tree's Great Pumcan... all hail the Great PumKING!


You guys all know that I love brunch. I love everything it stands for: delicious breakfast foods, delicious breakfast drinks, lazy weekends & of course, favorite family & friends to brunch with. This weekend my sister invited my mom & me over for a little brunch. I brought the turkey & bread for Monte Cristos, she provided the Bloody Mary's & our mom brought the Pumpkin Mousse.  

My mom is super fit. So naturally she had the ingredients for a low-fat pumpkin mousse. I don't know the nutritional facts exactly, but it's gotta be nearly fat free. 

You will need:

  • 1 can pumpkin 
  • 1 tub lite whipped topping
  • 1 package (dry) sugar free vanilla instant pudding

Dump it all together in a mixing bowl.


& serve! So easy? I know. It's the perfect thing to bring to a get-together on the go. & so seasonal, to boot! I topped it with a little cinnamon, but that was mostly to make it look beautiful for you guys ;D

P.S. Sorry (but only a tiny bit) for the pumpkin posts overload. Like I've told you before, for some reason my family really loves pumpkin. Like, really.  I promise I'll slow down a little now that it's almost Halloween!! Xoxo guys, & thanks for reading!


So a friend of mine recently described jack-o-lanterns as "so magical, but when you're actually doing it... that's some really hard work!" She does have a point... There are so many guts & messes & small intricate designs. But, it is worth it. Why? Because in addition to a ghoulish gourd on your door step, what makes a jack-o-lantern so worth it is the tasty secret inside. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

You will need: 

  • A pumpkin
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Olive Oil

Okay, so first you're going to want to preheat the oven to 375. Empty out your pumpkin. Just scoop all the guts & all the seeds out and dump them in a bowl of water. The guts will (mostly) fall to the bottom while the seeds will float to the top. 

Scoop the seeds into a colander to get the excess guts, boil the seeds in salt water for 10 minutes. Spread them out in a single layer over a greased cookie sheet. Pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with olive oil & more salt. (I saw this post after I made these. She has you toss the seeds in oil rather than sprinkle. I think I like that better. It will lead to more thorough coverage.) 

Bake at 375 for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping somewhere in the middle. Voila! Crunchy, perfect, delicious browned pumpkin seeds. 

The taste instantly sends me back about 15 years, running around as a fairy princess, or a bunch of grapes (purple balloons pinned to my sweatshirt & leggings with a twig in my hair!) or one of my mom's many homemade costumes. & is it just me, or do pumpkin seeds kind of taste like popcorn? Xoxo, everyone. Thanks so much for reading!


Fall means pumpkin! Everywhere! Pumpkin spice.  Pumpkin cheesecake. Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin Beer! & my personal favorite.... PUMPKIN MUFFINS!!!! Why do we all love pumpkin? (Because its naturally fat free?) (Because its so delicious?) (Because it reminds us of jack-o-lanterns?) I don't know for sure. But we sure do love it. My mom has been making these pumpkin muffins since I was in high school. They are soooo super easy. Only three ingredients, actually. Let's get to it.

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees & grease a few muffin tins. (I had enough batter for 24 mini muffins & 12 normal sized.) (& there could've been more.. I didn't try very hard because I wanted to lick the bowl.)

This recipe literally calls for three ingredients. Pictured above: 

  • 1 dry package of spice cake mix
  • 1 18oz can of PURE pumpkin (not pie filling!)
  • 1 cup water (pictured below)
  • Optional: Mix ins. You're going to want to add chocolate chips.

By the way, without the mix ins, we found this recipe all those years ago on Weight Watchers (here). BUT.. trust me on adding those chocolate chips. It's really delicious. 

Use a hand mixer to blend three ingredients (1 package spice cake mix, 1 can of pumpkin, 1 c water). Or, if you don't have a hand mixer (I made these stranded away from The Studio with over-the-weekend car malfunctions), you can hand whisk :)

Then, if you're adding "mix ins" you'll want to divide your batter. I always add Ghiardelli Dark Chocolate Chips to mine. My mom used to add frozen blueberries instead. You can see my three batters below.

Spoon your batter into muffin tins.

& bake for 18-25 minutes or until a toothpick (fork) comes out clean. Weird side note, my mini muffins took nearly as long to bake as the large!

As you know, I swoon for baked goods (you also need to try this yogurt banana bread & these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies). But I swoon most for the easiest ones. Happy Pumpkin-ing my loves!  Let me know if you try these out & thank you for stopping by Magical Simplicity!