You may be able to buy canned pumpkin year round, but there is something about pumpkin desserts that just begs to be eaten this time of year. It's a little colder than fall, it's not quite the bitter freezing and constant snowfalls of winter. I've made these muffins from a whole pumpkin and I've made them from a can – and they taste just as delicious either way. And finishing them in 30 minutes instead of 4 hours is quite a perk.
Dipping the warm tops of the muffins in demerara sugar gives it a nice extra crunch and sweetness on the top. If you want to serve these as a side dish instead of a dessert, you should leave that off, as it might be a bit too sweet.
If you have pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice on your shelves, you can simply use 2 teaspoons of that. This is a recipe that takes well to substituting applesauce for the oil, but I would switch out half of it instead of all for a tasty and slightly healthier treat.