Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins

Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins

Being laid up at home definitely calls for a cozy batch of muffins…

Do you ever have one of those days when nothing’s going well and all you want is a homemade muffin? And then those are nearly a disaster in and of themselves? That was definitely me a couple days ago. I spent the first few hours of my day in urgent care after a horse mishap the day before. After a few hours, I found out I have a fracture right under my eye along with a mild concussion. By the time I got home, I still had time before running to the ophthalmologist to check for eye damage. Even though I was tired, I felt like baking a quick batch of Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins.

…That is until they’re nearly ruined!

I gathered my ingredients and whipped up the batter for the recipe below. In about 20 minutes, I expected to have 12 beautiful, fluffy, flavorful muffins. But when it came time to test them with a toothpick, I tried to grab the pan with one oven-mitt. Sounds easy enough, right? It’s not a heavy pan after all. But then again, there’s not a lot of space to hold onto and I quickly realized I needed two hands. As I tried to place the muffins back in the oven, one of them on the corner bit the dust! Like how does that even happen?! How does just ONE muffin fall out of a deep tin like that?!

Well, regardless of how it happened, I had a big mess to worry about instead. I grabbed most of the muffin from the rack, but a few pieces fell to the bottom of the 400 degree oven. Not only that, but when I tested the muffins, they weren’t done and had to go back in! At this point, the frustration was getting to me. I was tired with a headache and a broken face and now had to turn off the oven, clean it out, and get 11 half baked muffins back in. I was afraid they would cave in or something due to all the temperature changes, but to my surprise they actually turned out!

Moral of the story:

So I guess the takeaway from my experience is to always use two hands when putting things in or taking things out of ovens. Sounds like common sense, but apparently not. Another thing I found out is that this recipe is pretty resistant to rapid temperature changes, which is great for checking for doneness along the way.

Despite the hassle, these Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins were totally worth it. Go ahead and give this recipe a try–I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

How can I make this recipe vegan?

Simply substitute the milk for a non-dairy alternative.

What other types of oil can I use?

As always, I like to keep my recipes balanced and on the healthier side, even for sweets and pastries. These Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins feature whole wheat flour and a half cup less sugar than the original recipe. I also use coconut oil instead of canola because it is much less processed and dangerous.

The problem with industrial seed oils such as “vegetable”, canola, soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower, etc. is that in order to extract the oil, they are heated to extremely high temperatures and in most cases are extracted with solvents, leaving hexane residues in the oil. Thankfully, some oils are expellar pressed (meaning no solvents) and don’t need to be heated. Coconut, avocado, and olive oils are all safe and healthy options for cooking and baking. I wouldn’t recommend olive oil in this recipe due to its strong flavor, but avocado oil or even melted butter would work well.

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Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins

Light, fluffy pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with crunchy pepitas on top. Pumpkin and Pepita Muffins make for a perfect cozy breakfast!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 360kcal
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin purée
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp black strap molasses or dark maple syrup
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Pepitas for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425° and line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
  • Whisk all the dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips and pepitas in a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk all of the wet ingredients together. Then gently combine the wet and dry in the large bowl. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and evenly distribute the batter between the muffin cups. Fill each one about ⅔ full.
  • Bake for 6-7 minutes at 425°.When the muffins start rising, turn the oven down to 400° and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
  • Test them with a toothpick to see when they are done. Let them cool for about 15 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Notes

To make vegan, substitute milk for a non-dairy alternative and use vegan chocolate chips.
Try to have all the ingredients at room temperature. If the milk or pumpkin is too cold, it will cause the coconut oil to solidify.

Nutrition

Calories: 360kcal
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