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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.

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?!

pumpkin and pepita muffins

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!

pumpkin and pepita muffins

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.

Can I make these without refined sugar?

Absolutely! Instead of regular table sugar, you can substitute organic sugar. Also, try using pure dark maple syrup in place of molasses.

pumpkin and pepita muffins

Similar Recipes to Try:

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
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baking, chocolate, fall dessert, muffin, pumpkin
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 360kcal
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 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 milk
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp black strap molasses or dark maple syrup
  • 1 cup semisweet 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 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. If you want bigger muffins, fill 10 cups nearly full. Otherwise, you can make 12 regular muffins by filling cups 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.
To make refined sugar free, use the maple syrup option instead of molasses and substitute organic sugar for conventional table sugar.
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Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins

One of my favorite flavors of winter is definitely citrus. I rarely use oranges in the summer, but come November and December, I’m all about it. As soon as I started zesting my orange this morning to make these Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins, it instantly felt like Christmastime. (I know it’s still way early, but I always start getting a little excited for it by this time in the fall!) Growing up, we often made these muffins into bread and it was one of my favorite treats to have around Christmas.

Vegan cranberry orange muffins

One of the best things about these muffins is how bright and fresh the flavors are. The sweet orange is the perfect compliment to the tart, cranberries. A key factor in this recipe is using fresh cranberries instead of dried. There’s no added sugar and the flavor is so much more prominent. Cranberry season in Wisconsin goes through September and October, and since they’re commonly grown here, I was able to get a fresh bag at the local farmer’s market from Wetherby Cranberry Co.

Another bonus is that the only major allergen this recipe contains is wheat. Other that that, it’s free of eggs, dairy, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts, making it safe for vegans too!

Vegan cranberry orange muffins

Just as one more note, like I mentioned before Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins can be easily made into a quick bread as well. The only adjustment is cooking time, which becomes 55 minutes instead of 20. It’ll be delicious either way! I hope you give these a try–I’d love to hear your thoughts. Enjoy!

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Eggless Bronco Bead

Cranberry Orange Scones

Harvest Apple Cranberry Crisp

Orange Raisin Irish Soda Bread

Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins

Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins are bright and fresh with a little tartness to compliment the sweet. These muffins are sure to brighten any cold, winter day!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry, muffin, orange, quick bread
Servings: 12
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice about two oranges
  • 1 Tbs orange zest
  • 2 Tbs melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs ground flax seed
  • 3 Tbs hot water
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries coarsely chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup muffin tin with liners.
  • Place the cranberries in a food processor and chop for about 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides and chop again if needed. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the flax and hot water to make an "egg". Set aside.
  • Zest one of the oranges and when you have a tablespoon's worth, slice the orange to juice it. You will likely need to juice the second orange as well to have enough.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flax egg with the juice and melted coconut oil.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and zest. After it is well mixed, add the wet ingredients. Finally, fold in the cranberries.
  • Fill each of the muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Notes

The recipe can also be made into bread instead of muffins. The only difference is that the bake time for a loaf is 55 minutes instead of 20.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying the start of fall and looking forward to all it has to offer! Before I jump into today’s recipe of Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins, I want to give a quick explanation on a few of the ingredients. As you look through the list, you may see some strange and unfamiliar things and wonder how on Earth will these exotic ingredients turn into a decadent pastry.

The first ingredient is sucanat. Sucanat is essentially evaporated cane juice and is a type of unrefined sugar. It can be used to replace white or brown sugar in equal amounts. However, taste wise, it is more equatable to brown sugar because the naturally occurring molasses has not been removed. What I mean is that white sugar is made by refining out the molasses from the sugar cane and brown sugar is made by taking molasses-free, refined white sugar and adding molasses back in…makes a lot of sense right? And that is why I like to use sucanat. I also figured it would make the muffins a little more rich.

The next new ingredient I want to discuss is aquafaba. Aquafaba is a really awesome new egg substitute and I can’t wait to try it in some other recipes such as royal icing! Now don’t worry about having to go out and buy some expensive weird egg-replacer to make these muffins because believe it or not, you may already have aquafaba in your pantry! Literally all it is is the liquid in a can of garbanzo beans that would normally go down the drain. A can of garbanzos has about 3/4 cup of aquafaba which is perfect for this recipe. If you want to try it in other recipes, 3 Tbs. aquafaba = 1 egg and 2 Tbs. aquafaba = 1 egg white.

The rest of the recipe should be pretty self-explanatory, but feel free to comment with questions or comments! Happy baking!

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Makes 18 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup aquafaba
  • 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 generous cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Shred the zucchini and set aside. One medium/large zucchini should be plenty.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the sucanat, coconut oil, aquafaba, applesauce, and vanilla.
  3. Slowly add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Be sure not to over mix.
  4. Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
  5. Place the batter in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  6. When the hour is almost up, start preheating the oven to 425°F.
  7. Once the batter is adequately chilled, fill a muffin tin with muffin wrappers and fill them all the way to the top. This recipe makes enough for 18 muffins.
  8. Bake at 425°F for 6-8 minutes or until the muffins are beginning to rise.
  9. Turn the oven down to 400°F and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  10. Insert a toothpick into the center of a few muffins to see if it comes out clean (other than a melted chocolate chip of course 🙂 ). Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Just because fall is over and I find myself in the midst of another classic Wisconsin winter is no excuse to take a break from my signature Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. Like many of my favorite baked goods, I’ve adapted a recipe from Bunner’s, a fabulous vegan and gluten-free bakery in downtown Toronto. I love their recipes because they are all egg and nut free. However, being that I’m far from vegan and not gluten-free, I’ve taken it upon myself to make some substitutions and personalize the recipe. While it may sound like this recipe is another unclean pastry, it is actually whole wheat, cholesterol free, and essentially fat free (aside from the chocolate).

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Start by preheating the oven to 425°F and line a muffin pan with 10-12 muffin liners, depending on how big you want to make the muffins.

Add the whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are combined. Feel free to experiment with the amounts of cinnamon and ginger based on your personal preference. If ginger is too strong in general, a good a substitute is Penzey’s Pumpkin Pie Spice.

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In a smaller bowl, add the pumpkin, milk, yogurt, and molasses. Mix until combined. If it’s January and your molasses is too cold to pour (or you just need a substitute), pure maple syrup is a milder, delicious option.

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Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Lightly mix everything, being sure not to over mix! A few clumps of flour here and there is totally fine. Then fold in the chocolate chips.

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Spoon it into the muffin cups. In order to get bigger, puffier muffins, fill the cups to the top. If you prefer smaller muffins and more of them, only fill the tins 2/3 full.

When the oven is preheated, place them in the middle of the top rack. Bake for about six minutes. When you see them rising, decrease the temperature to 400°F and bake for another 8-10 minutes.

If you use silicone muffin liners, you may need to bake them longer. When a toothpick comes out clean (with the exception of chocolate), they are done. Let them cool for about 15 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack.

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Enjoy with your favourite tea, hot chocolate, or apple cider!

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tbsp. Penzeys Cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. ground Penzeys Ginger or 1 tbsp. Penzeys Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/4 tsp. Penzeys nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup pumpkin purée

1/2 cup skim milk

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp. blackstrap molasses or pure maple syrup

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° and line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter between the muffin cups. If you want bigger muffins, distribute the batter between 10 cups rather than 12.
  7. Bake for 6-7 minutes at 425°.
  8. When the muffins start rising, turn the oven down to 400° and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
  9. Test them with a toothpick to see when they are done.
  10. Let them cool for about 15 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack.