Hey everyone! I’m so sorry I’ve been absent lately — my little Bug has been so sick! (Tis the season, right?) With the passing of Halloween and the coming of Thanksgiving I have been desperate for one thing — PUMPKIN! Normally, this fix is cured by a hot pumpkin spiced latte but since I am dairy free for Bug right now, those are off limits.
So I introduce to you my favorite pumpkin muffin recipe! Don’t let the name fool you — these are not for breakfast! I can assure you these are for the sweet tooth in all of us. I find that they are a nice substitute for pumpkin pie. Not to undermine pumpkin pie, but it is a little bit of work. You’ll be impressed how easy these are. Desi is a fantastic baker, but it is something I struggle with. If I can pull these off, I’m sure each of you can as well.
Along with the recipe, I’d like to give you a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
First, the recipe:
3 cups sugar (you can cut in half and substitute 1 large banana)
1 can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling, just pumpkin puree)
1 C oil or 1 C butter melted (I use oil to keep it dairy free)
2/3 C water
3 1/2 C flour
1 T cinnamon (eyeball it, more is better)
1 T nutmeg (I use fresh grated and eyeball it, fresh is so much tastier)
2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In a small bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix sugar, pumpkin, oil or butter, and water.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Slowly mix in dry ingredients until well blended.
- Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend well.
- Pour into well greased muffin tins. Bake on 350º for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through and golden on the edges.
If you accidentally mix all the ingredients at once and forget to do the dry stuff seperately, don’t freak out. I did that the first time too and they were still really good. Just a little denser. No worries. Bake ’em anyway and eat up!
Now, you can use a bread tin if you’d like and make a loaf instead of muffins. In that case, bake it for almost an hour. Also, this makes about 3 dozen muffins or 2-3 loaves. That is not a typo. It is a lot of batter but you use an entire can of pumpkin so the ratio is good. I usually bake about half at once and freeze the rest in a large plastic seal-able bag. Then you can make the rest whenever you want, like… the next day because you ate a whole 18 the first day! Also, you can add walnuts, pecans, or chocolate chips. You could even make cinnamon sugar crumbles to toss on top or some kind of whipped cream or cream cheese type icing.
If you substitute the sugar for banana, there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, the taste is just as good but it is a little less sweet. So you may want to do icing. If you just use sugar, the icing makes it too sweet, in my opinion. Also, if you freeze half and you used bananas, when you go to thaw the other half, you need to do a quick thaw. If you try to thaw overnight, the bananas will turn. If that happens, they can still be eaten, but they look a little less appetizing, and sometimes it makes the texture a little grainy. So, quick thaw is best, like under running hot water. If you only use sugar, you can thaw overnight in the fridge, or on the counter in a few hours, no problem. You can still bake with the batter a little cold, too, which I even recommend. In fact, it’s easier! I’ll show you!
First you have your thawed bag of batter. Resist the urge to eat it raw…
Use the pinky side of your hand to push all the batter down to the bottom and then roll the seal down, to keep in in place. If you have an icing bag, all the better, but did I mention I am not a baker? I’m not even sure where you buy those things! Roll down the seal to keep everything in place.
Then, pinch one of the corners to press the batter back a little bit.
Now, snip off the corner.
Now essentially you’ve created a funnel. If the batter is still chilled, it will be thicker and easier to “pour” in the muffin tins. If it’s softened in the process, toss it in the fridge for thirty minutes or an hour. Just long enough to make it bind again. Also, I don’t have a picture of me doing that because it takes two hands. You just slowly press it down from the top to the bottom like a tube of toothpaste while keeping it stabilized with the other hand.
(don’t mind the spilled batter in the back… let’s reassess my baking skills here: none.)
I made this batch with bananas so I added some icing. I used a cup of powdered sugar and just mixed in almond milk till it was the consistency I wanted. One cup of sugar to half a cup of milk is great. They are still pretty sweet so I used the same bag method to just drizzle a little of the icing on top.
Bug and AJ both approve!
Give this recipe a try for your family this week. You could even take them to thanksgiving dinner. No one has to know how easy they were to make! Be sure to stop back by and let me know how you liked them or if you tried the alterations I mentioned (or your own twist for that matter!). Have fun!