Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sweet Pumpkin Muffins

New England is on a fall weather roller coaster right now.  One day it is 80 degrees and all shorts and salads and spritzers, the next the temperature plummets and has you reaching for sweaters, squash and slippers.  Whatever the thermometer reads, it is mid-October and time for some autumnal activity in my book.  So despite yesterday's warm sunshine, the little man and I brought out the mixing bowls, pre-heated the oven, and baked some pumpkin muffins.
Pumpkin baked goods are everywhere right now, as are pumpkin baking recipes.  I like this one for a few reasons:  it uses a full can of pumpkin, so you aren't left wondering WTF to do with a some tiny third of a can of leftover pumpkin, and the large amount of eggs give the muffins an almost custard-y texture I adore.  I realize the two cups of sugar and one cup of butter might be a bit scary, but I feel that sometimes, when it comes to baked goods, you just have to go for it.  I also like how this recipe calls only for cinnamon, and not the usual melange of pumpkin pie related spices that so many fall baking projects include.  I love allspice, nutmeg and ginger as much as the next girl, but I think the simplicity of this recipe really lets the pumpkin flavor shine through.

The little man loves these muffins for an mid-morning or afternoon snack, but the big man prefers them as a dessert, so I added a half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the half of the batter.  I just scooped out the first dozen muffins, then stirred the chocolate chips into the remaining batter before scooping them. Now, everyone is happy.

Sweet Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 2 dozen muffins
4 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 15 ounce can pumpkin (just pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, which is much sweeter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter or Earth Balance, melted
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1) Preheat oven to 375F.
2) Beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and butter/Earth Balance together in a large bowl until smooth.
3) Mix dry ingredients together and mix into pumpkin mixture.
4) Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full (because of the 4 teaspoons of leavening agents in the recipe these muffins really rise... so don't overfill the cups or you'll have a hot mess on your hands).
5) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

*Just one little mom-note to conclude: it may be messy and kind of a pain, but baking with toddlers is incredibly good fun.  The little guy was so excited to be included in this project, and kept exclaiming "Muffins are yummy!"  "Time to mix!" and other adorable shows of being enthralled.  When his dad came home, he went careening up the hallway exclaiming, "We made MUFFINS!!!".  He was so proud.  Well worth a little flour on the floor.  Many more little one-friendly baking projects to come... 


  1. I'm a big fan of pumpkin and chocolate, so these go on my to do list. The recipe is very different from my chocolate chip pumpkin bread, so I'm excited to try another approach to one of my favorite combinations.

  2. Jane--I made these last night with a couple modifications to accommodate my pantry--so much lighter than my old recipe!!!