Pumpkin Muffins to Make Mouths Happy

Remember the Giant Squash Roast?  I spent an entire morning roasting a variety of gourds for upcoming recipes.  This is the first recipe I’m sharing.

The first victim to go under the giant knife for the roast was this cute little pumpkin.  I picked up this little guy at our farmers’ market several weeks ago, thrilled at the first site of pumpkins.  It means fall is here!  And fall is my favorite season of the year, encompassing my birthday, all things pumpkin and apple, falling leaves, sweatshirt weather, and Thanksgiving.

So naturally this guy was the first to get turned into something delicious.  The day after the Giant Squash Roast I arose bright and early to ready myself to make a double batch of pumpkin muffins. Based on the disappointment of only making 12 Zucchini Cherry-Cranberry Muffins and losing one of them mysteriously before I could take any photos of the fresh-out-of-the-oven muffins, I knew a double batch was a good idea.  It’s a common problem in my kitchen, those missing muffins.  And given that my favorite sister-in-law was visiting us that weekend, I thought a few extra would be a good plan.

I gathered all the ingredients to start (click the photo for a better view of the goods).  Then I prepared the pumpkin.  After roasting, I had removed the flesh from the skins and just stored it in a plastic container in the fridge.  The flesh was still lumpy and needed a good run through the blender to be muffin-worthy.  While I was at it, I threw in the eggs, oil, and applesauce.  If you were using canned pumpkin puree, you can skip this.  To the puree I added the sugar, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  I changed the order of ingredients in my version of the recipe below to reflect the more typical method of mixing a quick bread batter.

      

Once the batter is ready, scoop into the muffins tins, and you’re ready to bake!  You may notice that I am using some very fancy muffin tins.  My husband owned these disposable aluminum foil muffin tins, and since we left pretty much all of our wedding gifts back in Ohio instead of bringing them with us to Baltimore for our relatively short stay, I insisted on using these until we bust out the nice new ones.  So yes, I have reused these every time we have made muffins or cupcakes since we got married over a  year ago.  I’m saving the planet one muffin at a time!

I made a couple changes from the original recipe.  I substituted applesauce for some of the oil to make the muffins healthier.  I also used a little less sugar, because my husband and I don’t need super sweet muffins.  Besides those health-conscious changes, I used different spices–partly because I don’t keep pumpkin pie spice in the cupboard, and partly because I’m on a cardamon kick right now and wanted to try it in pumpkin muffins.  Spoiler alert–it’s awesome in pumpkin muffins.

  

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Based on Smitten Kitchen’s Pumpkin Muffins

Makes 25 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree (either fresh or canned)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup natural, no sugar added applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Put liners in your muffin tins.

2. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, applesauce, eggs, vanilla extract, and sugar in a bowl until smooth.  Mix the remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl, then combine with the pumpkin mixture.

3. Fill each muffin liner about 2/3 full with batter.  If you like, mix some additional sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle on the top of each muffin.  I did all but one of my muffins this way.  Without the topping, the muffin rose a little more and had a lighter appearance, but is otherwise not drastically different.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.   Transfer muffins to a cooling rack before devouring.

 

Edit: I happened to enter this recipe ingredient by ingredient into myfitnesspal.com to get an estimate of its nutritional value per serving.  Here’s a basic rundown per muffin:

  • Calories: 149
  • Carbs:     26 grams
  • Fat:          4 grams
  • Protein:  3 grams
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