Muffins tend to take the backstage to pastries and other baked goods; nothing compares to the festive nature of cupcakes or the corner shop novelty of donuts. But when you’re not in the mood for something so sweet, you’re going to want to bite into something with a little more subtlety on the sugar.
I’d dare say muffins are a perfect candidate for a milder midday-or-night munch, and are thematically perfect for the sensation of winding down that autumn always brings.
This recipe will create about a dozen and a half standard-sized muffins.
- Muffin wrappers
- Muffin pan, 12-count
- Rubber spatula
- Measuring cups
- Two large mixing bowls
- Sieve, large enough for the mixing bowls
- Ice cream scoop, or any large scooper tool (optional)
- Non-stick spray
- Cooling rack
- 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- ½ a cup of dark brown sugar, packed
- ½ a cup of white sugar
- ½ a teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ a cup of vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of pureed pumpkin, homemade or canned
- 1 cup of chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix all of your dry ingredients together by sifting each of them with the sieve into one of the bowls. This includes the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices. The sugars, salt and nuts do not need sifting. Mix until evenly combined, and make a well in the center.
- Use the other bowl for the wet ingredients. Whisk the eggs in the other bowl until scrambled, then whisk in the rest of the wet ingredients, which includes the oil, milk, vanilla extract and pumpkin. I’ve read that there’s no discernible difference between canned and home-baked-and-blended pumpkin, but it’s your call! If you do the latter, use small sugar pumpkins for convenience and taste.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry well in batches, waiting until the previous pour is thoroughly mixed with the dry ingredients. The result should be a very liquid and pourable batter.
- Set up your muffin pan with the wrappers and spray each wrapper with the cooking spray.
- Pour your batter into each of the wrappers, leaving anywhere between a quarter inch and half inch of space from the top. If you’ve got any scooper tool, the task becomes a lot easier and less messy!
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Wait 5 minutes for the muffins to cool in the pan, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Flour, egg whites and water give baked goods structure and strength. Sugars, oils and yolks soften, flavor and add moisture to a dough. Milk does both, due to its protein, sugar and fat content. If your muffins, and other baked goods you make, seem to be outside of your preferences, adjust the affecting ingredients accordingly.
- Overmixing your dough will stimulate too much gluten development, leading to especially tough end products. When you add the wet ingredients to dry, try to fold the dough into itself until everything just about mixes together.
- You can add any kind of nuts, fruits or chocolate chips to this recipe as you see fit!