Archive for the 'muffins' Category

Strawberry Muffins

5Ks are not my favorite.  I don’t know why I thought I wanted to run one on Sunday, but I went to sleep really nervous on Saturday night and was even more stressed about it when I woke up.  I tried to tell myself I could just run it for fun, but of course in the back of my mind I really hoped I would run an okay time.

I did a very slow one-mile warm up and tried to calm my nerves.  The first mile was down hill but when the gun went off my legs just felt kind of asleep.  I was in the middle of the pack (there were only about 250 people in the race) trying to get into race mode.  I didn’t look at my Garmin, but I didn’t feel like I was running very fast.  It turns out I was wrong. first mile: 6:23

The second mile was all uphill and I started feeling a lot better.  I passed a bunch of people and by the two mile mark, I was feeling really strong. (7:11)

The last mile was mostly downhill and I tried to kick a little bit. (6:48)  I looked incredibly awesome at the end.

In case there’s any speculation based on the horribly unflattering outfit I chose, I’m not pregnant again, I just need to lay off the cookies and beer.  I was the 5th place woman, 38th/265 overall.  (21:11; 6:49/mile)

After the race, I made these muffins for breakfast with Mike’s parents.  They’re really easy, and were a huge hit with everyone.  Pretty much the only change I made from the original was using full fat yogurt instead of nonfat greek, and baking them at the same temperature for the whole time.


(from Confections of a Foodie Bride)

Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins

A couple good things happened recently.

Most importantly, I ran 4 miles with some of my favorite people last night and had NO hip pain! I think the obsessive foam rolling, one-legged squats, and stretching every chance I get really have been helping.

We followed it up with grilled cheese, making that the best Thursday night I’ve had in a really long time.

I went a little crazy buying produce last weekend, which means I’ve been eating even more vegetables than usual (never a bad thing). This week I tried something new and kind of different with some daikon.

I have a raw food cookbook that suggested pulsing daikon or turnip in a food processor with raw cashews and a pinch or two of salt to make a raw substitute for rice. Other than looking a tiny bit like it, it wasn’t much like rice at all, but it was fun to try.

Last weekend we went to the bookstore (like we do many weekends) and got Ellie a new book. She is starting to LOVE books!

I absolutely adore pictures like this. I love seeing Ellie and Mike together, and I can’t wait to see their relationship as she gets older. My dad and I have always been incredibly close, and I’m hoping Ellie will experience a similar father-daughter bond.

I made these muffins because of a killer chocolate craving and a bag of mini white chocolate chips that had been sitting in the cupboard for a week. They’re perfect when you want something more dessert-like for breakfast (my sister knows all about this) or a mid-morning coffee break. This makes 48 mini muffins, so you’ll have plenty to share.

(adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours)

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s been a little rainy lately. Rain makes me want to run (I had a delightfully soggy 4.5 mile run yesterday at 9:46 pace…I’m getting faster!)

It also makes me want to bake. I made some Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

They disappeared far too quickly.

Apparently the rain made Mike want to bake too, because he made this awesome cake (with kirsch and caraway seeds) from his Celtic Folklore cookbook. The man can bake!

Then last night, because obviously cookies and cake aren’t enough, I decided to make some ridiculously rich muffins. These are not healthy muffins, and I’m okay with that.

With my little (or not so little? How is she already ONE MONTH old?!) baking buddy strapped into the Ergo, these muffins were easy to mix together and came out absolutely delicious.

The only change I made was increasing the amount of instant espresso, and for me this yielded 14 muffins instead of 12. They were a HUGE hit both at home and at Mike’s work, where he claims they disappeared “literally within 30 seconds” (and he would not use literally incorrectly!)

(from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)

makes 14 muffins

4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-muffin pan with paper liners (plus two ramekins).

Stir the bananas, sugars, butter, milk, and egg together in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.

Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing just until all traces of lour disappear. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly among the pans, then bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pans for about 10 minutes, then let cool completely on a wire rack.

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

So, I have a one-week-old already. WHAT?!

The first few days were a complete blur of feeding, changing, and very sporadic sleeping. My parents were here all week, and Mike was home from work, so I really didn’t have to do anything other than hang out with the cutest baby in the world.

This weekend was so beautiful we had to get outside and show Ellie some sights, like Golden Gate Park…

and Ocean Beach.

Between our brief outings, being a human milk machine, and trying to squeeze in any naps I could, I pretty much did NOTHING in the kitchen (other than slicing up honeydew melon and all kinds of unpasteurized cheese, which I ate a ton of…but not together).

I made these muffins the morning I went to the hospital. They ended up being great to snack on while we were sitting around waiting for Ellie to get with the program and make her way into the world.

(adapted from The Curvy Carrot

makes 12 muffins

streusel topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small cubes

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 and 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners

To make the streusel topping, combine all of the dry streusel ingredients, then add the cubes of butter and mix with a pastry blender until crumbly. Set aside.

To make the filling, combine all of the cinnamon filling ingredients and mix until smooth. Set aside.

To make the muffins, stir the melted butter, milk, and eggs together until combined.
In another separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir with a rubber spatula until the batter is well-mixed and nearly smooth.

Fill each muffin tin halfway full with batter, top with a spoonful of the cinnamon filling, then fill the tin with remaining batter.

Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over each muffin.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

Glazed Doughnut Muffins

I knew these were a winner the minute Mike took a bite (without knowing anything about the recipe) and said “Wow this tastes just like a doughnut!” Not only was he impressed with their doughnut-like quality, he had no idea that they were vegan and whole wheat. Pretty awesome stuff.

There are a few vegans that work with Mike and since everything I’ve sent to work with him so far has been decidedly buttery, I figured it would be a nice gesture to finally make something they could enjoy too. Obviously it would be really easy to make these non-vegan…just use butter in place of Earth Balance and 2 eggs in place of the flax + water.

Sorry for the short and sweet post today; my sister is in town and we have a very full agenda of baking and pedicures. It’s a rough life…

(adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen)

2 tbsp ground flax
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup Earth Balance or margarine (or butter)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almond milk (or dairy milk)

1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons almond milk

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 12-muffin pan with paper liners.

Stir together the water and ground flax in a small bowl and let stand for a few minutes.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Beat the Earth Balance and oil together in a stand mixer on medium. Gradually add the sugars and continue beating until smooth. Add the flax + water and mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Stir the vanilla extract and milk together.

Add the flour mixture to the Earth balance/sugar mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the milk. Mix on low after each addition, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Divide evenly among muffin tins – they should be almost completely full.

Bake for about 16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the glaze, sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl and whisk in the milk and vanilla until smooth. Dip each muffin top in the glaze, shake of excess and let harden. Repeat once more once initial glaze has hardened.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

First it was cupcakes, then it was Cheesecake bars. Seeing lemon and blueberry together, and then walking into Trader Joe’s to find they finally have the big packages of blueberries again (and from the USA, not Chile!) made it impossible not to make my own lemon and blueberry recipe.

I tried to make these a little healthier than your standard muffin. Some yogurt, some applesauce, whole wheat pastry flour, and a beaten egg white to keep things light, and I was really happy with how they turned out.

These muffins completely put me in the mood for summer. I just finished the class I was taking at San Francisco State, and I have 19 more days of work until my 2-month break. I’m already dreaming about all the baking I’m going to be doing in the next couple months. Oh, and I bought a baby knitting book.

Mike sarcastically told me after I bought it “yeah Cate, you definitely need more hobbies,” so I had to remind him that I’ll be running FAR less than usual this summer. I’m not sure how much I’ll actually accomplish considering that the last time I successfully used double pointed needles was when I made a hat 10 years ago, and I currently am working on a scarf that I started before we left for Asia (almost 3 years ago). I just could not resist the cute little booties and hats!

zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp zest and 2 Tbsp juice)
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
1 egg white
pinch cream of tartar
1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease or line a 12-cup muffin pan.

Stir together the lemon juice, yogurt, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and milk.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry.

In yet another bowl, whisk the egg white with a pinch of cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Fold into the batter, then fold in the blueberries and lemon zest.

Divide evenly into the muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan 5 minutes then remove muffins from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Persimmon Muffins

I haven’t eaten a persimmon in at least a few years, so I’m not sure why I decided to buy 3 hard-as-a-rock hachiya persimmons at the store the other day. As soon as I brought them home I started looking for recipes, but immediately realized it would be days (weeks?) before they were ripe enough to bake with. So I took them to Portland in case they ripened there (they didn’t), then brought them back here and finally they were nice and soft and ready to puree.

Look! Seasonally appropriate and orange, but not pumpkin. Not that I’m sick of pumpkin, it’s just a nice change. Pureeing persimmons is ridiculously easy. I just chopped the green part off and put the whole thing in the blender. Within a minute I had this!

And for the second time in a month, I’m using brandy. First it was lentils and mushrooms and now it’s these muffins. I’m going to be due for a new bottle soon.

The weird thing about these muffins is that they don’t taste like persimmons. They kind of taste like bran muffins with a faint hint of fruitcake (but not in the gross cardboard way…in the slightly sweet and fruity way). The texture is just like any other muffin, even though I cut the sugar and oil both in half and added extra persimmon puree.

I baked them last night while Mike worked on decorating our apartment. We’re not going to get a tree because it would take up the entire living room, but we do have stockings!

They were a dollar each at Target. For about 45 seconds I was convinced I needed to buy a glitter pen and write our names on them, but then I realized I had far more important things to do, like grade piles of labs. Bummer.
We also have lights!

Just about every other apartment in our building has decorations in the windows so we needed to do something mildly festive.

As far as running goes, I’ve been really lame since that 25-miler. I’ve had a pretty bad sore throat that is not getting better no matter how many chloraseptic drops I use, so that’s kept me off the roads, but I did go the gym and run 4.2 miles on the treadmill this morning. The only thing worse than the treadmill is watching Fox News while on the treadmill. I thought my head was going to explode, but I was so bored I needed something to help pass the time. Sunlight, please come back to me. I miss running outside SO MUCH already.

At least I still have a few of these mini muffins to cheer me up.

(adapted from James Beard via David Lebovitz)

this made 4 regular muffins + 24 mini muffins, so I’m guessing it would be 10-12 regular muffins or about 30 mini muffins

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, gently beaten
1/4 cup brandy
1 1/2 cups persimmon puree (put 3 very ripe hachiya persimmons in a blender and puree)
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease your muffin pans.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and ginger.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, brandy, eggs, and persimmon puree. Mix well.

Gently stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Fold in the raisins. Divide evenly among the muffin pans, filling them almost to the top.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Thanks to Veterans Day, I did not have to be at school today. I decided it would be a great opportunity to try my hand at being a housewife!

First I packed a nutritions lunch for my hard-working husband.

Then I went to Target and bought some new boots and some plum nail polish. I painted my nails but didn’t wait long enough before doing dishes…manicure ruined. Housewife strike one.

I made myself a bowl of Anne’s pumpkin pie oatmeal. If you haven’t tried this yet, you’re missing out!

I did some laundry and hung it to dry in the middle of the living room. It’s what all the environmentally-conscious housewives without yards do.

I washed our mesh produce bags because they were getting kind of gross. Another environmentally-conscious housewife move.

I lounged around in my new boots for awhile, pretending I was going to work on lesson plans but actually just tweeting.

Determined to be slightly more productive, I headed into the kitchen to start baking (after eating a lunch that remarkably resembled last night’s dinner.

These pumpkin cream cheese muffins are not the healthiest treat out there, but I LOVE them. Sweetened with a mix of maple syrup and brown sugar, they are just the right level of sweet and rich for a Fall morning.

(adapted from Healthy Food For Living)

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves

2 cups sifted whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

First, spray a 12-muffin tin with nonstick spray and preheat the oven to 375.

Beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, and spices together until smooth. Set aside.

To make the muffins, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, syrup, oil, brown sugar, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and yogurt and mix until smooth.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently until all traces of flour disappear. Divide the batter among the muffin tins so each is filled about halfway. Drop a spoonful of cream cheese filling on top, then fill nearly to the top with the remaining batter.

Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Muffins with Peanut Butter Swirl

I feel like muffins come in 3 categories. Healthy, Seems Like it Should be Healthy, and Let’s Be Honest This is Actually a Cupcake. These fall into the last category, but sometimes life just calls for ridiculously indulgent treats for breakfast.

I made these for my usual Friday take-to-work treat last week and I kind of wished I’d saved more for myself. I started with Dorie’s Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffin recipe (from Baking From My Home to Yours and swirled in something that could probably pass for peanut butter frosting. They’re probably slightly better for you than doughnut holes, but not by much!

This made 14 muffins for me – 12 of which I baked in muffin tins and 2 of which I baked in ramekins.

(adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)

6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2 cups all purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

peanut butter swirl
1/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line 14 muffin cups (or a 12-cup muffin tin and 2 ramekins) with paper liners.

Melt the butter and 1/3 cup chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla together. Gradually stir the liquid ingredients and melted butter and chocolate into the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.

In a medium bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Beat in the milk and powdered sugar until smooth. Drop a spoonful of peanut butter mixture on top of each muffin and swirl it in with a paring knife.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing each muffin to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vegan Spelt Banana Muffins

Mike and I recently faced an incredibly difficult decision. He had a great opportunity at one end of the state and I had a great opportunity at the other end. Either place we moved, one of us would be giving up a lot. We agonized for hours. Then we ate some banana muffins and agonized some more.

The banana muffins temporarily took our minds off our conundrum. This was my first time baking with spelt flour, and I am obsessed. I also am in a little vegan phase right now, so I made a flax egg instead of using a real egg. Of course you can use a real egg – it’s your prerogative. These are sweet and incredibly tender, probably thanks to the maple syrup in them. Instead of streusel (not so healthy), I chopped up some freshly toasted pecans — still working through my Oh Nuts package — (healthier). Nobody believed these muffins were vegan, so I guess that’s a good sign.

And as for that conundrum, we’re still undecided…but I’ll update you once it’s figured out! It may take a few more batches of these muffins, though.

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
1 egg, lightly beaten (or one flax egg – 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp warm water)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners.

Stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Mix the bananas, sugar, egg, vegetable oil, and maple syrup in another bowl. Stir the dry ingredients in gently, being careful not to over-mix.

Divide evenly among the muffin tins, then sprinkle with some of the chopped pecans. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (they’ll look pretty dark, but they’re not burnt!) Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


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