Breads & Muffins

I love cooking with pumpkin, especially at this time of year when it is as seasonal as the falling leaves.  Pumpkin puree is moist and sweet so works really well as a wet ingredient in bread or muffin recipes. 

In my experience, some muffin recipes can lack the moistness of donut shop muffins but this recipe makes a pumpkin muffin that stands up to anything I have ever tasted, homemade or store-bought.  It is spiced with the usual cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove companion that just screams fall. 

This recipe will not disappoint.  As the original recipe says, this could easily be baked into a 9-in cake pan (and topped with cream cheese frosting perhaps?).



1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter at room temperature

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup packed pumpkin puree

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare muffin pan by lining with muffin papers or greasing the cups. 

In a bowl, sift together the first seven ingredients (flour to salt). 

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each.  Blend in vanilla extract. 

Alternately add 1/3 of flour mixture and half of pumpkin puree, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix well after each addition. 

Fold in the chocolate chips. 

Evenly fill the muffin cups.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. 


Yield:  Makes 12 muffins


Original recipe here

There is a definite apple trend to my recipes lately.  I was nearing the end of the bag and had an occasion that called for muffins so went searching for, what else … an apple muffin recipe.   

This one definitely didn’t disappoint.  My experience so far with cake making tells me that oil makes for a really moist cake and that holds true here as well.  The apple and raisin combination is classic and scrumptious, of course, and the sugary topping takes the muffin one step past ‘breakfast food’ and into the land of dessert. 

I’m not sure I’m falling for the line on the original recipe suggesting that these are a better choice than a donut but they’re good so they land a spot in my recipe box. 


2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup unsweetened applesauce (Just a note here:  I only had 1/2 cup of applesauce so added 1/2 cup of plain yogurt to make up the difference.  It certainly didn’t affect the tastiness of the end product; I suspect you could use a whole cup of yogurt as well). 

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups apples (cored, peeled, diced)

1/2 cup raisins

For the topping:

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

4 tsp all purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vegetable oil



Prepare the topping:  Combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Stir in oil until moistened. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients (to salt). 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, applesauce, sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture. 

Add the apples and raisins.  Stir just until combined. 

Spoon into a greased or papered-lined muffin pan.  Sprinkle with topping.  Bake at 375 degrres until tops are firm to the touch, about 20 minutes.  Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans to a wire rack.  Let cool completely. 

The recipe says it makes 20 servings but it is more like 24. 

Original recipe here