Repurposing Saturday mornings and leftover casseroles into fun learning times and delicious pumpkin muffins.
One of the things that I really love doing is baking. Say what you will about my masculinity or what not. I’m ok with it. I really enjoy it. Cooking in general is something that I want to pass on to my own kids. So, I’ve started a routine in which Saturday mornings, after breakfast, the kids and I do some kind of a baking project. Two weeks ago we did zucchini bread. This week, in honor of impending autumn, we did pumpkin muffins. We had a leftover pumpkin casserole from last week (similar to a sweet potato casserole but pretty bland and gross to be honest) in our fridge. So we re-purposed it into muffins. Here’s the recipe.
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
2 cups of canned pumpkin (I used the leftover casserole)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
Yields 24 muffins.
*Notes on the recipe – The vegetable oil and applesauce are interchangeable, you can do a full cup of vegetable oil with no applesauce or a full cup of applesauce with no vegetable oil. I like to substitute applesauce for oil in recipes as much as I can. It adds fiber, vitamin C, and sweetness without a lot of sugar and eliminates a lot of fat calories.
Also, to make the recipe vegan, substitute about a cup of applesauce for the eggs. However, if you do this, I would do a full cup of vegetable oil instead of the 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce in the recipe.
Last, 24 muffins is a lot of muffins. However, I find that there is usually about 2 cups of pumpkin in the can that you buy from the store and it’s ridiculous to use only half the can because there are very few things that you can do with half a can of leftover pumpkin. So, this recipe should use about 1 can of pumpkin. If there isn’t enough pumpkin to get the full 2 cups, substitute applesauce for the rest.
Step One – Dry Mix
First, what you need to do is preheat the oven for 350 *F. I don’t always do this with a moist bread like zucchini, pumpkin, blueberry etc. I have found that putting the bread in before the oven is fully preheated helps cook the bread through without burning the outside. Usually it just adds about 5 min to the overall baking time. However, if you don’t want to do this, then preheat. Get two muffin tins of 12 cups and spray them with cooking spray.
After you’ve prepped the oven and muffin tins, you need to combine the dry ingredients. So, in a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. mix these together with a fork and set aside. However, if you’re cooking with children like I am, set in a high place. My children have discovered that if they blow hard enough into the bowl, flour flies up in a cloud and blankets everything in white. Word to the wise.
Step Two – Wet Mix
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and applesauce. Whisk it together for about 2 minutes. I generally don’t let the kids do this as most of the wet mix will end up on the table.
Step Three – Combine the wet and dry mix
Take the wet mix and add it into the larger dry mix bowl. Using a large spoon, stir it until the batter is smooth. Usually it takes about 2-3 minutes of good mixing to achieve this. When I do this with the kids, I usually get the batter mostly mixed on my own and then let them take over. This avoids spills and ensures that the batter is completely mixed.
Step Four – Distribute the batter
Using the same large spoon, evenly distribute the batter throughout the muffin tin. Usually, you’ll want to fill the tin 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. The muffins will rise as they bake and not overfilling the tin will ensure that the batter is cooked all the way through. If you overfill, the outside of the muffin will burn and the inside will not be cooked thoroughly.
Step Five – Baking
Place the muffin tins side by side in the oven. Baking usually takes about 25 minutes. I would check the muffins at about 22 to see if they are done though.
Step Six – Post Oven
Almost as soon as I pull the muffins out of the oven, I flip them out of the tin like the picture to help them cool. About 10-15 minutes later, I take them out of the tin entirely.
These muffins are great served warm and topped with a little bit of butter. They stay fresh and moist and pair excellently with hot coffee for breakfast as well. Health wise, they have about half the amount of sugar as most similar recipes and have the applesauce and pumpkins for extra fiber and nutrients. For other healthy options, you can add flax seed, or substitute some of the flour for oats.
Well, I hope you enjoy these pumpkins muffins. I think they make a fantastic and somewhat healthy fall treat and are fairly easy to do making them a fun learning activity for your kids.
If you tried this recipe and would like to add some advice or something you did different, please leave a comment in the comment section. As always, please follow the blog by clicking on the link in the lower right corner of your screen.