Autumn-Spice Muffins

September 30, 2010 § 4 Comments

It was 100 degrees today; yesterday it was 102; it’s supposed to be 104 tomorrow.  WHERE IS AUTUMN!?  Tomorrow is October 1 and I’m sweating bullets.

In a futile (but savored!) attempt to usher Fall to my doorstep at a faster clip, I’ve whipped out last year’s canned pumpkin and all my fall spices.  In the last 7 days I’ve used up a quarter (a quarter!) of a jar of ground cinnamon.

Don’t be alarmed: there’s only a spry amount of spice in these fluffed-up muffins (inspired by this beautiful, vegan blog).  But, during my muffin “trials,” I’ve been simultaneously attempting to duplicate Starbucks’ “pumpkin spice syrup” to sweeten coffee, thus depreciating my spice jars at a fast pace.  Tomorrow morning I’ll be stirring Batch #4 of the simple syrup over the small, gas burner.  When I hit the spice/sugar-proportion jackpot, I’ll post that recipe.  (A few more tweaks are in order, first.)

In the meantime, here are muffins with fantastic flavor that will warm your house with really good smells.  These muffins call for pumpkin puree and brown sugar — both add extra moisture to the batter.  (Note: For the fat-conscience, that means that the oil content is minimal.)  What’s more, with these proportions of moisture and leavening agents, the pumpkin muffins — made with whole-wheat flour to boot — are airy and light.  No hockey pucks here!  Delicious straight out of the oven, these freeze-and-thaw wonderfully and stay good on the counter top for several days.

1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon each: cloves, all spice, nutmeg, cinnamon
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup almond milk (or milk alternative)

turbinado sugar (or “Sugar in the Raw”), for dusting


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter/grease muffin tins.  Combine dry ingredients & sugar in a large bowl.  Mix in chocolate chips and thoroughly coat with flour mixture.  (This will prevent the chips from sinking to the bottom of the batter.)

2.  In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.  Slowly add to dry ingredients and stir, just until incorporated.

3.  Spoon batter into greased muffin tins.  Sprinkle with turbinado sugar (or “Sugar in the Raw”).  Depending on the size of each muffin, the baking time will vary.  For very-large muffins (with approximately 1/2 cup of batter per muffin), the cooking time hovers around 25 minutes.  For smaller, 12-muffin tins, the baking time ranges between 16-19 minutes.  Test with a knife; when it comes out clean, remove muffins from oven and cool, in the tin, for at least 10 minutes.  Run a dull knife around edges of each muffin and slowly lift from tin.  Allow time to cool completely before packaging.

Diet Notes: vegan


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§ 4 Responses to Autumn-Spice Muffins

  • RJ says:


    What’s the difference between WHITE whole-wheat flour and regular whole wheat flour?

    What would happen if one used all one flour or the other?


    • reginarae says:

      Great question, RJ!

      Here’s a nice little mayoclinic article that explains the differences between the two flour types:

      In this recipe, I’d imagine that if you used all whole wheat flour, the muffins would be on the denser side. Instead, I might use 3/4 cup white flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour. I don’t find that white whole-wheat flour is a total substitute for white flour (I find it is heavier than white flour and I tend to think white whole-wheat flour imparts a slightly nutty flavor that white flour lacks), but it’s an alternative to include in whole-grain baked goods that you’d like to lighten-up.

      P.S. You can find white whole-wheat flour at many grocery stores and health food shops. I pick up a bag from Trader Joe’s every few weeks and keep it in my freezer, along with my other flours (to keep from going rancid).

  • Amy says:

    These look delicious, Regina! I’ll have to try them this week. And hear, hear on ushering in fall… it hit 107˚ last week here in Phoenix. Yuck.

    P.S. Hi, it’s Amy, we took geology together with Pat Spencer back at Whitman!

  • […] googly-eyed breakfast muffins bulging with dried fruit and nuts or chocolate and bananas or smelling of all spice and nutmeg.  These fellas are dense, flecked with sunflower seed crunches, snappy arugula bites, sweet […]

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