How is it possible I've never posted a muffin here? I've made coffee cakes, breads, and even cinnamon rolls. But never a muffin. So after more than five years of blogging, I'm finally posting one for fall – pumpkin muffins!! And it's all thanks to Karen at the Karen's Kitchen Stories blog!
Karen's Kitchen Stories Blog
Karen's blog has been one of my favorites for a very long time. She's a master baker, and has a well-earned reputation for bread baking – as witnessed by the number of bread recipes on her blog, a tab for Bread Baking 101, and a roundup she periodically does of bread recipes she sees around the internet called The Bread Box.
I encourage you to visit her blog and try ANY of her bread recipes. She knows what she's doing, and if I'd had time, it's what I would have made for you. It hard to narrow down what I recommend for a starting place, but her Bollilo Rolls (a Mexican version of French bread), Cinnamon Apple Twist Bread, and her Crusty Cheese and Onion Bread are among the 20 that caught my eye.
I decided, however, to head in a muffin direction since I (and obviously my blog) were feeling very muffin deprived, and made her Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins. And let's just say, I've had 4 muffins today, my husband has had 3, and we froze half of them so we can have muffins next time we have a muffin emergency. I like the fact these muffins aren't overwhelmingly sweet, have just the right balance of fall spices, and gives a whisper of apple mixed in with the pumpkin. I wanted a streusel topping, so I took Karen's streusel recipe from her Cream Cheese Filled Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins, and it was perfect. The only change I made was to add some salted pumpkin seeds to the topping.
Swapping Out Butter for Olive Oil
I got all ready to make these once, and realized I didn't have enough butter. Since I wasn't whipping the butter to make a frosting, I swapped out half of the butter for olive oil. Here's the ratio:
When swapping butter for olive oil, use a 3:4 ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 cup butter, use 3/4 cup olive oil.
When I did it, I used 4 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoon olive oil. Olive oil works well with pumpkin, and I couldn't tell the difference at all.
How to Make a Small Batch of Applesauce
I don't always have applesauce on hand, but almost always have apples. If you need to make a quick batch for this recipe, here's all you need do.
Peel and core 2 large or 2 1/2 medium apples. Thinly slice. You should have 3 cups when done.
Pile into a medium pan with 1/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Simmer over medium-low heat until very soft. Either add to the pumpkin batter as is, or use an immersible blender to make a coarse apple sauce. I typically do it right in the pot.
You should end up with 1 cup fresh applesauce.
Baking Spiced Pumpkin Muffins at High Altitude
I bake at 7100 feet, but Karen's recipe was for baking them at sea level. If you live at high altitudes like I do, make these adjustments:
Use 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda instead of 2 teaspoons.
Adjust the baking powder down slightly from 1/2 teaspoon to 3/8 teaspoon.
Otherwise, the muffin could rise too much too quickly and collapse on themselves. Or worse, puff up over the muffin pan and break up a bit. They'll still taste fine, but they won't be pretty…
The baking time should be the same as at sea level.
Convert Pumpkin Muffins into Pumpkin Loaf
Lightly butter 2 loaf pans, and pour the batter into the pans. Bake at the same temperature for 45 minutes.
Either skip the streusel topping, leave it on the top, or stir it into the batter by sprinkling it on top and swiping a rubber spatula through it a couple of times.
Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins with Pumpkin Seed Streusel
- 3 1/3 cups 15 ounces all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree not pie filling
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup apple or orange juice I used orange juice
- 1 1/2 cups golden raisins
- To make the streusel, add the flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a mini food processor and whirl around a few times using the pulse function.
- Add the oats, pumpkin seeds, and butter. Pulse until you have coarse crumbs about one-half the size of peas. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F and fill the cavities of two regular sized muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar until creamy, about 3 - 4 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to be completely absorbed before adding the next. Add the applesauce, pumpkin, and vanilla, and beat until blended.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in one-half of the dry ingredients using a spatula. Add the juice and mix. Add the second half of the dry ingredients and fold in until smooth. Be careful not to over mix - there might be some lumps, but try to minimize.
- Fold in the raisins.
- Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full, and divide the streusel between the muffins. Bake on the center rack for 25 - 30 minutes, depending on the size of the cupcakes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.