For busy morning breakfasts on the go, after-school snacks, and easy goodies to share with co-workers, neighbors, and people doing good things in the world, nothing beats a home-baked batch of muffins. My friend Jill O’Connor writes cookbooks, recipes, and free-lance food stories, and her baking superpower is genius-status in creating recipes for pastry-baking pros AND everyday home cooks. Jill creates both masterpiece super-pro dazzling cakes and pastries, and can-do, everyday cookies, cakes, pies, and muffins that anyone can cook with pleasure and success.
These little gems are the mini-muffin version of Jill’s spice-laced, molasses-fueled, pumpkin ginger muffins, which she included in a fall recipe feature on seasonal muffins for the Union-Tribune food section. I love their handsome burnished hue and irresistible texture, tender and moist, inviting and just the whisper of sweetness. I made them into muffins, mini-muffins, and small loaves, and every size and shape works wonderfully.
A batch of these gives you goodies to share and take-out breakfast for the week. Since they’re small, they cook quickly, and though the recipe ingredients list is long, that’s mostly a small array of spices, quickly spooned onto the flour and whisked into to an amber-hued batter that bakes up beautifully.
For two more marvelous memorable muffin recipes (Apple Crumble muffins and Maple Oatmeal muffins) from Jill O’Connor, check out her feature story from the San Diego Union-Tribune by clicking right HERE.
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1½ cups pure pumpkin puree
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 large eggs
- 2¾ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Adjust shelf to center rack of the oven.
- Line two standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners, or grease them generously.
- In a large saucepan, combine the oil, molasses, honey and brown sugar.
- Stir over medium heat just until the sugar melts.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Add the pumpkin and buttermilk and whisk smooth.
- Whisk the eggs in, one at a time, just until smooth.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and all the spices.
- Gently whisk the flour into the pumpkin mixture, ⅓ at a time, until smooth.
- Fill the muffin tins ¾ full.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Remove the muffins from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack.