Before I dive into Thanksgiving recipes here, I had to share this pumpkin pecan muffin recipe with you. In prior years this recipe may have been with fresh roasted pumpkins that I would have happily scooped out and used during the season, then froze plenty more for the rest of the year; not so this year with life going full speed ahead with IEP’s, health insurance appeals, new treatments on our journey, and me trying to get my adrenals back in shape (they fell way low right under my stressed-out nose) but all THAT wasn’t going to sway me from making these delectable muffins or Thanksgiving (got so much in store for you this year!).
SO, if you’re like me and took the no-nonsense route by stocking up on canned pumpkin for the purpose of sanity, this recipe wouldn’t have it any other way or anything else pumpkin for that matter. (please tell me yours are BPA-free lined cans for health’s sake. Thank you. :))
And speaking of pumpkin … I would have felt horrible if this recipe fell off the wayside into laptop oblivion because I couldn’t get my shit together and share this sooner. The good news is you can make this whenever a pumpkin spice muffin craving hits, so stock up on those cans. AMEN.
We have been all over these muffins (and loaves) the last couple of months. I first made a batch back in late September, a week after receiving Alice Medrich’s Flavor Flours Cookbook in the mail (that I instantly read like a suspense novel), when Michael got a bad case of poison oak while on a hike the following Saturday (he’s the older twin, and son number three, for those new here :)).
He was miserable. I was miserable watching him. No matter how much anti-itch cream I slathered all over him he would give me these sorrowful “help me” looks with his big brown, long-lashed eyes. My heart ached. But once the steroids finally took effect a couple of days later he was able to take a nap so I went for the “dark and spicy pumpkin loaf” recipe in her cookbook. I knew he would be thrilled, it’s one of his favorite flavors and who can resist a muffin like this? Pumpkin spice (and savory pumpkin) is a favorite for five out of six of us. Hubby prefers anything apple, but you don’t need to twist his arm to eat these muffins. Ha!
The darker muffins have more pumpkin spice with the addition of cloves to deepen the flavor, leaning towards a lighter gingerbread flavor, without the intense flavor of molasses. Keep in mind, if you make them with added spice the flavor will intensify after a day or two left at room temperature.
The mixture will resemble a thick waffle batter that isn’t pourable, creating moist muffins even next day!
I made a few adaptions to meet our dietary needs – the addition of psyllium husk was one of them, to hold it all together since we don’t have rice flours’ starch in here producing delicious results and perfect crumb so I’m sure if you were to make them gluten and dairy free, with eggs, it would be a cinch. The spices in the original Flavor Flours Cookbook recipe creates the lighter pumpkin spice muffin (like these here) but certainly not mild in flavor. Oh, and I did also add coconut cream and apple cider vinegar to help with the rise since they don’t contain eggs which gave added moisture to go an extra day or two.
Gosh were these scrumptious.
I’ve also doubled the recipe to make two loaves that I added dried currants to and sliced liberally … will be making those again for holiday gifting and to enjoy with chamomile tea …
Eggs or no eggs, gluten free or grain free, it’s another of those versatile recipes you can make your own and it’s freezer friendly in case you don’t feel like eating over a dozen muffins in a day. 😉
Tasty Thanksgiving recipes coming real soon …
- You will need cupcake liners or use smaller sized muffin liners. I used smaller muffin pans that yield 15 muffins.
- This creates the lighter spiced pumpkin muffin. Deeper spiced muffins additions in the notes below.
- 9 tablespoons (115 grams) palm shortening, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ripe banana
- ½ cup canned coconut milk (I use Trader Joe’s organic)
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
- 1 cup (115 grams) chestnut flour
- 1 cup (125 grams) tapioca flour (starch)
- ⅓ cup (30 grams) psyllium husk flakes
- ½ teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder (Hain’s brand is corn free)
- 2 teaspoons ground Vietnamese cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup (170 grams) canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- ½ cup pecan pieces
- You will also need:
- sweetened coconut flakes
- extra pecan pieces
- turbinado (raw) sugar
- Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven temperature to 350 degrees F (177 Celsius). Line muffin pans with liners.
- In a medium bowl, add chestnut flour, tapioca flour, psyllium husk, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and kosher salt to combine well. Add in other spices (notes below) if making more warmly spiced. Set aside.
- Combine palm shortening, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer set with a paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Add banana, pumpkin puree and beat another 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add in flour blend and mix until just blended. Remove bowl from stand mixer and scrape flour off the sides and bottoms to ensure it’s well mixed. Add in pecan pieces and blend again.
- Using a large ice cream scooper, scoop a heaping amount into each muffin liner. Sprinkle some turbinado sugar, pecan pieces, and coconut flakes. Bake muffins for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let muffins cool for an hour before serving. Also delicious right out of the fridge.
- For loaf: Place a piece of parchment paper, crosswise, in a standard sized loaf pan to create an overhang then lightly grease and flour. Scoop out batter into loaf pan and bake 47-52 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine was perfect at 50 minutes. Cool in the loaf pan for at least two hours, before slicing. It will slice much easier after about an hour of refrigeration.
- For bundt cake: Grease and flour a bundt pan. Double the recipe. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool for a couple of hours before slicing.
- Can’t do nuts or prefer without? Swap for raisins, dried currants (or cranberries), or pumpkin seeds.
- For deeper spice notes, as in the darker muffin pictured: add an additional ½ teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger.
- Both versions have more pumpkin spice flavor the second or third day and stay moist, when sealed well and refrigerated, for up to four days.
- On flour measures:
- Weighing flours have been my go-to for consistently accurate when baking. Cooking allows more leniency and room for last minute additions, whereas baking is more of a science that needs structure. When I started baking gluten and dairy free, I noticed recipes were inconsistent: great at times, not so great other times, thus realizing my scoop and level varied day to day. Frustration had me go out and buy a cheap scale years ago at Bed Bath Beyond for $25- (even less with the 20% off store coupon) - nothing fancy or expensive just a durable scale is needed. They all have the grams and ounces weight and you want one with an option to zero the weight of your bowl to eliminate any confusion or need to use too much math. I find that baking with weighed flour measurements yields consistent results every time; we don’t have the binding glue (gluten) to be casual about our “scoop and level” measures with gluten free flours.
- Oven temperatures:
- Baking can be finicky: the oven may say it reached temperature but if not calibrated it will have you wondering what went wrong. If that’s been the case, you may be baking at a lower temperature. Rather than spend the money to calibrate, simply stick an oven thermometer in the oven and go by that. I don’t know what I would do without my oven thermometer, it has saved me countless times!
- Gluten Free Alternative: Sub flours for 120-gram weight of white rice flour and Thai white rice flour, and 40 grams of buckwheat flour as she states in her cookbook. You can also use an all-purpose gluten-free all purpose flour mix, however, it will be lighter in color and not have the earthy, nutty flavor from buckwheat.
- For freezing:
- I find the nuts and coconut chips on the muffins stay crunchy by wrapping each completely cooled muffin in plastic wrap then placing them all in a freezer-safe sealed container. Loaves can be stored in freezer-safe containers without plastic wrap. Stores well for up to a month.
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