Tag Archives: muffin

Almond-Pear Muffin Tops

Almond-Pear Muffin Tops // The Pancake PrincessOnce again, we’re in the 10 or so day stretch before a glut of final exams, which means that things are simultaneously revving up, but also getting strangely quiet at school. We’re finally reaching the last units of new material in Finance, Accounting and Econ, but we’re also having to relearn EVERYTHING since the beginning of time–at least I am.

Almond-Pear Muffin Tops // The Pancake Princess

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Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Muffins (gluten-free)

This weekend felt like a release from prison.

Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Muffins // The Pancake Princess

(I know I know dramatic much? It’s just all the Revenge I’ve been watching…)

I finished the GMAT. I’m done. And let me tell you—it’s so true that you forget how to study after college. Three weeks before taking the test, I made this self-imposed, incredibly unbalanced emergency cram study schedule for myself that involved (a) my GMAT book (b) no going out (c) no fun things.

Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Muffins // The Pancake Princess

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Cashew Honey Blackberry Muffins + a blogger brunch

Home: never have I so appreciated the cool, breezy-sunny weather of northern California as I did this past weekend, celebrating the fourth of July in perfect 70 degree weather. Not one trace of humidity.

Cashew Honey Blackberry Muffins // The Pancake Princess

The fourth consisted of: blowing up balloons and watching the hometown parade, eating veggie burgers after a near miss with a beef burger (ew), Cheeto fingers, tan lines and card games played on plastic chairs in the cul-de-sac, Japanese snack crackers and three types of pie. Berries, berries galore, brunch, and muffin-making: all in all, a fantastic weekend.


Sunday marked homemade brunch with an old friend of mine (we went to the same elementary, middle and high school together), now a fellow food blogger. Meet Shikha:


She writes and bakes at Shikhalamode, works at a start up in San Francisco, and lives the foodie life’s dream on a daily basis. You guys, she lives down the street from BI-RITE. Does it get any better? She possesses an impressive knowledge of San Francisco restaurants (if you want recs, this is the girl to ask) and a love for pastry that rivals my own. She’s worked as a pastry chef at three different restaurants in San Francisco and her ultimate goal is to someday open her open bakery.

After gathering as many family members and friends as we could find, we chowed down on the following:

A fantastically tangy leek, arugula and corn quiche, the recipe for which you can find over here:


This peach dutch baby from Bon Appetit, which unfortunately fell rather flat. I whisked the batter by hand instead of using a blender and perhaps not enough air was incorporated into the batter, because it was kind of spongy. The caramelized peaches were tasty, though:

peach dutch baby

Muffins that I tossed in the oven as an off-the-cuff experiment thankfully saved the carb-day. One of our neighbors who came for brunch has a son who works for an organic food company, and she gave me some samples of the luscious raw, organic nut butters that they sell.

Cashew Honey Blackberry Muffins // The Pancake Princess

Organic cashew butter
fresh honey from the neighborhood beekeeper
TONS of fresh berries from farmer’s market guy clearing out his wares
cashew honey blackberry muffins.

These muffins require no eggs or butter. They’re almost vegan except for the honey, which is so key! The local honey I used was so powerfully sweet and delicious, just a small amount was needed to sweeten these muffins. The blackberries, which slump into jammy pockets within tender, cashew butter-enriched muffin batter, are the clutch partner-in-crime. There’s a dry “streusel” on top because…I forgot to add the wet ingredients. But it works. And it looks pretty!

Cashew Honey Blackberry Muffins // The Pancake Princess

I’ve made these twice: once with whole wheat flour and once with half oat, half buckwheat flour. The whole wheat flour muffins will reach taller heights, but the gluten-free version is just as tasty.

Cashew Honey Blackberry Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6 muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories per serving: 151 (~145 for gluten-free version)

Fat per serving: 3.4g

These tender, lightly sweet, berry-studded muffins are easy to whip up and make for a delicious wholesome breakfast. Use the best-quality honey you can find for the best results!


  • For the muffins:
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon cashew butter*
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour (GF version: ¼ cup GF oat flour + ¼ cup buckwheat flour)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup fresh blackberries

  • For the streusel:

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon oats
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If you’re not using paper liners, lightly grease a muffin tin.

Combine the oats, milk and vinegar (your “buttermilk”—the vinegar will react with the baking powder later) in a mixing bowl. Let the oats soak for at least 5 and up to 30 minutes. Add the oil, cashew butter, honey, and vanilla. Stir by hand until just combined.

Add the flour(s), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until evenly incorporated.

Before adding the berries, scoop a tablespoon of batter into each muffin tin. This will prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins. Gently fold the blackberries into the remaining batter and divide evenly between the muffin tins.

For the streusel, combine the flour, oats and brown sugar together. Sprinkle a small spoonful of crumbs over each muffin before baking.

Bake muffins for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown.


Adapted from here.

Whole wheat flour will lead to towering, beautifully bronzed muffins. The gluten-free flour mix I used will lead to slightly less tall, but no less tasty muffins.

*There's not a strong cashew flair in these muffins; feel free to sub any other type of nut butter. Honey is the strongest flavor profile, so be sure to use the best quality honey you can find!


Vegan Chocolate Mini Muffins (no sugar!)

So, I’m really excited about these muffins. (!!!) Remember when I gave up sugar for a week? And then tried to switch over to only natural sweeteners?

Healthy Chocolate Mini Muffins

Obviously I fell off the wagon a little.

Healthy Chocolate Mini Muffins

Well, I’m finally back on track with these muffins. There’s no sugar in these—-not even a liquid natural sweeteners. No honey, agave, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup. The best part? The first bite made me want to dance around my kitchen. They are AMAZING.

Healthy Chocolate Mini Muffins

These luscious little healthy chocolate muffins are sweetened solely with dates. DATES!

Healthy Chocolate Mini Muffins

Speaking of dates, I need to go on one. Erik is finally done with his wretchedly difficult first year of grad school and it sounds like he killed his qualifying exams (fingerscrossed!). So we meant to celebrate with a nice dinner last Saturday. Um, instead we spent a lot of the day on the floor of my air-conditioned bedroom trying to work up the will to brave the hot air of the pool, then hauled out our rusty bikes and worked up ridiculous sweats biking approximately a mile to get fro yo as a pre-dinner snack…and then passed the new taco place in Rice Village…and caved to the siren call of shrimp tacos.

This also makes excellent loaves.

This also makes excellent loaves.

Which were delicious, but this man deserves steak. And I am a vegetarian. I don’t advocate meat. But I am willing to support the consumption of steak here—that’s how hard he’s worked. I welcome any other ideas of how to spoil the guy if you have any suggestions! 🙂

Now that I’ve distracted you with talk of steak, let’s muffin talk. You know those giant double chocolate muffins at Costco? These are better. My favorite combo of whole wheat flour and oat flour makes these irresistibly plush. You can puree your date paste for a smoother texture, but I left mine rustically chunky, which meant my muffins were threaded with warm, sugary chunks of dates. Heaven.

(I’ve really been feeling the mini muffins lately, though this is equally good in loaf form.)

Healthy vegan chocolate date bread

Moist, not too sweet, and studded with melty chocolate chips, these muffins feel like the definition of decadence. They’re so easy. Just one extra step past a typical muffin recipe–making the date paste–is so worth the end result. Once you make your first date paste, you’ll be asking yourself where it’s been all your life (Erik thought it looked disgusting, but did agree that it’s delicious!) Get yo’self some healthy muffins. Right now!


Healthy vegan chocolate date bread

Vegan Chocolate Mini Muffins (no sugar!)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 33 minutes

Yield: approximately 26 mini muffins or 1 standard loaf

Serving Size: 1 mini muffin

Calories per serving: 82

Fat per serving: 2.3g

Vegan double chocolate muffins are moist and tender from a combination of whole grain flours and healthy fats. Sweetened only with date paste, they're rich but not too sweet.


  • 1.5 cups dates, chopped and pitted
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup oat flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional <--this adds sugar.)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a mini muffin tin or standard loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Place the dates and water in a small saucepan, uncovered, over high heat. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, add the baking soda. Mixture will foam up; reduce the heat to medium or medium high if mixture starts to foam over. After a minute or two, the dates should begin to break down. Use a wooden spoon to stir/mash up the dates a little. Let simmer for another five minutes or so until the dates break down into a paste-like mixture. Add an additional splash of water if the mixture starts to look dry before the dates have completely broken down. Once dates are a stir-able mass, set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the date paste, vanilla, milk, bananas, oil and peanut butter and stir until well combined. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips.

Place about a heaping tablespoon of batter into each mini muffin well or pour batter in prepared loaf pan. Bake for 12-13 minutes for mini muffins or about 40-45 minutes for a loaf. Muffins are done when the tops feel firm to the touch.


Adapted from The Muffin Myth.


Almond Butter Quinoa Oat Mini Muffins

So yesterday: I’m in my car, sweating slightly as I loop around my old college campus, at a loss for parking ideas and in a rush to get to an on-campus dinner for which I’m late. Phone is at my side, two rejected calls to Erik flash on the screen (he’s busy studying, but I need his parking pass). Radio up; mini muffins are sweating beside me in a shallow Tupperware that I forgot to crack open.

Almond Butter Quinoa Oat Mini Muffins

I run into a friend coming from the gym and we chat through my open window for a good three minutes—causing cars to squeeze around us—and I force muffins on her, thinking that if I don’t see Erik, I will be stuck with yet another full batch of irresistible carbs (she only takes two, politely). Ten minutes later, parking crisis has been averted (slightly less-than-full Tupperware of muffins have been swapped for the parking pass) and I am happily sucking down pasta and salad and lemon bars with some of the people I love best from college.

Almond Butter Quinoa Oat Mini Muffins

I’d contemplated bringing several things to the dinner, but the muffins, thrown together just before I left the house, were not present because I just wasn’t sure whether they were objectively delicious (i.e. blog-worthy and shareable) or just me-delicious. But when I get a smiley text from Erik saying “Muffins are already gone J” and a request from the muffin-foisted friend for the recipe within a few hours of each other, I figure this is one worth sharing, even though it’s kind of already been done.

Almond Butter Quinoa Oat Mini Muffins

These muffins are glorified piles of oats garnished with quinoa and chocolate chips. The quinoa adds barely distinguishable specks of chewy texture that I adore and the combination of oats and oat flour keep these textured but light. Moistened with almond butter, sweeteners and oil, they have a slightly higher fat profile than my typical muffins, but they are SO incredibly tender and fluffy—it’s worth it. They’re downright crowd-pleasing and I hereby regret not bringing these to share (because wahh, now my roommate and I are faced with the rest of the batch). Next time!

Almond Butter Quinoa Oat Mini Muffins

Almond Butter Quinoa Oat Mini Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 30 mini muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories per serving: 68 cal

Fat per serving: 3.2g

These fluffy, textured, protein-packed muffins can be made gluten-free by using GF oats. Packed with wholesome oats, quinoa and almond butter, these make a great breakfast on the go!


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 cups oat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats, instant or rolled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • scant ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (more to taste)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) and grease a mini muffin tin or line with wrappers.

If you don’t have cooked quinoa already on hand, put 1/4-1/2 cup (depending on the amount of leftover you want) dry quinoa in a small pot with double the amount of water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, covered, until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Refrigerate any leftover quinoa.

Stir together oil, sugar, maple syrup and almond butter.

Beat in the egg. Combine the oat flour, oats, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.

Add the oat mixture and almond milk in three additions, starting and ending with oat flour.

Fold in the cooked quinoa and chocolate chips.

Bake at 425 degrees for four minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 350 (180 C) for 10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can bake these at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes if you're baking something else at the same time that calls for 350.)

For regular-size muffins, bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees, then 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.


Use gluten-free oats if you are strictly gluten-free.

These can be made vegan by substituting 1 tablespoon of flaxseed or chia seeds + 3 tablespoons almond milk in place of the egg; I just preferred the egg version.

I always make my own oat flour by grinding whole oats in a food processor. You can also grind down the added whole oats if you want a less pronounced texture from the oats.


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