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Anna's September Bake Off: Tender Pumpkin Muffins


Posted by : Anna Olson, Wed, Sep 19 2012

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Ah yes, it’s back to school, back to work and back to a regular routine for many of us, but hopefully baking is a regular part of that routine. While our schedules ramp up this month, I thought your homework assignment should be something straightforward and simple, but also healthy and school-friendly (no nuts).


These Tender Pumpkin Muffin are exceptionally low in fat, a snap to make, are nice and moist, and the taste starts hinting towards fall with its pumpkin & spices.


To inspire you, I want to share that my own homework assignments in terms of recipe development are not always neat & tidy.  Here is a shot of my notebooks that I use when I’m in the kitchen – I need to use pen & paper to best translate my thoughts  (a laptop in the kitchen just doesn’t cut it).



I write down everything from the date I test, the order of ingredients, the yield, track the minutes in the oven, and even taste reviews (as you can see towards the bottom of the photo, I commented that the Pear Plum Walnut Squares were “boring & dull” – clearly they have not made it in print anywhere!) 


It can take many tries to get there before I type up the recipe, and even then it gets tested again before it goes to my associate who tests it in her kitchen.  Everybody gets homework!


So your homework this month is to make these Pumpkin Muffins.  I’d love to hear about your after school homework routines, or morning practices as you pack up lunches and nutrition breaks for a full, productive day at school or the office.


Next month will be a bigger challenge – with entertaining season approaching, you’re going to need a dessert that offers the “wow” factor!



Pumpkin puree is a fantastic ingredient to use in low fat and low sugar baking.  Outside of its nutritive benefits (it has alpha and beta-carotene, Vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium and is high in fiber) pure pumpkin puree adds moisture and a natural sweetness to many recipes.
 Makes 12 muffins



1 cup  whole wheat flour
2/3 cup  all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp  baking powder
1 tsp  baking soda
½ tsp  salt
½ tsp  ground nutmeg
¼ tsp  ground allspice
1 ½ cups pure pumpkin puree
2/3 cup  packed demerara or dark brown sugar
2/3 cup  buttermilk
2  egg whites
3 Tbsp  vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with large paper liners.

2.  Stir the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and allspice in a large mixing bowl.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk the pumpkin, brown sugar, buttermilk, egg whites and vegetable oil.

4.  Pour the liquids into the dry mixture and stir just until blended.  Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.  Cool the muffins for 20 minutes before removing from the tin.

The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen.  Do not refrigerate.


Here's how Bake Off works:    

  • Our hostess with the mostess, Anna Olson,  picks a recipe middle of every month 
  • You make the recipe (follow it or add your creative flair) 
  • Email us (giveaways@foodnetwork.ca) a picture and short descriptive blurb before October 17th 9amET for your chance to win! Anna will pick the winner (We are giving away another KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer and an autographed copy of Anna's cookbook).  

Anna_OlsonProfessionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network's Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!


Posted: by Anna Olson
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