Pumpkin Muffins with a Spice

by Richa Chaturvedi ’18

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In an effort to test how yummy Buzzfeed suggestions really are, I spent my Friday afternoon making these pumpkin muffins!  Spoiler alert: never shall I doubt Buzzfeed again.

Pumpkin is always a tricky ingredient – it has an interesting consistency and tends to overpower everything else in the dish.  A basic rule of thumb for cooking with pumpkin is to enhance the flavor with the correct spice, but to make sure to incorporate more dynamic elements into the recipe so that pumpkin isn’t the only flavor. This is why I added chocolate chips to these muffins. Chocolate and pumpkin is actually an underrated combination, plus they look amazing together!

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The recipe also calls for pumpkin spice, which is just a combination of basic fall flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger. Since I’m a normal college student, I didn’t just have those lying around so I was very generous with cinnamon and vanilla extract. It still tasted great! The big takeaway from this is that recipes aren’t set in stone. As long as you have the basic chemistry down, you can take liberties to personalize and experiment with the dishes you create. After all, you’re the one eating them so it’s really up to you.

Above all else, don’t be scared to try new recipes and ingredients. I’m basically inept – there was a period of time in high school when I was banned from using the microwave due to an unfortunate aluminum foil incident – but I was committed to making myself something nice and pumpkin-y and, I’m not going to lie, I crushed it.  It’s helpful to remember that if you don’t make yourself chocolate chip and pumpkin muffins, then you won’t be able to eat chocolate chip and pumpkin muffins. With that inspiration, go forth! And happy fall from Crimson Crave.

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Make it yourself!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pure pumpkin
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 24 pumpkin-shaped candies

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or silicone liners and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a whisk, combine eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing after each addition until uniformly combined.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups nearly to the top with batter. Bake about 25 minutes, rotating the muffin tins halfway through baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely.
  5. While the muffins are cooling, in a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Frost muffins using a spatula or a pastry bag and piping tip of your choice. Top with pumpkin candies.

*Recipe courtesy of CulinaryHill.com.

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