Its fall. But it’s not going to be fall forever, so you’ve got to get your pumpkin fix while you can! I understand that cans of pumpkin puree are available year round, but it doesn’t feel as appropriate or magical to eat a slice of pumpkin bread or a piece of pumpkin pie in July. Am I right??
I have made pumpkin chocolate chip cakies this season that came out fantastic and addicting. They were gone pretty quick..
And for SOME reason, in my head, I think making a bundt cake for the three people that live in this house is overkill. BUT, I’ll make two dozen streusel muffins instead and somehow that’s better?! It’s totally not and the amount of batter for the muffins is either equal to or surpasses the amount of batter needed for a bundt cake. I’m craycray.
I decided that since I had already made a few cookie recipes lately, I’d take a stab at muffins. I had an image in my head of a deep, dark, spice orange muffin. Tall and moist, very pumpkiny and very fall appropriate. This recipe was more reminiscent of unremarkable banana nut muffins from a box mix growing up…
BUT- I tweaked the recipe before I popped the second batch in the oven, and it enhanced the experience drastically. They still aren’t my favorite and I definitely won’t be using this recipe again, but they were very edible and hungry men after work will eat a few without thinking twice.
Here is the base recipe.
I creamed the butter and the sugar..yadayadayada..
And then I mixed my dry ingredients (including spices) in a different bowl and I realized a big problem right out of the gate: there was definitely not enough spice written into this recipe. You can just tell by the color of the mix. If it’s supposed to be a pumpkiny baked good, the dry ingredients should LOOK like there are alot of yummy fall spices all up in there. I DOUBLED the amount of pumpkin pie spice AND added a healthy amount of cinnamon and nutmeg on top of that.
…the weird feeling about flour to spice ratio remained as I continued..
I added the flour to the wet mix gradually, and measured out my pumpkin-BECAUSE- a can of pumpkin is not a cup and a half. It’s a cup and 3/4. It can make a difference. So measure your pumpkin:
I used walnuts instead of pecans in this recipe because that’s what I had on hand, and because my nanny always puts walnuts in her baked goods and I approve every single time.
I followed directions to a T, topped them with streusel, and they baked up fine. Just not awesome. And then, when I picked one up and actually tasted one, I knew these weren’t remarkable in any way. I wouldn’t be happy baking another dozen unremarkable muffins with the rest of the batter. SO, I made up a brown sugar filling:
I plopped a small spoonful of batter into the bottoms of the muffin cups, and then pressed a spoonful of brown sugar filling (similar to the way that you press gravy into mashed potatoes- creating a cavity and filling it at the same time) into the batter, topping it with another spoonful of batter.
I sort of had to smooth the last spoonful of batter around with my finger to cover all of the filling. Then I topped them all with ALOT MORE streusel and tried THAT on for size.
The results are in…
On the left, we have Sad, Bland Little Pumpkin Walnut Streusel Muffin. On the right, we have PUMPKIN WALNUT STREUSEL MUFFIN 2.0!! Which was still, honestly, just OK.
The moral of this post is: a nice, respectable pumpkin bundt cake is NOT overkill for 3 people. More on that later.
P.S.- If, for some reason, you decide to try this recipe and then realize that, “Oh yes, she was right. These ARE bland.”, one thing I learned growing up in Texas: Everything always tastes better when you warm it up and put some butter on it. 🙂