Ah, fall. A time when Americans lose their minds over all things pumpkin-spiced. Personally, my favorite pumpkin-spiced product is Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread & Muffin mix. For only a few dollars and some eggs, oil and water, I can make perfectly moist and delicious pumpkin muffins.
Europe hasn’t quite caught on to the pumpkin craze yet. Here in Denmark, you can get a Pumpkin Spiced Latte at the few Starbucks around town or pumpkin whoopie pies at Whoopie in Nørrebro, but that’s about it. I managed to track down some canned pumpkin in the American & British section of supermarket Meny, where we can find other “delicacies” like Crisco, so that inspired me to try and recreate the Trader Joe’s muffin mix. After scouring recipes online, I discovered a lot of them are weak on spices or use shortcut ingredients like yellow cake mix (really? is it that hard to mix a few dry ingredients together?)
Finally, I found this great recipe from Bakers Royale. I made a few modifications: I added vanilla paste, because what baked good can’t benefit from a good dose of vanilla? I also used salted butter, because I think most baked goods benefit from a bit more salt. I also used an electric hand mixer to combine the wet ingredients because it makes mixing faster and easier. Also, laziness. Finally, I added my favorite tip to avoid over baking: use an instant-read thermometer!
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1½ cup pumpkin puree
- Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F or 218°C.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
- In another bowl, combine sugar and eggs and mix with an electric hand mixer on the lowest setting to until mixture becomes thick and light in color.
- Add the cooled butter, oil and buttermilk to the egg mixture and mix on low to combine. Then add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla paste and mix until combined. Finally, add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture, and fold in slowly using a stiff spatula or spoon until combined. Don't over mix as this creates too much gluten and can make your muffins tough.
- Leave the muffin batter to hydrate for 10 minutes on the counter or refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners,
- Put evenly-sized scoops of muffin batter into the cupcake liners. I use an ice cream scoop.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes until done. Muffins are done if a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center shows an internal temperature of 200°F or 93°C.
- Transfer muffins to a cooling rack and cool.