Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread, breakfast

Easy Cake Mix Apple and Banana Nut Muffins

I’ve been fooling around with cake mix recipes for years.  I often have extra fruit ripening on the counter or parked in the fridge for too long so I keep a stash of cake mixes on hand to whip up a batch of breakfast muffins. The cake mix and fruit combine easily for a quick and easy twist on the classic fruit muffin.

This week I had two bananas and a bit of homemade applesauce to add to the mix. The ratio usually requires the standard mix, 1/3 cup of oil, 3 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of a overly ripe or wet fruit.  I’ve often mixed in flavored yogurt as well.  Play around with your favorite flavor combinations and see what you come up with.  I’d love for you to share any of the cake mix combos that you enjoy.  I love this quick and easy method of baking in a semi-homemade way.

Easy Cake Mix Apple and Banana Nut Muffins

1 box cake mix, white or yellow

1/3 cup oil

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup mashed overly ripe bananas (2 medium)

1/2 cup chunky applesauce (I use homemade applesauce)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Old fashioned oats or brown sugar topping, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Generously spray 2 muffin pans with cooking spray or line with paper liners. In large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.  Divide batter evenly between muffin cups.  Sprinkle with a handful of old fashioned oats or brown sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean and inside of cracks do not look wet. 



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Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread, breakfast, lunch box

Whole Grain Blueberry and Banana Bites

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For the past several weeks, the market has been filled with a great selection of berries at reasonably low prices. The produce section displays an assortment of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. It’s hard for me to walk by the berry aisle without filling my cart with several containers of the tasty little gems. The perfectly packed, sweet treats sit conveniently on the fridge shelf for a grab and go snack. Every morning, just before work, I slip open a container and grab a handful before heading out the door. Occasionally, I have a few berries left over at the end of the week, so I often take inventory to see what fruits I have available to throw into a muffin recipe. This week, I found two sad, overly-ripened bananas and a layer of blueberries left for my Saturday morning baking. This is the recipe I chose to assemble…

Whole Grain Blueberry and Banana Bites

1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 bananas, mashed
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Instant oatmeal topping, brown sugar and cinnamon flavor (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners or silicone cups. In a bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt and wheat germ. In a large bowl, beat margarine and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, almond milk and extracts; beat well. Mix in the bananas.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture, mix just until combined. Fold in blueberries. Divide batter among muffin cups. Sprinkle the muffins with a handful of instant oatmeal, any flavor. (Optional)
Bake for 20-25 minutes (12-15 minutes for mini muffins) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread, breakfast, Food, lunch box

Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

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I’m not kidding…just two ingredients quickly mixed together makes for a batch of terrific tasting pumpkin muffins! Yes, that’s right, I said two ingredients…
I needed a quick morning lunch box treat this week and I turned to the quickest muffin recipe I could think of, the Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffin recipe. Quickly mix a can of pumpkin with a cake mix and pop it in the oven. In less than 20 minutes, you’ve got a great little snack. While I used the Butter Pecan Cake Mix in my recipe, the spice and vanilla flavored cake mix work well too. Pop in the lunchbox, bake for an autumn bake sale, or share with co-workers for an office carry-in.
If you’d like to spruce up the recipe a bit, sprinkle with powdered sugar or a light glaze with chopped nuts. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I love to top my cakes and muffins with a pre-package flax seed oatmeal mix and that is what I did here. …Quick, easy and oh, so yummy!

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Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

1 (18.25 ounce) package butter pecan cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins with a light coating of cooking spray or insert paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and canned pumpkin until well blended. Evenly distribute into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 15-17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and serve. (This tastes even better as the muffins sit for a couple of days.)
Optional: Top with oatmeal topping, powdered sugar, or powdered sugar glaze.

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Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread, breakfast, Brunch, Gardening

Key Lime and Blueberry Muffins

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Well, it seems the last of the blueberries have made their way to the farmer’s market as the fall season begins and apples, peaches, and pears showcase their beauty and flavor in the weeks to come.
As I peered into the fridge this morning, I noticed a pint of blueberries and a few containers of key lime Greek yogurt on the shelf. I remembered using this combination of flavors some years ago in a blueberry yogurt muffin recipe that I had in my kitchen file. I rummaged through the worn folder to find what I was looking for and was delighted to see I hadn’t misplaced it. The combination of key lime and blueberry is quite similar to that of lemon and blueberry except for the added punch that key lime lends to the recipe. Give this one a try, I think you’ll like it.

Key Lime and Blueberry Muffins

1 cup flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup key lime flavored Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Note: This recipe makes 6 regular-sized muffins.

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, yogurt, vanilla, oil and milk. Stir in the dry ingredients just until moistened; fold in the blueberries.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Lightly sprinkle with crumble topping, optional. (See recipe below)

Crumble Topping
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
3 tbsp. butter
Combine flour, sugar. Cut in butter. Sprinkle over muffins before baking. Store any leftovers in the fridge for future baking.

Bake muffins at 350° for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the
center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Continue cooling on a wired rack.

Posted in appetizers/snacks, Baked goods, Baking, Bread, breakfast, Brunch, Desserts, Food, lunch box

Sweet Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

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A great sale on canned pumpkin has got me looking through my clippings and notebooks for recipes that include pumpkin purée. When I stumbled across this recipe for pumpkin corn bread muffins, I thought it might be the perfect recipe to revisit. Corn meal and pumpkin purée add an interesting texture to these moist muffins and this is another great recipe that packs well in the lunchbox. I often add a crunchy cinnamon topping to the recipe just before baking. This is completely optional but it adds sweetness and texture to the outside of the muffin making it taste more like a sweet bread. It also tastes great with a cup of tea or coffee when you’re looking for a quick breakfast item.

Sweet Pumpkin Corn Bread Muffins

1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Topping
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, milk and oil.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Stir until blended; do not over mix. Fold in pecans. Divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin tin cups. To make topping, mix together brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter with a fork. Sprinkle evenly over muffin tops. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.