Post # 179 Guest Blogger Mary’s Accidental Pumpkin Muffins

October 16, 2013 at 11:59 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 179 Guest Blogger Mary’s Accidental Pumpkin Muffins

Mary has been a friend of mine for several years, and I’ve always admired not only her intelligence and sense of humor, but her quick thinking that averts disaster.  One day last week, she post on FB a success she’d had with pumpkin muffins.  Here’s how successful they were:

Mary 01

I love her two boys although I’ve only met the older one.  Even then it was in utero.  Her stories of their eating habits, as well as her husband’s are legendary on FB, and keep us all in stitches.  So I asked if she’d like to share the story of the Accidental Pumpkin Muffins with all of us and she agreed.  Mary is a home cook and we’ve swapped recipes and lessons almost for as long as we’ve known each other.  She believes in sustainable good sources and her garden produce has fed not only her family, but her extended family and neighbors as well.  Her daily challenge, as you’ll hear, is to feed four very different appetites while maintaining her sanity, her budget, and her ideals.


Sometimes I find myself in a situation where I haven’t thought things through.  In the kitchen, this usually doesn’t work out well.  Forgetting steps and not checking to make sure you have all the ingredients before starting is almost a sure road to failure.  Once in a while, though, you find a win.

I try my best to follow the ideals of Grow Food, Not Lawns.  As a mother of two small boys (ages 2 and 6), it can be a huge to just make something that will be eaten.  Forget about it being a favorite, I strive for “not thrown out”. The sugar pumpkins are huge and numerous.  Far more pumpkins than a few pies will dispose or.

Pumpkin Patch 01.jpg

Pumpkin Patch 02.jpg

We’ve had pumpkin soup, which the boys wouldn’t eat.  The six year old told me it was “too soft”.

We’ve had pumpkin scones, which were bland and tasteless.  No one wanted those.

We’ve had pumpkin macaroni and cheese, which was eaten, but everyone commented something was “weird”.

So I looked online for a recipe for pumpkin muffins in hopes of finding something that would use a significant amount of pumpkin *and* be eaten.  I found this, and so started making them without thinking.  Very quickly I realized I didn’t have what the recipe called for.  Substitutions had to be made.  After all, I’d already mixed many of the ingredients.

I only had a cup and a half of all purpose flour.  I forgot that the week before I’d made a mistake when ordering groceries and clicked on the wrong item.  So I looked at what I had.  I had cake flour, soy flour, bread flour, whole wheat flour and rye flour.  I elected to use the cake flour to make up the rest.  If anything, it would make the muffins more like cupcakes…moister, softer, yummier.

Since my whole purpose was to use up some pumpkin from the garden, I never intended to use canned pumpkin.  I’d halved, cleaned, roasted, and pureed some already.

Pumpkin Patch 03.jpg

Unfortunately my measuring cup doesn’t designate 15oz.  Only 16.  So I added in the 2 cups of pureed roasted pumpkin.  I figured, a little more wouldn’t hurt.

And then I noticed that the recipe called for orange juice (or water).  I’ve learned from experience that when a recipe calls for a flavored liquid like juice or broth, but allows for water, it doesn’t come out well if you use the water.  The recipe is letting you know you need more flavor.  And here I was, with no orange juice.  We had purple Kool-Aid, cranberry juice, and a heavily spiced apple cider.  Apples and pumpkin go so nicely together I opted for the cider.

I made them and set out bowls the next morning for breakfast, fully expecting that the boys would taste the muffins and then opt for cereal.  And I’d be taking 34 muffins to work to share so there wouldn’t be wasted food.

They ate the muffins.  They asked for more.  They finished those, too.  When they finished dinner, they asked for more as dessert.  My husband/their Dad asked if they wouldn’t rather have ice cream or Oreos.  No, they wanted muffins.  The same went for this morning.  It’s nice to hit upon a winner sometimes.  Especially when it was something of an oops.

Mary 02

Original Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

Recipe as I made it


  • 1 ½  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups roasted pureed fresh pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Apple Cider


PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Paper-line or grease 36 muffin cups.

COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.

BAKE for 28 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


And you really can’t argue with results like this:

Mary 01

Thanks, Mary!  You’re welcome to guest blog anytime!

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