Have a spare cake mix just screaming to be used? I did. As I’ve said before, I have no shame in using a cake mix. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy “from scratch” baking too. So the other morning I had some spare time before I woke the house up and threw these together. The recipe is extremely easy and yields a tasty breakfast option. You can mix and match for flavors too, but I went with the kids favorite, chocolate chip. Here is the base recipe…
Cake Mix Muffins (Chocolate Chip)
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 (4 serving) box instant vanilla pudding
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup oil, vegetable or canola
- 1/4 tsp extract (vanilla or almond)
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used mini)
Pre-heat the oven to 350. Line 2 muffin pans with paper cups or use baking spray.
Combine all ingredients except for chocolate chips. Stir until moist then fold in chocolate chips. The batter will be lumpy, don’t over-stir. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake 23 – 29 minutes. Note I filled the cups nearly full and it yielded 18 muffins. As you can see they don’t rise a lot, so I don’t think you can overfill them.
I hope you enjoy this shortcut recipe. The original recipe came from the book “101 Things To Do With A Cake Mix” by Stephanie Ashcraft and it was for a double chocolate chip muffin using a fudge cake mix and chocolate instant pudding.
This week’s post (yes, I am trying to keep up with the “post a week”) was last-minute, to say the least. I picked up a Good Housekeeping Cookbook, saw this recipe and thought it would be perfect for a cold, rainy holiday morning. Plus I knew I was going to dump on everyone and meet a friend at Starbuck’s for some “me” time.
The most complicated thing about these muffins was the shredding of fresh fruit. The actual recipe uses apple, but I only had one, and didn’t want to use it for this, so I used a pear… since I had three of those… I suppose any fruit would do. The recipe also called for walnuts – which someone apparently ate all of over the past few days. So I subbed some dry cranberries for the nuts. Needless to say, this recipe falls under the “adapted from” category as you will see my changes noted.
The muffin is moist, dense and filling (note 2 cups of oats!). Your options for fruit and nut combinations are nearly endless. So far, they have held up well and even my picky kids ate one without complaining that it tasted healthy. Make extra or freeze the leftovers for a quick, on the go breakfast!
Fruit & Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins
(adapted from Good Housekeeping’s Supermarket Diet Cookbook, Winter 2011)
- 2 cups oats, old-fashioned or quick cooking
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (160g)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup buttermilk (I used lower fat)
- 2 T. vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup shredded fresh fruit (1 large pear or apple will do)
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (I used dried cranberries)
- 1 handful white chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 standard muffin-pan cups, or line with paper liners.
IN a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, with a fork, beat buttermilk, oil and egg until well blended; stir in shredded apples. Add apple mixture to flour mixture and stir just until the flour mixture is moistened (the batter will be very thick). Stir in chopped nuts.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan and drop 5 or 6 white chocolate chips onto the top of each muffin. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Mine actually took 21 minutes exactly. Remove pan and remove muffins immediately. Serve warm or freeze for a quick breakfast.
Calories: 210, 7 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 33 grams carbs, 18mg cholesterol, 320mg sodium, 3 grams fiber, and 5 grams protien. – Note these are for the original recipe, it does not taking into account my changes, although I am sure it is close.
Christmas in our family is quite traditional, as far as dinner is concerned. Only one of the recipes in this post are new to us and our table. Even though any of our kids could recite what will be on the table, and who will be preparing it, it just wouldn’t be the same if we switched things up. We talk about it every year, but never do.
For the main courses are ham and turkey. My sister-in-law cooks the ham, and we grill the turkey at our house. I began grilling the turkey several years ago when I ran out of oven room. Grilling the turkey, I have found, yields the most moist white meat of any cooking method. It is very simple, a little butter, salt and pepper on and under the skin along with about 3/4 of an inch of stock in the pan. Covered then slow cooked with only the outside two burners on and in about 3 hours, a beautiful golden brown bird emerges!
For the Cranberry Sauce, I prepared a recipe first used at Thanksgiving. I found the recipe over at Recipe Girl and it is not only easy but blows the canned stuff out of the water. It is also great with a little butter on a biscuit or toast in the morning. I highly encourage trying this recipe.
Now, for the best part. Dessert. I made the Browned Butter Pecan Pie (that I made last month) from Cookie Madness, No Bake PB Oatmeal Cookies from well, anywhere, but I have my own recipe, a great sugar cookie (that I will post later), and our family tradition of “Angel Wings“. The Sour Cream Pound Cake, Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie played an essential part of this holiday meal too. Needless to say, I have a TON of dessert leftover in the freezer.
It was a wonderful holiday but I must say that I am relieved that it is over. The pressure involved in food preparation and making three growing kids happy have worn me out. I am looking forward to having the rest of the week off and doing, well, nothing.
Happy New Year to all!
This is our favorite pumpkin bread recipe. Normally it bakes very well as a quick bread in a loaf pan, but I needed a large brunch size quantity. If you need a large volume of this quick bread, a Bundt pan is a great option for baking. The baking time was of course longer than a regular loaf pan, but it turned out wonderfully.
Here is the recipe and a link to my previous Pumpkin Bread recipe posts.
Pumpkin Bread (doubled for three 8″ pans)
- 3 cups + 4 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup oil
- 4 eggs slightly beaten
- 2 Cups Canned Pumpkin
- 2/3 Cup Water
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8″ loaf pans with baking spray.
Sift together dry ingredients, set aside.
Beat together eggs, oil, water and pumpkin. Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet mixture. Stir with spoon just until all ingredients are wet. Pour into greased pan(s), fill pan 2/3 full.
Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. (mine took exactly one hour)
Makes three 8″ loafs.
It’s a good thing the recipe turned out, because the event for which the muffins were made was a flop…today at least. This week some good friends of ours had a dream come to life. Unable (to this point) to have children, they were blessed to adopt a newborn. The entire thing was a miracle.
Her baby shower was brunch style and I was asked to bring muffins. I narrowed my choices down and settled on a recipe from King Arthur Flour. With over 125 rave reviews, I was sure it would please. The shower began at 10 a.m. and the muffins came out of the oven at 9:45. I rushed to get my teenage daughter (think Saturday morning sleep in) out of bed and ready, then we headed out. When we arrived at the shower location no one was there. We searched around… nothing. I started calling friends and of course no one answered. Finally, on about the 5th call I reached someone. I was in the right spot for the shower and at the correct time… just a week early. Fail. LOL So my grouchy teenager and I headed home, warm muffins in hand. I still can’t believe I went through the whole morning, baking and all, and had the wrong day. I’m still laughing over this one.
So to the recipe. It was quite easy to prepare and the ingredients are a regular staple in most pantries. They live up to thier name too – very doughnut like. Without even knowing the name of the recipe, my husband said “these are almost like doughnuts”. The KA recipe is for 12 regular size muffins, but on thier blog, “Baker’s Banter“, they prepare the mini’s. They are the perfect two bite size, quite reminiscent of the classic “munchkin” or donut hole.
Mini Doughnut Muffins (from King Arthur Flour)
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. Or line with 12 paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray; this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth. Add the eggs, beating to combine. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.
Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes, or until you can handle them. While they’re cooling, melt the butter for the topping.
Use a pastry brush to paint the top of each muffin with the butter, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Or simply dip the tops of muffins into the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar.
Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight at room temperature.
Yield: 12 muffins. (* I prepared mini muffins and got about 32. I didn’t use muffin liners, just well greased the pan.)
I won’t bore you with the details of my chili recipe… well, mainly because there isn’t one. My chili is often different every time it is made. I don’t really use a recipe, just kind of pick and pour… anyway, that’s not what this post is for.
Where I’m from, cornbread is often a staple with chili – that or corn chips, or both… Usually I go the easy way – and use a box or pre-mix corn bread base, but tonight I decided I would make a scratch recipe. I had just bought a new can of corn meal – which I like to use on pans for pizza crust… and there was a recipe on the back. I thought, why not… Ok, well the recipe was very good; cake-like and far from dry and crumbly. My husband just raved over it. This recipe is nothing fancy, nothing bursting from the likes of Iron Chef, but a simple delicious cornbread that comes together very easily. Here’s the recipe:
Easy Corn Bread
from the back of the Quaker Corn Meal Can
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup enriched corn meal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 egg whites or 1 egg, beaten
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 8 or 9 inch pan.
Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 20 – 25 minutes or until light golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm. Makes 9 servings.
You can also make into muffins – 12 regular size muffins, baking 15 – 30 minutes.
I have a few recipes for Blueberry Muffins, one of my favorites made with oatmeal and orange juice in the ingredient list, this one though makes nice moist puffy muffins that hold up well. Not a lot of introduction needed for this recipe, other than try it, soon.
Recipe Originating at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
- 3 cups flour
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups blueberries
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Prepare the muffin pans with cup cake liners.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and mix on low to medium speed until blended. Fold in the blueberries carefully. Fill 15 muffin cups evenly.
Bake for 18 – 21 minutes until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out dry.
Makes 15 muffins.
This cake originates from a cake mix that is doctored to produce a wonderful breakfast dessert. The recipe comes from Duncan Hines Cake Mix Magic Cookbook that a friend loaned me. I prepared the cake this morning because I was bored… actually I woke early and decided to bake. Plus I thought it would be a nice Father’s day treat. The cake is dense, yet moist. I didn’t have almonds so I used recently picked Georgia Pecans.
Incidentally, I am excited to use my new cupcake plate. I actually painted it myself during a recent visit to a local pottery store with my youngest. I love the way it turned out!
Cinnamon Brunch Cake
Duncan Hines Cake Mix Magic, page 82
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup fine chopped almonds (pecans)
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding (4 serving size)
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil (see note)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tsp almond extract (I used vanilla)
Pre heat the oven to 350. Spray a 10 inch Bundt pan with baking spray.
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, set aside. Sprinkle nuts evenly in the bottom of the Bundt pan. Combine the remaining ingredients and beat for two minutes.
Spread half of the batter in the pan and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over batter. Pour remaining batter into pan.
Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool about 15 minutes and remove from pan.
Glaze cake if desired. To prepare glaze, combine 1 cup of confectioner sugar with 1 – 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir until desired pouring consistency.
Note: To reduce some of the oil, I suggest using 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce, 1/2 cup of oil, and 1/2 cup of water. Or any combination of this reaching 1 1/2 cups of liquid. The applesauce renders a moister crumb.