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.
I’m not sure whether to call these cookies, pastry, pies, tarts or just plain dessert. Since preparing these for my daughters 4th grade class they have been given all of those titles, and with flying colors. I did give out a few copies of the recipe too.
Note, I had prepared this post Thanksgiving week and just realized that it was still in my unpublished file! I must have been half asleep when I started it. Anyway, here is the original post link and this is how easy it is to prepare these… Original source: Three Baking Sheets to the Wind
Pumpkin Pie Pockets, How I prepared them:
- ½ baked Pumpkin Pie (can be crust-less, you only use the filling)
- 2 – 3 Pie Crusts (I used Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts)*
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the crust and cut 2 – 4” circles with a glass or cookie cutter. Place 1 rounded tablespoon (see note) of pie in the center of the circle and fold over. Use a fork to close edges and a small sharp knife to cut a couple of decorative vent holes. Place them on a coated baking sheet then brush the tops with egg white and sprinkle with sugar (if desired).
Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Tops of pies will brown slightly. Remove and let cool completely, store in refrigerator.
*Each crust will make about 17 – 2 inch pies.
Note: originally I posted to use 1 – 2 teaspoons of filling. A more accurate amount would be a rounded tablespoon. You want to have enough filling to enjoy, but not so much it oozes out when you seal the edges!
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 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.
It has been yet another wonderfully busy, short summer. I did “my time” working at summer camp again which kept me from having the spare time to blog, so I have some catching up to do. I can’t say I didn’t have time to cook, because that is pretty much all I did for five weeks. However that cooking was in bulk… for upwards of 140 people a week. The only food pictures I took this summer were quick shots with my iPhone and nothing to write home about.
I am though, working on a menu for Sunday dinner today. We will be having a small family celebration of my daughter’s 14th birthday. Traditionally we are on vacation when her birthday comes (as we are again this year) but we like to have a little meal with the family. Today’s menu, at her majesty’s request, includes:
- London Broil: Montreal Steak Seasoned and Grilled
- Seasoned Potato Wedges
- Roasted Vegetables
- Caesar Salad
and for dessert:
- Cheesecake and Oreo Fudge Ice Cream Cake
Photos: (iPhone shots of my summer camp Friday morning baking routine. Yes, we serve breakfast in bed.)