January 24, 2010

Pumpkin Spelt Flax Muffins

These muffins are seriously good -- moist, perfectly spiced, and made especially satisfying by the crunch of pumpkin seeds and the chewiness of raisins and crystallized ginger. I started with a pumpkin muffin recipe from the November 2008 issue of Gourmet, then substituted whole spelt flour (in place of white flour) and added ground flax seeds to up the nutrition quotient, and heightened the spice notes by adding a bit of nutmeg and chopped crystallized ginger. I also infused the golden raisins with citrus flavor by soaking them in orange juice rather than water. These were a BIG success with bacon and eggs for a late-afternoon football-watching Blinner (yes, that's a 3-meals-in-one, breakfast-lunch-dinner hybrid).

A delicious, hearty, whole-grain way to start the day right, perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

Pumpkin Spelt Flax Muffins
yield: 12 1/2-cup muffins

1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
a few microplaned gratings of nutmeg (not even 1/8 tsp)
1-1/2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and allowed to cool
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup pure canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk mixed with 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (or buttermilk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp raw (green) pepitas (pumpkins seeds), plus an additional 1-2 Tbsp to sprinkle on top
2 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F with rack in middle.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring raisins and orange juice to a boil. Transfer to a bowl and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain.
  3. Whisk together spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, and ground flax seeds in a large bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, pumpkin, eggs, milk and lemon juice mixture, and vanilla.
  5. Mix wet ingredients into dry until just combined. Stir in raisins, pepitas, and crystallized ginger.
  6. Transfer to muffin pan, top with a sprinkling of pepitas, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean - about 18 to 20 minutes.


  1. What a grand way to wake up in the morning. Must do. Must do. Even good for you!

  2. I love the rich color of the muffins. You are so good at tweaking recipes to fortify them with nutrition!

  3. They look great. I love the seeds sitting there on top. I would have to skip the bacan,lol.

  4. Fantastic & lovely healthy breakfast muffins!!

    Thanks for another grand muffin recipe!!