Yep, it’s another pumpkin recipe! But it’s pumpkin season and these amazing Pumpkin Upside Down Muffins are just too good not to share! As if I would ever hold out on you…. Not a chance! Another bonus of these moist, but tender-crumbed, perfectly pumpkin-spiced, pecan-caramel bedecked muffins is that they are lightly and more healthfully sweetened with unrefined sugar. Making them that much more awesome!
I usually try to sweeten all of the desserts I bring you with either maple syrup or maple sugar, and I will continue to incorporate them into my recipes, but I’ve been experimenting with using Sucanat, as well. If you aren’t familiar with it, Sucanat is natural, unprocessed cane sugar. As much as I love maple syrup, there are some recipes that it doesn’t work well in, and maple sugar, while very versatile, isn’t super easy to source, so I thought it would be nice to bring you an alternative. I’ll also be trying some recipes with coconut sugar because it’s unrefined too and has a mild flavour profile that will work well with a lot of different recipes.
I hope you’ll check in to see the new treats and try the recipes I come up with as I continue on this amazing dessert blogging adventure.
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or brown sugar)
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup Sucanat (finely ground*) or brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups pumpkin purée
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Bring butter and maple syrup to a low simmer over medium-high heat. Stir caramel until it turns a medium golden brown. Remove from heat and whisk in whipping cream and pinch of salt. Divide chopped pecans into the bottom of the individual tins of a greased 12-cup muffin tin. Top each with about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon caramel sauce. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin, Sucanat, eggs, oil, and vanilla until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and all of the spices. Gently fold flour mixture into liquid mixture, stirring until just combined.
- Divide muffin batter evenly between muffin cups, spooning batter over nuts and caramel. Bake muffins at 425ºF for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 375ºF and continue baking 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a couple of crumbs showing.
- Cool muffins in pan for about 10 minutes. Run a knife around muffins, inverting onto a cooling rack.
In keeping with the healthful dessert eating trend I began at the first of the year, (I’m not sure that once really creates a “trend”, but bear with me…), I thought you all might want to try these Maple Baked Pears with Toasted Pecans. They’re soooo easy! There’s all of five ingredients in this baked-until-tender, maple syrup-sweetened, toasty pecan, pear dessert. They’re perfect for a weeknight dessert craving without carrying all of that guilt baggage into the next day. Top these pears with a dollop of vanilla yogurt, lightly-sweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche, (yeah, it’s a bit of a splurge…) and you have a perfect dinner party dessert. I’ve reduced the amount of maple syrup and vanilla from the original recipe, which you can find over at the delightful blog, Sally’s Baking Addiction.
- 4 Anjou pears
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped, lightly toasted*
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil.
- Cut pears in half, then trim a small, thin slice off the other side so the pears won’t tip over when placed on the baking sheet. Use a melon baller or teaspoon to scoop out the seeds.
- Place pears, facing up, on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Mix the maple syrup and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle all but 2 tablespoons over the pears, reserving remaining syrup for after the pears are baked.
- Bake pears for 30 minutes or until soft (test with a fork). Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle with the remaining maple-vanilla syrup mixture. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and serve warm.
If you have any leftovers, they’ll keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I saw these Pecan Pie Muffins on Pinterest and they looked so yummy that I knew I had to make them immediately. Well, “immediately” turned into a few days because I was fresh out of pecans, but in fairly short order I was able to gather everything for them and oh my! am I ever glad I did because these little gems are yummalicious! And with only 6 ingredients in the recipe, they’re super easy to pull together! I used maple sugar and molasses to sweeten these pecan pie muffins, but if you’d rather make them with brown sugar, head on over to The Girl Who Ate Everything’s blog and check out Christy’s wonderful recipe.
- 3/4 cup maple sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cup chopped pecans
- 2/3 cups butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- Spray muffin pan with Baker’s Joy (or similar).
- In a medium bowl, stir together maple sugar, flour and pecans.
- In another bowl, beat the butter, eggs, and molasses together. Add in 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition, then add molasses.
- Gently stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin cups to about 2/3 full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then remove from muffin tins to cool on wire racks.
These Cinnamon Pecan cupcakes are another of my mom’s “oldie-but-a-goody” recipes. Actually, the original recipe was for a bundt cake, but I adapted it into cupcakes. There’s something a bit indulgent about having your very own little cake, plus it takes half the time to bake as when its made as a cake; and trust me you will not want to wait any longer than necessary when the aroma of yummy cinnamon and toasty pecans starts to fill your home. Mmmm! These cupcakes are from scratch, which takes a tiny bit more effort than using a box cake, but the difference in texture and taste is totally worth the extra time and energy that goes into making these little gems. This could probably go without saying, but these are soooo good served warm from the oven. You really need to try them and see!
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
- 2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups sour cream
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Spray muffin tins with Baker’s Joy or use large aluminum muffin cups.
- In a small bowl, combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon; set aside.
- With a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, and mix well. Add the sour cream and vanilla, mixing until combined.
- Measure and whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet; fold together until thoroughly combined, but don’t over mix it. Its normal for the batter to be a little stiff.
- Fill each tin half-full with batter; sprinkle on 1 1/2 tablespoons of the streusel, then add enough batter to almost reach the rim of the tin (¼” below the rim).
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon streusel on top of the batter in each tin.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 5-10 minutes before removing from muffin tins. (Run a knife around the edge of each muffin to ease removal from the tins)