Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, gluten-free, healthier, main dish, muffin, pumpkin | 0 comments

I continue to revisit old favorite pumpkin recipes to incorporate more experience and better photography. This week’s recipe is for Pumpkin Pucks.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

These happen to be gluten-free and paleo, if you follow those diets. More to my needs, they are high-protein, avoid processed flours, and are DELICIOUS.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

They are rather like mini pumpkin pie custards with a slightly nutty taste. Do note that this can be made with whole wheat and/or all-purpose flour, if you don’t care about it being gluten-free… but I by far prefer the taste with almond flour.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

I have also used different nut butters. Almond butter tastes the strongest–in a very good way–though cashew butter was fantastic, too.

Once, I only had 3/4 cup of pumpkin, so I made up for the difference with applesauce. I found no major difference in taste or texture.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

I find that two of these make for a delicious breakfast. The size makes them very kid-friendly. I have kept them in the fridge for upwards of a week. Also, these are fantastic to freeze. Just be sure to remove the muffin cup liners and use waxed paper between layers.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

You can alter the flavor with different toppings, too. Mini chocolate chips are my favorite! Pepitas and dried cranberries work well, too; note that the cranberries are tart but mellow after time in the fridge.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

Enjoy this healthy recipe, and be warned that next week takes a decidedly sugary turn with a recipe for Pumpkin Roll!

Modified from Paleo Parents.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

This delicious recipe makes a kind of gluten free, paleo-friendly dense pumpkin custard in a muffin pan. Store these in the fridge for upward of a week; they can also be frozen, with the muffin liners removed, and kept between waxed paper.

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree [canned, NOT organic]
  • 1 cup almond or other nut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup almond flour [or wheat or all-purpose flour]
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Topping choice: 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips, OR chopped nuts or pepitas, or dried cranberries

Place muffin cup liners in pan, then spray the insides with nonstick spray. Preheat oven at 350-degrees.

If your almond butter is very stiff, measure it out, place in a microwave-safe bowl, then zap it for 15 seconds or so to soften it. Mix pumpkin puree and the almond butter together.

Add honey and maple syrup. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients until everything is just combined.

Fill the muffin cups to 3/4 full; a tablespoon scoop makes this easy, as it's almost exactly 2 tablespoons to fill the cups. Top with mini chocolate chips or nuts or cranberries, if desired.

Bake at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes. Pumpkin pucks will not rise much. The tops of some may start to crack. Remove them from pan and allow to cool, then store in fridge.


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Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, lemon, muffin | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

You could made normal, piddly muffins. Or you can make ENORMOUS HONKIN’ MUFFINS like the kind you get in bakeries. These Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins taste pretty darn good and will fill your belly, too.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

These muffins pans are surprisingly cheap. Amazon has a couple different kinds. Search for “jumbo muffin pan” or “Texas muffin pan.” (Because everything is bigger in Texas).

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Confession: one reason I like these muffins is because they are pretty. I add a couple blueberries on top to make sure they don’t all sink, and I add some turbinado sugar to make them glisten.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Then there’s the size. Look at the pictures here and you’ll see that silver cup for size contrast. That’s 1 cup. Yeah.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

If that’s too much muffin for you to eat, you can easily cut one in half. Or you can do what I do and freeze most of the batch. Wrap’em up in a few layers of plastic wrap and they’ll keep well in the freezer for a few weeks.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

That’s a perfect way to make these cakey lemon-blueberry bombs last a little longer!

Modified from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Shared another version of this recipe in 2013 on my LiveJournal.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Use a jumbo muffin pan to make delicious and ginormous lemon-blueberry muffins, just like the kind you get in bakeries! These muffins are best eaten within a day or two, but they can also be frozen to enjoy later. Eat at room temperature or warmed.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk (almond milk and half & half work well)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry
  • sparkling or turbinado sugar for the top, optional

Preheat oven at 425-degrees. Use nonstick spray or butter on the muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Mix in the milk, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Mixture will be pale and yellow.

Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, making sure to scrape the bowl, but don't overmix. The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy.

Carefully fold in the blueberries, reserving some to place on top of the muffins.

Pour the batter into the greased muffin tins, filling just about to the top. Add the reserved blueberries and some turbinado or sparkling sugar, if desired.

Bake at 425-degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375. Continue to bake for about 25 minutes. The tops should be lightly golden, and the muffins should pass the toothpick test. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove to begin eating or to allow them to cool completely on a rack. (If you leave the muffins in the pan too long, they will steam and get soggy.)

Muffins are best eaten within a day or two, but they can also be frozen for later enjoyment. Eat at room temperature or zap in the microwave to warm up.



Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

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Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Posted by on Nov 9, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, muffin, pumpkin, quick bread | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Some foods are delicious but not particularly photogenic. These Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins, however, have it all going on.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Chocolate and pumpkin are a fantastic pairing. Nutella works so well here, creating a shiny chocolatey cap to these bright orange muffins.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

The texture of these is magnificent: cakey and fresh, with a light pumpkin taste. Plus Nutella. We can’t forget the Nutella.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Speaking of which… if your Nutella is older or you’re near the bottom of the jar, it can be lumpy and hard to spread. To fix that, put the Nutella in a microwave-safe dish and give it a zap in the microwave.

Trust me, that lumpy Nutella may still be delicious, but you want it to be soft enough to create a beautiful swirl on these muffins!

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Modified from The Novice Chef.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

These muffins are cakey with a perfect complement of pumpkin and Nutella. If your Nutella is stiff, give it a zap in the microwave so that it’s soft enough to swirl. The recipe makes 12 muffins.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned pureed pumpkin (not organic)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk (almond milk works)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Nutella or other hazelnut cocoa spread

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line muffin pan with liners and apply nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in the egg, vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Slowly mix in the dry mixture until it is just blended.

Add the batter to the muffin pan, filling each about 3/4 full. Top each muffin with about a teaspoon of Nutella and use a butter knife to swirl it into the batter.

Bake muffins for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a center muffin comes out clean.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in a sealed container.



Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins


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Bready or Not: Baileys Irish Coffee Creamer Chocolate Mini Muffins

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, brownies, cake mix, chocolate, muffin | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Baileys Irish Coffee Creamer Chocolate Mini Muffins

I’m not ashamed to use cake mix every now and then. It’s fast. It can make delicious things. In this case, about 70 delicious things.

Bready or Not: Baileys Irish Coffee Creamer Chocolate Mini Muffins

I doctored this recipe to use nonalcoholic refrigerated Baileys Coffee Creamer instead of the hard stuff, and I also adapted it for mini muffins. Loads of them.

Bready or Not: Baileys Irish Coffee Creamer Chocolate Mini Muffins

These are bite-sized dollops of chocolate: chocolate cake dappled with chocolate chips, with the added smoothness of Baileys. Plus, it’s fast to whip up, especially if you have more than one mini muffin pan!

Bready or Not: Baileys Irish Coffee Creamer Chocolate Mini Muffins

Since I bought a large container of coffee creamer (hey, it was a good sale, and I needed St. Patrick’s recipes, so…), you’ll see more recipes with Baileys featured the next two weeks as well!

Modified from Couponing & Cooking.

Bready or Not: Baileys Irish Coffee Creamer Chocolate Mini Muffins

Bready or Not: Baileys Irish Coffee Creamer Chocolate Mini Muffins

This shortcut recipe uses chocolate cake mix to churn out about 70 brownie-like mini muffins! Sure, you could use the hard Baileys in this, but nonalcoholic Baileys Coffee Creamer makes this kid and workplace friendly–and a LOT cheaper.

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Baileys Irish Coffee Creamer (nonalcoholic)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (+ additional for top, if desired)

Prep your mini muffin pans(s) by placing liners and dousing with nonstick spray. Note that the recipe makes about 70 mini muffins. Preheat the oven at 350-degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, eggs, oil, and Baileys Creamer. Once that's mixed to show no clumps, add the chocolate chips. The batter will be a little runny.

A teaspoon scoop makes it easy to dole out batter into the liners--but don't fill to the top! They will grow as they bake. Top with a few extra chocolate chips, if desired.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops are springy and the innermost muffins pass the toothpick test. Use a fork to pop them out and onto a rack to cool.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge or at room temperature.



Bready or Not: Baileys Irish Coffee Creamer Chocolate Mini Muffins

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Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Muffins

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, muffin | 1 comment

Let’s end the year on a sweet note! How about some Snickerdoodle Muffins for breakfast or dessert?

Snickerdoodle Muffins

These things taste and look just like the cookie version. From straight overhead, they even look like cookies!

Snickerdoodle Muffins

The muffin texture is light and fluffy. This is because the butter and sugar are beaten to fluffiness, and then the sour cream creates tenderness without any negative impact on taste. The dough is thick enough to be rolled in cinnamon sugar.

Snickerdoodle Muffins

I have made this as normal muffin size and as mini muffins. Both are fabulous and freeze well for later eating, too. Unless you plan to eat them the first day, do store them in the fridge. At room temperature, after two days they go really spongy and soft, but they can be saved by sticking them in the fridge or freezer.

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Many of the sweets I make go with my husband to work, but not these. He adores Snickerdoodles. These are all for him.

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Heavily modified from Rincon-Cocina.

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Muffins

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Snickerdoodles in muffin form! This recipe makes 11-12 normal-sized muffins, or 22-24 mini muffins. They keep in the fridge for days and can be frozen, too.

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • Topping
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin or 24-cup mini muffin tin by adding liners and spraying them with Pam.

With a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for about three minutes, until it's light and fluffy. Add the egg.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, and nutmeg.

Take turns adding the flour mix and the sour cream to the butter-sugar mix until everything is just combined.

Prepare a bowl with the topping sugar and cinnamon. Use a 1/4 cup or scoop for large muffins or a teaspoon scoop for mini muffins, and dole out a ball of batter into the topping mix. Roll it to cover it, then transfer the ball to the prepared muffin tin.

Bake large muffins for 21-24 minutes; bake mini muffins at 12-14 minutes. Do a toothpick test to ensure doneness. Let muffins cool in tin for about 10-15 minutes, then use a fork to gently pry them out to set on a rack to finish cooling.

Note that muffins keep best in the fridge. At room temperature, they will go very soft after about two days, but can be revived by being popped in the fridge. Muffins can be frozen for an extended time, but remember to remove the liners before freezing.



Snickerdoodle Muffins

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Bready or Not Guest: Sylvia Spruck Wrigley with Lemon Fairy Cakes

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Blog, Bready or Not, guest recipe, lemon, muffin | Comments Off on Bready or Not Guest: Sylvia Spruck Wrigley with Lemon Fairy Cakes

DomnallI’m happy to welcome author Sylvia Spruck Wrigley as a guest of Bready or Not! Her novella Domnall and the Borrowed Child was published by just this Tuesday, and it’s all about FAIRIES. A unique approach to fairies, too–you get to learn about changelings, from their perspective! Quite appropriately, Sylvia is here to share a very British recipe for Lemon Fairy Cakes.

About Domnall and the Borrowed Child:

The best and bravest faeries fell in the war against the Sluagh, and now the Council is packed with idiots and cowards. Domnall is old, aching, and as cranky as they come, but as much as he’d like to retire, he’s the best scout the Sithein court has left.

When a fae child falls deathly ill, Domnall knows he’s the only one who can get her the medicine she needs: Mother’s milk. The old scout will face cunning humans, hungry wolves, and uncooperative sheep, to say nothing of his fellow fae!

Excerpt at
Audio Excerpt | MacMillan, with buy links everywhere



These days in Britain you are more likely to see a cupcake than a fairy cake. Cupcakes are modern, decadent, bold. Fairy cakes are old-fashioned, relics of children’s parties from years gone by. They are smaller than cupcakes and, to my eye, a little more refined. A fairy cake is easy to recognise because it is never, ever topped with thick swodges of buttercream but instead gets a quick white glaze made with icing sugar (powdered) and water. Very special cakes get “royal icing” made with egg whites.


Although any type of cake can be made into a cupcake, a fairy cake is based on Victoria sponge. These dainty cakes (just the right size for a fairy) are still seen as more appropriate for children, as they are smaller and with less sugar, whereas cupcakes are popular at weddings and hen nights.

The original fairy cakes (cakes just the right size for a fairy) are first referenced in the 1700s and were baked in ramekins or individual pottery cups. Although many people now make fairy cakes in muffin tins, you should take care to only fill the cups halfway so that they don’t turn out too large and get mistaken for a poorly frosted cupcake!

Now you’d think it’d be easy to make a British recipe in a British kitchen. Further, you’d think it would be easy to convert. Unfortunately, there are some issues which I feel compelled to share with you. I should reassure you first, however, that this is a very simple recipe, commonly the first treat that children in England learn to bake. So don’t take my notes all too seriously – just follow the recipe and I’m sure you’ll be fine.


So first: Conversion
I modified the recipe slightly to convert it to American measurements. The recipe works with imperial, metric and US measures but don’t mix and match between them. The butter/sugar/flour amounts are slightly higher in the US version but no one complained (well, not about the cake, anyway).

Second: Temperature
I’ve simply said to bake these at 180°C/350°F, just like the majority of cakes baked around the world. However, that’s not the way recipes work in the UK.

British recipes give instructions to deal with every kind of oven, like so:
Pre-heat your oven to 200°C or 180°C if it is a fan-assisted oven or gas mark 6 if you haven’t upgraded your oven since 1962.

So if you bake using an exciting oven or even (god help you) an Aga, then I’m afraid you are on your own, but I suspect you are probably used to it.

Third: Yield
The recipe makes twelve fairy cakes but that’s assuming a British bun tin. You can make these with muffin tins just fine, just be sure not to overfill your cases. Standard cupcake cases should only be filled up to the halfway mark. If you make these cupcake sized, you’ll only get nine.

Fourth: Decoration

My first batch, the control group made with British imperial measures, I thought it would be nice to add fairy wings. I thinly sliced some lemons and candied them in the oven at low heat, then cut them in half and stuck them on with the lemon glaze.


Every single person ripped the wings off and discreetly abandoned them somewhere. Apparently, that was not an appropriate decoration for a fairy cake. Who knew?

Fifth: The Appropriate Number of Sprinkles

“Hundreds and thousands,” my boyfriend said. “That’s what you put on fairy cakes.”

“Like, sprinkles?”

“Not just any sprinkles. Round ones. All colours.”

“Round rainbow sprinkles. Got it.”

“No, don’t buy sprinkles. Buy hundreds and thousands.”


This didn’t seem like a requirement of fairy cakes, but I’m not British and I’m aware that sometimes I can miss nuances. So I purchased sprinkles which actually said hundreds and thousands on the label and did the decorating again.

This time, my fairy cakes were accepted with bright smiles. “Much nicer,” said my son with his mouth full of cake. “Needs more hundreds and thousands.”

“What have you done? This is more like tens and hundreds,” muttered my boyfriend.

I asked my friend to adjudicate. “They look lovely.” And the hundreds and thousands? “Well, okay, yes, it’s a bit sparing.”

I gave the very last fairy cake to the security guard who patrols the marina flats. I barely know him but it’s a long cold shift in November and I wasn’t speaking to anyone in the family by then.

“Lovely,” he said, “thank you so much.” He took a bite. “A wee bit mean on the hundreds and thousands, though.”

So learn from my mistakes. Don’t bake things for the British.


Lemon Fairy Cakes

Yield: 12 fairy cakes


  • 4 oz / 100g / ½ cup butter
  • 4 oz / 100g / ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 oz / 100g self-raising flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder OR ¾ cup all-purpose flour and two teaspoons baking powder
  • zest of half a lemon


  • 2 cups (250g) of powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Rainbow sprinkles to taste

Pre-heat your fan-assisted oven to180°C/350°F and line your muffin tin with fairy-cake or cupcake cases.

Cream the butter and the sugar at high speed for three minutes or more. Keep the speed on high and add the two eggs one at a time. Once well mixed in, add the flour, the baking powder and the lemon zest. Fold the dry ingredients into the batter until blended.

Drop a large spoonful of batter into each cake case – if using cupcake-sized cases, only fill to halfway.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes, until the cakes have risen and are golden-brown.

While the cakes are baking, mix the powdered sugar with the lemon juice so that you have a thick but still spreadable glaze.

Brush the cakes with the lemon glaze while still warm so that the lemon syrup will melt into the cake. Then remove them from the muffin tin. After the cakes have cooled, brush the tops again with the glaze and sprinkle generously with rainbow sprinkles.



Sylvia Spruck Wrigley was born in Germany and spent her childhood in Los Angeles. She emigrated to Scotland in 1990, guiding German tourists around the Trossachs while she searched for the supernatural. She now splits her time between South Wales and Andalucia where she writes about plane crashes and faeries, which have more in common than most people might imagine. Her short stories have been translated into over a dozen languages.

Author website

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