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

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. Be careful about using organic canned pumpkin, as some brands are especially watery.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: chocolate, muffins, pumpkin
Servings: 12
Author: Beth Cato


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons milk or almond milk
  • 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

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.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: cake mix, chocolate, mini muffin
Author: Beth Cato


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

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.
Course: Breakfast
Keyword: mini muffin, muffins, snickerdoodle, sour cream
Author: Beth Cato


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick, 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


  • 1/3 cup white 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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