My world of baking muffins and cupcakes has been shaken up a bit. All my cooking life I've read eggs and oil are staple ingredients to baking muffin recipes. Somewhere along the road, I learned oil could be substituted for applesauce, but the egg was still there holding the batter together. Then, I've read of substituting egg with a banana, yet the oil was there in the recipe. I've NEVER, EVER read I could leave them BOTH out entirely.
What happens to a muffin recipe when the egg and oil are left out? Aren't they dry? They stick to the muffin pan, right?
No egg, no oil muffin recipes come out perfectly moist with the traditional density of regular muffins, but taste so much better! As for sticking to the pan, well, the part about greasing the pan is still important. Don't skip greasing the pan with a little oil.
Now about this outstanding carrot muffin recipe, it has become a Must-Eat-Once-A-Week-Recipe. My son, who has never liked carrots in any shape, raw or cooked, REQUESTS carrot muffins for breakfast now. I'm still in shock. My daughter, the SUPER-PICKY eater, is learning to eat them with her eyes closed. If she doesn't see the carrot bits, she will down two with no complaints. She loves tasting the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg coming through the lightly sweeten bread. As for the hubby, no complaints whatsoever, carrot cake is his favorite birthday cake. So naturally, he's thrilled to have mini-birthday cakes for breakfast.
About the flour, I've written in whole-wheat pastry flour. Whole-wheat pastry flour is from soft white wheat and produces a lighter texture in baking breads like muffins and cakes. It's also good for pancakes. I've made this recipe with it and again with whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour produces a slightly denser muffin that still tastes great. If you don't have whole-wheat pastry flour on hand, don't worry about it, use whole wheat flour. I've also baked them with half unbleached all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. The whole-wheat pastry flour muffins have the best texture. The next time you're at the store, pick up a bag of whole-wheat pastry flour. You can taste the difference for yourself.
HERE'S ALL IT TAKES
Makes 12 tasty muffins
- 1 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or whole wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup white or brown sugar (either works very well)
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large carrot, finely shredded
Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease the muffin pan.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Then add the sugar, applesauce, vanilla and shredded carrot. Stir just until all the dry ingredients are absorbed.
Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full and bake for 18 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool a few minutes before attempting to remove from muffin pan. Allow muffins to cool more out of the pan on a cooling rack.
Carrot muffins are a great snack after they have been stored in the icebox. I keep ours in a recycled, clear plastic container in the icebox. It's easier to make healthy choices when they're highly visible. ;D