Banana Poppy Seed Muffins

I finally did it! I took the plunge and completely reworked my little blog; a new host, a new domain, a whole new look, and I LOVE it!! Welcome to the very first post on! No more blogspot for me, it's feeling great! It all happened so fast. I hope you all enjoy the new look and the new site. It's nothing fancy, but I usually like to keep things simple so it's perfect for me. There may be a few wrinkles to iron out yet, just bear with me, I'll get to them as quickly as I can! 

For my very first post on this new adventure I have a delicious breakfast muffin to share. I would guess that of all the types of recipes I've posted over the years, I have the most muffins so what better way to start out than with another muffin recipe. Everyone know the classic lemon poppy seed muffin (check out a good one here), but I had never before thought about doing a banana poppy seed muffin. Why not? I love pretty much anything with banana, and with the addition of poppy seeds - amazing! 

These muffins baked up just beautifully, rising nice and tall, crowning perfectly and tasting delicious. The banana flavor certainly shines through. If you're expecting lemon flavor when you first bite into these you will be sorely disappointed, but have no fear, the banana is a fabulous alternative. Not quite as bright and tangy as the lemon obviously, but wonderful in a different way. 

I made a few minor changes in the recipe; first I halved it because it's just me and so it takes me a while to eat through a dozen muffins. Thankfully muffin recipes generally halve very well. I also cut down on the sugar by just a tablespoon and didn't seem to notice, they were plenty sweet for me with the banana in there as well. Finally, I pulled these out of the oven about 5 minutes earlier than the recipe called for and they definitely did not need to go longer. I dislike dry and over cooked muffins so I'm really happy that I pulled them when I did. They were nice and light and plenty moist. Another winner to add to the muffin arsenal. 


Banana Poppy Seed Muffins
Adapted from Macheesmo

  • 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) brown sugar
  • 1 banana (4 ounces), mashed; about 1/2 cup
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) milk or liquid whey
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan with butter, or line with paper liners.  In a medium sized bowl combine the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, set aside. 

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and banana. Add the egg, milk, butter, vanilla and poppy seeds and mix until well combined. 

Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin pan, dividing the mixture evenly. Bake for 12-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Yields: 6 muffins

100% Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

Oftentimes the simple basics are the best. That is certainly the case with these easy 100% whole wheat blueberry muffins. I was hankering for a good old blueberry muffin, but at the same time didn't want it to be completely devoid of nutrition. These muffins grabbed me with their 100% whole wheat title, and when I saw the modest amount of sugar and oil in the recipe I knew it was the perfect muffin to try. And no need to fear, they turned out wonderfully. With all whole wheat flour I was afraid they would be dense and dry but they actually turned out very light. They are perfectly sweet without being sugary and have a wonderful wheat-y nuttiness from the whole wheat flour. A touch of cinnamon shines through as the perfect complement to the sweet and juicy berries. 

As you can probably see, these muffins are not the gigantic muffins you might see at a bakery or coffee shop, they are a bit more modest in size than that. If you're feeling like something a bit bigger you could go ahead and fill those muffins tins a bit more and end up with fewer muffins in the end. 

Side story; I had decided to make these muffins one random morning that I had the day off. Since I don't need to make large batches for just myself, I decided to halve the recipe you see below. I do this all the time and rarely have any problems. All seemed to be going fine, until I tasted the finished batter that is. I thought to myself, 'hmm, these taste kind of oily.' I just figured the taste would bake out and they would be fine. 

Halfway through the baking however, as I was finishing up my dishes I suddenly had the epiphany that I hadn't halved the oil! I don't know why it popped into my head at that point and not when I tasted the oily batter, but no matter. Whatever the case the first batch was pretty much ruined. I let them finish baking and then took a look at them. They were heavy, dense and greasy as I'm sure you can imagine. I shed a (figurative) tear, slowly tossed them into the trash can, and pulled out my freshly washed mixing bowls to have another go at it. Sigh. The trials of a small batch baker. 

Don't worry, the second batch turned out great. And I made sure that I wrote down all the measurements this time, halved! 

100% Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 2 1/4 cup (10 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup (4.5 ounces) brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) buttermilk or plain (not Greek) yogurt; or 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) liquid whey leftover from making Greek yogurt - this is what I used

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease the cups of a standard muffin pan; or line with paper baking cups, and grease the paper cups.

Whisk together all of the dry ingredients, including the blueberries. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, vegetable oil, and buttermilk or whey. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just to combine.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them nearly full. A slightly heaped muffin scoop of batter is the right amount. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with coarse sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.

Bake the muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean. 

Remove the muffins from the oven, and after 5 minutes (or when they're cool enough to handle) transfer them to a rack to cool. Serve warm, or at room temperature. 

Yield: 12 muffins.

Whole Grain Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Yes, that's right, I'm not done with pumpkin yet. In fact, I think pumpkin is something we should be using more frequently throughout the year, not just in the fall. It's healthy, cheap, and easy to use in so many different recipes, sweet


savory. Today I have for you a whole grain pumpkin muffin that uses whole wheat flour and oats mixed with the pumpkin and a bit of butter for richness. Lightly flavored with all those nice fall spices and a small bit of sugar for a little sweetness. I found these muffins to be a filling way to start my day in a hearty and healthy way and I think you will too.

Made with 100% whole wheat flour and some oats, these muffins live up to their whole grain name. But don't worry, they aren't dense and dry, the pumpkin along with some milk help keep them nice and moist. And there's a good amount of pumpkin in these which is how I like it, 3/4 cup for 6 muffins. If I'm going to add pumpkin to a baked good I want it to be a good amount, not this 1/4 cup for a whole loaf like you see in some recipes. 

There is not a whole lot of sugar in these, so if you like your muffins to be on the sweeter side I would add a bit more, but for me these are perfect. If you mix in a nice sweet add-in such as dried fruit or chocolate you probably won't notice anyway. 

Whole Grain Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Adapted from This Runner's Recips

  • 1/4 cup (20 grams) rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) milk
  • 1 c (4.5 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (7 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 cup add-ins (dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, etc.)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Place the oats and milk in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes to soften the oats. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the butternut squash puree, butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup, if using.

Stir the oat and milk mixture into dry ingredients. Form a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredient mixture. Lightly mix together being careful to not overmix. (If the batter seems too thick, you may add an additional tablespoon of milk to the batter.) 

Grease or line the cups of your muffin pans and divide the batter evenly amongst 6 tins. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the domes are peaked and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

Brown Sugar Cranberry Oat Muffins

These brown sugar cranberry oat muffins have been on the breakfast menu this past week, and it's been a wonderful week. If you haven't already noticed, I eat a lot of muffins, and this recipe was a winner. The muffins are chewy, buttery and sweet, and the flavor of the brown sugar really shines through as a perfect foil for the tart cranberries. The oats make them hearty and delicious. It is a wonderful combination. The only thing I didn't like about this recipe is that the muffins baked up quite flat. I love muffins with beautifully domed muffin tops, and these definitely did not deliver on that front, but I can forgive them because they are so tasty. With so many yummy oats in the recipe, it's probably difficult to add a lot of lift to the batter. But regardless of what they look like, these muffins are a wonderful hearty breakfast, and a great way to start the day. 

The original recipe called for crème fraîche, but that is not something I usually keep in the fridge. It sounds absolutely wonderful in these muffins, but I just went with some plain Greek yogurt instead. Maybe the muffins would dome a little more if I used the crème fraîche? But who knows. The yogurt worked just fine though. You could probably also use sour cream for a little bit richer muffin. I also cut back a little on the sugar and they were plenty sweet. I find that in most muffin recipes I can cut back on the sugar a little without any real change in the final product. 

Finally, I made 16 muffins out of this recipe like it said to do, but they didn't end up being huge. I think you could definitely make 12 if you wanted with no problem. Just a little bit bigger would be nice. 

Brown Sugar Cranberry Oat Muffins

Adapted from 

Williams Sonoma


  • 1 cup (5 ounces) white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cups (1.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 cups (180 grams) rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup (5 ounces) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 cup (I used 2 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries, roughly chopped


Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line 16 standard muffin cups with paper liners, or butter or oil the cups.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, stir together the oats, yogurt, milk and butter until combined. Add the eggs, then the brown sugar, and stir until combined. Gently stir the flour mixture into the oat mixture. Fold in the cranberries.

Fill the prepared muffin cups to the rims (~65 grams per cup). Sprinkle some oats over the muffins if desired. Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 21-23 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then unmold the muffins onto the rack and let cool slightly. 

Yields 16 muffins, approximately 191 calories each

Cranberry Apricot Bran Muffins

I know it's Wednesday and I have yet to post something this week. I try to post a new recipe every Sunday but a lot happened in the last week and over the weekend so I just didn't get around to it! Big news: I've moved! While I've been in med school, I've been living with my parents in the suburbs to help save a lot of money. It's been good, and it was a smart decision, but I reached a point where I felt like it was time for me to move out once and for all. To be honest, I wasn't even looking for an apartment but the perfect place kind of just fell into my lap. In 2 days I'd signed the lease and started moving in. I've been in my new place for only a couple of days now but I am loving it! While all of this has been going on I also started working nights for a couple of weeks so I am really all messed up, but it's okay, especially now that I have my own place to come home to. 

I hope to put up a post soon to show everyone my new place and give more details about how it all happened so fast. Until then however, these muffins will have to do. I love me a good bran muffin, especially one that is heavy and hearty and dense (in a good way). These muffins are just that. They are definitely branny, just how I like it. There is not a lot of sugar in them, so if you have a big sweet tooth you may want to add a bit more for your taste, either that or add in some sweeter fruit. I used cranberries and some frozen apricots that I had, both quite tart and not super sweet. Some nice ripe strawberries or blueberries would probably help up the sweetness if that is what you're looking for. But whatever you decide, these are a great, hearty way to start off any day on the right foot. 

A little butter, a little sugar, a lot of bran and a nice amount of fruit all come together perfectly in these little treats. The original recipe called for oil, but I decided to swap it out for some melted butter. Seemed to work out just fine. Butter just seemed more "right" in these so I just did it. But if you'd rather use oil go for it. This recipe also called for citrus zest, optional but I highly recommend it. I really like citrus zest in my baked goods, especially orange zest, it really adds a wonderful flavor and brightness. I didn't have an orange when I made these so I used some clementine zest instead which worked well. I don't think it has quite the punch as orange zest, but it worked well in a pinch. All in all these are a great way to start off your morning with a little treat that actually feels like breakfast and not dessert.

Cranberry Apricot Bran Muffins

Adapted from 

Smitten Kitchen's

 Blue Sky Bran Muffins


  • 1 1/3 cups (315 ml) buttermilk 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • Zest of 1 clementine (orange zest would be fine too), optional but highly recommended
  • 1 1/2 cups (90 grams) wheat bran
  • 1 cup (125 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2-4 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 3/4 to 1 cup chopped mixed fruit (I used frozen apricots and frozen cranberries)


Heat oven to 425 degrees F and coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Whisk buttermilk, egg, melted butter, brown sugar vanilla and clementine zest in a small bowl. Whisk bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Mix your fruit with 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir wet mixture into dry until partially mixed, then add in the fruit and continue to mix until just combined and still a bit rough.

Spoon batter into each prepared muffin cup. Sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining sugar to taste. 

Bake muffins for a total of 14 to 16 minutes, rotating pan once midway through baking time for even browning, until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Do not overbake. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from tin.

Yields: 10 muffins

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Muffins

Over the past year or so I have been doing more and more baking with fruit. Since I absolutely love fruit this really is a no-brainer. Any kind of fruit will do, I'm not picky. Due to the overwhelming number of banana bread/muffin/cake recipes out there I definitely end up using bananas most often. It doesn't hurt that they are cheap and freeze beautifully. But there are many other fruits that bake up well in recipes too. 

Today I'm sharing a simple yet wonderful cinnamon apple muffin recipe. The cinnamon apple combo is a pretty classic pairing, and it's easy to see why. The warming spiciness of cinnamon mixed with sweet and tart apples is a match made in heaven. I don't always like large chunks of apple in my baked goods, so instead of chopping it into pieces, I decided to grate it so it kind of melts into the batter and distributes evenly while still contributing it's apple-y sweetness. Add a little more spiciness with some nutmeg and allspice, and top the whole thing with a sweet buttery topping and you have a breakfast to be proud of. 

The original recipe called for coconut oil, so if that's your thing go for it, but I just used plain old vegetable oil. Next time I might even try melted butter, because why not? A blend of whole wheat and white flour gives the muffins a nice heartiness. I think some toasted walnuts of pecans would be a wonderful addition to these muffins as well. I guess I'll just have to make these again soon, what a problem to have!

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Muffins

Adapted from

Pinch of Yum


For the muffins:

  • 1 apple, grated
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon


To prep ingredients:  Add the vinegar to the milk and let it sit for a few minutes to let it curdle (or you can use real buttermilk instead). 

For the muffins: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, milk with vinegar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Stir until just combined. Fold in the apples. Scoop the mixture into a greased or lined muffin tin.

For the topping: Melt the butter for the topping. Add the sugar and cinnamon; spoon over the tops of the muffins. You only need a little bit to get the crunchy top effect, but if you love those crunchy cinnamon sugar tops, I'd suggest making twice or three times as much topping as what's listed here.

Bake the muffins for 15-16 minutes, more or less by a few minutes depending on size. The muffins should be golden brown with big round tops that spring back when you press them.

Cranberry Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Muffins

It may be January, but I have one last Christmas-y recipe to share. I am a big gingerbread fan (as you could probably already tell from the  Gingerbread Bundt Cake I made for my big family Christmas party) but it seems to be something that is only eaten at Christmas, so I have to try and fit in as many different recipes during December as I can. Since I'm such a huge muffin fan I couldn't resist a gingerbread muffin of course. I decided to fill it with dark chocolate and fresh cranberries, one of my favorite combinations. Along with some molasses, spices and a little butter, this blend of flavors packs the perfect punch of flavor that can be enjoyed all winter long. 

Nothing fancy in this recipe, just a lot of nice add in's and spices that can be customized to your tastes. Don't have any fresh cranberries, how about dried cranberries? Or dried cherries for that matter. Try switching out the dark chocolate with some white chocolate, or skip the chocolate + fruit combination and throw in some cinnamon chips. Whatever you like and have on hand. That's what I love so much about muffins, they are so easy to adapt. So go ahead, have some fun!

Cranberry Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Muffins

Adapted from 

Sweet Phi


  • ½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted (I've also replaced 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt and they still turn out great!)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon all spice
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with liners. 

In a microwave safe bowl microwave butter for 30 seconds, then remove from microwave and add milk, molasses, egg and vanilla. Whisk until combined, it's ok if there are a few lumps.

In another bowl add all dry ingredients except the cranberries and chocolate. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir a few times, then add the cranberries and chocolate, mixing until everything is just combined, don't over-mix. Spoon batter into muffin liners. Bake for 15-18 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool.

Yields: I got 10 medium sized muffins

Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

I am a complete morning person. I love waking up early and getting my workout out of the way first thing in the morning. Then it's time for breakfast, one of my favorite parts of the day. Relaxing over a mug of coffee and some sort of baked good along with some fruit or a fruit smoothy. It doesn't get much better than that. I hate having to rush around in the morning shoving some breakfast down as I walk out the door, it just doesn't cut it for me. This means I always have something in my freezer, most often muffins or slices of a quickbread, ready and waiting for me. All I have to do is pull one out the night before and I'm done, ready for the next day. 

Last week the freezer was running a little low on baked goods so I decided it was time for some pumpkin muffins. Sometimes I go all out and bake something rich and decadent, but this time I decided to go with something on the healthier side and I baked up these spiced pumpkin muffins with oats. I really liked how they turned out, moist and full of spicy fall flavors. They are hearty and dense, most definitely not decadent, but a wonderful way to start a cold fall morning off right. 

These muffins are definitely not sweet, but they are incredibly moist and flavorful. If you're looking for something a little sweeter, I would advise adding some chopped chocolate or some dried fruit (cranberries or raisins, etc.), or even increasing the sugar a bit, there isn't much in them as written. I don't mind this at all, but others might need a bit more sweetness to really be happy. But give them a try and see what you think. Play around with the recipe and make it your own. I do that all the time, and it makes baking even more fun!

Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

Adapted from 

Ambitious Kitchen


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 cup (8 oz) canned pumpkin 
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tin with paper cups or spray with nonstick spray. If you use muffin cups, make sure to spray the inside of the cups.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and a pinch of nutmeg; whisk again.

In a separate large bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, egg whites, applesauce, oil, and vanilla; mixing until smooth. Slowly whisk in milk.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix! Bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean. Cool for approximately 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to finish cooling.

Yields: 12 muffins