It’s a sad day when pumpkin spice lattes disappear off coffee shop menus once it becomes January. To me, pumpkin is good any time of the year, which is why I whipped up this pumpkin muffin. To kick things up a notch, I decided to use spices found in chai tea like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and a little bit of black pepper. Originally, I was brainstorming a chai spiced carrot muffin, and then decided to throw in an opened can of pumpkin that I used in a recipe earlier that week.
The grated carrot gives a nice contrast to the texture of the muffin, and the spices add a slightly spicy, warm flavor. With the recent polar vortex we’ve had, any food that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside is a winner, just like these muffins! A sprinkling of turbinado sugar makes the top crunchy and wonderful. If you wanted, you could probably throw the batter in a loaf pan, bake it into a bread, and call it a day, but everything tastes better in muffin form. There’s nuffin’ like a muffin, am I right? Ok I’m done with bad rhymes now, I promise. Ciao!
Chai Spiced Pumpkin Carrot Muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup carrots, grated
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 12-cup standard muffin tin.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper. In another bowl, stir together the pumpkin, carrots, butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla until blended. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with turbinado sugar. Bake 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one muffin comes out clean. Let cool slightly before removing from pan to a wire rack.
Makes: 18 muffins