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« Persimmon Cake | Main | Maple Roasted Chickpeas »
Sunday
Nov252012

Gingerbread Muffins

Gingerbread Muffins

There are thousands of years of history in my spice cupboard. Wars were fought, enemies were made, and tenuous relationships with countries were strained over simple ingredients like cinnamon and nutmeg. It is hard for me to imagine that spices were worth more than gold at one time, creating a spice trade that drove the economy of ancient civilizations for hundreds of years. India was (and is) the greatest producer of spices in the world, producing a whopping 86% of the world's spices.

Sometimes I like to remind myself that the act of opening my under-stocked spice cupboard would have been like discovering a treasure chest to the wealthy of the past. This simple thought makes me feel incredibly affluent.

Gingerbread Muffins

Truth be told, I was never really into spices growing up. Salt was the only spice I wanted (or needed), and I sprinkled it on my plain, buttered noodles. My picky eating habits didn't leave space for adventure and variety. It was years until I was ready to put a little pepper on my macaroni and cheese (and years further until I was ready to accept more foreign flavors). While I like to think that my tastes have outgrown the bland choices of my youth, plain, buttered noodles are still a part of my regular diet.

Perhaps we never completely outgrow our past.

Gingerbread Muffins

The one place I don't mind a little extra spice is in baking (surprise, surprise, I know). I look forward to autumn and winter each year for an excuse to put warm, cozy spices—cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves—into everything I eat. Gingerbread is perhaps the most spiced food I have made in a long, long time. When I was looking around at various recipes, I noticed a major commonality between them all. They all use ground ginger. Since I have never made anything gingerbread before, I had assumed they all included fresh ginger, straight from the root, and I was disappointed to find out otherwise. How could it truly be considered gingerbread without using the (easily accessibly) fresh version?

When I went out to create these gingerbread muffins, I made certain to use fresh ginger. And I think it makes all the difference in the world.

Gingerbread Muffins

Gingerbread muffins make for a lovely addition to a cold, frosted morning. The muffins are spiced with the classic fall flavors along with a good dose of freshly grated ginger and a pinch of black pepper. Molasses harmonizes with the heavy spices, creating a muffin that doesn't require any add-ins to feel special. A simple spread of butter is all these muffins need to round out breakfast.

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Granola Bars
Two Years Ago: "Please Sir, Can I Have S'more?" Cupcakes and Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme

Gingerbread Muffins

Yields 10-12 muffins

1/4 cup (60 ml) dark molasses
1/3 cup (70 grams) dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup (115 grams) sour cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a muffin tin with baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the molasses, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in the egg. Mix in the sour cream until uniform. Stir in the baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. Fold in the flour until just incorporated.

Fill baking cups 2/3 full and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm with a pat of butter.

Reader Comments (30)

If our cupboards could talk - the stories they'd tell! These gingerbread muffins look mighty appealing at this time of afternoon with breakfast a long ago memory... If I wasn't at work, I'd be in my kitchen making these right now.
This is one of my all time favorite flavours!
Just discovered your wonderful blog! Looking forward to searching through the posts!
11.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterYael
These muffins look absolutely delicious. I've just posted about how I'm not keen on traditional Christmas baking (fruit cake, plum pudding etc) but I absolutely love anything with ginger in it. Gorgeous moody photos too.
11.26.2012 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf
Your writing makes my day so much better! This blog has such a unique style, can't wait to try these out!
11.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessi
If I do not have dark molasses what can I use? Thank you very much!
11.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaria
Maria-- There really is no substitute for molasses in this recipe because it is such a huge component of flavor. You could try leaving it out and adding an equal amount of buttermilk instead, but it will not taste like gingerbread at all. If you cannot find it in your local grocery store, I suggest ordering it online--it's cheap and a great ingredient to fill the pantry.
11.26.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I have never heard of using fresh grated ginger in gingerbread. It makes sense, bt I've never seen it in a gingerbread recipe before. I'm going to have to try this during my holiday baking marathon I plan to have :P
These look so good! What do you think about substituting yogurt for sour cream to lighten them a bit?
Ashley-- That would work just fine! I'd suggest using a plain, Greek yogurt for best results.
11.27.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
So great that you used fresh ginger in these muffins. I love ginger and gingerbread! It's funny, I love many spices, but I really don't like salt and almost never use it.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Dembowski
Thanks for sharing this one ;)
11.29.2012 | Unregistered Commenterisra
I made these last night and they are delicious. My 6-year-old has asked me to keep putting them in his lunches until they're all gone. So, until tomorrow, then, at the rate I'm eating them. I'm thinking I'm going to have to whip up a few extra batches to have in the freezer for when we have guests over during the holidays. So nice to have the gingerbread flavour without feeling like I'm eating a slice of cake.
11.29.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
I made these for my boys for breakfast this morning, huge hit! Thanks!
12.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKalli
Oh man I am def gonna have to make this. Is molases like maple syrup??
12.8.2012 | Unregistered Commentershauna
Shauna-- Molasses is very much its own flavor and it's not like maple syrup, but it does have a similiar consistency. There really is no substitute for molasses in this recipe because it is such a huge component of flavor. If suggest looking for it in the baking aisle of your local grocery store. If you can't find it there, I suggest ordering it online--it's cheap and a great ingredient to add to your pantry
12.8.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
If you do not have fresh ginger to use, how much of the ginger spice would you add? I really want to make these muffins!!
01.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca
Rebecca-- 1 teaspoon ground ginger should do the trick!
01.19.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I love the idea of using fresh ginger and molasses and they look wonderfully spicy. I was going to make them using my usual half white/half whole wheat flour but then I noticed there is only ONE cup of flour. Can this be right? I would have expected at least 2 cups for 10-12 muffins. Waiting,drooling...
01.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDebby
Debby-- Yes, the measurements are correct! There is only 1 cup of flour in these muffins. The sour cream and molasses help to thicken the batter and provide a lot of flavor without a lot of flour. If you give these a try, please share your thoughts! We would love to hear from you.
01.26.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Thank you so much for getting back to me and so quickly! I'm preheating the oven now....
01.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDebby
this is a very nice recipe!thank u so much for sharing.. ;)
01.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenternkelly03
Would it be possible to use blackstrap molasses but in a smaller quantity?
02.19.2013 | Unregistered Commenterybo
Just wondering where in the world you got that adorable muffin tin? LOVE this and they look yummy!
04.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSara
Sara-- It is actually a vintage muffin tin that was bought at a flea market. Sorry I can't be more helpful than that!
04.21.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
If you're looking for a substitute for Molasses you might try golden syrup. It will definitely change the flavour of the muffins (golden syrup is less intense) but they should still be very tasty.
05.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh
I really want to make this gingerbread recipe, but do you think it will work in a loaf pan if I up the baking time?
12.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke
Brooke-- I don't see why not!
12.6.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
How do you prevent cupcakes or muffins from sticking to liner? Thanks
02.8.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
Just made these muffins for guys working in the house for coffee break. Delicious! I substituted plain Greek yoghurt for the sour cream. Nice crust, depth of flavour and texture. This is definitely a keeper. Thank you!
03.14.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPippa

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