Muffins are my favorite: moist and soft but not too sweet, with a lot of spice and fruit in them. On my big drive to Oakland last year, I stopped at all the vegan bakeries I could find to try out their muffins, usually the blueberry if they had it. While bakery muffins are often more of an unfrosted cupcake, there were definitely some winners.
These are sweet but not overpoweringly so, and the sweetness comes mostly from apple butter (homemade by my little sister Tiegen) and an oat-brown sugar topping. The apple butter gives them a beautiful nutty brown color and a lot of flavor that is complemented by warm, aromatic cardamom and ginger rather than the expected cinnamon.
The apple butter also reduces the need for a ton of oil to keep these moist, so these end up being pretty healthy for you. To make them even healthier, substitute a third of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry.
For bakery-high muffins, a high heat sets the tops and then is turned down to finish cooking. Another tip to ensure high tops: fill the muffin tins to the top.
- 1 1/4 cup soy or almond milk
- 1 T lemon juice)
- 2 T flaxmeal
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 apple diced (1 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup apple butter
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 T rolled oats
- 3 T brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. To leave space for the large tops of the muffins to grow, grease every other mold in two muffin tins (up to nine molds) as well as the top of the tins. Lightly flour the molds and shake out the excess.
- Combine the ingredients for the streusel in a small bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together the milk, lemon juice, and flax meal in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cardamom, sugar, and diced apple.
- Add the maple syrup, oil, and vanilla extract to the milk mixture and whisk until combined. Add the mixture to the dry and gently mix just until incorporated. Don't overmix: some streaks of flour are what you are looking for; just make sure to break up large chunks of flour and get the flour off the bottom of the bowl.
- Scoop batter into every other mold in the muffin tins and fill to the top. Sprinkle with streusel.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F. Lower the heat to 375°F and bake for another 15 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tins and then remove and let cool on a wire rack.