a balanced plate with room for dessert


Mini Vegan Apple Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins

These doughnut muffins are adorable. I mean, how can anything this small not be cute? They’re also dangerously addictive. And since they’re so small, it’s really easy to eat a lot of them in a short amount of time. Thank goodness that these are a bit healthier than the traditional fried doughnut!

Mini Vegan Apple Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins |

I think next time I might try stuffing these little bites with some raspberry preserves to recreate one of my guilty pleasures: jelly filled doughnuts.

Mini Vegan Apple Cinnamon Donut Muffins |

Mini Vegan Apple Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins
makes 24 muffins

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

for the cinnamon sugar topping:
2 tablespoons vegan butter substitute (I used Smart Balance)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, and cinnamon.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together applesauce, oil, sugar, and almond milk until well combined. Pour mixture into dry ingredients and whisk until well combined.
  4. Fill your prepared mini muffin tins 2/3 – 3/4 full with batter. Bake for about 18 – 20 minutes, or until a light golden color.
  5. During the last couple minutes of baking, melt your butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Combine your sugar and cinnamon in a separate small bowl.
  6. Once the muffins are done, dip the top of the muffin in the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Place on a wire rack and repeat with remaining muffins.

Tip: I used a toothpick to pick up the muffin, dunk it in the butter, and then roll it in the sugar. It saved my hands from getting burned and it was a little neater than using my fingers.

recipe slightly adapted from Milk Free Mom


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Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins

Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins |

A cup of coffee is definitely not the best part of waking up. At least not for me. These muffins, though? These muffins are worth waking up for. I am cranberry-obsessed. I seriously cannot get enough of this tangy fruit. I need to make a mental note to stock up on the fresh berries while they’re available so I can hoard them in my freezer and use them throughout the year (and not just during the holidays). If you’re searching for some easy brunch ideas for your holiday gatherings, give these muffins a try!

Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins |

Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins
makes 12 muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons orange zest (from about 4 large oranges)
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (from about 4 large oranges)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a muffin tin or line with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in orange juice, canola oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix by hand for 5 seconds or until wet and dry ingredients just start to come together. Add in cranberries and walnuts and continue to mix until ingredients are just moistened, being careful not to overmix.
  3. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until muffins are lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.


recipe slightly adapted from Post Punk Kitchen


Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

Lightened Up Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins |

I’m a cookbook junkie. I have shelves and shelves of cookbooks of all different types. I seriously love them. I honestly love just having them – I don’t cook a lot from them. In fact, most of my cookbooks get looked at once, maybe twice a year. As always, there are exceptions. Baked: New Frontiers in Baking is my most recent purchase and I’m obsessed with it. Every single dish I’ve made from it has been amazing. If you don’t own this book, I beg you – BUY IT!

Now, these muffins… so so good. In fact, I made these about 2 months ago for some friends. They were gobbled up before I even got a chance to take a photo for the blog. Thankfully, these muffins are also very easy to make and really tasty so I didn’t mind having to make these again! In fact, I whipped these up before heading to work on Friday. It only took about 20 minutes of prep time and another 20 for baking. I  made a few adjustments so they would be a bit healthier and I loved how they turned out!

Lightened Up Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins |

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
very slightly adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

3 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (6 – 7 medium – large bananas)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup skim milk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
3 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2-12 cup muffin pans with liners or grease with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together bananas, sugar, brown sugar, butter, applesauce,  milk, and eggs.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, instant coffee, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Fill prepared muffin cups with batter, filling each one 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing the muffins and placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.


Banana Crumb Muffins

Mike had 3 bananas that were too brown and soft to eat, so I turned them into banana crumb muffins.

banana crumb muffin

Banana Crumb Muffins
adapted from

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups or line with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture and walnuts into the flour mixture until just moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

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Apple Strudel Muffins

I bought 10 pounds of granny smith apples to bake a caramel apple pie and only used up a quarter of them. With the rest, I made applesauce and these muffins! I don’t know why I didn’t take pictures of the pie or applesauce, but I did manage to remember to snap a photo of the muffins.

apple strudel muffins

Apple Strudel Muffins
yields 12 muffins

–For the muffin
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped apples

–For the strudel topping
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Thoroughly grease a 12 cup muffin pan or use liners.
  2. In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in the vanilla. Stir in the apples and then gradually blend in the flour mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.
  4. For the strudel topping: mix the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse crumb. Sprinkle the topping over the batter in the muffin pans.
  5. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to rest for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove muffins from the pan to cooling racks and allow to cool completely.


Cranberry Orange Muffins

I made these muffins Saturday night and Sunday night – they were just that good!

cranberry orange muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins
yields 16 muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons orange marmalade
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, or both!)
4 tablespoons sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix the flour, brown sugar, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the milk, orange juice, oil, and egg into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.
  4. Stir in the cranberries and marmalade. The marmalade blends in more easily if placed in dollops around the batter instead of in one huge mass.
  5. Fill the muffin cups up 2/3 full or 3/4 full for more “top-heavy” muffins.
  6. Mix the pecans and sugar in a separate bowl and then sprinkle on top of the muffins.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

I find lining the muffin cups with liners makes cleanup a bit easier, but I would recommend that you don’t use them because I think the texture of the muffin turns out better without a liner. Either way, they are delicious!