BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Muffin Mayhem

32 Comments

Considering how many people talk about the dreaded “freshman 15,” you would have to assume that there’s actually good food to be found in college, right? Well, maybe on some campuses, but that’s certainly not the issue here. No matter the time of day, trips to the dining hall prove futile, yielding a wilted salad of pale greens and perhaps a few sad slices of cucumber, but little more. Despite their desire to be vegan-friendly, the dining services are anything but, and I’ve been forced to scavenge for meals elsewhere. Of course, I’m sure it’s been obvious by my lack of food posts that this quest could hardly be considered successful by a long shot. Lacking either ingredients or equipment to cook with, baking has been a pipe dream, since regular cooking has been about as easy as performing brain surgery with a dull sewing needle.

Hungry not only for the finished product but for the process that I find so soothing, the alchemy of turning flour and sugar into delicious works of art, even the most impossible odds couldn’t prevent me from trying to bake for long. Smuggling out some ripe bananas from the cafeteria one day, I realized that I could finally scrape something edible together, provided those unreliable ovens in the dorm would cooperate. Starting with a basic banana muffin recipe from VegWeb, it wasn’t long before the mad baker in me was tinkering around again, not content to leave well enough alone even with the barest minimum of ingredients on hand. Luckily, when I saw that the batter was mixing up into a somewhat dry concrete-like substance, I happened to have a jar of pumpkin butter on hand, and a delicious new recipe was born, just like that.

Rising to the challenge both figuratively and literally, the perfect mountains of batter gave me hope for the dismal dining situation. Sure, banana bread has been done a million times in a million different ways so I could hardly say this is anything to write home about, but after such a severe deficit of baked goods, just one bite made a whole month of miserly meals worth swallowing. With just a bit of ingenuity, patience, and a whole lot of sugar, perhaps this arrangement can still work after all… And considering the note that was left on my door after sharing these around the dorm, it seems that the other girls think so, too.

Banana Pumpkin Spice Muffins

2 Ripe Bananas
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Canola Oil
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2/3 Cup Pumpkin Butter

Rolled Oats
Cinnamon

*This makes a small batch since I don’t have tons of pans with me, so I got 6 standard muffins and 4 minis, but feel free to double this to make more than a dozen. Also, I can’t say that this oven is completely trust worthy since there’s no internal thermometer, so I would just keep a close eye on your muffins while they bake.

Preheat you oven to 350 degrees and either line a muffin tin with papers or coat it with cooking spray.

Mash your bananas thoroughly and add in the sugar and oil, stirring to combine. Toss in the cinnamon, salt, both flours, baking powder and soda all at once, and mix just enough to moisten all of the dry ingredients, but there’s no need to be too thorough. Finally, add in the pumpkin butter and stir that well, being careful not to over-mix. The resulting batter should be rather thick.

Spoon the batter into your prepared tins, mounding it up generously in the centers. Sprinkle oats and cinnamon on top as desired, and bake for 15 – 25 minutes until golden brown, and a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack and enjoy.

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

32 thoughts on “Muffin Mayhem

  1. That’s exactly why I got my money back for the meal plan last year at college – there was nothing edible in the the cafeteria!!! These muffins, however, hopefully make up for the lack-of-food on campus for you!! the pumpkin butter is a lovely addition to these banana muffins – perfect for autumn!! yum!!

  2. Aw what a nice and cute note they left you. :) The muffins look delicious! I want to try making banana muffins with nut butter now!

  3. i love that you have muffin pans at school. i bet the gals on your floor think you are a domestic goddess.

  4. Those lucky girls on your floor! ;) These look divine, Hannah. Especially on this cool, sunny morning. Hmmm – pumpkin butter. I have been hearing that around a lot lately and will have to look into that.

  5. Yummmm, those look good!

    My freshman fifteen were due to the only veg*n options in the cafeteria and snack shop being fried foods. I moved off campus and started throwing dinner parties for my friends who were dissatisfied with the cafeteria too. Another group of girls talked the college into giving them credit for a home eceonomics experiment where they lived in a small house on campus and did all their own budgeting/shopping/cooking/cleaning. The best part was that the money for food came from the food plan they had already bought.

  6. Sounds yummy! Cafeteria food isn’t very good at college; I’m glad you were able to make something good for yourself :)

    What a nice note from the girls in your dorm!

  7. aww, what a sweet note! those muffins look really yummy. : )

    on a different note, i LOST ten to fifteen pounds my freshman year. turns out i was exercising way more than at home and i could only handle so much junky food.

  8. Hannah your muffins look and sound wonderful, but what is pumpkin butter? Not a product I’ve heard of in New Zealand!

  9. Those muffins sound so tasty!

  10. Yummy! I wish I had a jar of pumpkin butter lying around, those look good… and I do have bananas!

  11. I almost forgot, no need to seek out pumpkin butter, Hannah actually has a recipe right here on Bittersweet – http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/2006/10/08/spread-it-on-thick/.

  12. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …….. that must beeeee yummyyy

  13. For the record, if you get one of those plug in sandwich press thingies… the kind that turn your sandwiches into triangle turnover things… you can totally bake muffins in them. We had no ovens, but I had one of those and a hot pot, and somehow managed to get by.

  14. those muffins look delicious!

  15. Wow! I wish I lived near you in college! No one I knew baked or cooked so well! Banana bread creations are the absolute best.

  16. :lol While a professed carnivore, it’s not any better for us on college campuses (at least not while I was there…). I believe my freshman (and sophmore, junior and senior) 15 came from the fact that while technically edible, the food had no flavor. Therefore, my stomach was full, but I wasn’t satisfied. This led to major over eating, searching for _something_. I wouldn’t even dream of trying to be ‘vegitarian’ let alone totally vegan on most college campuses. I wish you much luck. Those muffins do look yummy though… even if I can’t eat them. (stupid food allergies making it so you can’t eat the really yummy, and good for you even!, stuff.)

  17. Your muffins look gorgeous!

    paola

  18. Woo… spiced muffins. They sure look delicious. Yum yum..

  19. We just made the recipe and it’s delicious – we used the Williams Sonoma pecan pumpkin butter that they sell seasonally and they tasted great. I would definitely say the muffins should go in for 20-25 minutes though, at 15 they were still goo in the middle, and at 23, when I took them out, they were still a tad soft. Great recipe, thanks!

  20. I stumbled upon your blog because of the crochet patterns months ago. I just made this recipe last night – it’s the first one of yours I’ve tried. These were delicious!! Thanks so much!

  21. yeah tell me about it… Our cafeteria is horrible but i’m lucky cause A it’s christmas break and B i go to community college and there’s a great veg restaurant like 10 minutes away with lots of yummy vegan options… including the best chocolate chip cookies or chocolate cake ever… However I can’t chew anything for 6 weeks so i’ve just been living on rice protein shakes for the past 2… and eeew

  22. oh and your muffins look and sound incredible of course…

  23. Hannah

    I just made these. Delicious. Thank-you.

  24. Hi Hannah –

    I’ve made these three times since I first saw the recipe. Everyone loves them. And now that pumpkin butter is back at Trader Joe’s I can make them more often. Thanks so much for the recipe. Can’t wait for you new book!

    Emily

  25. Going to make these this weekend. I have an open jar of pumpkin butter waiting to be used!

  26. MMMM I made these tonight (only change: I use all whole wheat flour), and they are FANTASTIC! Such big moist heavenly muffiny pieces of goodness!

  27. Hannah! It’s Anna, you may remember me when you visit Barbara. I am going vegan for lent and I have been craving sweetness for the last two weeks! Thankfully, I found this recipe and now I’ll never go sweetless again :)
    I made the muffins tonight.. except I realized a little too late that I didn’t have a muffin pan… so they became banana pumpkin bread haha but they were seriously amazing and even though I doubled the recipe, they were eaten within an hour by my hallmates and I. I look forward to trying other recipes from My Sweet Vegan, Thanks!!

  28. Wow the muffin looks nice and delicious.Will try out the recipe soon… :)

  29. Pingback: Thanksgiving Treats « Another One Bites The Crust

  30. so generous of you to share!! they sound delicious, love the pumpkin butter addition :)

  31. Yum I can’t wait to try these, and to make the pumpkin butter first!

  32. Man, you think things would have changed for vegan students in the 21st century! Good for you for not letting the tofurkeys get you down!

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