These muffins are so good that no one will guess that they are made of wholewheat (atta) or even they have pumpkin in them! This is a great way of getting this vitamin-A rich vegetable into your diet.
I use this recipe as a make-ahead breakfast for those extra busy mornings (don’t we all have those sometimes?). Kids will look forward to this as a school snack. You can also try it for picnic meals and high tea. And since it has all kinds of nutritious ingredients, you can be indulgent and have an extra piece! More about how you can also make it in the form of a cake below.
If you are wondering, yes, you can use maida instead of atta. You just need to add an extra 1/2 cup for this recipe. However, do note that atta is much healthier than maida.
The Making of the Pumpkin Muffin
You will need a flour sifter/ sieve to mix up the dry ingredients. The mesh needs to be larger than the one for maida since the flour particles are coarser. You can use a soup strainer for the purpose. Do not skip this step and try to do it three times for uniform distribution of the spices, baking powder, etc. with the flour. It will take just 5 minutes.
If you don’t have a sieve, then put the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix them thoroughly.
I used 1 cup of cream that I had collected from boiled milk, as the fat for the recipe. You may have read about this tip in this post. I defrosted it a day before. You can instead use 3/4 cups of either oil or butter, of course.
Sugar and Eggs
I chose brown sugar as it is again a healthier option. If you have access to coconut sugar (lucky thing!) you can use that too. Use standard-sized eggs.
Pumpkin and Coconut
Grate the pumpkin with the help of a food processor or a vegetable grater. Doing this manually is actually a great exercise for tummy and arm muscles, so you might want to give that a try.
You can substitute a portion of the pumpkin for carrots to bring in an interesting colour. In fact this recipe works just fine with only carrots too.
The coconut is optional. If you have desiccated coconut, grate it and use it directly. If you have access to fresh coconut, grate it, lightly toast it till it gives off a good aroma and then use it.
Muffin Moulds and Cake Tins
Muffin moulds are available in various sizes. But don’t worry if you do not have one. You can make these pumpkin muffins in small steel bowls successfully. Even if you do not line them with paper cups, the muffin will slip out with a bit of help if you grease and dust the tins properly before baking in them.
If I’m running short on time, I bake the wholewheat pumpkin muffin batter in a “Bundt tin” (that is shaped like a doughnut). This saves me the effort of pouring the batter into many small muffin moulds.
With this recipe, you will get 18 large sized muffins or 24 medium sized ones. If you do a mix and match like I did, you will get a medium sized bundt cake and 12 medium sized muffins.
Pro Tip: Always remember to leave at least 1/3rd space in the tin for the cake to rise. Otherwise you will have a mess in the oven because the batter rise and spill over the edges. If you have some batter left over, grease and dust another tin instead of adding it to existing moulds.
The regular hot air oven, round oven, or what we call the OTG is used for this purpose. You can use a microwave oven only if you have the convection mode in it. Read about the differences and which oven you should get before you actually buy one.
For those who do not have an oven, don’t lose heart! I have baked cakes right on my stove, in an old pressure cooker with sand in it. I’ll write about that soon. Baking should be something all have access to, and lack of an oven is merely a way to get creative!
The muffins/cake can be eaten warm, without any decoration/icing. But there are things you can do to blow people away with the minimum effort. Once the muffin/cake is cool:
a. You could simply sprinkle some powdered sugar on the cake/muffins with the help of a fine meshed strainer. It will look very elegant.
b. You can drizzle the cake/muffins with some glace icing. It is super simple to make. You just have to add 1/2 tsp of water to 1/2 cup of icing sugar and mix well. Add more icing sugar if it looks too watery. Drizzle over the cake with a teaspoon. That’s it!
c. Purely optional but worth the effort is a second drizzle of golden salted caramel syrup. Keep a bottle of this ready in your fridge to raise the level of all your desserts.
d. Choose any other topping! Drizzle chocolate syrup! Yum! Or a bit of honey. What about a scoop of ice cream?
Wholewheat Pumpkin MuffinsCourse: Breakfast, SnacksDifficulty: Medium
These muffins are quick, healthy and will have people coming back for more. The flavours of dry ginger and spices add to the mystique of this wholesome, soft and pleasing preparation.
2 cups grated pumpkin
4 cups wholewheat flour (atta)
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cups butter or oil
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp powdered ginger or 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp allspice or garam masala powder
1 cup grated desiccated coconut or toasted fresh coconut, (optional)
FOR DECORATION: (Optional)
Glace icing made with 1/2 cup icing sugar and 1/2 tsp water;
Salted Caramel/ Chocolate Syrup;
Any of your favourite toppings
- Sift atta, baking powder, baking soda, salt, dry ginger powder and spice powder together, using a sifter/soup strainer, 3 times. If you don’t have a sifter, ensure you mix them all up thoroughly in a large bowl.
- Whisk the brown sugar and butter/oil/collected cream together for around 3-5 minutes. Break in the eggs. Whisk gently.
- Add half the flour mixture. Add milk. Mix using a large spatula or spoon.
- Stir in the grated pumpkin. Add the coconut if using.
Now add the rest of the flour mixture.
- Bake at 180℃ for 20 minutes. The cakes will take longer. You can check by inserting a clean toothpick in the centre of a muffin/cake. If it is clean, and bit of wet batter is not stuck on it, it can be take n out.
The muffins will get done before the cakes, so take them out first.
- When you are able to handle it, unmould the muffins/ cakes. Cool on wire racks.
- Decorate the muffin/cake (optional) and serve.
You can sprinkle powdered sugar and/or drizzle your chosen decoration on it.
For glace icing, stir in 1/2 tsp water into half a cup of icing sugar. The icing should be thick enough to pour but not watery. Adjust it by adding a little bit of water or icing sugar till you feel satisfied
- Cool the cake on wire racks, do not let them stay in the tins/moulds to cool.
- Serve the pumpkin muffins with fruits, custard or ice cream to add a fun variation.