Gingerbread Muffins

The Recipe: There's so much to love about these quick and easy muffins. That deep molasses sweetness, just like hot squares of fresh gingerbread. That they're low-fat and low-calorie (thanks to half the butter in typical muffin recipes) yet still keep a moist and delicate crumb. Plus, they're made in a flash with a few pantry ingredients. But most of all, they just taste good. What's NOT to love?

The Conversation: Waking early on Saturdays to make muffins.

BZZZZZZ. The alarm buzzed with insistence until groping fingers located the snooze button. Still half-asleep, my mind began to sketch out a typical busy Saturday. Exercise! I promised. Then stops at the grocery, the shoe man, the car wash. A birthday present for a friend, flowers for a neighbor with cancer.

I checked the weather with just-opened eyes. The sky was unmistakably threatening, the wind unseasonably fierce. Was it February or almost June? Those sounded like blizzard winds!

Muffins! I thought. Postponing the day’s busy-ness, I jumped from bed and headed for the kitchen where I knew the pickings were slim. What about that recipe for gingerbread muffins, a family hand-me-down? Surely those few ingredients were on hand?

Thirty minutes later, warm muffins and hot coffee were on the table. Ah, there’s nothing better than a busy Saturday kicked off by muffins-as-motivation.

ALANNA'S TIPS The batter will be quite thin, don't worry, it will bake up just fine. The method of mixing the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients is unorthodox but I've used it successfully with cookies and quick breads for many years. If you like, however, stir the dry ingredients separately before adding to the butter-molasses mixture.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite muffin recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Share it via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. Never miss a Kitchen Parade recipe: Sign up for a free e-mail subscription. How to print a recipe on Kitchen Parade. If you like Kitchen Parade, forward this recipe to a friend who might too!

GINGERBREAD MUFFINS

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes for mini muffins, 40 for regular muffins
Makes 24 mini muffins or 12 regular muffins

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place water and butter in a small microwave dish (such as a Pyrex measuring cup). Heat in microwave in ten-second increments until water boils and butter melts.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg well in a mixing bowl. Add sugar and molasses and mix well. Add water and butter mixture and stir well. Add remaining ingredients. Without touching the wet mixture below, lightly stir together the dry ingredients to combine, then stir them into the wet mixture until just combined. (Over-stirring the wet and dry mixtures will create holes in the baked muffins.) Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for 10 minutes for mini muffins and 20 minutes for regular muffins. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Mini Muffin/Regular Muffin or Two Mini Muffins: 57/114 Calories; 2/4g Tot Fat; 1/3g Sat Fat; 13/27mg Cholesterol; 94/189mg Sodium; 9/18g Carb; 0g Fiber; 1/2g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS: WW Old Points 1/2, WW PointsPlus 2.5/3.
Adapted from my cousin Diane's muffin recipe published in our family cookbook

LATER NOTES
ADDING FRUIT For a recent batch, I stirred finely chopped dried apricots into the batter. Yummy! Currants or raisins would work too. (2009)
MY APOLOGIES Weight Watchers who count points, my apologies. A careful reader, Sabina, questioned the point calculation for this muffin recipe. I re-calculated the points and sure enough, using the system I use now for calculating points versus the one I used back in 2003 when this recipe was first published, the calculations turned out much different. This is reflected in the new Nutrition Information you find above. (2014)
This column was originally published in print in 2003 and published online for the first time in 2009.

A Menu: Weekend Breakfast

~ Hot Coffee ~
Alex's French Eggs
Baked Bacon
Gingerbread Muffins (recipe above)

more breakfast recipes

More Breakfast Specialties

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My Mom's Pancakes Mexican Gashouse Eggs Five-Week Bran Muffins

More Family Recipes - Thanks, Everybody!

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Maple-Glazed Salmon Nana's Cucumbers Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake
~ more family & reader recipes ~

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I have never made any type of gingerbread before, but it seems logical that it would have some type of ginger in it? (Powdered?)

I don't see ginger listed in this recipe...
 
I'm a little surprised there is no "ginger" in the gingerbread muffins. Is this a typo?
 
Hi Lotus & Anonymous, How funny, I'd not noticed that there's no ginger. For these muffins, the 'gingerbread' taste comes from the molasses. That said, if you'd prefer to use ground ginger to substitute for cinnamon, feel free, I think it would be excellent!
 
I don't like to mix wet and dry ing. separately, so I've come up with a slightly different solution. I add the salt, baking soda or powder, cocoa powder, etc to the wet ingredients first and mix well, and then add the flour and mix enough to combine. That way, the leavening and flavorings are distributed throughout, and the flour doesn't get overmixed. Easy and one fewer dish!
 
I had to double-check twice to check the date - somehow I associate anything 'gingerbready' with Christmas, you see :)
Lovely-sounding muffins, Alanna!!!
 
Alanna, I know you don't "guarantee" your weight watchers points calculations, but when I add up the points in the recipe I get 27 which would be 2 points per regular sized muffin. Am I missing something? Thanks for all the wonderful recipes.
 
Aiii, numbers are funny, aren't they? I suspect that our different techniques yield different results, more likely to happen when the point values are on the cusp. With your way, adding up the points for each ingredient, the natural consequence is to accumulate more points. The software that I use adds calories, fat grams and fiber grams (and all the others) and then divides by the number of servings. So some ingredients might only contribute .75 points, say, rather than the 1 point you likely assigned.

Hope this helps - I much appreciate your question. Mistakes happen, of course, but more than that, I'm just so pleased with the idea that we're all in this together. So truly -- thank you!
 
Good morning Alanna,
Just made the muffins YUMMY.
I added ginger about 1 light t. to the mix. This is very similar to the Hot water gingerbread in Boston Cook Book (w/a forward signed Mary J. Lincoln 1884) but lighter texture.
thanks for the points info. That's what inspired me to make them!

Bobbi
 
Bobbi ~ You're a woman of my own heart! So glad to know that the ginger works, if I had 30 minutes this morning, I'd be baking another batch myself!
 
These sound easy and delicious, perfect for breakfast. I love gingerbread at any time of year. I'll add the ginger AND cinnamon.
 
I love your recipes! I have been on WW since April and lost many pounds. I turned to you for easy good recipes to change up my diet from eating the samo, samo. I made the Gingerbread muffins yesterday, which brings me to the question of how you determined that it is only 1 point per muffin, using the numbers you provides for calories and fat, and there is no fiber in them, I came up with a solid 2 points. I did not run the recipe through WW E Tools, as my internet was down from the storm we had here over the past 2 days. I have never checked behind you before, I always just tracked the points given for any of your recipes that I have tried, which have been many. Was this just an error?
Thanks
Eunice
 
Hi Eunice ~ Aren't the muffins great? No, it's not a mistake, it's a function of a low-fat, low-sugar and small portion size. Those mini muffins are mini!

One other tip, especially if you're using a Weight Watchers slide tool. I've found that when I calculate points mathematically, when a serving size is on the cusp between two points, the 'slider' will look like the higher point value even while the math doesn't quite push it over.

Hope this helps, good luck with your Weight Watchers journey!
 
I made the gingerbread muffins, mainly because I was hungry for something sweet and I had all of the ingredients in the house. Wow! They are wonderful! I made the mini ones and put then in the freezer. 20 seconds in the microwave and the are so ready to eat! Thank you!
 
I'm tempted to give this recipe a try but before I do so could I ask you a question?
Couls I replace the molasses with sth else? maybe honey?
I'm not such a fan of molasses because it is full of sugar and I feel t's usually bad quality sugar.
What do you think?
 
Anonymous ~ Sure, give it a try. They won't be 'gingerbread' muffins but if you don't like molasses, you probably don't like gingerbread either. ;-) So experiment with other sweeteners and let me know how it goes. If you're trying to avoid sugar, you might try savory muffins, perhaps Savory Cornbread Muffins?
 
The grocery store was full of high-fat Christmas goodies but I made these instead. Of course, I changed it a bit: used light butter, Stevia, add 1/2 tsp. ginger and 1/2 tsp. baking powder. I got 9 full size muffins. I used Stevia because I had it left from sugar-free baking I had done. To me, Stevia has a bit of licorice taste and would not use again. Per the WW recipe builder there are 3 PointsPlus with a yield of 9 muffins.
 
I just discovered your site today and I am "in love"!!! Can't wait to try some of these wonderful recipes. That said, and I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I did run your recipe through Weight Watcher's Recipe Builder tonight. The mini muffins come out to be 2 PointsPlus points and the regular sized muffins work out to be 3 PointsPlus points. So, for my money's worth - I'm makin' the bigger muffins!! :-)
 
Alanna, this looks like a recipe I will love! Do you think it would work in a cake pan instead of muffin pan? If so, what size cake pan would you use? Thanks!
 
Khadijah ~ Yes I think so! I made a gingerbread cake over Christmas that fit into a bread loaf pan, it had roughly 2x the ingredients at the muffin recipe above. So maybe try an 8x8 or 9x9 or mini loaf pans. Let me know how it goes!
 
How much does a cup of fluffed flour weight?
 
Anonymous ~ A cup of “fluffed” flour weighs 125 grams. I add that information to newer recipes, so that there’s both the “informal” way of measuring and the more precise weight with a scale. Thanks for asking!
 
Thank you for answering! Would you please tell me the weight of the other ingredients? If it doesn't bother you ofc
 
Anonymous ~ Next time I make these, sure. And I happen to be on a muffin-making mission so no promises but this may happen sooner than later.
 
This morning I made the gingerbread muffins, which are delicious!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna