Pumpkin Sage Whole Wheat Muffins for SRC

Where in the heck did October go?   I cannot believe that next week will be Halloween.   And, again, I cannot believe that it has rolled around to another SRC Reveal.    (If you are unaware about the fabulousness of Secret Recipe Club, please click here and check it out!)

This month I was assigned Yumsilicious Bakes.      Avanika, the brainchild behind this blog, is originally from Bombay but is currently living and studying in the UK.   Avanika’s site is full of all things sweet (and I do mean sweet).    She is a master baker and I truly enjoyed perusing her site for this post.

I decided on her Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting, but I wanted to adapt it a bit.   You see, without getting too personal the Eliot’s Eats household MUST start exploring heart-healthy options.   I decided to truly experiment with the great flavor combinations of this recipe and see if I could come up with anything palatable.

Here is my meager attempt:

Pumpkin Sage Whole Wheat Muffins
Based on Yumslicious’ Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting (which Avanika adapted from Martha Stewart)

2 T. butter
1/8 c. fresh sage leaves, cut into chiffonade
1 2/3 c. finely ground whole wheat flour
2 t.  baking powder
1 t. fine sea salt
1/2 t.  ground cinnamon
1/4 t.  freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 t.  ground cloves
3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c.  pumpkin puree
1 c.  packed light brown sugar
2 large farm fresh eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place paper liners in muffin tins.

Sage in a sweet muffin. Yessiree, Bob!

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat.  Add the sage.  Cook until the butter turns golden brown, swirling occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Skim foam off the top.  Pour into another bowl to stop cooking process, leaving any burned sediment behind.  Allow to cool.  (Be sure to watch the butter carefully.   There is nothing worse than burnt butter AND burnt sage.   I’m just sayin’.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

This is a great locally produced and milled whole wheat flour.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the apple sauce, pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, and cooled sage/butter mixture.  Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared tins, filling not more than 3/4 of the way.

Bake about 20 minutes or until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted in middle of muffin comes out clean.  Let cool in pan.   Store in airtight container for up to 1 day or freeze for  up to two months.

I got 12 regular sized muffins and  11 mini-muffins.

Regulars and minis.

For my healthy adaptation:
I wanted to keep that buttery sage flavor so instead of using 1 1/2 sticks of butter, I used just 2 tablespoons to brown and infuse with sage.    I also replaced the rest of the fat in this recipe with unsweetened apple sauce and swapped in whole wheat flour for the regular all-purpose flour.     Finally, I omitted the refined white sugar and used only the brown sugar.  (The original recipe has both.)

For eating local adaptations:
I roasted one of the pumpkins we grew this summer and then pureed it.    (Stay tuned for some more pumpkin recipes.)  Alas, I have killed the sage so I did have to buy the herbs at the grocery store.  🙁

The result:
These are a dense but flavorful muffin.   I got just a hint of sage flavor but The Hubs thought the sage was a bit more pronounced.   The whole wheat flour adds texture and the apple sauce flavor goes well with the pumpkin.

Now please do not compare these healthy muffins (although they are quite tasty) with Avanika’s beautiful, decadent, and sinful cupcakes with brown butter frosting.    But, in a pinch, this healthy version just might do.   I will make these again.   (Next time I will sneak in some chia or flax seeds.)

Thanks for the inspiration, Avanika!


I am now off to make Avanika’s original version.  I do have a morning breakfast meeting this week and I always provide homemade baked goods.   I have frozen some of the mini-muffins from this batch, but I know the staff would like some un-healthy decadent options as well.  🙂

Thanks to Debbi (Group C’s hostess) and the rest of the great SRC crew.

For my past SRC posts, click here.

48 comments to Pumpkin Sage Whole Wheat Muffins for SRC