Tag Archives: pumpkin

Banana Pumpkin Muffins


It is that time of year when the leaves turn into brilliant colors of yellow, orange and red. I love the transition of summer into fall just so I can watch the leaves blow in crisp fall winds then trickle slowly to the ground. I also love the smell of fall. The air is filled with the scent of apple cider, pumpkin and spices that let you know that fall is here and both Halloween and Thanksgiving are coming.


Since I have started baking a little more I thought I would try out a new recipe that reminded me of the season and of course would be easy to make. Banana Pumpkin Muffins popped into my mind. What is easier than making muffins? It only take a few minutes to mix all of ingredients and about 15 minutes to bake.


I use to look at really ripe bananas and think they were a missed opportunity to eat. Now, I see them as an opportunity to create. Pairing bananas and pumpkin flavors seemed like a natural fit and I was right. To make them even more yummy, I added a little crumble mix to the top of the muffins for another layer of texture and crunch. The result was a delicious moist muffin that went great with a steaming cup of coffee for my hubby and a cold glass of milk for me.


Fall is a fabulous time of year and Banana Pumpkin Muffins are a fabulous treat for fall.


Banana Pumpkin Muffins

3 ripe bananas
1 egg slightly beaten
1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup melted butter
3 tbsp pumpkin spread
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt (optional)
Pinch of pumpkin spice (optional)
20 – 24 small baking cups

Crumble Topping:
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup packed brown sugar (add a little more if necessary)
1 tbsp butter
¼ tsp cinnamon (optional)

Place ingredients in a small bowl. Cut butter into the mixture until little crumbles are formed. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl gently mash the bananas leaving small chunks. Add remaining ingredients until well blended. Fill baking cups ½ way then top with crumble. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes depending on your oven. Test with a toothpick to see if the center is set.



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Sweet Potato Stuffing with Pumpkin Croutons


The holidays will soon be here so I have been trying out new recipes to bring in the season. Although stuffing is appreciated any time of the year, it graces most tables during the holidays. I absolutely love eating stuffing! I usually cut back on eating breads and sweets well in advance of Thanksgiving just so I can pig out on my mom’s cornbread stuffing.


This Thanksgiving I thought I would give my mom a run for her money and make a stuffing that had fewer calories but was still full of flavor. I came up with the idea of a sweet potato stuffing while shopping at Trader Joe’s and saw a big display of Pumpkin Cornbread Croutons. The thought of sweet potatoes and pumpkin just seemed like a natural combination.


The great thing about this recipe is that it very basic. As I have said on other occasions keeping it simple usually works best. I found the croutons provided a lot of spice so there was no need to add a lot of other seasonings. Salt, pepper and nutmeg was all that was needed to bring out the wonderful deep flavors of sweet potato and pumpkin.


As usual, I used my family as guinea pigs to try out this new dish. I served the stuffing with pork chops and greens beans and had smiles all around. So, this Thanksgiving there will be extra stuffing on the table. We just won’t tell my mom.


Sweet Potato Stuffing with Pumpkin Croutons

8 oz pumpkin cornbread croutons (Trader Joe’s)
1 medium onion diced
2 stalks celery diced
2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
1 cup chicken broth
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp nutmeg
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a medium non-stick frying pan. Add onions, celery, salt and pepper.. Saute until veggies are soft. Set aside.

Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast for 25 – 30 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender and golden.

In large bowl add croutons, sweet potatoes, celery and onions. Gradually, add chicken broth to stuffing mix until croutons are softened and stuffing is well blended. Place mixture in a greased casserole dish. Dot the top with remaining butter. Bake for 30 minutes.

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Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes

cupcake start 1_1

As I have said in the past, I am by no means a baker unlike my mom who can whip up a pound cake or apple pie in the blink of an eye.

cupcake start 3_1

However, I recently I thought I would stretch my wings and take a baby step towards baking a new dessert. Inspired by the smell of fall, the rustling of leaves and pumpkins everywhere I decided to make pumpkin spiced cupcakes. Yes, I know cupcakes are probably one of the easiest things to bake but I am talking baby steps here.

Pumpkin cupcake batter_1

So while looking for canned pumpkin at the grocery store (baby steps remember) I ran across pumpkin butter in the preserves aisle.  Don’t let the name fool you. I soon discovered that pumpkin butter does not contain butter at all. Since I was stretching my wings I figured I could try using pumpkin butter instead of canned pumpkin for the cupcakes.

Pumpkin Cupcake 5_1

The results…? Scrumptious cupcakes! I had my hubby test the cupcakes with a hot cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and he was in heaven. I preferred a tall ice cold glass of milk. Whatever you choose to drink with your cupcake I have a feeling you will enjoy it.

Pumpkin Cupcakes 1_1

For my fellow beginner bakers, try making my pumpkin spiced cupcakes. It will help build up your baking credentials. For more advanced bakers, making my pumpkin spiced cupcakes may just beef up your credentials even more.

Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes

1 box Duncan Hines french vanilla cake mix
3 tbsp Dickinson’s pumpkin butter
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1 can cream cheese icing
¼ cup sliced almonds crushed
Cupcake foil cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare cake mix according to box instructions. Add pumpkin butter and pumpkin pie spice to batter and mix until well blended. Spoon into cupcake cups. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the center is done. Test by sticking a toothpick in the center of a cupcake and see if it comes out clean.

Spread icing on top of each cupcake and sprinkle with crushed almonds.

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