***Recipe and photos updated August 2022***
Happy Sunday! I hope you enjoyed the extra hour of sleep last night…or in my case, just getting an early start on the day since my internal alarm clock seems to not care if it’s the weekend or the end of Daylight Savings time. So in honor of waking up “early,” here’s a breakfast prep idea! If you haven’t noticed, I’m pretty obsessed with oatmeal muffins and eat them pretty much every day for breakfast. But it’s November now, so it felt like the right time to throw some pumpkin in the mix.
Speaking of pumpkin, do you guys ever think it’s a little weird that we freak out about all things pumpkin starting in the beginning of September, but then BAM! As soon as Halloween passes, it’s all peppermint and hot chocolate and Christmas music. Like, what happened to continuing with pumpkin stuff until at least Thanksgiving? I mean, that’s what pumpkin pies are for…I’m not going to eat a bunch of candy canes at a Thanksgiving feast!
Maybe it’s like a not-so-subtle reminder that you need to get your Christmas shopping done (if you do that sort of thing). Actually, now that I think about it, it’s all marketing. BUT STILL! Let me enjoy the greatest season of the year, especially because in Texas, that means that it’s not 100 degrees anymore and I can actually wear jeans once in a while. Here’s to doing my part to keep the pumpkin craze going into November. Cheers!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Rolled oats – I love to see the whole oats in my oatmeal muffins, but don’t worry – they’re baked to perfect tenderness! Other types of oats like quick oats or steel cut oats will behave differently, so I don’t recommend swapping this ingredient.
Milk – Use whatever neutral tasting milk you prefer! I used almond milk, which doesn’t have a strong flavor. Some non-dairy milks have a really strong flavor or are overly sweet – I’d stay away from those in this recipe.
Pumpkin puree – Obviously this is where you get the pumpkin flavor and orange color from! Be sure to use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
Applesauce – Adds volume, sweetness, and moisture without watering the muffin batter down. Runny muffin batter will lead to totally flat muffins, which no one wants. You might be tempted to skip the applesauce and use all pumpkin puree, but I don’t recommend it! Pumpkin is more dense than applesauce and using all pumpkin will leave you with really dense muffins.
Egg and egg whites – These are the glue that bring the dough together and add a bit of protein too.
Protein powder – I used a plant based protein powder in this recipe. If you don’t have vegan protein or don’t want to buy it, I recommend using a whey/casein blend instead. Whey alone tends to yield a chewy baked product that doesn’t rise nearly as much, but it’s okay to use in a pinch. If you opt for a dairy based protein powder, you’ll need to cut down on the almond milk to about 1/2 cup.
Pumpkin pie spice – this blend of warming spices helps bring out that classic fall flavor in these muffins.
Baking powder – This gives the muffins a good rise as they cook, plus helps add air in the final muffins, meaning they’re less dense.
Baking soda – This helps the muffins rise much like the baking powder, but it also helps them get that beautiful golden brown color.
Chocolate chunks – For maximum meltiness, I highly recommend buying a dark chocolate bar (find them in the baking section) and chopping it up yourself. Sure, you could buy pre-made chocolate chunks, but they are usually coated with something to keep them from sticking. That interferes with melting and nobody wants that!
Maple Syrup – You need a bit of sweetness to bring out those chocolatey flavors.
Vanilla extract – Like salt in a savory dish, vanilla tends to enhance the flavors of a sweet recipe.
Shop for this Recipe
Here are some items I used to make this recipe a success. Note: these are Amazon Affiliate links.
- 2 cups rolled oats, (160 grams)
- 2 scoops PE Science Select Vanilla Plant Based Protein Powder, (56 grams)
- 1/3 cup Guittard 64% Cacao Semi-Sweet Baking Bar, chopped, (50 grams)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree, (180 grams)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, (183 grams)
- 1 egg
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, (4 fl oz)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup, (1 1/2 fl oz)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 350°. Arrange 6 jumbo non-stick, parchment muffin liners in a jumbo muffin baking tin. Set aside.
- Combine all dry ingredients except chocolate chunks. Add wet ingredients and mix until just combined, then fold in chocolate chunks. Scoop batter into baking cups.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until tops just begin to brown.