Friday, October 8, 2010

cheater cheater pumpkin eater.

I have a confession to make.

I cheat.

It all started with this autumn recipe for (ridiculously easy, tasty, and cheap) pumpkin muffins.

Maria's (Cheater) Pumpkin Muffins

1 box spice cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin

Stir together well.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Yep, that's it.  You've probably seen this recipe before.  Or maybe you haven't, and in that case, you're welcome.

One day I decided to add this complicated step:

Mix in 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup raisins before baking. (I certainly don't measure, just throw a handful of each in.)

After that bold move, the five year old (then 3 and then 4) requested these every time we were appointed snack family at preschool.  And because they have raisins and an entire can of pumpkin, they are (sort of) healthy. (Appease me here.)

Personally, I love muffins.  (I even like the way the word rolls off the tongue. "MU-FIN."  Actually no tongue action involved at all with that word.  But I digress.)  Anything individually portioned is a winner in my book.  There's no issue with sharing or (my problem) eating too much.  Muffins can be savory or sweet, decadent or healthy.  You can "hide" many different types of veggies and fruits in them for that picky eater (In our house--Sparky, mostly.) You can make them ahead of time and then, freeze for breakfasts and snacks.  They often show up in cute wrappers.  They're good at room temperature, heated, or cold.  A pat of butter is sometimes a great addition to a muffin.  If you're really lucky, frosting is spread all over the top (a.k.a the cupcake.)  I mean really, what's not to love about a muffin?

A few days ago, the 30 girl posted about this muffin, which actually is healthy with apples, pumpkin, and oatmeal as the star ingredients (Oh, and no cake mix involved either.  Or sugar, for that matter.)  These muffins also looked delicious.  (I'm totally on board for healthy treats, but if it doesn't taste good I'm not eating it.)  So today, as I was headed to my gracious neighbor Jackie's for a play date, I decided to bake these muffins as our contribution to the lovely snack spread.  I've mentioned before that I'm not much of a baker.  It's partly because I like to eat entirely too much of what I bake, but also partly because baking involves too. much. exact. measuring of sugar and baking powder (or is it soda?), flour and flavorings, etc., etc., etc.  I usually just don't have the patience.  But I was going to give it the old college try for those precious two year olds.  Then, I remembered I had all that spice cake mix just sitting right there in the pantry.  So I cheated.  Again.

the 30 girl's Pumpkin Apple Breakfast Muffin, Cheater Style

1.5 cups spice cake mix
1.5 cups oatmeal
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
scant 1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup shredded Granny Smith apple

Stir together cake mix and oatmeal.  Combine wet ingredients and then stir into dry ingredients until just mixed. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


I can happily report that the muffins were well received by the mommies and two year olds, alike. Thanks to Katie for providing me with this amazing recipe.  Sorry for bastardizing it. Someday I will make the original true (healthier) version.  But until then, I'll make them cheater style, and next time I'll throw in a handful of chocolate chips. 


  1. They WERE absolutely delicious. And looked really cute smothered all over Charlie's hands and face. Thanks again!

  2. I'm so making these...pumpkin ANYTHING is fabulous!! Thank
    s for sharing Steph!

  3. Nothin' wrong with a little doctoring up here and there, right?? (...even Giada does it)

    Love your homage to the MUFFIN.

    I'm definitely making these possibly cheater style... depending on which mood I'm in:).

  4. I'm so happy you tried my recipe and even spiced it up a bit with the cake mix! Yay, for fall cooking! My next adventure is making pumpkin pie/cookie crust bars. We'll see how they turn out!

  5. Hi! Thanks for your sweet comment. These pumpkin muffins look delicious and so easy! I actually cheat on things like this sometimes too. In fact, my mom bought me the Cake Doctor cookbook and there are quite a few amazing/simple recipes in it! Hope you had a great weekend.