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Ginger spiced Pumpkin muffins with dates, coconut sugar and syrup. A lovely little autumnal treat, perfect with or without a sticky citrus icing and roast pumpkin seed topping.
Now that Autumn is under way its time to pay attention to all the fantastic foods that go hand in hand with Halloween, bonfire night and the change from the long warmer days to the shorter more chilly ones. From rich sticky toffee to warming pumpkin soups theres so much to explore and enjoy when it comes to autumnal foodie delights and treats.
Pumpkins have suddenly appeared everywhere and I’ve even spied a few Christmas nut selection packs, so I know its definitely time to get a wiggle on with Christmas baking – particularly my Christmas cake recipe! No doubt I’ll be making multiple cakes this year 🙂 I do also like the easier bakes at christmas like these festive Christmas cake muffins, these easy, brownie chocolate muffins or this delicious gingerbread. But before all that, lets just take a minute to enjoy October and to celebrate that magical, autumnal pumpkin.
So first things first – when it comes to pumpkins I most definitely want to be able to chop off the top, scoop out the centre, carve in a face and light the whole thing up with a little candle.
And this wonderful recipe uses pumpkin flesh scraped from the inside of the pumpkin; so leaving a perfectly prepped pumpkin ready for carving. Great news!
Marigold (the yellow glove folk)
When Marigold got in touch with the offer to try out some of their products I was more than happy to oblige – and I was delighted to find that Marigolds offerings fitted in perfectly with this recipe – my first pumpkin bake of the year:
From a helping hand to remove the insides (no bits of pumpkin stuck under your nails!!). . .
. . . to providing an absorbent drying surface for the pumpkin seeds before they are baked. All good stuff!
After the seeds have been removed its usual to scoop out a layer of flesh in order to thin out the walls and create a flatter surface at the base where the candle will sit. Its this flesh that can be used to create my delicious pumpkin muffins. Check out my other muffin recipes: raspberry and lemon muffins and mint chocolate courgette muffins.
From pumpkin to cake
To prepare the pumpkin flesh for the recipe, I baked the flesh in the oven for 20 minutes until it was nice and soft. Then used a potato masher to breakdown into a puree.
If you don’t want or need to carve up your pumpkin afterwards then I suggested halving it, removing the seeds and roasting for a good 45 minutes. You can then easily peel off the skin, slice up into juicy chunks of pumpkin and then mash with a potato masher ready for your cake mixture. I love doing it this way – so satisfying.
The pumpkin puree is then combined into the cake mix along with coconut sugar and dates and then spooned out into muffin cases – super easy!
The seeds can be roasted in the oven at the same time as the muffins are baking.
After 25 minutes in a hot oven – out pop these super moist, velvety smooth, ridiculous tasty pumpkin muffins.
And I’m not over exaggerating there. They really are all of that, all at the same time, from the first nibble to the last crumb, they are just superb.
For a cute, extra touch: a drizzle of citrus icing and the addition of roasted pumpkin seeds goes really well with the sweet, fruity flavour of the cakes. Plus, placing the seeds on the muffins in the shape of a pumpkin-style face is sure to make you and others smile 🙂 it made me smile anyway.
So if you’re planning to carve out a pumpkin this year – why not give these little muffins a try along the way.
Special thanks to Marigold for providing extremely useful pumpkin prep tools. And of course the cloths and absorbant towels came in extremely useful for cleaning up afterwards 🙂 I am particularly good at making my kitchen very messy – especially when pumpkins are involved.
Check out my previous use of Marigold gloves and cloths in my fig chutney recipe here – a really great recipe for a Christmas food gift – if you happen to be thinking about Christmas already that is:-)
(All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own).
Pumpkin and Date Muffins
- 325 g pumpkin flesh 240g once cooked
- 250 g self-raising flour
- 120 g dates roughly chopped I used Whitworths stoned dates
- 100 g fine oats
- 1 ½ tsp ginger
- Pinch of sea salt
- 150 g coconut sugar I used groovy food company
- 75 g syrup
- 150 g unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 50 ml semi skimmed milk
- Icing sugar
- Pumpkin seeds
- ¼ tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp coconut sugar
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C
- Prepare your pumpkin by cutting a lid of the top (cut on the diagonal). Scoop out the seeds from the inside (can use food gloves to help with this) and then use a spoon to remove the inner flesh.
- Place the flesh in an ovenproof dish and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and mash into a puree. Set to one side.
- Reduce the oven to 160 degrees.
- Next prepare the muffin mix: sieve the flour into a large bowl then add the chopped dates, oats, ginger and salt - mix well and set to one side.
- In a small pan melt the coconut sugar, syrup, and butter. Once fully melted, add to the flour mix along with the pumpkin puree and use a wooden spoon to fold together well to form a sticky muffin mix.
- Next whisk together the milk and egg and then gradually add this to the muffin mix and stir well.
- Line a muffin tray with muffin cases and then spoon the mix into each case. Cases should be half to three quarters full to allow for the muffins to rise. Place in the middle of the oven and bake on 160 degrees C of 25 minutes. Once baked remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
- If you want to roast your seeds, first rince and remove any flesh and then lay them out to dry on an absorbent cloth or towel. Once dry drizzle with oil and season with spices, then bake in the oven at 160 degrees C for 20 minutes.
- Mix the icing sugar and orange juice to create a thick, orange icing paste. Spoon the icing on to the top of the cooled muffins and then decorate with the roasted pumpkin seeds.