There’s another kind of seasonal eating that’s not so much about being environmentally friendly but about emotional connections. Eating pumpkin in August just doesn’t feel right, ditto for strawberries in December. I like how my senses are tied to the time of year; scent and taste seem to hang onto memory in a very specific way that photographs or recollection can not. Think of the way the first breath of spring air sneaks its way into the crevices of your mind, suddenly awaking all the sleepy springs of years gone by.
And so for 11 months of the year, I am basically building up a lust for gingerbread. One bite and suddenly I’m a little girl just the perfect height for ogling all the beautiful cookies in a Brooklyn bakery case. I’m a teenager cutting out of school with my friends and making snow angels in Central Park instead. I’m in my twenties baking up my first pan of gingerbread, and the kitchen smells so warm and cozy it’s as if I had a fireplace, but in reality my apartment doesn’t even have heat. Our taste buds are as close to a time machine as we’re ever going to get.
All season I sneak gingerbread into pretty much everything; lattes, waffles, cookies of course and these muffins. They are low enough in fat and sugar to be vaguely appropriate as a breakfast, but still sweet enough to feel like a special wintery treat. Note that this is a recipe for only 6 muffins, I do so much baking all month that if I’m baking for myself I do smaller batches. Feel free to double the recipe if you like! If you’re looking for a more healthy tasting muffin, do the whole wheat pastry flour. Flax not only adds a healthy touch, but it also works to bind a leaven the muffins, making them nice and fluffy. If you’re looking for something more traditional tasting, do the all purpose white flour.
Gingerbread Flax Muffins
Makes 6 muffins
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 1/4 whole wheat pastry flour or all purp flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup light molasses
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
First measure out the milk. Mix the apple cider and ground flax seed directly into the measuring cup and stir vigorously with a fork for about a minute. That helps to bring out the oils of the flax seeds while the vinegar thickens and curdles the milk. Both of those things will help the muffin to rise.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
Make a well in the center and add the milk mixture. Add in the oil, applesauce, molasses, sugar and vanilla. Use a wooden spoon to mix ingredients together until everything is just moistened. Don’t overmix, it’s okay if the batter is a little lumpy, muffins like that.
Fill muffin tins most of the way full. Bake for about 22 minutes, until tops are puffed up and firm and a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
When cool enough to handle, transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
This is the best muffin i have ever had. I guess its not low fat if you eat them all yourself in 2 days. (!) Grateful it makes only 6!
Isa, aside from your culinary genius, I think you are a wonderful writer. Your little introductory paragraph conveyed the message that food really is a conduit of our culture, our memories, and who we are. I couldn’t agree more! It also made me tear up a little. Just thought you should know.
Thank you very much!
OMFG I ate about 4 in one day…Kinda beats the purpose of it being fat free, but considering how it tastes who gives a fuck
Ugh, the house I am staying at doesn’t have a muffin tin.
Do you think if I up the time and keep and eye on it I could throw the batter in a loaf pan and do it quick bread style?
Yeah, I think that’d be fine!
how many calories are in these muffins?
i used chia seed instead of flax. Worked like a charm. And the tops have a bit of a crunch because of it . Mmmm the taste of perfection.
I made these today: subbed blackstrap molasses for the light molasses so used only a tablespoon of sugar. Had no applesauce so mashed half a fresh sweet pear to make 1/4 cup. I didn’t have a six cup muffin tin, but these fit nicely into my twelve cup mini muffin tin. Thanks Isa. I love the chickpea cutlets too. I bake mine and pour a tomato-based gravy over them, kinda like salisbury steak. There is some kind of flavor exchange between the gravy and the cutlets that enhances the flavor even more. Will try them using different types of beans and peas. Oh the possibilities!
Managed to forget to add the sugar when i made these today but they still tasted great. I did use a combination of black treacle and golden syrup because i have no idea what light molasses is so maybe there’s more sugar in my mix from that. Anyway they are delish!
Absolutely DELICIOUS! I will definitely be keeping this in my recipe files–thanks, Isa!
Just made 12 mini-muffins of these (baked for 13 min). Gorgeously spicy and evocative. These managed to quell my gingerbread longing brought on by reading 19th c. children’s books. A delicious little treat.
Amazing muffins, we love them! I only hard dark molasses but it still worked beautifully. We cut them in half and put some ginger spread on them, delicious! I really like the written introduction, although, living in South Florida, it never actually feels like December outside. Especially since I grew up in Canada 🙂
Made these today at my daughter’s pre school for snack. 36 mini muffins disappeared in less than 5 minutes, in a class of 12 three year olds!! Parents were in disbelief that they were vegan 🙂
These were delicious! I quadrupled the batch and made 2 dozen for a class of teenagers that meets at 6 am every morning before school. I wondered about the amounts of spices as I sifted the dry ingredients (4 tablespoons of ginger?), but I trusted Isa, and they’re perfect. I like that they taste like a breakfast muffin, not sweet like a cupcake, but still sweet enough to be gorgeous and palatable to teens.
Loved these! And all of your recipes! Thank you. Keep doing what you so well. I just bought Isa Does It-can’t wait to dive in.
It’s a blustery day in So. Cal. & we’re expecting rain. So I made a pot of soup before we meet up with the kids & grandbabies for Halloween. Wanted something “fall”ish (?) to go with my soup. This muffin was perfect! They smell amazing while baking! Whipped them up quickly. I did bake for 2 minutes less (per a review) and they came out gorgeous! I sprinkled 1/2 teaspoon of sugar on top of each muffin before baking. Another great recipe from Isa. Thank you! I will be making these again.
I made these and scooped some of the apple topping from the Apple Pie Pancakes in the middle of each one and they were perfect! All the gingery flaxy batter felt like it was really calling out for some cooked apples. I highly recommend that variation.
I made these yesterday using ww pastry flour. They were almost filled to the brim, but they baked up beautifully. I love the super spicy taste. Definitely one of the best gingerbread flavors I’ve ever had!
Hello from Paris!!
I was able to score some molasses here and was SO EXCITED to try these muffins!!! Then I rechecked the recipe and saw it calls for light molasses not regular molasses, and I was crushed! I’ve looked all over and haven’t been able to find light molasses anywhere! Is there something else I could use as a substitute in the recipe so that I could make these???
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!