I feel like the only thing I am baking at the moment are muffins, both sweet and savoury. I tend to fall back on old favourites when I am in a hurry to make something for The Princess’s lunchbox, so when she recently suggested I cook something other than my banana and cocoa nib muffins, I whipped up these Spicy Spelt Gingerbread Muffins instead.
Baking for children is really just an exercise in self-punishment. Create something you think is quite tasty, with flavours you know they like, and be prepared for nothing more than a shrug and a “They’re OK” for all your hard work. Truth be told, I did receive some constructive feedback about these particular muffins: “They could use a bit more spice”. Children!
Muffins are great for lunchboxes. They are fully portable, easy to defrost, and easy to hide fruits and vegetables in if you have a fussy eater. The Princess just grabs one out of the freezer each morning for school. She likes to zap them in the microwave first to start the defrosting process before adding it to her lunch. I don’t think this is a necessary step, but as I am not the one packing the lunchbox I keep quiet.
Left alone, muffins defrost quite quickly and should be ready to eat by recess or lunch. The exception is very cold days, when you might like to employ The Princess’s microwave trick to ensure they are edible when the lunchbox is opened.
The Princess feels these muffins are light on spice. Personally I think they have just the right balance, however don’t be afraid to add more spice if this is your preference. If you really want a strident ginger flavour, add a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger to the wet mix.
Despite her criticisms, The Princess (with a little help from Mr Grumpy) worked her way through these muffins in lightning fashion. Maybe they weren’t that bad after all.
Spicy Spelt Gingerbread Muffins
Flours can absorb liquids differently. If the mixture seems too dry, use a little extra milk. Your spatula should move through the mixture easily.
- 2 Tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pre-heat the oven to 190C (170C fan forced)
- Either grease a muffin tin or line with muffin liners.
- Combine the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl and set aside.
- Combine the ingredients for the dry mix in a bowl and set aside.
- Stir the melted butter, rapadura sugar and molasses together in a separate bowl.
- Mix in the milk, eggs and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and combine the two. I use a large spatula to do this, making cutting motions through the mix until they are combined. Do not over-mix the batter or your muffins will be tough.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray.
- Sprinkle the topping mixture over the muffins.
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the muffins are well risen and firm. They will look dark brown due to the natural sugars and flours. If you are unsure whether they are ready, insert a skewer into one. The skewer should be clean when removed.
- Remove the tin from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before removing them from the tin and cooling them on a rack.
- The muffins can be served immediately or frozen for lunchboxes.