Yam Gingerbread Muffins

Posted on 21 October 2010 | 17 comments | share this

I am always on the hunt for delicious muffin recipes, especially ones that use fruit or veggies in them.  As a general rule muffins are something I only eat if they are home baked.  For one they taste way better and secondly the ones you can buy in coffee shops and grocery stores are really just cupcakes posing as muffins. The majority of muffins are filled with refined flour, sugar and poor quality fats.  It is marketing at work making us feel good about eating cupcakes for breakfast, let’s be honest.

Besides, there is something very satisfying about baking your own treats and who doesn’t love waking up to the smell of cinnamon and ginger on a cool fall morning.   This particular recipe uses yams or squash to sweeten and moisten the muffins and provide a boost of nutrition.  The earthiness of the yams with the warm spices and molasses is a perfect combination and will have you coming back for more.

I have made them with pumpkin and roasted yams and both versions turned out very nicely.  While yams aren’t usually grown in BC, I had the pleasure of trying some locally grown (on Vancouver Island) yams at Thanksgiving and they were delicious.  If you can’t get local yams and want to keep these as close to home as possible use pumpkin or squash instead.  Since we are only two in our house, I freeze quite a few and we take them out as we need them to pack for lunches or for a treat.

I prefer unrefined cane sugar in my baking and replace it one to one for white or brown sugar.  My mom successfully made these muffins using 1/3 cup of honey instead of the 1/2 cup of sugar- making them even more of a local treat.

Yam Gingerbread Muffins

This yummy recipe was inspired by a recipe in a great cookbook called Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Maddison.  This recipe works best if you roast up some extra squash or yams the day before or if you have some in the freezer.   The roasting takes a bit of time and you want the puree to be cooled before you make the muffins.

Makes 10-12 muffins

1/4 cup coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup unsulfured molasses

1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar or brown sugar

1 cup mashed cooked yam or winter squash

2 eggs

1/2 cup plain yogurt (up to 2/3 cup if your squash/yams are on the dry side)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup spelt flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp fresh grated)

1/4 tsp ground cloves

Options: 1/3 cup chopped candied ginger, pineapple, dates or raisins.

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease muffins tins.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the melted butter, molasses, sugar, cooked yams/squash, eggs and yogurt.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Fold together until just combined. If adding any dried ginger or fruit stir in at the end.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, until they are nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

Note: To roast yams heat the oven to 350F, poke the yams a few times here and there with a fork.  Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment until soft, about an hour. Slice them open, let them cool and then take off the skins.


  • Ardelle Quantz -

    Good morning Bounty Hunter

    So inspired by the latest blog that – guess what we had for breakie this am – nuuuuumy – made them with 1/3 cup honey – thanks for the inspiration (also the guilt caused by Dad salivating over my shoulder while looking at the amazing photos)

  • Thanks for the honey tip! I will try them with honey next time around.

  • Hey there, Bounty Hunter,
    Congratulations on your excellent blog, with its fabulous recipes and mouth-watering photos. I’ve got you bookmarked on my “favorites” and look forward to checking in with you on a regular basis. If you’ve got any great kohlrabi recipes, bring ’em on. I’ve developed a new passion for this interesting vegetable and am ready to be inspired to put it to further use. So far I’ve roasted it (delicious) and used it in salads (especially coleslaw).

  • Thanks for reading Joan! I usually just eat kohlrabi straight up or in salads but I am always up for a challenge. I will keep my eyes peeled for new and exciting ways to prepare it. It would probably be good in a stir fry?

  • Yes! I love a good muffin recipe! And I have loads of pumpkin puree in my freezer- I am sure James will be glad if I switch it up from the Rebar pumpkin millet muffin recipe that’s been on repeat for weeks now!
    On that note though- any great ways to use millet? One of the reasons I keep coming back to that recipe is it’s one of the few ways I’ve figured out to enjoy that grain.
    So, so excited about this blog! Great job, love the layout, the photos are fantastic!

  • Karen- I love the pumpkin millet recipe. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of millet. I have tried making porridge with it and found it to be rather chalky. I do like it in those muffins though. If I come across anything yummy I will send it your way.

  • What a beautiful recipe. Your blog looks great. I love the freshness and you have an awesome “voice” .

  • Yummy! I am looking forward to making some of these delicious recipes…to suit my very healthy appetite. I can’t wait to forward this site over to my sister as well who is always looking for healthier alternatives for her family.

  • Thanks for spreading the word Pam. Let me know how your recipe testing goes- always love to hear feedback.

  • Following on from Karen’s search for millet recipes – there is a little vegetarian stand in the foodcourt at the City Square Shopping centre (Cambie and 12th) that serves savoury millet balls which are delicious in my opinion! I am interested in your millet muffin recipe! To the Bounty Hunter – WOW! Fabulus website – it’s in my Favorites now too!

  • The girls and I made the muffins for breakfast this morning. So good!!! The mini muffins were gone in minutes…
    Your blog is great. Very inspiring. The layout and the pictures are beautiful.

  • Thanks Annik. I can only imagine how cute you gals would be baking up a batch of muffins. Hope you are are all happy and healthy.

  • have u tried grated beets (about 2 cups) in muffins
    instead of carrots, use any carrot cake receipe !
    Yummy !

  • Sounds good Jan. I have had chocolate cake with beets but have not tried in muffins. Thanks for the tip.

  • Looks absolutely delicious! I’ll try these when I finish making endless batches of zucchini muffins from the million zucchinis I grew!

  • Couldn’t agree with you more about only eating home-baked muffins. You just don’t know what you are getting when you eat store-bought or coffee shop muffins.

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