After my first experiment baking with honey, I decided to look up some tips on baking with honey because I felt the cookies I made were very rich (although delicious). I also wanted to find out what sort of recommendations are out there for substituting sugar with honey. I know from my many baking experiences that baking is definitely a science and the smallest change in ingredients or measurements can make a huge difference in the final product. Since honey is a liquid, I figured it would change the properties of the ingredients and how they worked together in the baking process. I found some good advice and tested it out this evening on some Maple Honey Pumpkin Muffins. Here are the helpful tips with the recipe to follow:
- Reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup
- Add ½ tsp baking soda for each 1 cup of honey
- Lower baking temp by 25°
I decided to test out this advice with pumpkin muffins because I had some leftover pumpkin and don’t want it to go bad over the next two weeks while we’re in China. The recipe comes from Ellie Krieger on the Food Network who is known for her healthy recipes. By substituting all of the brown sugar with honey and maple syrup, these muffins are even better for you because unprocessed sugars take longer to digest and therefore do not cause the huge surge (and consequent drop) in blood sugar levels as processed sugars do.
Recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger, Food Network
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-grain pastry flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons unsulphered molasses
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk (I made my own using milk and lemon juice)
- 1/4 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, oil and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean. (**Mine were done after 18 minutes, they maybe could have come out after 16 or 17 minutes.)
Let cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
**I didn’t have any pumpkin seeds so I didn’t use them, but I’m sure they would add a nice texture. I think these muffins would also be great with chopped walnuts or pecans added to the batter. Oatmeal would probably also make a great addition!
Question: Have you ever replaced all of the sugar in a recipe? What did you use instead and how did it turn out?