Sometimes, the hardest thing about making muffins is just choosing what kind to make. There’s blueberry, and pumpkin, seasonal ones like peach, and strawberry, and of course who could ever forget carrot raisin muffins studded with all those juicy, plump raisins. And every time I make one kind, I love it and think “this is my new favourite muffin, that I’m going to just keep making over and over again!” Until I don’t. And instead I come up with a new kind because I want to try something different, and then I don’t make the old kind again for a very long time.
This time, it was that I wanted to try muffins filled with something. Some surprise inside that you discover when you break the muffin apart, or that you get to sink your teeth into when you bite straight through the middle. Growing up, mom always used to bake lots of muffins, but every once in a while, on long car rides, or when we had to go somewhere really early in the morning, we would stop at Tim Hortons. Mom and dad would get their tea and coffee, my brother was all about the Boston Cream, and all I ever wanted were those fruit filled muffins. The ones with the gooey blueberry filling that was probably just blueberry flavoured sugar surrounded by a cake, but that I asked for every time. I never go to Tim Hortons any more, but I still do love my filled muffins!
And you’ll be happy to know that these ones are filled with a creamy date filling that is just made of dates and water. The muffins themselves are gluten free and vegan and are sweetened with the applesauce and a little bit of maple syrup. If you want them to be ready in a hurry, feel free to skip the date filling and use store-bought apple sauce and then you’ll have a quick and healthy snack ready to grab all week long. If you really want the full muffin experience though, homemade applesauce takes these to the next level and then the date caramel turns them into an indulgent muffin that’s good enough for dessert, but healthy enough for a grab and go breakfast. Trust me, they didn’t last long around here. And they’re way better than any store-bought muffin I’ve ever had, gooey filling or not!
Caramel Filled Apple Spice Muffins
These sound indulgent, (and they taste it too!), but they’re gluten free, loaded with healthy ingredients and are a great fiber filled snack option.
For the Caramel
- 1/2 cup dates
- Enough hot water to fully submerge dates
For the Muffins
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup millet flour
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Start with the caramel: using an immersion blender, puree dates and soaking water until smooth and caramel like. Place in the fridge to harden.
- In a medium bowl, combine oat flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour, quick cooking oats, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Stir together and set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together applesauce, molasses, maple syrup, melted coconut oil and almond milk.
- Add applesauce mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine, making sure not to overmix.
- To make muffins, line a muffin tin with muffin papers. Fill each half full and then place one half to one tablespoon of refrigerated caramel inside. Fill the rest with batter.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are firm and golden.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
What’s your favourite type of muffin to make? Happy Monday!