Cinnamon Sugar Coated Pumpkin Muffins

Try saying that three times fast. The first words out of my mouth when biting into one of these were “holy baked donughts!” Because that is what they are, and the exclamation was to express my utter delight in their sweet cinnamony exterior and inner plush pumpkin layer. Perfect for a Thanksgiving morning – guilty tasting while being moderately not bad for you.

And when its fall, I want the flavor of pumpkin to be infused into just about everything. One little bite makes me feel like I went to the cider mill, ate doughnuts, and picked out pumpkins. It’s almost magical I tell you.

Cinnamon Sugar Coated Pumpkin Muffins Adapted from Everyday Food


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch ground allspice
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (check out how to make buttermilk in the How To’s section)
  • 1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs

for the sugar coating:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

How To:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 24 mini muffin tins or 12 regular muffin tins (I used a spray oil then floured, you can also use butter). To make the batter, sift together dry ingredients: flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl fluff butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs. Add flour mixture in three parts, interchanging with buttermilk/pumpkin in three parts.  Using an ice cream or cookie scoop, spoon batter into muffin tins, about 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick come out clean, about 20 minutes for mini muffin tins, and 25 to 30 minutes for regular muffin tins. Let cool on a wire rack.

When muffins have cooled, combine sugar and cinnamon for coating. Melt butter. Brush butter onto one muffin, dip muffin in cinnamon sugar coating making sure to get all sides. Set on rack. Continue with the rest of the muffins. Serve immediately! Or watch them mysteriously disappear as soon as you set them on the rack to cool.

You can make the muffins ahead of time and coat them just before serving. I found the sugar mixture melted off and the muffins were soggy after 24 hours.


Red Chili

There is nothing better than chili on a colder-than-last-week November day. You know, when it feels colder than it actually is because it was in the 60s all week and now its in the 40s? The typical thing that makes you laugh at yourself come February when you thought 40 degrees was sooo cold.

Getting to the subject, red chili warms and satisfies a fall appetite. This particular recipe is so easy and it only gets better the more you let it sit and simmer. If you put it in the fridge overnight, what you have the next day is a mix so amazing; let’s just say I recommend making a big batch because you’ll want it around for awhile. By the end of “day two, red chili,” you might be thinking “why didn’t I use industrial measurements?” Or, it might be time to try white chicken chili instead. Whatever the case, it makes your fondness for chili grow to the point where you stock your pantry with all the necessary ingredients for that impending cold day.

Red Chili


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet onions, diced
  • 2 pounds ground beef, ground chicken or ground turkey
  • 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can pizza sauce
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • seasoning salt
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • shredded cheese of choice, for garnish
  • sour cream, for garnish

How To:

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add beef (or chicken or turkey) and break up with wooden spoon. Cook through, adding just a bit of seasoning salt, salt and pepper- you will add more to taste shortly. Once meat is browned, add tomatoes, pizza sauce, beans, and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer 20 minutes. Ladle into bowls with garnishes on the side.