Pumpkin Power Cake Muffins

I recently tried Kodiak Cakes pancake mix (Power Cakes, Protein Packed) and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I’ll make pancakes for breakfast once in a blue moon, but this mix boasts 14g of protein for 3, 4-inch pancakes…so I wanted to give it a try. I prepared the batter with milk (which brought the protein up to about 18 g) and a little cinnamon and they came out great! A healthier alternative if you enjoy a classic pancake breakfast every once and a while.

I decided to make muffins using what was left of the pancake mix and added my own fall flare to the recipe listed on the box. Here’s my recipe:

Pumpkin Power Cake Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes flapjack mix
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup non-fat or 1% milk (I used 0% fat fairlife milk)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened (not melted)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Grease muffin tins with cooking spray. Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full with muffin batter. Bake for about 14-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

power-pumpkin-muffinNutrition Information: 1 muffin – Calories: 139 cal  Total fat: 5g  Saturated fat: 3g  Sodium: 148mg Carbohydrates: 19g  Dietary fiber: 3g Sugar: 8g Protein: 6g – calculated via MyFitnessPal

Pumpkin Power Cake Muffins: Tara Tested, Tara, family, and friends approved! At the request of a colleague of mine, I made these muffins without banana and used pumpkin instead. The flavor worked well with the cinnamon and created a moist texture in the muffin. The original recipe calls for 2 cups of the Power Cake mix, but I was running low and decided to use old fashioned oats to make up the difference. If you are after a lighter, more airy muffin, you might want to use regular or whole grain flour. I am happy with how these came out and look forward to experimenting with different variations and recipes! Dark chocolate chips, walnuts, and peanut butter anyone??

Pineapple (Chocolate Chip) Muffins


For me, 90 degree weather is no deterrent to turning on the oven – especially when it means ultimately enjoying and sharing a tasty treat. I picked up a pineapple from the store and had a hankering for muffins, so I decided to try something new and make pineapple muffins. The recipe made 21 muffins – 12 of them were plain pineapple, 9 of them I made with chocolate chips (couldn’t resist!).

Pineapple (Chocolate Chip) Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (I used 1/2 cup of skim and 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 slices pineapple, diced into tiny pieces
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl combine the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, milk, and applesauce. Pour the wet ingredients into the oat and flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add in the pineapple pieces and chocolate chips, mix together. If you don’t like chocolate chips, you can skip that step and bake the muffins as is. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray (or use cupcake liners) and use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to fill the tins 2/3 of the way full with the muffin batter. Bake at 400 degrees F for 16-18 minutes. Makes 21 muffins.


Pineapple (Chocolate Chip) Muffins: Tara Tested, Tara and Family approved! I had never baked with pineapple before trying these muffins and wasn’t sure how it would work out, but these are tasty! I used less sugar than normal, assuming that the juice from the pineapple would make up for it and also used applesauce instead of butter or oil. The only time I’ve had pineapple and chocolate together has been in Edible Arrangements (chocolate dipped pineapple), so I thought I would try the combination here. The chocolate chips stole the show with the pineapple flavor appearing subtly in the background. The nutrition information below is for a batch of 21 muffins, if all of them were made with pineapple AND chocolate chips. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information: 1 muffin – Calories: 146 kcal  Total fat: 3 g  Saturated fat: 1 g  Sodium: 563 mg  Carbohydrate: 27 g  Dietary fiber: 1 g  Sugar: 11 g  Protein: 3 g

Blueberry-Orange Campfire Muffins

This year marked another successful Memorial Day weekend camping trip with my family – complete with a little bit of rain, a little more wine, and even more laughs. As the main meal planner for the trip, I decided to experiment with a few new “menu” items. I had been looking up campfire-friendly meals and stumbled upon a recipe for muffins baked in orange peels right in the fire. This caught my eye right away, who wouldn’t want a warm muffin hot off the coals early in the morning?!

Blueberry-Orange Campfire Muffins:

  • 1 box of blueberry muffin mix (I used Jiffy, it made just the right amount of batter for 4 muffins) + any ingredients required for muffin batter!
  • 4 large navel oranges (or more depending on how many muffins you want to make)
  • Aluminum foil

Start out by preparing the muffin mix according to the directions on the box and set aside. Then cut the oranges in half horizontally. I used a large spoon to dig around the fruit of each orange half and scooped it out of the peel (save the inside of the oranges for healthy snacking)! Once I had all of the peels emptied I ladled the batter into each orange half, covered it with the matching peel and wrapped them up tight in aluminum foil. My dad packed the oranges in the cooler before we left Saturday morning and they kept their form until it was time to bake them Sunday morning! We placed the foil balls right on the hot coals of the fire and after about 10 minutes I took a peek at one of the oranges – it wasn’t nearly done, back on the coals it went. We found that placing the orange on top of coals and underneath a hot log was the best way to get fast, even cooking. The finished product was a success: a perfectly cooked blueberry muffin with a hint of orange flavor. We dug into these muffins with a spoon and ate them right out of the peel!

Blueberry-Orange Campfire Muffins: Tara Tested, Tara and Family approved! I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous about how these were going to turn out! A few of the orange peels ended up with holes in them from the gutting process, but the foil kept the batter from completely leaking out. The actual baking time was a little longer than I expected but all we had to do was sit by the fire, so waiting was not a big deal – it made the final product that much sweeter! The muffins themselves tasted great and I loved the hint of orange flavor from the peel. You could play with a few variations of this recipe…using different flavors of muffin mix or even baking pre-made cinnamon roll dough in the peels – definitely a possibility for breakfast next year! 🙂

Photo May 25, 7 50 52 AM (1)


Brain Food Potluck – Blueberry Avocado Muffins

We recently had a “Brain Food” themed potluck at my office – I love potlucks! Everyone was encouraged to bring in a food or dish that featured an ingredient shown to improve memory or cognitive function. I knew that I wanted to use blueberries – a fruit packed with antioxidants that has been shown in some animal studies to protect the brain from oxidative damage. Blueberries may also help reduce the effects of age-related cognitive conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

I browsed Pinterest for fun recipes and stumbled upon a recipe for Blueberry Avocado Muffins – jackpot! The healthy monounsaturated fats in avocados contribute to healthy blood flow and low blood pressure, both of which are important to brain health and cognitive function. I couldn’t wait to give this recipe a try, I had never used avocado in baking before and was eager to see how they would turn out.

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Blueberry Avocado Muffins

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional – I thought it added a nice touch!)
  • 1 ripe avocado, seeded and peeled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

For the streusel topping:

  • 2 tbsp melted butter, slightly cooled
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners (this recipe made about 14 muffins). In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mash the avocado with a fork (or use a mixer to beat) until smooth. Add the sugar and stir until well blended. Add the egg and continue to mix until thoroughly combined, then add the yogurt and stir until just combined. Add half of the dry ingredients into the batter, mix together and then add the second half. The batter seemed pretty thick so I added a few tablespoons of water to thin it out a bit. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter using a spoon. To make the streusel topping, whisk all of the ingredients together until crumbly. Use a large spoon to portion the batter into the muffin cups and sprinkle with the streusel topping. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean! Cool for 5 minutes before removing.

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Blueberry Avocado Muffins: Tara Tested, Tara, Roommate, Colleagues  and Parents approved! I was worried these muffins would look super green or taste funny because of the avocado, but you couldn’t hardly tell that it was a main ingredient. Everyone at worked loved the muffins and learning about the brain benefits of blueberries and avocado. Who knew the two would go together so well in recipe?! I was able to snag a muffin each for my parents to try – my mother was skeptical and exclaimed “Eww” when I first told her what recipe I was going to try. I couldn’t wait to show her, and without a doubt she loved them! The muffins were very moist and hearty – not super cake-like, and the streusel topping definitely added an extra sweet touch. If you are looking for a healthier muffin recipe with some brain boosting benefits definitely give this recipe a try! Perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch!