What’s the difference between a cupcake and a muffin?
Honestly, I don’t know. But I do know that I can eat a muffin for breakfast without anyone (aka my husband) giving me that “Oh-no-you-shouldn’t!” hairy eyeball. You get a free pass for breakfast with a muffin. You don’t get a free pass for breakfast with a cupcake.
But even if this WERE a cupcake—and I’m not saying it is—winter is here and I need some meat on my bones in case my car crashes into a snowy ravine in the country and I end up wasting away for days on end waiting for someone to notice I went to Wal-Mart.
Wait. I don’t need to rationalize. These are muffins, not cupcakes!
These are a wonderful, moist and a bit spicy muffins that will make your heart sing. A bit of ginger, some cinnamon and a handful of coconut make it a not-your-usual-morning-cupcake-muffin. So drag out those muffin tins and bake away.
Ginger Coconut Morning Muffins
1 1/3 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsulferated molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with tulip liners or other muffin cups of butter and flour 15 muffin cups.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
In a mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth. Add molasses and beat until smooth.
Boil the water and add the baking soda. Gradually add this to the butter mixture. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until blended. Stir in coconut.
Pour batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted into one of the muffins comes out clean.
Don’t forget You Need This Book. Leave a comment there by the end of the day tomorrow to be included in the drawing.
Family dinners have always been an important part of my life. Family dinners with cake, especially, have always been an important part of my life. And the best dinners are those featuring oatmeal cake with coconut topping.
I remember as a kid my parents, brothers and I used to head over to my grandparents’ house for Sunday dinner after church. All my aunts, uncles and numerous cousins would gather to tell outrageous stories, build and fix things (my family is always building and fixing things) while my grandmother cooked a traditional Southern dinner and my grandfather escaped to the garden to tend his roses.
My grandmother’s dinners never had fewer than, say, 15 bowls and heaping plates on the table—fried chicken, collard greens, mashed potatoes and gravy, oniony cole slaw, lima beans, angel biscuits, salty Virginia ham, green beans. And the desserts. Oh, the desserts!
We would eat in shifts because there wasn’t enough room at the table for everyone. Afterwords, the women (no, never the men) would pitch in and clean the kitchen.
I remember one Sunday my Aunt Margaret had finished up in the kitchen and decided to mop and wax my grandmother’s floor. I watched on, chatting, as she put the finishing touches and finally managed to wax her way into a corner.
“Oh no! Here I am in this corner and the floor’s all wet. I guess I’ll just stand here until it’s dry,” she declared.
“No! You can just walk out and wax over your footsteps,” I said, my five-year-old self proud of coming up with the solution.
Of course, my Aunt Margaret was always the kidder and had let me come up with the solution. Still, it’s a fond memory—well, that and the cake.
My husband loves this cake so much he nearly dances when he realizes that I have made one. And he keeps saying—over and over again—”Have I mentioned how much I love this cake?”
Now, if this chocolate-loving gal says that she loves an oatmeal cake, you can take it to the bank that this is a good cake. And it’s one of those amazing cakes that only get better with time.
So make it now and make someone happy.
Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Topping 1 1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup old fashioned oats
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/3 cups flour
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour boiling water over oats and let stand for 15 minutes. In a mixer, cream together butter, white and brown sugars. Add eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda, cinnamon, flour and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar, butter and egg mixture until well blended. Stir in the oatmeal/water mixture until well combined. Pour into a 9 x 13″ baking pan. (I use a Pyrex baking pan.) Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Top with topping after the cake cools for about 10 to 15 minutes.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter (brought to room temperature)
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh grated coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 to 1/4 cup milk
Blend all the ingredients together until well mixed. Pour over warm (but not hot) cake and spread evenly.
By the way, if you haven’t voted on a chicken name for The Chicken Formerly Known as Minnie Ruth, please do so now. I really don’t want to name this chicken Johnny.
Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening and has a cookbook in development. Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. She is on Twitter @robinripley. Welcome! Thank you for visiting.