Pumpkin Muffins

Today, I babysat with a dear friend of mine. The mom told me I could bake so I did! I looked around the pantry and noticed a theme…PUMPKIN! So much pumpkin! Well, ’tis the season for pumpkin everything. Pumpkin scones, cookie butter, almond milk, etc. I decided to make muffins since they are easy and delicious! I did a variation to this simple pumpkin muffin recipe. Instead of milk, I used half pumpkin creamer for coffee and half pumpkin flavored almond milk. It made the muffins very moist. I also swirled pumpkin cookie butter into the batter before baked. I can tell you that the house definitely smelled like pumpkin when you walked in the door! Enjoy!


2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon pumpkin spice blend

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree

2/3 almond milk

2 large eggs

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend


Special equipment: a 12-cup muffin pan and muffin liners

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin liners and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Whisk together the butter, pumpkin puree, milk, and eggs in a large bowl. Add the flour-spice mixture to the pumpkin mixture and gently fold the batter together until it is just combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 16-19 minutes. Cool the muffins in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, milk, and pumpkin spice blend and drizzle over cooled muffins with a fork.

Rosemary and Garlic Foccacia


2 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast

1 cup warm water

2 tablespoons sugar

4 cups flour

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

Cornmeal, for dusting


2 tablespoons olive oil

25 roasted garlic cloves

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary


In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour and salt to the bowl. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn’t form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise over a gas pilot light on the stovetop or other warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips. Brush the surface with more olive oil and then add the garlic and rosemary. Bake on the bottom rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sun-dried Tomato Bread


6 cups of flour

2 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp dry yeast

1 2/3 – 2 cups warm milk

1 tbsp tomato paste

5 tbsp oil from the jar of the sun-dried tomatoes

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup drained sun-dried tomatoes in oil chopped


Sift flour, salt, and sugar into a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the yeast with 2/3 cup of the warm milk and add to the flour.

Mix the tomato paste into the remaining milk until evenly blended, then add to th flour with the tomato and olive oil.

Gradually mix the flour into the liquid ingredients until you have a dough. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead for about ten minutes; until smooth and elastic. Return to a clean bowl, cover with a cloth, and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.

Knock the dough back, and add the sun-dried tomatoes. Knead until evenly distributed through the dough. Shape into four balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover with a dish towel and let rise again for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollo when you tap them underneath with your fingers. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Dairy-Free Banana Muffins



2 eggs

4 medium ripe bananas

1/2 cup brown sugar packed

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour 

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped 

Crumble Top:

1/4 cup brown sugar

5 Tbsp unbleached all purpose flour

2 Tbsp coconut oil 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease a standard size muffin tin.

Beat eggs in a stand mixer. Add mashed bananas until incorporated. 

Add brown sugar, baking soda, salt and beat for one minute.

Stir in vanilla, oil, and mix.

Add flour and oats and stir with a spoon or spatula until just combined. Lastly, fold in walnuts (optional).

Divide batter evenly among muffin tins, filling a generous 3/4 full.

Prepare crumble top by mashing ingredients together with a fork until crumbly like wet sand. Generously top muffins with streusel. 

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes, remove from muffin tin and serve warm. Once completely cooled, store in a covered container at room temp for several days. 

Dairy-Free Vanilla Cupcakes 

Last week my niece turned 1! She is allergic to dairy so I made these cupcakes for her huge birthday party! They were a hit! Most of the people didn’t even know they weren’t made with butter and milk! There are so many interchangeable ingredients you can use.

Vanilla Cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup vanilla almond milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Sift all the dry ingredients into a seperate bowl.  Add the wet ingredients (starting with eggs) in a mixer, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add sifted dry ingredients in three parts and mix until incorporated. Divide batter evenly into 12-lined muffin cups. Bake 16-18 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.

“Buttercream” Frosting

½ cup crisco at room temperature

4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup almond milk

food coloring if desired
Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment) mix together the Crisco, sugar, vanilla, salt. Slowly add in the milk until consistency is thick, smooth, and spreadable. Add a single drop of food coloring and mix to combine. Place frosting into a piping bag. Slowly, in circular motions, apply the frosting to the top of each cupcake.

Mini S’more Bites

So, today I made these little treats for a meeting I have with my youth group tomorrow. A group of 20 people from my church and school are going down to Rosarito, Mexico for a missions trip. I am super excited and can’t wait to see what God is going to do in the hearts of the kids and orphanages. Who knows many be we’ll even get to evangelize on the beach. I’m anticipating emotional days and nights as it being my last missions trip. I’ve been on 5 but I have a feeling this one will be very memorable and impacting. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes 

I made these cupcakes for a ministry called Potter’s Field Ministry. They are a ministry that spreads the Gospel, helps children in need all over the world, and trains young men and women into discipleship. They have been coming to our church for over 20 years and I’ve grown up seeing them once a year. It’s kind of funny because I told one of the guys I used to be afraid of Pastor Mike, the founder, when i was a child… haha. I’ve seen people in my Church go through the missions program and I’ve always had a desire to also do it when I “grew up”. One of my closest middle school mentors did it and moved to serve with them when I was in 7th grade. The past week I met some pretty amazing people and heard one testimony that spoke to me and confirmed stuff going on in my life. I knew I wanted to make them something because they have truly blessed me and others at the church. The men from ignite where so kind and sweet and had this joy that can only be provided by the Holy Spirit. It makes me want that joy! I dont know what I’ll do in the next five years but I took a packet to fill out for Ignite and maybe one day God will open the door. Hopefully I can serve on the missions field all over the world one day. I’ll continue to pray for God to open that door and For his will to be done.

Italian Olive Oil Fig Cake

This fig cake was made for my mother for Mother’s Day. The recipe is from my aunt who is now in heaven. I have no clue where the recipe came from but I do know it’s been with my aunt for a very long time. I miss my aunt so much. She was one of the best bakers I’ve ever had the opportunity of to eat her works. I dont know if that makes sense but yeah, she was amazing. She would always give us leftovers in wax paper sandwich bags and fold them so neatly. I miss seeing my mom and nana with her. She would make us all so happy. 

Chocolate Babkas 

 This year I finished high school. It’s so crazy to think I’m done. I have no clue where God will lead me. All I know if that I’m called right now to go to bible school and not culinary school. For so long my mind had been set on going to the CIA. But then I went on a missions trip and God opened my mind about what I was to do the following year. I know God has blessed me with the ability to bake/cook whether I’m supposed to do that in missions or wherever I’m called to be. All I know is that I love to cook and bake and I also love God and want to do whatever his desire is for me. 

I made these babkas for my teachers and it is a gift of how appreciative I am of them. They literally sacrifice themselves for teaching at CCA and devout their lives to serve God at that school. Most of them have gotten my treats throughout the years and have tasted my many confections. I’ve gotten orders from them and made things for extra credit. I’ve experimented with Latin baking for Spanish class and have made Jewish desserts for a project on my identity in English class. 

I love my teachers so very much and hope they appreciated my small gift of gratitude. 

(The recipe for these babkas is a previous babka blog entry)