The Best Muffins

I had an hour to kill on Saturday while Louis was napping and before I was meeting my brother for lunch. I had about 2 pounds of beautiful dried Bing cherries and 5 pounds of fresh, large pecan pieces (ingredient samples that had been sent to our house) sitting on the counter. They’d been staring at me all week. Suddenly, I had to do something with them right away!! The outcome of my weekend baking experiments are not always share-worthy, but these muffins definitely are (hence the name)!

I rarely bake muffins because they often underwhelm me. Every-so-often I grab a blueberry muffin out of desperation at a coffee shop but it never tastes as enjoyable as it looks and afterwards I always feel like I ate a brick. But how do you not think “muffins” when you are dealing with cherries and pecans?

In an attempt to eliminate the “brick factor” but still keep the muffins moist and delicious, I threw in a cup of mashed sweet potato (thanks to Louis, these are now a staple in our house). I also used canola oil (vs. butter) and used unsweetened coconut milk instead of the traditional buttermilk. The result? Twelve dark golden, fluffy, moist, delicious, so-light-you-can- pop-2-at-a-time muffins.

Notes: Do not be scared of the sweet potato. I believe this was the secret ingredient in this recipe and your muffins will not come out tasting sweet potato-y. Feel free to swap out the coconut milk for almond milk, regular milk or whatever milk you have on hand (though you know I love using coconut milk for flavor). Play around with the spices (I bet a pinch of cardamom or allspice and cloves would go great with the cinnamon too) and the add-ins (maybe diced apple and walnuts instead of cherries and pecans?).


Recipe: The Best Muffins

Makes one dozen muffins
• 1 ½ cups flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ¼ tsp ground ginger
• ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 cup pureed sweet potato
• ½ cup coconut milk
• ½ cup packed brown sugar
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 1 egg
• ½ tsp vanilla
• ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
• ½ cup dried sweet cherries


Preheat oven to 350ᵒ F. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix sweet potato, milk, brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla well. Slowly add dry ingredients. Then fold in pecans and dried cherries. Pour the batter evenly into a lightly greased muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy your morning,

Hannah Barnstable
Hannah Barnstable