Pumpkin Nutella Muffins

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On this day last year: Caramel Delight Chocolate Covered Pretzels (2012)

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Well, I think it is safe to say I have found my new favorite muffin recipe!

I had to bake something for a birthday party recently, so in a very typical fashion, I found myself trolling the internet looking for some cooking inspiration.

That’s when I stumbled upon these pumpkin Nutella muffins, and Woah, they are a game changer!

I have baked and cooked with pumpkin numerous times. Pumpkin  is an extremely versatile ingredient, pairing well with sweet tones as well as savory!

Want to see for yourself? Check out my Pumpkin Spice Bread with Streusel Topping or these Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts.  Not interested in baked goods or sweets? Check out this Vegan Pumpkin Curry or my Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Roasted Rosemary!  Seriously, like I said, pumpkin is versatile!

While I am well acquainted with pumpkin, Nutella is somewhat of a different story.

Some people consider Nutella a critical part of the food pyramid foundation. All signs (such as the chocolate section of my recipe page and my absurdly large sweet tooth) should point me to being on of those Nutella fanatic people, but for some reason I have never been a big Nutella user.

That might have just changed.

In the last three weeks, I have made six batches of these muffins. Wooooops.

In my defense however, I was doing some experimenting!  I tried baking these mufffis with entirely white all-purpose flour, a combination of flours, all the way down the the other end of the spectrum, with entirely whole wheat flour.   I found that all forms of flour combinations worked wonderfully with this recipe! The muffins stay moist and rich in flavor, and the texture differences were not noticeable.  Thus, if you want to lean towards the healthier side, or if you have gluten free needs, feel free to substitute your flour out for something that works for you!

It turns out, pumpkin and Nutella are a match made in heaven.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 1/3 cups flour* (all-purpose, whole wheat, gluten free, or any combination of those will work!)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • Nutella

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400˚F, and line a muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. (Feel free to sub in Pumpkin Pie Spice for the other spices if needed).
  3. Once mixed, add the remaining ingredients, stirring until blended, and then fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  4. Drop a teaspoon (give or take) of Nutella onto the top of each muffin, and swirl in with a toothpick.
  5. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin can be removed clean. (There may be some hot Nutella, which is fine.  You do not want wet batter!)

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 36 muffins (Feel free to half the recipe if desired!)
  • Source: Your Cup of Cake
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious recipes from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe links below photos!)

Blood Orange and Blackberry Scones

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This time last year: Spiced Roasted Chickpeas (2012)

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I have always been a muffin girl. Take me to a coffee shop, or a fancy grocery store with a bakery case, and I will likely walk out with a muffin. It’s embarrassing.

You really shouldn’t take me anywhere.

Despite my deep love for muffins, I, for some reason, have never been a big scone fan! (that doesn’t even make sense!). That is, until recently.

My experience with scones from early on was not preferable. I must have had a few really terrible and dry scones early on, because I managed to steer clear of scones for years- something I now strongly regret.

It was my mom that finally inspired me to give scones a second chance, because my mother favors scones like I favor muffins….a ridiculous amount. Thus, I got over my nonsensical scone discrimination, tried my hand at a few recipes, and now can’t get enough of them!

These blood orange and blackberry scones might be my new favorite scone recipe. They are too good to be true, and perfectly seasonal! Pull out the flour, because it’s time to start cooking.

Lots of love,

A Rented Kitchen

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Scone Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Zest of one large blood orange, or two medium blood oranges
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, chilled
  • ¾ cup blackberries

Orange Glaze Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice from previous blood oranges

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until blended; set aside.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg and the sour cream until smooth; set aside.
  4. In a large measuring cup, stir together the sugar and orange zest until the sugar is moist and the zest is evenly mixed in.
  5. Add the sugar mix to the flour and toss to combine. Once thoroughly mixed, cut or grate the chilled butter into the flour mixture, using your hands to work the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
  6. Gently stir in the sour cream mixture until a dough consistency is formed.
  7. Gently fold the blackberries in (they will likely break up, and that is ok!), and form a dough ball. You do not want to over work the dough- it should be sticky but firm as you form it. If it is too sticky to manage, sprinkle additional flour over the top and work in.
  8. Once formed place the dough on a clean, dry, and lightly floured surface, and pat into an 8” inch circle. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into eight triangles, and transfer each triangle to the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 15- 17 minutes, or until the tops begin to brown. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by whisking together the ingredients in a small bowl.
  10. Once the scones have cooled, generously drizzle the tops with glaze. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Adapted From: Sprinkle Some Sugar 
  • Yield: 8 scones
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious bread recipes from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe links below!):

 

The World’s Most Delicious (and EASY!) Chocolate Cake

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No one has ever accused me of being picky when it comes to chocolate- ya, no. That’s never happened. However, despite my all-inclusive love for chocolate, I can still appreciate when a certain chocolate recipe or a dessert is better than another.

In my humble opinion, chocolate cakes often risk being too rich or too dense.  There’s nothing worse than ordering a chocolate cake at a restaurant, and being overwhelmed with it by bite three. As a result of that exact circumstance, society has learned to love the combination of ice cream and cake, so that the ice cream can balance out the rich chocolate flavor.

Well, for those of you out there who aren’t huge chocolate cake fans, or have suffered through an overwhelming chocolate cake experience, hold on, and bake this.

I literally do not have enough words for how delicious this cake is.  The combination of yellow cake mix and chocolate pudding creates a perfect- not too rich- chocolate flavor, that is enhanced by the moisture form the sour cream, and the soft melt of the chocolate chips.

I’m drooling right now, if you were wondering.

As a college student, and as a lady with chocolate cravings (honesty hour), this recipe is sooo dangerous. With only eight ingredients, it takes all of five minutes to prepare this cake, and is not going to break the bank! (Can I get an Amen from the college section?!)

No icing, no hassle. Just stir, bake, eat, repeat. You don’t even need ice cream to compliment this cake, it’s that good all on its own.

Eat up. And share some with me! please.

Love, a rented kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • One (18.25 oz) Pillsbury moist supreme cake mix- classic yellow
  • One (3.9 oz) box instant Jello pudding- chocolate
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • One (8 oz.) sour cream
  • One bag mini chocolate chips (about 2 cups)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚ F. Thoroughly grease and flour a Bundt pan, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix ingredients the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients, and stir thoroughly.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter evenly into the bundt pan and bake for one hour.
  4. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, and then flip.
  5. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, and serve with ice cream and milk, as desired

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Notes and Tips!:

  • This cake, in my cooking experience, really takes the full hour of baking, maybe a few minutes extra. If the top begins looking too burnt, but the center is still not cooked through, cover with aluminum foil and continue baking, checking regularly.
  • This delicious recipe is a highly prized and coveted recipe from two dear family friends- Margret and Meg Peery. If you ever have the pleasure of knowing them, thank them dearly for this contribution to your life.
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious desserts from ‘A Rented Kitchen’!: (Recipe links found below!)

Vegan Pumpkin Oat Bread

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It’s fall. That obviously means I immediately want warm socks, sweaters, and pumpkin everything!  It’s also been pretty rainy and disgusting the last few days, which means I want to do nothing more than curl up in my house and bake yummy treats all day. Shocker, I know.

Therefore, I introduce you to my new friend, vegan pumpkin oat bread!

A few weeks ago my church had a craft fair and Oktoberfest, which included a bake sale for the benefit of the youth group. I made this bread in several small loaf plans, and all seven sold immediately! It’s safe to say being vegan in Richmond is popular. Fortunately, I kept one loaf for myself, and thus can confirm that this bread is truly delicious. (The streusel topping alone is to die for!)

Without any white sugar, flour, butter, or eggs, you can feel a little bit better about cutting yourself a thick slice of this perfect autumn bread, and even slathering some (vegan) butter on top! If you’re willing to share, this recipe would also make for an excellent gift around the upcoming holidays, because no one will feel any guilt about devouring something so healthy and delicious.

I have not done a very good job of slowing down this fall, but I encourage you to try and find the time to slow down and make this bread. The fresh pumpkin smell in your house, matched with a warm loaf of bread will make you so grateful for October.

It’s a wonderful world after all, isn’t it?

Happy October, and happy baking!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups oat flour (homemade from rolled oats – see directions)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne (optional)
  • 1 cup almond milk (room temperature, or slightly warm)
  • 3 teaspoon ground flax seeds (or substitute with chia seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ Cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 Cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (OR orange juice/ lemon juice)
  • 1/2 Cup maple syrup (or agave syrup; OR 1/2 cup sugar)*
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh orange zest (lemon zest works too)
  • Topping: sprinkle of brown sugar + oats + orange zest

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 415˚ F and lightly grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or coconut spray.
  2. Blend the whole rolled oats in a food processor until you have two cups of fine powder oat flower.
  3. Combine the oat flour, salt, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl; mix well.
  4. Microwave the wet ingredients until they are warm, or at least room temperature. (If any of the ingredients are cold, the coconut oil will solidify).
  5. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate large bowl and beat with a beater for a two minutes. (This will help activate the flax seeds as an egg replacer).
  6. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until completely mixed.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle with brown sugar, oats, and orange zest.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes at 415˚ and then reduce the heat to 395˚ and bake for an additional 25 minutes. About 40-50 minutes total should be enough.
  9. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, and then remove, slice, and enjoy! (Notes: The dense pumpkin texture will firm up as it cools and the oats continue to absorb the moisture).

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 1 standard loaf
  • Note, I made this bread for a bake sale, which meant instead of making one large loaf I made several small loaves. Thus, the pictures portray a smaller loaf, but the notes are for a regular large loaf.
  • Using the maple syrup adds a nice flavor, however is not overwhelmingly sweet. If you want a sweeter bread, add a few extra tablespoons of brown sugar!
  • This bread recipe creates a moist dense pumpkin bread. For a lighter, fluffier bread, use half homemade oat flour and half basic store bought wheat flour (or a gluten free alternative).
  • Source: Lunch Box Bunch
  • If you like this recipe, check out these other recipes from ‘a rented kitchen’! Click on the recipes below for more info!

(Skinny) Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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I hate when baked goods are advertised as “skinny.”  It’s a baked good! It’s dessert! What is actually skinny about that? Often a few ingredients will be substituted for healthier options (such as egg whites for eggs or an artificial sweetener for white sugar), but does that really make something skinny? I doubt it.

Although I think it’s a scam more than the truth in most cases, bakers of this day and age have found some incredible substitutes for unhealthy baking ingredients.  For example, common supplements include replacing oil with applesauce, yogurt, or tofu! Cool, right?

This loaf of bread is one of those recipes that was originally advertised as “skinny.”  While I cannot fully argue whether or not this bread deserves that title, there are several healthier ingredient substitutes in this recipe than in most.  For example, this bread calls for only 1 tablespoon of butter, no oil, egg whites instead of eggs, and 3 whole bananas! So far so good! This loaf is also really delicious (perk number 2!). Granted, I am a huge fan of the chocolate and banana combination, but even if I wasn’t, I think this loaf of bread is worth a try. So who cares if it’s “skinny” or not? It has chocolate chips and looks delicious. What’s not to love?

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Ingredients

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 Tablespoon reduced fat butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce OR you can use 1 6 ounce container of low carb yogurt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar (or splenda)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat white flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup semi-sweet dark chocolate mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 330˚F and spray two medium-sized loaf pans with non-stick baking spray, set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mash the bananas using a large spoon.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together he butter, applesauce, vanilla, and sugars until creamy. Add in the egg whites and mashed bananas, and beat with a mixer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, using a whisk, until completely combined. Fold the chocolate chips in and transfer the batter to the two prepared loaf pans.
  5. Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until a fork can be cleanly inserted in the middle. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Skinny Mom
  • Store wrapped in aluminum foil to keep fresh.
  •  If you like this recipe, don’t miss these other delicious breads from ‘a rented kitchen!’: