Before the generation of iPhones and Pinteresty chalkboard signs, my siblings and I had one very special back-to-school tradition.
I cannot recall quite when it began, but somewhere in the recesses of my mother’s kitchen, there is a recipe for lemon muffins with a zesty lemon glaze that became known as the ‘First Day of School Muffins.’
Year after year, my mother made them, and year after year, we devoured every last muffin - fueling our brains with as many carbs as possible. It was pure bliss.
I consider muffins to be one of the coziest of foods, so it seems proper that they should be our gateway into the coziest of seasons. Fall is coming, and I have a pantry full of pumpkin to prove it!
Let’s talk about these muffins in particular.
I have noticed a trend in the combination of pumpkin and coconut recently, so I decided to give the unexpected duo a try. It’s pretty fantastic, and if you are not fully on-board with fall yet (I don’t understand that at all), these are an ideal way to transition from the tropical flavors of summer to the warm notes of autumn.
One of the best ways to incorporate coconut flavor into your baked goods is not by way of sunscreen-esc extracts or artificial flavorings, but coconut oil! Coconut oil is so packed with those nutty, natural flavors we all love and is a perfect substitute for the butter or oil you would find in a standard muffin recipe.
In this recipe, the coconut oil is creamed with brown sugar, just as if it were butter; and eggs, pumpkin puree, and warm fall spices follow.
Because no muffin is complete without some form of topping, I used the coconut streusel I created for these muffins to add a little extra coconut flavor and another layer of texture.
Quick, easy, and just waiting to be paired with an equally autumnal beverage.
Whether it’s your first day of school or your thousandth day of work, this is the perfect way to begin the day.
Pumpkin Coconut Muffins with Coconut Streusel
makes approximately eighteen muffins
for the muffins
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin pans with cupcake liners.
While the oven preheats, prepare the streusel as directed below. While the streusel chills, prepare the muffin batter.
Place coconut oil and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat on high speed until fluffy; one minute. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Mix in pumpkin puree.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and beat on low speed until the batter is smooth and the ingredients are well-combined.
Use a cookie scoop to portion out the batter, filling each muffin liner about 2/3 of the way full.
Top each muffin with roughly 1 1/2 tablespoons of the prepared streusel and bake for 20-25 minutes; until the streusel is browned and the muffins bounce back when tapped softly.
If stored in airtight containers, muffins will last for up to three days.
for the coconut streusel
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coarse raw sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and shredded coconut. Use your fingertips to work the butter into the flour mixture. Once the butter has been broken up into pea-sized pieces, transfer the mixture to the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse 3-5 times - until the mixture is crumbly.
Transfer the mixture to the freezer and chill for 10 minutes.