Pumpkin and orange juice add nutritional value to make a healthier alternative to a plain cupcake. Remember that kids love to help in the kitchen and are more interested in eating unfamiliar foods if they help prepare them. Parents will need to supervise the muffin-making, but let kids grease and flour pans or place paper cupcake liners in muffin tins. Kids can help with measuring and stirring ingredients and cleaning up and will be the first in line to taste their muffin creations. This recipe, from Iowa State Extension Spend Smart Eat Smart is sure to be a hit with young (and older) chefs.
Pumpkin Orange Muffins
You will need:
1 white cake mix (18 ounce)
One cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup orange juice (may use apple juice, milk, or water)
1 teaspoon vanilla
One cup chocolate chips (or more) and chopped nuts (optional)
Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
Make sure all work surfaces and dishes are clean.
Roll up long sleeves and wear an apron to cover clothes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Grease and flour 9 x 13 inch cake pan or line 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
Combine cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, juice, and vanilla in a large bowl.
Beat on low speed for 30 seconds and then on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Stir in chocolate chips and/or nuts if desired (optional)
Pour mixture into cake pan or spoon into muffin cups.
Bake 9 x 13 inch cake for 35 to 40 minutes and muffins for 15 to 18 minutes. Test doneness by sticking a toothpick in the center. When cake or muffins are done, the toothpick should come out clean. Do not overbake.
Cool on a baking rack for at least one hour before serving or icing.
Serve plain or frost the cake or muffins with a mixture of powdered sugar and just enough water to make it the desired thickness. Add a teaspoon of vanilla or pancake syrup for flavor, if desired, and mix in a few drops of food coloring to make a fun frosting activity for kids.
For more information about planning healthy meals or snacks, contact Janet Steffens, M.Ed. Extension Educator in Floyd County, at 812-948-5470 or email [email protected].