I could have sworn up and down that I hated maple, until I met these mini muffins. I find that maple is one of those particular flavors that people love or hate. Like black licorice, grape candy, the consistency of cottage cheese or fennel. The fact that it's a natural sweetener, makes me feel like I should like it, but it's just not for me. Hugh is pro-maple so I figured if we made these and I hated them, at least someone would eat them. I hoarded a majority of them.

There is an entire cup of real maple syrup in the recipe, which sounds like a lot, but with all the dense flours, the strength of it dissipates. I used a pretty lengthy list of ingredients, but if you don't think you'll ever use a whole bag of buckwheat flour, try to find a store that sells flours/grains in bulk and you can buy just what you need by weight. Or, as I've suggested before, make extra and give some away. I mean, they taste pretty healthy for a muffin, but it's January, people are into that sort of thing. MUFFINS_02MUFFINS_03


1/2 Cup Buckwheat Flour
1/2 Cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Wheat Bran
1/2 Cup Oatmeal (plus extra for garnish)
1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1 Tsp. Fresh Grated Nutmeg (if you have it)
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Fresh Grated Ginger
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Real Maple Syrup
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Lowfat Cottage Cheese (I blended mine up a tad, but this is optional)
1 Cup Pecan Pieces, divided MUFFINS_04

Oven at 350'
1. In a large mixing bowl, sift all flours, the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together. Grate the ginger right on top. Spray or butter your muffin tins and set aside.
2. In two other bowls, seperate the egg yolks from the whites. In the bowl with the yolks, add the maple, vanilla and buttermilk and whisk to combine. Beat or use an electric mixer to whip up the egg whites until they just start to hold shape.
3. Mix the wet into the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the cottage cheese and 1/2 cup of the pecan pieces and gently fold in. Lastly, just before you're ready to put batter into the tins, fold in the whipped egg whites. Because the dough is somewhat heavy, try to fold from the outside of the bowl in, to not deflate the egg whites.
4. The mini tins hold about two spoonfuls of mix, if using larger tins, fill them about 3/4 full. Sprinkle the top with a few chopped pecans and a few oat flakes. Bake on the middle rack for 20-23 minutes (cooking times may vary depending on tin). Remove and cool. I recommend a little spread of plain greek yogurt. MUFFINS_05

Reader Comments (61)

I normally hate maple, too?? Maybe giving these babies a try will change my mind.

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

Are you a photographer as well? Your pics are so beautiful. You make oatmeal look like art! What camera do you use? These muffins are definitely going to be tried out this weekend!

I actually like maple, so I should be double-satisfied. They are so cute!

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDenise @ Chez Danisse

I love maple, but still haven't developed a taste for black licorice. These look tasty - and healthy.

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUnplanned Cooking

now this is a good way to have a healthy breakfast & snack during the morning hours. would LOVE to try these

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdawn

bookmarked. i LOVE maple. and of course whole grains.

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermichaela

Just wanted to stop by and say hello (and lovely muffins!)

I found your blog via Joy the Baker, and love your gorgeous photography! That muffin tin photo with the amazing depth of field (above) is a prime example :)

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie @ Willow Bird Baking

Thank you!!! These are my kind of muffins!!! Beautiful photos!

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Ok - I'm a hardcore maple lover but I also like molasses, which is hit or miss for people too! These definitely look full of all kinds of lovely things so i might have to give 'em a try!

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterheather @ chiknpastry

MINI! Oh, I know, healthy, yummy, scrummy looking stuff and I'll be making them soon (like I do with so many of your recipes - S adores Hugh's burgers). But I have to say MINI is what sold these on me. Look at them with their squat little bodies and mushroom-top hats. Adorable.

I'll stop now. But MINI!

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertara

I hear that they past the "Ava taste test" with flying colors! And it's not the usual nasty-sugar-thing that my Mom usually tries to shove in her mouth!! They look great and I love the ginger!

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMollie

I LOVE this recipe! These kind of muffins are right up my alley, I cannot wait to give them a try! I think the combination of flours and grains with the maple sound delicious!

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSonja @ ActiveFoodie

oh how I wish my screen worked as a scratch and always

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin @ Roost

ps. where did you get that rustic basket?? I want it!

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin @ Roost

Love that beautiful wire basket. Anything with a cup of maple syrup is bound to be good.

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Leftoverist

I would LOVE to make these sometime.. but my husband HATES cottage cheese. Is there something I could substitute.. or is it possible to leave out altogether?

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

This is an awesome recipe. Lots of goodness in every bite.

January 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDivina

Hello good morning!

Thank you, this recipe seems fantastic.
I have read that you mention the nutmeg, but that does not appear in the list of ingredients. Is it like that?

My daughter can take neither the gluten of the wheat, nor eggs, nor milk, so I will do a version with almond meal and substitutes of the milk and of the egg. Then, I will tell my experience.

January 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpach

As much as I love big bakery muffins, I prefer the every-day quality of homemade muffins. Not so dense, and not too sweet.

January 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

@Jenna- Hugh is the photographer around here, his site is on the links above! I'm pretty lucky to have him around.
@ Julie- welcome and thank you!
@tara- seriously, no need to stop, I am equally as obsessed with small things.
@Caitlin- It was a gift from my aunt when she gave me some potted herbs, so I suppose it's from a garden shop?
@ Steph- I think you should put something in it's place, be it a mushed over ripe banana, canned pumpkin, applesauce.. the flavor will change slightly, but probably for the better! Let me know. @pach- I think you could probably apply some of the same substitutions I mentioned above, often times banana, pumpkin etc can stand in for the eggs and buttermilk. I would add a splash of some oil to keep them moist.

January 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Those turned out beautifully! I love maple and can't wait to give them a go.

January 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

These do look yummy, and the perfect size for such a hearty muffin! Also, to use up any excess buckwheat flour after making these muffins, I've got to recommend (highly), orangette's version of Alice Medrich's Buckwheat cookies with Cacao Nibs. They are small and delicate and soooo meltingly good, and So Easy.

January 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjune2

Oh yum. This is totally up my alley. And I have half a quart of buttermilk that I feared would go to waste. Not anymore!

January 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercarolyn @ PB&Jargon

I made these for breakfast this morning and oh, my sweet mother. Delicious. Nutty, grainy, gingery. My husband and I loved them.

January 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoanna

wow, those look heavenly! How do you take such amazing photos all the time?! I love your site!

January 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSimply Life

Your site is gorgeous - great recipes and amazing photographs. I love hearty muffins, bread, etc. and my interest is extremely piqued with the added ginger. I am a ginger fiend and enjoy the fresh bite it gives a dish or drink. Not all that fond of maple syrup but I would be tempted to try it or maybe substitute with agave. Have you ever made it as a loaf. I can imagine it toasted with butter or even as a sandwich. Thanks!

These look really tasty. I never liked maple syrup either until I learned about grading. Now that I know what grade I prefer and that there is a huge difference between between brands, there are some I like very much. I look forward to trying it in these delicious muffins!

January 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEl

I made these this weekend and they were delicious! I was able to get the exact amounts of ingredients at my co-op so that was helpful. The only problem I had was that you had nutmeg in the instructions but not in the ingredients list so I wasn't sure exactly how much to add. I went with a tsp and it worked out just fine.

January 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteraddie

I love that you used real maple syrup as your sweetener. I recommend it to all my clients for baking. Gorgeous pics too!

These sound wonderful. So, I'm usually pretty good with converting recipes to gluten-free, but I don't know what to use instead of wheat bran. Rice bran? Or could I use just more flours? Or flaxseed? Really would love a complex muffin like this!

January 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlta

Mmm, these look so wholesome and delicious. Love that YOU, a maple-hater, love them! :) I'm one of those that loves anything with maple syrup, and seeing as that I finally bought some, I see mini mini muffins in my future... :)

January 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercandice

I fell hard for maple over Christmas when I made my first batch of maple cookies with walnuts. So delicious. This looks like a beautiful excuse to use it again.

January 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmuse-bouche for Two

These look hearty and so tasty. I love the color and texture that buckwheat gives, really like the look of them displayed in that rustic metal (?) basket. Beautiful!

January 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercoconut and quinoa

I have some buckwheat flour that I need to use up - wonder how ricotta would work as a sub for the cottage cheese? First time at your site - beautiful photography.

January 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlaura

Wow -- these look gorgeous! Just found your blog and will definitely be returning. Thanks for the lovely recipe!

January 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Hi Sara, I've enjoyed having a nosy around your sprouted kitchen and peeking at Hugh's gorgeous photography website. What a talented pair and it's cool to be blogging together. What I wouldn't give for a Hugh snapping away in my kitchen!
hey ho, I'm not complaining - I have a lovely George who's first class at appreciating my culinary creations (no I don't have any photos to prove it!)
cheerio, Nic x

January 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternic @ nip it in the bud

these look lovely and delicious for breakfast or a snack at anytime!

January 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterASHLEA

I make an oatbran muffin from tne newest Moosewood cookbook and it is about 111 calories. Do you know the calorie count of IGRAIN MAPLE MINI MUFFINS? Thanks in advance!

January 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusie

I made these hearty and fairly healthy muffins yesterday and they were delish! I used my food processor to very finely chop some carrots and added those to the batter instead of the cottage cheese. Uber yummy and very filling! Looking forward to trying more of your health conscious recipes! Thanks

January 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Looks so good Sara, definitely a must try for this cozy weekend to come!! Thanks;)

January 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLuise

I kinda like maple syrup, but only once in a while, and I have to be in the mood for its distinct taste. These muffins look great, perfect to take to work for breakfast.

January 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Arevalo

Ok, not only do these muffins sound delish, but I'm envious of your lighting. Natural lighting in the middle of January - huge south facing windows? A leisurely mid-morning schedule? Makes for great pics.

January 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth R&V

These minis look so delicious. Who doesn't want a muffin that has so many tasty ingredients and is healthy too? I love maple, so these are right up my alley. Looking forward to trying these and many more of your hearty and healthy recipes!

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlisa @ dandysugar

I made these this morning, and they are wonderful!
The BF says "they rock".
Very tasty and not at all heavy like we thought.

Thanks for the great recipe!

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commentervanou

It's my first time to your blog and I am blown away by your online presence. You seem to a have great recipe with your photographer love and your healthy yummy dishes.
Belly rules the mind alright.

January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

These look absolutely delicious. Anything maple in my book is a winner.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKitchen Harlot

your photos are absolutely amazing! i love them.

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersimple hungry broke

These are so good! I just made them and it was a task to get my 5yo to stop eating them....and he's one picky eater :-/

However, no paper cups. They are really sticking and you pretty much have to rip the muffin apart to get the paper off.

Thx so much for posting these awesome eats!

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Redding

This looks like an excellent muffin recipe! I like the fresh grated ginger and spices. I bet they smell heavenly during baking!

Lovely recipe and photos...

I love your blog :)

January 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAll Recipes

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