Recipe Review

I Tried Claire Saffitz’s Seedy Maple Breakfast Muffins and They Are a Hearty Morning Meal

published May 5, 2022
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Credit: Summer Miller

Muffins are a morning staple. You can make them ahead of time, they freeze well, and it only takes a moment to tell the family to grab one and then, “Get in the car! We are going to be late to school.” Muffins are good for mornings like that.  

And because we turn to muffins as a breakfast option that’s meant to fuel us until lunch, finding a recipe that’s packed with hearty, feel-good ingredients is always a plus. Enter: Claire Saffitz’s Seedy Maple Breakfast Muffins from her cookbook Dessert Person. She went about creating a vegan blueberry muffin loaded with seeds of all kind (we are talking pepitas, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds).

If you’re a texture-in-your-baked goods person, then this a great recipe for you. And if you’re nut-free but miss the texture nuts can provide, then you’re in luck — in addition to being vegan, this recipe is nut allergy-friendly. Seeds to the rescue!

Credit: Summer Miller

How to Make Seedy Maple Breakfast Muffins

If you’re used to vegan baking, the moving parts in this recipe might be a non-issue. If you’re used to dumping a bunch of ingredients into a bowl, stirring, and saying, “Voila! Muffin batter!” you might want to prepare yourself. 

Start by heating your oven and spreading a combination of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and sunflower seeds on a small baking sheet. You’ll toast those while you get the rest of the ingredients ready. 

You will need 3 bowls: large, medium, and small. Start by making the flax “egg” by combining ground flaxseed meal and boiling water in a medium bowl. Set it aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl make the topping by combining sunflower seeds, pepitas, demerara sugar, poppy seeds, and chia seeds. In the large bowl, whisk together all purpose-flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well and set it aside. 

Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Set it aside. In the bowl with the flax meal add brown sugar, maple syrup, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Add the slightly cooled coconut oil. Whisk everything together. Add the wet ingredients to the well in the dry ingredients and whisk it to create a thick batter. Sprinkle the toasted seeds and frozen blueberries over the top and use a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients together. 

I used a cookie scoop to portion out the batter in the cups. It works like a charm because the batter is so thick that it maintains its shape. It will fill the muffin liners up to the top and even go a little over. I also used the back of a spoon to smooth out the tops a bit. Sprinkle on the seed-sugar topping and pop them in the oven. At first, I was worried it was too much topping, but I used it all and as the muffins puffed up the seeds covered the top well. 

Credit: Summer Miller

My Honest Review of Claire Saffitz’s Breakfast Muffins

These are good muffins and I enjoyed eating them. They are just sweet enough, but not saccharine. The earthy, nutty seed mixture balances the sweet pockets of blueberry throughout and lifts the weight of the muffins which, while they aren’t claggy or dense, are heavier compared to what you would find in your average coffee shop.  

A Few Things to Consider When Making Claire Saffitz’s Breakfast Muffins

  1. Brace yourself for the dishes required to make this. You’ll need three bowls, a sheet pan for seed toasting, a saucepan for warming the coconut oil, multiple measuring cups if you don’t use a scale, measuring spoons, a whisk, a spatula, cookie scoop, and a muffin tin. 
  2. The recipe calls for hulled pumpkin seeds. Hulled pumpkin seeds are usually sold in supermarkets as pepitas. They are green and delicious in all kinds of cooking, from salad toppers to granola.  
  3. For sunflower seeds, the recipe doesn’t mention whether they should be raw or roasted. I used dry-roasted seeds. I was a little concerned about the salt or over toasting in the oven, but I didn’t experience a problem with either so if that’s what you can find, I say go for it. 
  4. Coconut oil is difficult to measure in a measuring cup. It’s solid at room temperature and it’s almost waxy, so it’s not as scoopable as shortening, which means it’s not the easiest thing to scoop and level in a measuring cup. If you have a scale, Saffitz provides weights as well as volume measurements. If you only have measuring cups, then it’s best just to eyeball 1/2 cup of coconut oil, melt it in the saucepan, then pour it into a measuring cup to make sure you have the correct amount. It melts quickly so it doesn’t take much time. 
  5. To keep the seeds fresh, store them in the refrigerator. The oils and fats in the seeds can go rancid. The cool temps reduce the time it takes for that to happen.