Michelle and I are nearing our anniversary and I wanted to bake her a special treat. As compromise is the heart of any good relationship, I crafted these muffins that are full of sweet potato and oat bran goodness for her but tasty enough for me. Of course, she is going to experiment with the fat content and even switching to some whole wheat flour but, for me, for now, these are a success – lots of sweet potato flavor but not dense and heavy.
This recipe is an amalgamation from one for Sweet Potato Muffins from The Loveless Cafe and one from King Arthur Flour for Oat Bran Muffins. The recipe makes 36 regular sized muffins but don’t be intimidated as they freeze really well.
We usually buy lots sweet potatoes when they’re on sale and then bake them all up, scoop out the insides and freeze them in 1 and 2 cup measurements. That makes it easy to pull them out and put them in all kinds of recipes, like this one. You’ll need about 3 sweet potatoes to make 2 cups baked and mashed.
Sweet Potato Oat Bran Muffins
1/2 cup oat bran hot cereal, not flakes (I used Hodgson Mill)
1 pound butter (4 sticks unsalted butter), divided
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups sugar
2 cups sweet potatoes, baked and mashed
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
cinnamon sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Place cupcake liners into the cups of 2 twelve-count muffin pans, set aside.
Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Mix with the oat bran cereal and let cool slightly. Melt 1/3 cup butter and stir into cereal along with 1 tablespoon honey. Set aside.
Cream remaining butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl of the mixer and then add sweet potatoes and beat until blended. Add in the oat bran mixture.
In a separate bowl add all dry ingredients, whisking to ensure all the spices and baking powder are well-blended with the flour. Add flour mixture to sweet potato mixture a little at a time until you have a smooth consistency. With a spoon, mix in chopped pecans. Stir the vanilla into the milk. Slowly add milk mixture to the muffin batter, stirring until just blended.
Spoon mixture into muffin tin, filling each cup 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar.
Bake first pan of muffins for approximately 20-30 minutes, rotating midway through baking. They are done when golden brown and a toothpick placed in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Remove first pan and set the second muffin tin in the oven.
Let baked muffins rest in pan for 5 minutes before removing and letting cool completely. Let the muffin tin cool slightly before placing in more liners and refilling the pan as the second one bakes.