Soft, spiced pumpkin and cocoa combine in this pumpkin chocolate swirl muffin recipe. Serve spread with chocolate hazelnut spread for a real treat during Fair Trade Month.
The air is crisp, the kind of crisp you feel chill your lungs when you inhale in the early morning hours. Our windows, which had been open all summer in an attempt to let the air in, are now closed tight against the wind. Across the street, we’re watching as the fiery red leaves at the top of the neighbors’ giant maple trickle down and overcome the verdant green below.
Last weekend at the market was a lesson in pumpkin patience for my youngest. His eyes lit at the sight of every orange orb we passed. Magnus commented on each display, taking note of the different sizes and colors. When I reminded him we have pumpkins we grew at home and were going to wait before choosing one to carve, he expressed his disappointment with cold tears running down ruddy cheeks.
Our morning routine now includes a selection of sweaters and coats zipped bottom to top. Small fingers are stuffed inside thin cotton gloves before the kids shoulder their backpacks and run out the door. Autumn has definitely arrived.
It is the season of harvest, and as Magnus so aptly pointed out after his tears were dried and we were home, we have six pumpkins in our dining room waiting to become something to eat. They may not be the carving variety, but they have a purpose all their own.
These muffins combine all the pumpkin spiced goodness right alongside a healthy bit of cocoa and chocolate. They’re soft and just the right amount of sweet. We took the liberty of spreading chocolate hazelnut spread over sliced muffins, which isn’t required, but does come highly recommended.
Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Muffins
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1½ cups pumpkin purée
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 12 muffin cups.
- In a medium bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add in the pumpkin purée, eggs, and vanilla, stirring until combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, whisking together. Add to the pumpkin mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Split the batter in half. Add ¼ cup of flour to one side, stirring to combine, and ¼ cup cocoa powder to the other, stirring to combine. Pour one batter on top of the other and fold twice to swirl slightly. Do not over fold the batter, or they will combine rather than swirl. Alternatively, you can swirl in the muffin cups by adding both batters to the same cup and then using a toothpick or knife to swirl together.
- Scoop into the line muffin cups, filling ⅔ full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until centers of the muffins are set and bounce back lightly when touched.
Fair Trade Products Used
- Wholesome! Brown Sugar
- Frontier Natural Products Co-Op Vanilla, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg
- Lake Champlain Chocolates Cocoa Powder
- Barefoot & Chocolate Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
This post is in partnership with Fair Trade USA to raise awareness for Fair Trade Month in October. Buying products made from Fair Trade Certified ingredients ensures that farmers are being fairly compensated. These seemingly small differences can help farmers and families succeed, allowing them to afford clean water, better housing, transportation, schooling for their children, and more. Check out BeFair.org to learn more and follow along with #BeFair via social media this month for more giveaways.
These muffins are a great example of how you can choose Fair Trade Certified products in your everyday cooking and baking. The cocoa powder, brown sugar, chocolate for the accompanying hot chocolate, the hazelnut spread, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla are all regular pantry items that can be purchased fair trade.
My farmer for the month is Ntahobankiye Jeremie. He has been a coffee farmer since 1975, joining the Dukunde Kawa Cooperative in 2000. Being a member of the cooperative has allowed Jeremie to upgrade his home and transportation and to purchase cows for organic fertilizer. The cooperative gives 10% of its net profits towards building washing stations around Rwanda. They also help farmers obtain new trees to support future coffee sales and increased production. With an 80% female workforce, the cooperative is an asset to the entire community in Rwanda.
For Fair Trade Month, these companies have offered a gift basket of products to one reader. Please enter below for a chance to win.
- Cascadian Farm
- Lake Champlain Chocolates
- Numi Organic Tea
- Frontier Natural Products Co-Op
- Barefoot & Chocolate
- Alter Eco
- Pura Vida by S&D Coffee
- Spectrum Essentials