Tree Cupcakes! (a.k.a. Sweet Green Muffins)

>> Sunday, January 27, 2013

The other day, I posted to Facebook:

"Ever since we had a couple leftover cupcakes from the weekend, Cady wants one for a treat after going potty. I'm going to pull a fast one on the reward-monger and make green mini-muffins w/ spinach, bananas, and yogurt. Think I can get away with such steath veggie bribery goodness? Stay tuned."

The idea has been stuck in my head ever since, especially after Cady started asking - rather persistently - for cupcakes (and we had none) as a "reward." We are not typically reward-for-behavior parents, but it's actually been working pretty well with regard to potty learning, and a green muffin would be way better than chocolate or cupcakes, right?

Here's what I came up with after some searching on the Internet and Frankensteining of recipes (including some additions of my own):


1 c. packed baby spinach leaves
1 c. packed kale leaves
1 c. plus one Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c. vanilla Greek yogurt
1 medium-sized (very ripe) banana, mashed

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease muffin tin (I used a mini bunt pan). Juice spinach and kale to yield about 3-4 oz., and set aside. In one bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another, beat the sugar and egg until creamy. Add oil, yogurt, mashed banana, and spinach/kale juice and beat until fairly smooth (there will be some banana bits). Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are well-incorporated. Fill batter into prepared tin, about 3/4 full . Bake for about 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted  comes out clean.

You could also garnish with chopped nuts before baking, but since I was making these for a picky toddler, I wanted them to be simple. :-)

Cady really liked them (though it took a couple minutes of coming up with a fun name for them before she finally took a bite and then devoured it). They turned out so very moist and I like them plain, but Cady insists they're best with a smear of butter. You can't taste a bit of the green, and they are very similar to the fluffiest banana bread I've ever tasted. This little project also made me realize that adding some juiced spinach or kale would be a great way to color a birthday cake without the use of dyes. I may try beets, next!


MissFancyPants January 27, 2013 at 9:08 PM  

Looks delish!!!! I want to make them for me!!

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