gingerbread muffin tops

Ginger Molasses Muffin Tops

The other day my daughter made cookies. They were gingery molasses cookies sweetened with dark molasses and sucanat (unrefined whole cane sugar) so they weren’t as bad as other sweets, but were still much higher in sugars than is good for me to eat. So, of course, I shouldn’t have had any.

I ate six of them.


Very obviously, I cannot be trusted around sugar-sweetened foods – even if it’s whole, unrefined sugar.

I set out to make something that had the same flavor but without the addictive sugar punch. What resulted was a soft, pillowy muffin-like cookie. Something more like muffin tops than anything else – but the most tender and light muffin tops you’ve ever eaten! They’re packed with flavor, and the perfect sweetness for what you’d expect from a muffin. I’ve found that my enjoyment of a food is directly impacted by what I expect them to be, so calling them muffins instead of cookies immediately made them more delicious!

gingerbread muffin tops

They’re really good. So good that my son is – at this very moment – BEGGING me to let him have another one, falling to the ground in mock hysterics, pretending to be heartbroken over the fact that he has to wait until he’s done his spelling homework first. (He thinks he’s funny.) My daughter, in her more subdued way, said in agreement, “Yeah, Mom. They’re REALLY good!”

So. There you go.

However, while they’re very tasty (and obviously kid approved), they don’t make me want to wolf down the entire batch. I can eat one, enjoy it, and think it’s delicious – and then be done. It’s so much easier to have self-control without the sugar-drug!

I don’t have a step-by-step photo session of these, because I just threw them together last night and didn’t feel like bothering. (Yeah, I’m lazy sometimes.) But it’s easy, and I’m sure you can figure it out just fine!

gingerbread muffin tops

Four notes:
1. My new printable recipe thingee won’t let me put links within the recipe, so if you need a tutorial on how to make date puree, you’ll find it here. And if you need a tutorial for browning butter, you can use this one from How Sweet It Is.
2. I know I extolled the virtues of blackstrap molasses on my last post about baked beans, but it’s too bitter for this desert recipe. Use dark (sometimes called full flavor) molasses instead.
3. This recipe uses some almond flour, and it gives it great texture, but all grain flour can be used instead if desired.
4. And, while these are a very nutrient-dense and relatively healthy dessert, molasses IS still sucrose (dark molasses is 60% sucrose.) So you still have to be careful about your consumption if you’re fighting inflammation!

Ginger Molasses Muffin Tops
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 30 cookies
  • 10 oz. dates, or 1 cup prepared date puree
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, preferably unrefined
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ⅓ cup molasses, preferably dark (sometimes called "full flavor")
  • 1½ cup whole grain spelt or whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup almond flour or meal
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1½ tsp ground ginger
  • scant ⅛ tsp Stevia powder
  1. Soak the dates in very hot water for 10 minutes. Drain, and refill with fresh hot water and let soak for another 10 minutes. (or use previously prepared date puree).
  2. While the dates are soaking, brown the butter. In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until it's lightly browned. Turn off heat, and stir in the coconut oil until melted.
  3. When the dates are softened, put them in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Pour in the melted brown butter/coconut oil mixture and pulse until relatively smooth. Add the egg, vanilla, and molasses, and process for about a minute, or until consistently smooth.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, almond meal, baking soda, Stevia, and spices and stir together. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl and mix until completely combined. (At this point, taste the batter and if you want it sweeter add a couple tablespoons of maple syrup.)
  5. Cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator to chill for an hour.
  6. Heat the oven to 375 F. Grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil, or line it with parchment paper. Using two small spoons, scoop small spoonfuls of the dough onto the cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes.


(This recipe is a part of Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday and Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday)