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Mini Muffin Trail Snacks

Mini Muffins – Trail Snacks Recipe By: Cece Kirkwood 

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So you’ve just reached the summit of that mountain and it was a doozy! The best thing to do is to refuel with a deliciously satisfying trail snack like my Mini Muffin Trail Snacks. 

One of my go-to favorites is the Mini Muffin Trail Snack. To be exact, it is a mini cinnamon muffin. This little one is packed with fiber from the oatmeal, dense nutrients from the walnuts and healthy gut benefits from the sourdough and oh… did I mention they taste delicious?

I started a new job recently at AllTrails. Their mission is a simple one: to rekindle the spirit of adventure; and I am so stoked to be a part of this team. 

Other than baking, hiking and being outdoors is my biggest love. I know I can always find my best self after spending time taking a “sunbath” and reconnecting to nature. 

In honor of that new job, I wanted to start a new series that brings together my two passions: baking and being outdoors. So welcome to a new series that I’m calling “Trail Snacks”. If you’ve ever asked yourself “what trail snacks should I pack for my next hike?”. You are in the right place.  

Together, we will be creating delicious snacks that are easy to bake, travel well and keep you fueled up for all your outdoor adventures. Whether that’s hiking, biking, scenic drives or a visit to a nearby park. 

So stop one: The Mini Muffin Trail Snacks. Perfect for your next adventure. Let’s get to baking! 

The Process 

The mini muffin is a modification of my Perfectly Pillowy Sourdough Cinnamon Muffins recipe. So the technique is similar, but with a few modifications to make this more nutrient packed for the trails. 

Prepare your work station by preheating the oven to 400ºF, pre-measure the ingredients and grease your mini muffin tins. 

Ingredients for Mini Muffin Trail Snacks

Whisk together your dry ingredients (flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, nutmeg and salt) in a large bowl.  Add in melted butter, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla extract, milk and egg. Mix well. The batter may look a little odd now as it will be a bit thicker, almost like a cookie dough. 

Pour in sourdough starter and mix with a rubber spatula. Your batter will still be thick, but the consistency should look more like muffin batter now.

Add batter to greased mini muffin tins. To ensure an even bake, it is good to only fill ½ the tray, leaving every other muffin “mold” empty in the tray. You may need to bake two batches, but it will be worth it for that fluffy muffin top.

Before baking, top the muffins with a couple chopped walnuts (or you can replace with pecans if you prefer). I would not suggest mixing these into the batter though. Because these muffins are so tiny, you might find the nuts all fall to the bottom of the muffin when baking. I find that placing them on top once in the muffin “mold” ensures they remain “floating” after the bake. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure they are ready. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are ready to go. If not, stick them back in for another minute or two. 

Remove from trays and cool on a rack.

Then, pack them up for your next adventure (preferably in a reusable container or bag because remember, we leave “no trace” on our trails). 

The Tips 

A few of my favorite mini muffin trail snacks tips:

  1. To ensure an even bake, it is good to only fill ½ the tray, leaving every other muffin “mold” empty in the tray. You may need to bake two batches, but it will be worth it for the fluffy muffin on the other end
  2. When to add the walnuts to the batter: BEFORE BAKING! I would not suggest mixing these into the batter though. Because these muffins are so tiny, you might find the nuts all fall to the bottom of the muffin when baking. I find that placing them on top once in the muffin “mold” ensures they remain “floating” after the bake

How active should the sourdough be for this recipe?

For these muffins, it is important to note that the sourdough in this recipe is “fresh”, meaning that it has not been stored in the fridge and solidified over time – I use a discard that was recently fed and is active and bubbly.

Why is this recipe in grams?

Baking is a science and in science you want things to be exact and precise. The best way to do this is by weighing out your ingredients using a simple scale. Ever baked a cookie using the same recipe, yet somehow it turns out slightly different each time? That is because when measuring by volume, you can’t be as precise. It is vital that your ingredient ratios are accurate for a reliable bake every time. 

How long do the mini muffins trail snacks last in the fridge?

If packed in an airtight container, these mini muffins can be baked up to 3 days in advance to remain the freshest for the trail ahead! Remember to pack them in a reusable container and leave no trace behind on the trails! 

The Mini Muffins Trail Snacks Recipe

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Mini Muffin Trail Snacks

Mini Muffin Trail Snacks

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One of my go-to favorite trail snacks is the Mini Muffin. To be exact, it is a mini cinnamon sourdough muffin. This little one is packed with fiber from the oatmeal, dense nutrients from the walnuts and healthy gut benefits from the sourdough and oh… did I mention they taste delicious?

  • Author: Cece
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 25 min
  • Yield: 1820 mini muffins 1x
  • Category: Trail Snacks

Ingredients

Scale
  • 110g all-purpose flour
  • 40g old fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 43g butter, melted
  • 85g brown sugar
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 egg
  • 175g sourdough starter – active and bubbly
  • Chopped walnuts (or pecans) to top

Instructions

  • Prepare your work station: Preheat the oven to 400ºF, pre-measure the ingredients and grease the mini muffin tins.
  • Whisk together your dry ingredients (flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, nutmeg and salt) in a large bowl.
  • Add in melted butter, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla extract, milk and egg. Mix well. The batter may look a little odd now as it will be a bit thicker, almost like a cookie dough.
  • Pour in sourdough starter and mix with a rubber spatula.
  • Add batter to greased mini muffin tins, filing only ½ the tray, leaving every other muffin “mold” empty in the tray.
  • Before baking, top the muffins with a couple chopped walnuts (or you can replace with pecans if you prefer).
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure they are ready. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are ready to go. If not, stick them back in for another minute or two.
  • Remove from trays and cool on a rack.
  • Then, pack them up for your next adventure (preferably in a reusable container or bag because remember, we leave “no trace” on our trails).

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