Pecan Muffins

by Renee on May 28, 2013

Pecan Muffins | Magnolia Days

Imagine a vast empty dessert. All you see is sand. Dull, boring sand. The same could be said about regular refined white granulated sugar. There is nothing special about it. The only taste to it is sweet. All the flavor has been processed away. And yet it has been a staple item in my pantry along with confectioners, brown, and turbinado. Now I’ve discovered Morena and I baked pecan muffins to showcase it’s flavor.

What is Morena sugar? It is an all-natural, unrefined, and non-GMO pure cane sugar. It’s made by squeezing and evaporating sugar cane juice. It has a light golden color. The crystals are a smidgen larger than refined white. What counts is the flavor. If you have ever chewed on sugar cane you will know exactly how this tastes. The subtle flavor is similar to caramel or molasses or a cross between the two.

Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar

Image courtesy Zulka Sugar

I took my time to find a good recipe to use Morena. I’m sure the nice folks at Zulka wondered what took me so long. They had sent a sample bag several weeks ago. Cookies were a possibility although I already had made Cuban Sugar Cookies. I also recently baked a Orange Blueberry Yogurt Bundt cake. Then I realized it has been a long time since I made muffins. The question then was which ones to make. I wanted something simple and where the flavor of the sugar would shine.

Pecan muffins fit the bill. I thought about sugared pecans and how the combination works so well. There would not be chocolate or cinnamon or fruit overpowering the cane sugar flavor. The result exceeded my expectations. The muffins have a crunch from the pecans and a slight taste of praline from the Morena sugar. They are small muffins and are best served a little warm with butter.

Pecan Muffins | Magnolia Days

There is a new staple sugar in my pantry. I will use Morena for baking when I want the added pure cane sugar flavor. It is what will be in my sugar shaker. In case you don’t know about a sugar shaker, it is something my family always had in the cabinet. It is for serving sugar with beverages instead of cubes or in a bowl. I have two and they both came from Germany.

Want to know more about Zulka and Morena sugar? Visit Zulka’s website or follow them on twitter, facebook, and Pinterest.

Pecan Muffins

30 minutes

Makes 12 muffins

Pecan Muffins

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup Morena sugar (or firmly packed brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin pan.

Add flour, pecans, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl. Whisk to combine.

Add milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

Pour the liquid mixture into the large bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until just moistened.

Divide batter equally into the 12 muffin cups.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until light brown around the edges and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Invert pan to remove muffins. Serve and enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from one in the Southern Living 1983 Annual Recipes cookbook.

Disclosure: I received a 4 pound bag of Zulka Morena sugar at no charge. I was under no obligation to give a positive review. All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated or contained within a guest post.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam @ Blueberries And Blessings May 28, 2013 at 8:26 am

Your muffins look and sound incredible! I’ll have to be on the lookout for that sugar, too!

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Renee May 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm

You can find the sugar in lots of places, I believe you can get it a Wal-Mart (or some of their locations).

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Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes May 28, 2013 at 9:10 am

I started buying different brown sugars a while ago, and you´re description is so right. And it pairs so well with pecans! These are fabulous muffins Renee!

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Renee May 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Thanks Paula!

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Nancy @ gottagetbaked May 28, 2013 at 10:30 am

Yum…I’m getting ready for work and your pecan muffin straight from the oven would be perfect for breakfast right now! They look fabulous, Renee!

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Renee May 28, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Thanks Nancy. They are really nice to eat when they are warm out of the oven.

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Kayle (The Cooking Actress) May 28, 2013 at 10:31 am

Yayyyy Zulka! OMG I love Morena sugar-these muffins are an awesome way to use it! (but then again everything is :P)

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Renee May 28, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Go team Zulka!! Nice to see others like yourself like the sugar as much as I do.

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Susan May 28, 2013 at 11:16 am

Isn’t Zulka the best? They’ve definitely changed my mind about plain old sugar. Also these pecan muffins sound pretty good right now!

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Renee May 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Yes! Zulka is the best. I’m so glad I discovered it.

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Diane M. May 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm

These muffins sound so yummy and I will be looking for Zulka, Morena sugar. I have heard of sugar shakers and I also have two. I found them in a Thrift shop and they are also from Germany. Love them.

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Renee May 28, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Thanks Diane! Glad to see there is someone else who enjoys using sugar shakers like I do.

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Medeja May 29, 2013 at 5:41 am

I should try these muffins next time when I will have pecans!

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Jennie @themessybakerblog May 29, 2013 at 9:56 am

I’vebeen converted too. I love this sugar! Renee, these muffins look so good, and I love your photos.

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Laura Dembowski May 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I love having all different kinds of sugar in my pantry. There are some times when white sugar is the best for the job, but others brown sugar or demerara sugar are better. This sugar sounds great, as do these muffins!

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steph@stephsbitebybite May 30, 2013 at 7:46 am

These sound so incredible!

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Liz May 30, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Your pecan muffins look terrific, Renee! I think I’ve seen this sugar at Whole Foods…I’ll definitely pick up a bag.

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Renee May 31, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Thanks Liz! You will love the sugar.

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foodwanderings May 31, 2013 at 7:25 pm

I love muffins Renee and it’s been way overdue since I baked them. I used to bake them every weekend. I never used the morena sugar and now I am curious.

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