Vegan Corn & Jam Muffins
May 8, 2020

Vegan Corn & Jam Muffins | The Full Helping

It’s strange to feel wiped out at a time when I’m almost always home, my evenings are always free, and work isn’t particularly crazy. But I’ve felt amazingly tired this week, all the same.

Part of it is an accumulation of failed recipes, which always knocks the wind out of my sails. But I think that I’m being impacted by my environment, too. My days are very routine, and they’re peaceful in many ways, but there’s still the weight of changed lifestyle and reality to cope with. When I focus on simple household tasks, I feel calm, but there’s always a lurking anxiety about the current circumstances—worry for my mom, worry for loved ones—and so many questions about when and how we’ll start to recover as a society.

Given that I’ve had essentially no human contact in eight or nine weeks, my loneliness is manageable. It comes and goes, but I have plenty of virtual contact, and that helps. Even so, I’m starting to get restless. I miss my city. I miss being out, walking into coffee shops and restaurants, grocery shopping without a sense of urgency and the need to hurry home.

I think the only way to cope with this is to acknowledge that it’s there. I can’t and won’t operate as if the pandemic isn’t happening and daily life hasn’t been fundamentally altered. It has been, and I’m affected by what’s happening, as we all are. I’m often unmotivated. I’m not being very productive with this time at home. My mood is unpredictable; fear comes and goes.

It’s OK. I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other and focusing on the present. The latter is what seems to help me most of all. I feel the calmest when I take each hour as it comes and resist speculating about what’s ahead. When I adopt this posture, I’m able to breathe, to complete one task at a time, and to savor the little things.

What definitely doesn’t help is experimenting with overly ambitious recipes. Ambitious is a relative term, of course: when I’m calm and centered and energetic, there are a lot of recipe projects that turn out to be fun. When I’m anxious and glum and unmotivated, it’s not the time to experiment with an elaborate new cake, which is what I spent three days doing this week. In my defense, it’s my mother’s birthday and Mother’s Day this weekend, and I wanted to observe them in style. But I probably should have stopped after only one failed attempt, rather than a few.

Vegan Corn & Jam Muffins | The Full Helping

Intuitively, I knew that I’d cheer up if I baked something that was a success. Instead of overreaching, I decided to make a recipe that’s relatively close to other recipes that I’ve made and loved. These corn and jam muffins are it. I love cornbread with jam, so it’s no surprise that I think they’re delightful. And the jam is a surprise, a little pocket of sweetness that you find when you open up a muffin or bite into it to eat.

“Jam-filled” sounds kind of fancy, but the muffins really aren’t hard to make. The batter is basically cornbread batter. You scoop it into a muffin tin, add a dollop (a scant tablespoon) of jam on top of each mound of batter, and then top that with a little extra batter. The muffins bake up into golden perfection, with the jam hiding inside them. It’s sort of the same principle as a self-saucing pudding. Except I’ve never tried to make one of those, and this won’t be the week that I experiment 😉

Here’s the muffin recipe.

Vegan Corn & Jam Muffins | The Full Helping

Vegan Corn & Jam Muffins | The Full Helping

Vegan Corn & Jam Muffins

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Yields: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240 g) unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (140 g) fine or medium grind cornmeal (substitute corn flour: see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 oz) soy, almond, oat, or cashew milk
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup (128 g) cane sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (112 g) vegan butter, melted (or 1/3 cup vegetable oil + 2 tablespoons cold water)
  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam (or another jam of choice)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F and spray or lightly grease a 12-muffin baking pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, and salt.
  • In another mixing bowl, add your plant milk and vinegar. Allow them to sit for a minute. Then, stir in the sugar and melted butter (or oil and water). Stir these wet ingredients together, then add them to the dry ingredients. Fold everything together with a spatula until just evenly mixed (a few clumps are OK).
  • Fill your muffin pan about 2/3 of the way with the batter. You'll need enough batter remaining to add a tablespoon on top of each muffin when you finish. Top each partially filled muffin container with a scant tablespoon of jam. Finally, top the jam with another tablespoon (or so) of batter. The muffin pan should be 3/4 full when you're done.
  • Bake the muffins for 22-24 minutes, or until light golden brown and with set tops. Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before enjoying. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or they can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

Notes

If you use corn flour, be aware that it's more absorbent than corn meal, so you'll need a little extra liquid in your batter. Add an extra 2-4 tablespoons of plant milk to the 1 1/4 cups listed. The batter should be easily scoopable but not liquidy/pourable. 
In place of all-purpose flour, you can use a gluten-free flour blend that you trust.

Vegan Corn & Jam Muffins | The Full Helping

If you happen to be baking for a mom in celebration of Mother’s Day this weekend, these muffins are fun and sweet and festive, yet pretty simple, all things considered. And they’re great with brunch. If you’re baking virtually with or for someone, they’ll be a fun little Zoom project. If you’re not celebrating Mother’s Day, but you could use a homemade muffin, they’re waiting for you. Whatever you’re up to this weekend, if you feel like baking, I hope these will bring you a little joy.

And speaking of the weekend, I’ll be back on Sunday for weekend reading.

xo

 

 

 

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    13 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    These were delicious, thank you so much for the recipe! I’m not vegan and so used some dairy milk that needed using, but will try with mylk in the future too. I used apple cider vinegar, half blackberry and half raspberry jam, the oil/water option, and baked for 23 minutes. This is a keeper recipe!

  2. Hello Gena! love your recipe they re so tasty and creative, i’ve been follow you for a while now , i can say i am new vegan cause its my second month of being vegan ! at the begin was hard also cause i used to love meat! but then i decide to change my lifestyle , follow your blog and reading your book was essential for me to be able to go trought all of this i also follow a ! Month Vegan Challenge https://bit.ly/3e8atnz that consist in 5 book that explain everything people must know about going vegan! and both your books and blog combined with this challeng make me achieve my goal ! thank you very much for what you do everyday inspiring lots of people.
    lets change the world GO VEGAN

    sincerely

    Angelo M

  3. Thank you for your words of wisdom as always. I’m in the UK, furloughed from work and still under lockdown. My day is my own, but I wake up every morning feeling tired, drained and unmotivated. It’s good to know that this is a common experience. I wish you and your readers well. Xxx.

  4. Gena, thank you for this post, and for all your others during the pandemic so far (and always). You say that you feel tired and unproductive, and I hear you. But I also think that you are being hard on yourself when you call yourself unproductive, because your posts over the last few weeks have been frequent and thoughtful and compassionate. I know that other people like me have benefited from your words each time you have posted. And this, to me, is a wonderful example of productivity. So take care of yourself. Breathe. Let go. Forgive yourself. Smile. We will be doing it with you :).

    • Grateful for the kind perspective, Rebecca, and grateful most of all for the reminder to breathe. Thank you. Smiling.

  5. Baked this tonight, followed recipe to a T and its so good! Thanks for sharing the recipe, Gena!

  6. Anything cornbread gets my attention. These look so delicious! Will definitely be making these. Maybe I’ll try them with boysenberry jam.=)

  7. This post really resonated with me. I am feeling so tired a lot, even though i should have more time in my life. Have a school kid at home while working from home does not help but it would be nice to feel I had a bit more time rather than less. I am baking bread more than usual and occasionally making other recipes but not as often as I might expect. I take heart from your comments about how to be mindful and gracious in this situation. It does sound awful in New York. In Melbourne we are just waiting til an announcement on monday about easing some restrictions – waiting over the weekend to hear if we can visit others is making me feel more impatient than usual. And your muffins sound lovely. Best wishes for mothers day and finding ways to connect with your mum.

  8. I rarely make a comment on blogs I frequent. But I have to say, everything you said in your comments I feel too in exactly the same way. You live in an apartment in NYC and I live in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virgina. Even though I live ruraly and have room to be outside without peoople around me excpet for my husband, I feel all the feelings that you feel during this epidemic. It makes me feel not alone to hear you are feeling the same as me. We all are feeling the same things. Thank you so much for your insights. I love your blog and your way of writing.

    • I feel the same in Toronto, Glenda (and Gena!). It’s amazing how universal this experience has been in so many ways for so many of us. It does help to know we’re not alone. It’s late, but I just might make these before turning in. I’m craving the simple comforts that a classic treat like these muffins afford. And I’ve been craving cornbread, so perfect timing. Thank you for these, Gena—always a fan. Sending hugs to you both from up north.