Dutch Pepernoten stuffed muffins are a sweet treat to serve with Sinterklaas. A beautiful golden brown top, creamy and airy inside. They are in the oven within 10 minutes, and all you need are two bowls, a whisk, and a muffin tin.
Filled with ginger nuts, they are sweet muffins, which are super delicious around December 5th.
Dutch Pepernoten Stuffed Muffins
Muffins are easy because they are ready quickly, and you don't need a mixer. Even lumps are allowed (in moderation, of course;-)).
And during all my baking, I found out how to make a delicious muffin. Using flour with cornstarch will make your muffin softer and cakier. And using milk and melted butter in combination with sufficient baking powder makes it creamy, smooth, and airy.
I make these pepernoten stuffed muffins every year when Saint Nicholas comes to the Netherlands, and they are always gone in no time. With the request to make them again. Well, who can resist these muffins?
Pepernoten vs. Kruidnoten
I know there is a discussion about the name pepernoten. In this blog kruidnoten are used, but to be honest, I only started calling them kruidnoten when I started blogging. We always called them pepernoten, as do most in the Netherlands. And I've only known real pepernoten for a few years.
They are two very different bakes. Where traditional Dutch pepernoten tends to have a tough, chewy structure and a square shape, the Kruidnoten are half spheres. They taste crispy and not soft. These muffins are made with kruidnoten because it comes into its own here. But because almost everyone knows it as pepernoten, I use this name interchangeably in this blog post.
What do you need for Muffins with Kruidnoten?
To prepare these Dutch Pepernoten Stuffed Muffins, you need the following ingredients. You can find the correct amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of the blog:
- Flour and Cornstarch - We use a mixture of flour and cornstarch for these muffins. This is a tip that has blown over from America, where cake flour is often used. Replacing a little flour with cornstarch will make the muffin crumbier and softer. But, of course, you can replace both with cake flour too.
- Brown Sugar - Sweeten the muffins. In addition, it gives a hint of caramel flavor to the cakes and ensures that the muffins remain moist (and therefore do not taste dry).
- Baking powder - Ensures that the pancakes rise. If you want to know more about baking powder and possible substitutes, you will find a blog about baking powder and baking soda here.
- Salt - To balance the sweet taste.
- Pepernoten - In other words, spice nuts in this case. Baked crispy with a delicious gingerbread flavor. This is a great recipe to bake Dutch kruidnoten from scratch.
- Egg - To bind the batter.
- Milk - Makes the muffins creamy.
- Butter - Gives a delicious creamy taste. Melt the butter over low heat and do not allow it to brown.
How to prepare Sinterklaas Cupcakes filled with Pepernoten
You can find a printable recipe with a step-by-step description at the bottom of this blog.
- Prepare two bowls and mix the flour with the cornflour, baking powder, crumbled pepernoten, salt and sugar in the largest bowl.
- Mix the milk with melted butter and egg in the second bowl with a whisk.
- Pour the contents of the second bowl into the large bowl with solid ingredients and stir with a whisk so that all ingredients are wet. There may still be some lumps in it.
- Divide the batter over 12 cupcake tin and bake the pepernoten stuffed muffins in a preheated oven at 350 °F (180 °C) for 25 minutes. Remove the gingerbread muffins from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the mold and eat them immediately or cool them on a rack.
Tips, Substitutions, and Variations
- And if you don't know your oven very well yet, check the muffins for doneness two minutes before the end of the baking time. This can be done in three simple ways:
- Shake the mold lightly. If the tops of the muffins move, they are not ready.
- Press the center of a muffin with your finger. If the impression springs back immediately, the cupcake is ready. If a dimple remains visible, they need to bake a little longer.
- Stick a toothpick in the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean and dry, the cupcakes are done.
- Keep the baking time and check the muffins. When they are done, remove them from the oven; otherwise, they will become too dry.
- Sprinkle some almond shivers over the muffins. Almond and pepernoten is a delicious combination and gives the muffin just that little bit extra.
- If you do not have pepernoten, you can also use 1 tablespoon of speculaas mix spices or North American Pumpkin spices.
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Dutch Pepernoten Stuffed Muffins
- 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 oz. pepernoten crumbled coarsely
- 1 egg size L
- ⅞ cup milk
- ¾ stick butter melted, cooled to room temperature
Ingredients you need per step are listed below the step in Italic
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F or 320 °F.
- Mix the flour with the cornflour, baking powder, crumbled pepernoten, salt, and sugar in a large bowl well with a fork.1⅓ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ cup cornstarch, ¼ cup dark brown sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ⅛ teaspoon salt, 2 oz. pepernoten
- Mix the milk with the melted butter and egg in a second bowl.1 egg, ⅞ cup milk, ¾ stick butter
- Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well with a spoon until everything is wet. There may still be lumps in it, but that doesn't matter.
- Divide the batter between the 12 tins and put the baking tray in the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes (or until done. You can check that by putting a satay pricker inside the muffin. If it comes out dry, your muffin is done).
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Remove the muffins from the tin and eat them immediately or cool them on a rack.
- Divide some almond shavings over the muffins. Almond and pepernoten is a delicious combination and gives the muffin just that little bit extra.
- If you do not have pepernoten, you can also use one tablespoon of speculaas spice mix.
- Shake the mold lightly. If the tops of the cupcakes move, they are not ready.
- Press the center of a cupcake with your finger. If the impression springs back immediately, the cupcake is ready. If a dimple remains visible, they need to bake a little longer.
- Stick a toothpick in the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean and dry, the cupcakes are done.
- Room temperature - These pepernoten stuffed muffins will stay fresh for up to 3 days if you store them in an airtight container.
- Freezer - You can also freeze these muffins. Store them in a freezer box or bag. You can then store them for up to 3 months. TIP Store the muffins in portions. Then you only have to defrost the amount you need.