Searching for the best morning muffins for breakfast or little muffins as a side dish for brunch? Try this easy and healthy cinnamon spice muffins recipe made with Greek yogurt and whole-wheat flour! It's one of several cooking projects for kids that would make a fantastic Mother's Day activity! And of course, it's fun for adults to whip up, too!
This recipe for cinnamon spice muffins is a healthier spin on a favorite treat that my mom made throughout my entire childhood. I hope you enjoy this spice muffins recipe as much as I do!
With Mother's Day around the corner, I have muffins on my mind. You might be wondering...why?! Well, I grew up spending lots of time with my mom in the kitchen, and we would often whip up delicious cinnamon spice muffins from scratch. My mom would make these spice muffins for every occasion, including Thanksgiving dinner. And when I later went off to live on my own, I started making them for almost every celebration, including Mother's Day.
The cinnamon spice muffins recipe you see here is a healthier spin on my childhood favorite, and I hope you enjoy these healthy cinnamon muffins as much as my entire family does! You can make them either as full-size muffins or as little muffins. My family enjoys mini muffins the most.
For me, part of celebrating Mother's Day is embracing the joy of cooking with my mom. In addition to whipping up muffins, we often baked together, preparing cookies and pies. My mom taught me my way around the kitchen. Later, she bravely gave me free rein. Oh, she was brave! I’d concoct brownies with too many ingredients (butterscotch chips, cherry juice, coconut flakes, and marshmallows) and overcooked vegetables, getting the hang of cooking and baking as I headed into my teen years. Now, creating recipes is part of my job, and I have my mom to thank for nurturing my early curiosity and love of food.
Want more muffin ideas? Give these morning muffins a try! The orange juice muffins make an especially great cooking project for kids.
Cooking with your kids allows them to appreciate where their food comes from and can help them be healthy eaters now and into adulthood. Cooking projects for kids also offers opportunity for math lessons and encourages creativity. In honor of Mother’s Day, I asked several of my dietitian colleagues—who happen to be mom—how they involve their own children in the kitchen. I hope you and your family enjoy these cooking projects for kids!
- 1. Request research help. “When my children can see pictures while searching the Internet for recipes, they get excited about what they are going to create. If I suggest something to them randomly, they might turn up their nose. But if they are involved in the process, it makes a world of difference in their acceptance of food!” —Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, author of Pregnancy Cooking and Nutrition for Dummies
- 2. Have them pick their produce. “Kids feel empowered and way more enthusiastic about trying new foods and helping in the kitchen when it's something they have played a part in. Whether it's a funky looking mushroom or a box of beautiful red strawberries that jumps out at them in the produce aisle, it will be fun to cook up what they've picked!” —Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, author of 52-Week Meal Planner
- 3. Collaborate on menu creation. “Each Wednesday, I had a child create a menu with foods from each of the food groups—meat, starch, veggie, fruit, and milk. I would like to believe both of my children like to cook to this day because it was an expected part of our everyday family life. It warmed my heart that when they went to college what they missed the most was family dinner time!”—Chere Bork, MS, RDN, owner of Savor Your Life Today
- 4. Infuse the kitchen with fun. “When my kids were small, I tried to make cooking time fun time. I started them with the simplest of tasks, using a vegetable peeler on carrots and cucumbers, washing grape tomatoes, or scrubbing the potatoes. These easy chores always involved foods they enjoyed to eat. It was amazing to see the sheer joy of accomplishment they felt when we sat down at the dinner table.” —Keri Gans, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet
- 5. Make food art. “Encourage kids to get creative and have fun with it! They can make their own pizza, selecting toppings like veggies to decorate the pizza and then creating faces or scenes. They can also choose their own ingredients to stuff burritos, fill tacos, or omelets.” —Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CFT, co-authors of Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure
- 6. Turn cooking into a math lesson. “In the kitchen, my children love t o scoop. I get their help measuring out flour, oatmeal, rice—whatever is scoop-able! I’m trying to get some fraction work in using measuring cups with my older son.” —Hope Scott Paul, MS, RD, a certified diabetes educator in Export, PA
- 7. Name the guest chef. “Once you sit down to eat, acknowledge your sous chef’s contributions to the rest of the family. The sense of pride this creates will inspire them to get back in the kitchen again and again!” —Diana Rice, RD, nutrition blogger at The Baby Steps Dietitian
This post was updated in May 2019. A version of this article originally appeared on WeightWatchers.com.
Helpful kitchen tools:
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cinnamon, divided
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and 1 cup of sugar. Mix in yogurt, butter, eggs, and milk. Add baking powder, vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon, and cloves; fold in walnuts and pour into greased muffin tin. In a small bowl, combine remaining sugar and cinnamon; top muffins with mixture. Bake at 375° F for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes about 15 muffins or 36 mini muffins.
Nutritional information per serving (per mini muffin): Cal: 70 Fat: 2.5 g Sat fat: 1 g Pro: 2 g Carbs: 11 g Sugar: 6 g Fiber: 0 g Chol: 15 mg Sod: 10 mg
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Let me know how you’re celebrating Mother's Day and how you’re enjoying these cinnamon spice muffins! What kind of cooking projects for kids does your family enjoy? Tag @amydgorin on Instagram and Pinterest and @amygorin on Twitter and Facebook.