Sweet pears baked with dates and warm spices make these muffins irresistible on a cold morning. Enjoy them for breakfast or with a hot cup of tea for an afternoon treat. 

YIELD: 12 large muffins (or one 8 inch square cake)

Recipe Development and Photography: Williams-Raines


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or use more brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup neutral tasting oil (such canola or safflower)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped, pitted dates
  • 1 large ripe Bartlett or Anjou pear, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • Cinnamon sugar for dusting (1 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 2 tablespoons sugar)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups or spray the pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom and cinnamon and stir well to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, add the apple sauce, brown sugar, maple syrup, oil, vanilla and eggs, whisk to combine.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until the flour is moistened, fold in the pears and the dates and mix until everything is incorporated, do not over mix.
  5. Distribute the batter evenly in the muffin cups, filling each one 3/4 full. (these will be large muffins). Sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top or each muffin, bake for 20-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, remove muffins and continue cooling on a wire rack.
  7. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Muffins can also be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to one month.


This recipe can also be baked in a 8 inch square baking pan. Spray the pan with non-stick spray, bake for 35-45 minutes or until the top springs back when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes back clean.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email