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The easiest pumpkin muffins — ever

It’s officially pumpkin-flavored everything time! Which falls directly between barbecue-flavored everything time and peppermint-flavored everything time. Sheesh! Where has the year gone?

In my never-ending quest to hack this thing we call life, I came upon this ridiculously easy recipe many years ago and it has remained a favorite ever since.

The muffins are delectably dense and mouth-wateringly moist and so flavorful you’ll never believe there are only two ingredients, one box of cake mix and 1 (15 oz) can of pure pumpkin. That’s it. I know you’re making a squishy face as you read but you’ll just have to trust me on this.

Preheat the oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, blend your dry cake mix with the pumpkin using a hand mixer. The batter will be stiff.

If you wish, you can add a few tablespoons of milk or water to moisten the batter or if your mixer is complaining, but it really doesn’t need it. Use cooking spray or place cupcake liners in a regular muffin tin and spoon the batter into the wells.

This makes 18 to 24 muffins depending how you divide the batter. They don’t rise very much. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes. They’re done when a toothpick comes out clean. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with glaze if they last long enough to top. My kids like them hot out of the oven with a little scoop of ice cream.

What kind of cake mix? Spice cake mix is out-of-this-world good and the usual companion. But wait — there’s more! You can use other cake mixes to vary the flavor. If you use white or yellow cake, you might want to add a generous teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice because we love “fall” spices. Carrot cake mix is divine made with pumpkin. Don’t get me started about chocolate cake mixed with pumpkin. Oh! My! Goodness!

Do you like muffins with goodies? Goodies like raisins, dried cranberries, nuts, coconut, oats, M&M’s, chocolate chips, toffee chips, cinnamon or butterscotch chips? Add any combination that makes you happy. You could frost them with cream cheese frosting if you want to be totally decadent.

Variations — To make mini muffins; bake for 10 to 12 minutes, test for doneness with a toothpick. To make cookies, use a small ice cream scoop and put on a pan for cake like cookies. Bake 8 to 10 minutes depending on size. To make a loaf cake; bake for 50 minutes.

These freeze beautifully stored in an airtight container or a zip-top bag and can be made with gluten free cake mix too.

Don’t tell anyone but these are kinda healthy too. You’re not adding any oil or egg to the cake mix and you’re sneaking in a veggie. But you didn’t hear that from me.

Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Frugal Food contributed by Patti Diamond, author of Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!, www.divasonadime.com.

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