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Essentially a cake you can justify having for breakfast thanks to a decent dose of nutritional value! Best enjoyed warm, slowly, and with a giant cup of tea or coffee.

You will need

Makes 12

  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mild-flavoured olive oil or rice bran oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Raw sugar, for sprinkling

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15 mins to prep

20 mins to bake

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 200°C conventional, or 180°C fan-forced. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with non-stick paper liners.

  2. Step 2

    In a small bowl, mix together soy milk, flaxseeds, banana, lemon zest and lemon juice. Set aside until the mixture has thickened slightly.

  3. Step 3

    Meanwhile, into a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, mixed spice and salt. Stir well, then add the chopped dates and walnuts, and give another quick mix.

  4. Step 4

    Add the olive oil to the lemony flaxseed milk, along with the brown sugar and vanilla. Whisk until combined.

  5. Step 5

    Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in the milk mixture and stir until just combined, but don’t be too fussy – some dry patches are perfectly fine. Be careful not to overmix or you’ll end up with tough muffins!

  6. Step 6

    Quickly spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, then sprinkle with the raw sugar (it will create a nice crunchy top).

  7. Step 7

    Bake for about 20–25 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown; if a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean, you’re done! If not, bake for another 2–5 minutes. (If you accidentally overcook them, don’t stress: a quick zap in the microwave later will soften them up.)

  8. Step 8

    Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to sit for 5 minutes, before turning out of the tin. These little babies are best eaten warm!


To make apple cinnamon muffins, replace the banana with diced Granny Smith apples, and add an extra pinch of cinnamon. For a tart berry version, replace bananas & walnuts with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or a mix, and add a combination of orange and lemon zests! Feel like ‘fruit toast’ muffins? Instead of the dates and walnuts, use 1 1/2 cups mixed dried sultanas, raisins, currants and mixed peel.

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