Prize Winning Unusual Muffin Recipes

We went in search of the most unique and tasty muffin recipes that featured an unusual ingredient. From black beans to cous cous to pickles, we got what we asked for, and the results were delicious!

In our 2015 edition, we asked for the most unique, unusual, and tasty muffin recipes featuring an unusual ingredient. Well, we got what we asked for!

We received hundreds of recipes for our Unusual Muffin Recipe contest — some contained very odd ingredients (pickles, Cool Whip, black beans, sauerkraut, avocados, onions, cauliflower, to name a few). We had a tantalizing time baking and tasting many recipes. The following were our top three winners. Try them for yourself and be sure to share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Unusual Muffin Recipe Contest Winners


close-up muffin with curd, carrots and oat flakes on orange placemat
The winning Moroccan Muffins used the unusual ingredients of couscous, carrot juice, pistachios and apricots for a chewy, substantial muffin.

Roxanne Chan 
Albany, CA

Moroccan Muffins

Cafe - Muffin

Moroccan Muffins

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American


  • 1 cup carrot juice
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon grated ginger root
  • 1 egg
  • 1⁄3 cup honey
  • 1⁄3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts


  • Directions:
    Combine the carrot juice and couscous in a microwavable dish; microwave 4–5 minutes or until the juice is absorbed and the couscous is tender. Cool.
    In a medium bowl whisk together the spices, egg, honey, and yogurt. Add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder; mix well. Stir in the cooled couscous, apricots, and nuts. Divide among 12 muffin tins. Bake at 350º F for 15–20 minutes or till the centers are set and the edges are golden.
Keyword harsha moroccan, moroccan semolina cake

Double Chocolate Black Bean & Avocado Muffins

Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1⁄2 cup black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1⁄2 cup skim milk (almond or soy milk may be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1⁄2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  • Directions:
    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners, or spray the tin with cooking spray so the muffins don’t stick.
    In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix thoroughly. Cut the avocado in half length- wise and remove the pit.
    Using a spoon, scoop the flesh into a blender or food processor. Add the beans, milk, vanilla, and eggs and blend until ingredients are mixed and the texture is smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients slowly, until completely mixed and moist.
    Fold the chocolate chips into the batter. Fill the muffin tins two-thirds of the way up. Makes 12 muffins. Bake for 15 minutes or until the muffins look golden brown. Let cool and enjoy.
Keyword black bean chocolate banana muffins, chocolate black bean cupcakes

Sweet Pickles & Cream Muffins

Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 8- ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1⁄4 cup oil
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sweet pickles, chopped


  • Directions:
    Preheat oven 375°F. Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Mix wet ingredients (except for pickles) together.
    Stir dry ingredients into wet until well mixed. Then add the sweet pickles and mix well. Spoon into muffin cups filling three-quarters of the way full. Bake for 20–25 minutes. Serve warm.
    Congratulations to all the muffin winners and a big thank you to all who submitted recipes!
Keyword how to make a pickle cake, pickle desserts

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