Bursting with health appeal, flavor, and convenience, Maple Flax Breakfast Cakes are a twist on a reader-favorite mug muffin—and a personal go-to breakfast that I’ve enjoyed countless times.
Several years ago, a reader request inspired me to share a simple mug muffin that I frequently whip up to start my day. (Full disclosure: Although it’s quick and easy, I typically make it the night before because every extra minute in the morning is appreciated, right?)
What I really like about this muffin, aside from its great taste and ability to ward off hunger for hours, is that the main component is über-nutritious flaxseed meal. (Note the handy canister I get from Barlean’s, pictured further down the page.)
For something so tiny, flaxseeds lay claim to some big benefits. Flax is an excellent plant source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants called lignans. It’s rich in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, and fiber. These are just some of the reasons why flax consumption is linked with reducing inflammation, improving heart and digestive health, lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and fending off some forms of cancer.
To reap the reported health benefits, a daily “dose” of at least two tablespoons of flax meal is recommended. Realistically, the typical sprinkle over oatmeal, yogurt, or a smoothie falls short of that.
These muffins are a game changer. (For the quicker cook times, I’ve been making these in ramekins instead of mugs recently. “Breakfast cake” and “muffin” can be considered interchangeable here.🙃)
Over the years, I’ve made that muffin so many times, experimenting with and tweaking the original recipe. It’s said that baking is an exact science, but sometimes the margin for error is greater than others. This muffin is a good example.
I’ve made it with oil or a variety of nut and seed butters for the fat component and tested an egg white in lieu of a whole egg. (For those who prefer not to eat the yolk, it works with no need for additional liquid, albeit with a little less overall rise.) I’ve made it with and without fruit puree, and a variety of types and amounts at that. (Two to four tablespoons of puree will work with slight variations on the overall cook time. Three tablespoons of mashed, overripe banana is my personal favorite, although applesauce, apple butter, and pumpkin butter provide worthy options.)
The use of a naturally sweet fruit, like overripe banana, allows for minimal added sweetener. Lately, I’ve been reaching for maple syrup, although honey or a granular sweetener of choice may be used instead. Moreover, the level of sweetness can be adjusted to personal preference. The same goes for any add-ins like nuts, raisins, shredded coconut, and/or chocolate chips.
Of note, the one substitution I have never made is with the flax meal, although the recipe would likely work with all-purpose, oat, or almond flour instead. The flax meal tastes great, produces an excellent crumb, and is just so healthy. It seemed silly to replace it!
When my friends at Barlean’s recently asked me to create a recipe incorporating their flax meal, I had an idea. In addition to the standard flax meal, Barlean’s offers flax meal blends, which in addition to the flax, contain wholesome ingredients like chia, coconut, and berries.
I wondered if the blends would work, and perhaps offer a slightly different flavor profile, than the standard flax. I tried several of the blends, like the pictured Superfruit Seed Blend, and found that the replacement does, in fact, work.
After several trials, I discovered that, because of the additional components in the blends, the recipe worked better when an extra tablespoon was incorporated. Though the blends are available in a variety of flavors, those flavors are subtle and do not substantially alter the final taste of the breakfast cake.
A noteworthy aside: Those who have followed my blog have likely noticed that I’ve developed quite a few recipes for Barlean’s over the past several years. In addition to creating quality products, the company cultivates good people and spirit of giving. They recently matched a $200 donation my husband and I made to Girls on the Run, an organization for which I’ve long volunteered and that is near and dear to my heart. That money will allow several girls to participate in this truly transformative program.❤ 🏃♀️🏃♀️🏃♀️