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Got guests for the holidays? Bake up Mary Schoenlein’s super gingery muffins for an easy grab-and-go morning. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

In addition to the kick of powdered and candied ginger, molasses, allspice and lemon zest add an extra punch of flavor. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

Gingerbread is not just for use in creating hanging tree ornaments or decorative tabletop houses. It can be an aromatic, delicious transition into the warm spices of the holiday season (and a bright break from pumpkin-everything).

“I am a sucker for gingerbread,” says Mary Schoenlein, “as long as it’s intensely flavored, moist and gingery.”

This Ginger B.A.M. (which stands for badass muffin) delivers on all of those assets.

The story goes that Schoenlein’s husband, Pat, a considerable ginger fan, created the rebellious nickname after first trying it.

Schoenlein of East Hampton’s Mary’s Marvelous, which closed in 2021, was renowned for its baked goods. Luckily, she is working on a cookbook of fan favorites. Her love of ginger in many of her recipes comes from its versatility.

“Everything about ginger is amazing,” explains Schoenlein, “not only for its culinary properties and spicy fragrance, but its healing properties. I use it raw, cooked, dried, powdered, tinctured, juiced, candied, crystallized. It’s a powerhouse.”

What is Schoenlein’s secret to making these muffins popular with her houseguests during the holidays? “Don’t overbake.”

This fun fact will also impress your morning gang: Ginger has been around for 5,000 years and belongs to the same family of plants as cardamom, turmeric and galangal.

Move over, gingerbread man. There’s a new muffin on the block.

Mary Schoenline’s ginger B.A.M. muffins

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Serves 10 muffins


  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup unsulfered molasses
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup crystalized ginger, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the eggs and the lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer and using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until light and frothy. Add the molasses and beat for 1 minute.
  • Mix the flour with the dry spices.
  • Add the brown sugar to the egg mixture and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low speed add a third of the flour, then the melted butter, then another third of the flour and mix just until blended.
  • In a small bowl, stir the baking soda and the buttermilk together. Add this to the mixer bowl with the egg, sugar and flour and mix just until blended.
  • Add the last of the flour just until combined.
  • Coat 10 muffin cups with nonstick spray or butter and flour them. Fill each cup to ¼ inch from the top.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of crystallized ginger to each muffin, pushing it down a bit into the batter.
  • Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • [*To chop crystallized ginger, use a food processor and add 1-2 tbsp sugar. Pulse gently, being careful not to overwork the machine.]