Beaver Town Inn Blue-Ribbon Muffins

My Beloved and I were in our early 40s, married almost 5 years in late 1997. We had grown weary of our string of jobs, finance-data-training for her, newspaper editing for me. Let’s buy a bed-and-breakfast, we dreamed. No, let’s run someone’s B&B first and see if we like the life, we chose.

One-lane wooden suspension bridge over Table Rock Lake at Beaver, Arkansas
One-lane wooden suspension bridge over Table Rock Lake at Beaver, Arkansas. (Wikimedia Commons)

I answered a help-wanted ad to manage the Beaver Town Inn & Trading Post in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Got the job. Four couples from central and east Arkansas owned it, mainly for an Ozark getaway for themselves and friends and try to make a little money. Five guest rooms were upstairs to maintain, also cook a hot breakfast and in the afternoon set out wine and cheese and crackers. The gift shop was downstairs, where customers usually bought beer, snacks and bait. The renovated inn sat at the foot of the Little Golden Gate Bridge that crosses the south end of Table Rock Lake, off the White River, 7 miles north of Eureka Springs.

This article from 2019 is fairly accurate. Either as small hotel, restaurant and/or antique shop, social media posts indicate it’s been closed since early 2020, due to the Covid pandemic.

We survived the one-year contract then moved 55 miles south to Fayetteville in early 1999, where we happily remain. One breakfast mainstay was the muffin I developed. On a lark I entered a batch in the 1998 Carroll County Fair, in Berryville. It won First Place in the Baked Goods/Quick Bread category.

  • 3/4 cup plant milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tablespoon egg replacer powder (or ground flaxseed) dissolved in 2 Tablespoons water, rest 5 minutes to thicken
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour — whole wheat and unbleached in any proportion
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  1. Grease a 12-spot or two 6-spot muffin tins or place in them 12 paper baking liners. Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
  2. Pour the milk and applesauce into a pint measuring cup. Mix in well the thickened egg replacer and lemon juice.
  3. Combine well the brown sugar, nuts and spices in a small bowl. Split off about a third of the mix in another small bowl or cup.
  4. Sift together thoroughly the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and white sugar in a large bowl. Stir in that third of the cinnamon mix.
  5. Restir the liquid mix and pour into the dry mix. Stir with a table fork only until nearly all of the flour has been moistened.
  6. Working without hesitation, put about a tablespoon of batter into each of the 12 muffin cups. Float on top of each about a teaspoon of the remaining two-thirds of the cinnamon mix. Cover with a second tablespoon of batter, then divide any remaining matter among the cups. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon mix on the tops.
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes, until light brown and a clean toothpick test. Remove muffins from tin to a cake rack to cool.


  • Recipe can be doubled.
  • This is the vegan, no-fact adaptation of my original, when I was an ovo-lacto vegetarian. You can sub one egg for the egg replacer emulsion, 1/4 cup vegetable oil for the 1/2 cup applesauce and/or dairy milk one-for-one for plant milk; the taste and texture differences are insignificant.
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