Archive for ‘Muffins’

June 4, 2014

Grape Cakes

Have you ever baked grapes?

It’s weird and funny. But kinda tasty.

Especially when you bake them into mini cakes.

Made out of pancake batter.

I started this blog as a record of my adventures in the kitchen, and this was sure a quirky little jaunt, if not a full out adventure.

These grapes were staring me in the face. Taunting me really. Bake me bake me, they shouted as I took out milk for my cereal or veggies for a salad.

But grapes are not a super common item in baked goods, at least not in their full fresh glory. So, I figured I would need something a little funky.

I adapted my favorite pancake recipe and plunked a grape in each. As any good kitchen scientist would do, I also made some control groups: halved grapes, strawberry slices, brown sugar, and plain.

The cakes themselves were delish! The grape was a little surprise tart burst in the middle. The sliced grapes probably work a little better than the whole ones. As far as my other control groups – the brown sugar topped cakes may have a future home in my breakfast repertoire. They were GOOD.

The downsides of this adventure? I should have used muffin tin liners – these guys stuck to the sides of the pan like it was their JOB. Also, the ones with fruit are really best when warm. The next day, they were a little less quirky and a little more funky.

As all adventures go, I learned some lessons, saw some sights, and got some stories to take back to the campfire. Plus I made something called grape cakes. That’s enough for me!

Grape Cakes
makes about 20-24 mini muffins


4T butter, melted and cooled
1/4 c plain greek yogurt
1/2 c skim milk
1 egg
1 cup flour
2 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
grapes, cut in half

Line a mini-muffin tin with liners and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together yogurt, milk, and egg, and then slowly whisk in butter. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Fold wet ingredients into dry ones, being careful not to overmix.

Fill the mini-muffin tins about 1/2-3/4 full. Plop a grape, cut side up, into the center of each muffin. Do not press down – it will sink on its own. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden and set. Let cool about 5 minutes in the pan. These treats are best enjoyed warm!




April 26, 2013

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

I love muffins. The day I found out just how unhealthy muffins typically are, I was pretty crushed. I always viewed them as the “healthy alternative to a donut at Dunkins.” Uh. Yeah right. Let’s not even go there.

Anyways, I know that there are some healthy muffin recipes out there. This is not one of them. However, this is a delicious muffin recipe, which, in my humble opinion, is way more important. If I am going to eat some bran applesauce muffin… well, I’d rather just eat some applesauce and a bowl of bran cereal. No need to spoil a decent muffin.

These lemon poppyseed muffins are perfect for a lazy Saturday morning. The original recipe included a glaze, but I didn’t even feel these needed it. They are best paired with a cup of English Breakfast tea and a warm kitten on your lap.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
adapted from Food Wishes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (1/2-cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
finely grated zest from 2 lemons
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a muffin tin.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Place the lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl and rub together with fingertips to release the lemon flavor. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the lemon zest/sugar mixture. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Stir in 1/3 of the dry ingredients until just incorporated, and then mix in the lemon juice and 1/2 of the buttermilk. Add half of the remaining dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the rest of the buttermilk, stir in, and then the remaining dry ingredient. Do not over mix. Gently fold in the poppy seeds.

Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups and bake for about 30 minutes, or until slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from tin and let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

November 9, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

I’m going to make this short and sweet. Kind of like these muffins, because I only made a half batch but they were soooo delicious.

Thursday night, need to bake, half some left over pumpkin, voila! Pumpkin muffins! I’m not usually a huge lover of pumpkin things, more like a casual enjoyer. But these were so good and incredibly dense and moist. If I made them again I might cut down the sugar just a bit, because I don’t think it needed quite that much. But A + for these guys.

That’s all! I do have to go to class sometimes, I can’t always just sit here and wax eloquent about cookies and muffins and whatnot.


Pumpkin Muffins
adapted from Picky Cook

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice (I didn’t have this, so I just combined some nutmeg, all-spice, and a little extra cinnamon)
2 teaspoon cinnamon – divided
pinch nutmeg
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Put liners in muffin cups.
Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.

Stir together 1 teaspoon cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack five minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.

October 27, 2010

Apple Muffins/Writer’s Block

I kind of have writer’s block about these muffins. Want to know why?

I hated them and will never make them again. There, I said it. The strange thing is, almost everyone else who tried them loved them. So should I gush and rave? Or say what I really thought?

The alarm bells went off in my head when these muffins took a cup of oil instead of butter. Something about that didn’t feel right. I love butter. The crumble on top also didn’t have any butter, so it didn’t have that lovely melty crunch on top. And the bottoms of the muffins were down right soggy.

I said I’d never make these again. I guess that’s a lie. I would make these again, only I would cut the amount of sugar in half, use less juicy apples, substitute butter (or applesauce for a healthier muffin) for the oil, and change the crumble on top. But then that wouldn’t really be THESE muffins would it?

Well, the important thing is that they were greatly enjoyed by everyone else, so I guess I should stop complaining and go bake something else!

Apple Muffins
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups peeled, cored, diced apples (around 3 apples)
Brown sugar for topping (around 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease muffin tins.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Cream together sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla and mix into dry ingredients. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the diced apples.

Fill muffin tins almost to the top about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Makes 18-24 muffins.

October 3, 2010

Makethesenow Blueberry Muffins

These. are. so. good.

Joy the Baker calls them perfect. They are perfect. Thanks Joy.

I made a few changes from the original recipe – I used French Vanilla yogurt instead of whole milk which gave them a lovely moist, denser texture.  I added a little brown sugar into the topping (and would probably increase the butter – because extra butter makes perfect things EXTRA perfect). I had never used browned butter before, but I think that also added to the scrumptiousness.

Is it morning as you are reading this? You should make them for breakfast. Is it any other time of the day? You should still make them. Right now.

Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins

adapted from Joy the Baker

makes 12 muffins

7 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup vanilla or plain yogurt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh blueberries (I used frozen since its not the season, but fresh would be better!)

For the Topping

4 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Put a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line muffin pan with paper or foil liners

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Keep an eye on the butter.  Melt and cook down the butter until little brown bits appear in the pan.  The crackling will subside and butter will begin to brown fairly quickly after that.  Keep a close eye.  Remove from heat.

Whisk yogurt, egg, yolk and vanilla until combined.  Add the brown butter and stir to combine.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl  Add yogurt and butter mixture all at one and stir gently to combine.  Gently but thoroughly fold in the blueberries.

Divide the batter among muffin cups and spread evenly.

To make the topping combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the cups. Don’t be afraid to be generous with the topping.

Bake until golden and crisp and a wooden pick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.  Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes then remove from the pan.  Serve warm or at room temperature.