Tips for Making Better Muffins

This past week Aaron was on campus until 9 for most nights.
I spent one of those evenings cleaning and making large batches of muffin batter to use for breakfast the rest of the week. I found these tips from Simple Bites to be very useful. The basic recipe is really good, but I made a few adjustments to fit my taste. I'm including my recipe for muffins, but the tips are applicable to any muffin or cupcake recipe.

Tips for the Best Muffins Ever
  1. Start with ingredients at room temperature, eggs, milk, etc.
  2. Take care not to over mix the batter; use a flexible spatula to gently fold ingredients together.
  3. Batter should be stiff enough to hold a spoon upright; if it seems runny, gently fold in a few extra tablespoons of flour.
  4. Use the freshest spices as possible when they are required.
  5. Grease the entire muffin tin, not just the holes. More often than not, the muffins expand over the sides, and if those sides have not been properly greased, you’re going to run into trouble when you try to remove the muffins.
  6. Fill muffin tins three-quarters full; the tops are the best part, so don’t be shy with the batter.
  7. Slide a baking sheet under the muffin tin to help prevent the bottoms from getting too dark in the oven. This also helps with cleanup in case there is overflow.
  8. Take care not to over-bake the muffins.
  9. Allow muffins to cool in the pan at least 10 minutes before removing them, especially if they contain soft fresh fruit.
  10. Enjoy them fresh. If you must, freeze them, although I prefer to freeze the batter (without add-ins), then thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake the muffins fresh in the morning.

Basic Muffin Recipe

Be sure to read the recipe all the way through before getting started. You will note that the oats soak in the milk 1 hour prior to assembling the rest of the ingredients, so take that into consideration before starting out.
Makes 12 medium muffins
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (white or apple cider)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled slightly (sometimes I use coconut oil, depending on add-ins)
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons flour (I use 3/4 WW and 1/4 + 2 Tbsp all-purpose)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • add-ins of your choosing
Combine milk, vinegar and oats in a large bowl and let stand one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a twelve-cup muffin tin and line with cupcake papers.
Crack the egg into the oat and milk mixture; add brown sugar and mix to combine. Stir in melted butter.
Sift remaining ingredients into the bowl: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, & spices. Gently fold into batter, taking care not to over mix.
Sprinkle add-in and flavorings of your choice and combine muffin batter gently.
Use a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop batter into muffin tins. Bake until light brown and tops spring back when gently touched, about 10-12 minutes. Note: Muffins will take slightly longer to bake if you are adding fresh fruit such as blueberries or rhubarb.
Remove from oven and cool in tins. To remove, run a sharp knife around the edges and pop muffins out. Enjoy!
*You may also substitute 1 cup buttermilk, and then omit the vinegar from the recipe.

Muffin Add-Ins
  • 2 bananas (mashed), 1/2 cup walnuts, 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup diced apples, 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup coconut, 1/4 cup walnuts, 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup blueberries, 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp poppy seeds, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 Tbsp lemon zest 
    • omit vinegar and add lemon juice with milk and oatmeal

    1 comment:

    1. So this may seem kinda drastic but Cameron and I watched "Sugar Coated" last night and were just shocked and sickened by not only the amount we as humans are consuming on a daily basis but the amount we should be taking in... 6-9 teaspoons a DAY😱 We are more than quadrupling that intake 😭 We also realized refined sugar, natural sugar, added sugar doesn't matter sugar is sugar. Sure high fructose corn syrup is just by all means nasty but eating large amounts of sugar even from fruit can be harmful to your health. So how do I cut out the sugar without sacrificing the taste and texture 😔 I have been on a new diet and love it! It's very low sugar but my kids won't eat what I eat. I see you have dark brown sugar up there what can I substitute? We're just trying to cut down on the sugar amount as well as any processed sugars... Is there a difference between dark and light brown sugar? Do you know anything about honey or agave and it nutrients and it being used instead of sugars?